I sat there and stared at the sheet music on my stand as my first senior moment hit me. As my solo entrance blew right by, I held the flute to my lips as my mind realized that this was the last band concert I would perform in at Norwich University.

I set the flute back in my lap, trying to snap myself out of my pity party to make my next entrance. It was the last time I’d sit in the Chapel and see those same, lovely faces out in the crowd: the professors who care, the administration that take the time to listen, and the friends that wouldn’t miss it for the world.

As we played an excerpt from “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” I found myself picturing myself five years ago, sitting in a concert hall in Wales, powering over an all-men’s Welsh choir. In seconds, I was back in the little White Chapel in Northfield, Vt., attempting to make my instrument sound like a full section.

Between each song, I looked out into the audience. Some had smiles, others had tears. That’s what music does. It inspires emotion, brings people to places they can’t be in real life. It answers questions and fills the heart.

I pulled out the tiny marching band music, for what was probably the hundredth time at this school. As “Stars and Stripes” began, I realized the true treasure of a military band: the ability to speak to you in a million different ways.

I stood up for my last time as a senior flutist at Norwich University. Gasping for the time to slow down. Reaching for the past.

So stop to take in the moments that make you who you are. Appreciate them the first time, the 30th time, and especially the last where you are the creator of your happiness. Let whatever it is that drives you take you on a road that you’ll always remember. That’s the treasure of Norwich: no matter who you are, its able to speak with you in whatever way you chose.

– Audrey Seaman, The Guidon Editor

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