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Thursday, October 28, 2021

I am writing in response to Monday's article, "UF band marches on." I can relate to Scarlet Basler's frustrations in being assigned to play a sousaphone after years at the oboe. I joined the Gator Band in 1961 having played trumpet and baritone in high school, only to find all of those positions filled. I was asked to join the crew of the Big Bass Drum, a six-foot drum that sat on a large rolled carriage.

My entire college career was spent with the Big Bass Drum, pushing it around the field, dragging it across campus from the practice field and loading and unloading it while other band members were already at the College Inn having a cold brew. When we played at other schools, we had to guard the Big Bass Drum with our lives because it was a target for opposing fans. The Big Bass Drum was heavy, cumbersome, always losing parts and a constant challenge to play.

Scarlet, hang in there. You are about to create the most wonderful college experience that will last a lifetime.

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