When I was in High School I was part of a very famous (for the state) drumline. Damn, were we good. We actually went 4 straight years without a defeat. Four. Straight. Years.
The line had all the best musicians from the school in it, only the best made it through tryouts. And because of this, we acted like more than a bunch of kids, we were a Unit. Like a spartan phalanx. Sure, we all had our differences, but when it came down to showtime, there were none.
We owed all of this to the instructor. He was more than just that, though. He was our Idol, our leader. He was also one of the best percussionists in the entire world, if you can believe that. He earned our respect, and was truly the soul of the line. Through his inspirational stories and his teaching technique we quickly dominated the indoor percussion scene.
Thanks to his teaching, and the innate musical abilities of the students, we were all easily capable of writing a symphony. By the prime of the Line, we all had perfect pitch and a wealthy knowledge of music theory. They were some of the best times of my life, and helped me to see Music in a different way than most people.
Things were incredible for a while. Than the tryouts were made easier, less talented musicians could get in. This helped for a while, made us more diverse, yet structually weak. It wasn't long before some of the kids' parents became more involved in the teaching, and you could tell the bottom of the line was about to fall out.
That was when He quit. He wasn't the most talented in the group, wasn't the least, but he was the first. It could have been that he was sick of the new people, sick of the way people treated the instructor. He had been switched to the Bass guitar that year, and was stressed about letting his instructor, his idol, down. Or maybe he just quit because he was feeling lazy, and sick of wasting his time with the line. It doesn't matter. The phalanx was broken.
That was the first year we were defeated. It wouldn't be the last. The line folded two years later, and now 20 kids had to find something else to do. After Drumline, a lot of the kids would find themselves unhappy. It was strange. A few got married to other people from the Line. The rest couldn't keep up a long term relationship. Not one.
I've heard that you always look for qualities that you have in another person. I guess everyone from the Line were looking for that same way of seeing, of understanding music to the frequency of the notes.
And the guy who quit? The one who effectively signaled the end of the Line? He regretted it every day. He even considered begging his instructor to let him back in. He didn't though. He couldn't even look his instructor in the eye after that.
But that's ok, I hear he's a semi-respected blogger on EbaumsWorld.