Nominate Your Band – Rachel Schaeffer

Halftime Magazine asked its readers, “How has marching band impacted your life?” Find out Rachel Schaeffer’s answer.

(bottom right in picture)

School/Band: Old Bridge High School Marching Knights from Matawan, N.J.
Year in School: Sophomore
Instrument: Trumpet
Video: “The Old Bridge Marching Knights”

As early as February, when the marching band schedule for the ever-so-quickly approaching fall season is released, everything in my life is put on hold. Dance rehearsals become an inferior second, soccer practices are fit in where there’s time, and free weekends to hang out with my friends cease as if they never existed before. And I love it.

Marching band is my number one priority because I know that if I put in my all, so will all my peers involved, and our time and effort will produce astounding results.

Just before every competition, when I open my trumpet case and ready myself for the best performance that I am capable of, I think about what it means to be part of such a wonderful organization.

Without marching band, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. I have gained so many valuable skills that will benefit me for the rest of my life. For instance, I always used to be hesitant to get up in front of crowds. And now, because marching band has helped me to gain confidence, I can more easily get up and voice my opinion. I understand that what I have to say could be very important, and so I stand up and fight for what I believe.

Being a part of the marching band has helped me to see that a big result can come about from just a bunch of small contributions. When everyone makes it his or her business to clean up that foot placement and really accent the last note of that infamous phrase, everything can seem a world cleaner.

This understanding has truly impacted my life because now I can see why it is really so important to do my part to help others. I understand that a single can of soup that I donate to my school’s food drive will be a big part of one person’s meals for a day.

I can now see the reality in the saying that “every little bit makes a difference.” Because it really is true! And every dynamic I remember the instructor changing can add even just a hundredth of a point to our score, aiding in the strive to place first in a competition, to prove that we are “The Pride of Old Bridge.”

Watch Rachel Schaeffers Video

Check out the other finalists’ essays and videos:


Voting for this year’s video/essay competition has ended. Thank you for your support and your votes. The winner and her band will receive a grand prize, valued at more than $3,000.

For the Winning Student:

  • $250 paid to the student
  • 1-year subscription to Halftime Magazine
  • Halftime Magazine T-shirt and other possible merchandise

For the Nominated Band:

  • $1,000 paid to the band
  • Full set of Remo PowerMax Pre-Muffled Marching Bass Drumheads, estimated retail value of $725
  • $500 (retail value) in Yamaha accessories
  • $500 (retail value) in Evans Drumheads or Rico Reeds
  • 1-year group subscription (10 copies per issue) to Halftime Magazine
  • Halftime Magazine T-shirt and other possible merchandise

Two Different Worlds

One high school drum major learns that concert and marching band are very different animals. From Halftime Magazine, a print publication and online community about ...