Saturday, November 20, 2010

She's with the band.

Kate Carter '12 on divided allegiance, the YPMB-YGC football game, and transcendence of ancient hatreds.

I am, as my Glee Club bio aptly puts it, a Benedict Arnold, a traitor to the cause of Glee Club domination. After failing to cajole, coerce, or otherwise convince me, YGC left me to the ranks of that menacing and bizarre force, the Yale Precision Marching Band, in the annual epic

showdown of musical powerhouses. The YGC-YPMB football game. A battle of glee against “precision,” of spirit, of “Y’s.” The score is unimportant (*coughthebandwoncough*). Vastly outnumbered (think 300), facing an opponent honed by weekly practices and killer duck-duck-goose matches, the Glee Club put up a valiant fight and emerged battle-worn but proud.

I believe YGC’s efforts can be best described in the words of our manager and one of two fear-inspiring captains, Rachel Wilf: “Our all-star freshman (Ben Lewis, Connor Kenaston) played brilliantly, Atid Kimelman chose to play on our side instead of on the side of the YPMB-ers, some members from 2010 showed up (John Good and even Pete Clune) and the altos (Rebecca Trupin, Phyllis Thangaraj, Cynthia Weaver and I) were balanced out by our wonderful sopranos (Helen McCreary, Mari Oye, and Monica Qiu)! Derek Tam was an excellent QB, Dylan Morris ran barefoot, Adam Fishman was awesome enough to play without his glasses, Phyllis skipped studying for her midterm to run over and join us, and Daniel Cruse struck fear in the hearts of the YPMB runners.”

However, let me clarify. I did not play. See, I would be a handicap to whichever team I joined, and I don’t wish that on either side. Instead, I focused my efforts on cheering on the band while still quietly applauding YGC successes.

While whiling away my time on the sidelines, I learned some things that just can’t be taught by midterm-stricken textbooks:

1. “Bulldog, bulldog, bow wow wow…!” applies to all Yalies, not just the band…No matter what, Yale wins!

2. The show must go on. And the game must go on. So when you have a chamber singers performance and a football game that conflict, be prepared to get dirty, make a quick change, and catch your breath before breaking into beautiful song. Take a leaf from the YGC’s other fearless captain, Derek Tam’s book. He was a champion.

3. Touch football can be just as dangerous as that stuff you see on TV. Well, at least, dangerous enough for a bunch of Yalie music nerds. Get ready for lost glasses, rolled ankles, near-broken arms, and bone-crunching landings on the sidewalk.

4. A corollary: don’t put your end zone right next to a sidewalk. Concrete and momentum. Not a good combo.

5. Midterms can’t get us down. That’s what I love about Yale, especially the groups that I have

come to call my families: the band and, of course, the Glee Club. We never are too busy to take a moment and stop taking ourselves seriously (or maybe take a moment to take trivialities exceedingly seriously). Football and donuts in the middle of the New Haven Green, on a Sunday afternoon before one of the toughest weeks of the semester, and some of us spent the day

before in performance and some will spend the next hour in performance. Score.

So the Glee Club can shake off the dust from the battlefield and focus its ferocity on its next foe (or frenemy? Rather in the YPMB vein, but less cool), the Harvard Glee Club. As we put it at every halftime show: Harvard’s team may fight to the end, but Yale…Will…Win!