NKU Senior, UC Band Rookie: Kristen Goodridge

Posted October 23, 2017 Evan Barnes

The UC Band Is Damn Good. I had no idea what this meant walking into my first day of band camp on August 9th. I was clueless.

I’m not your average rookie. My first day of band camp wasn’t before my first day of freshman year. My first day of band camp was the summer before my senior year. “Why did you wait that long?” you might want to ask. But I had no idea about the UC Bearcat Bands. Sure, I had heard about them growing up, but never even considered joining. I applied to UC and NKU my senior year of high school, and never imagined continuing onto band in college, especially once I made my decision.

If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m not your traditional UC student. Actually, I’m not a UC Student at all. I am a 4th year senior at Northern Kentucky University. I am a “visiting” student at the University of Cincinnati in order to be in their marching band. This class did not require any funds on my part and is taken for no credit. I paid my $100 dues, bought my $35 marching shoes, and started at band camp on August 9th, like everyone else.

The scariest thing about coming to band camp in August wasn’t being an NKU student. I had spoken to other band members prior to coming to camp and had heard of other NKU students who joined. The thing that scared me, was the fact that, unlike a fellow NKU friend in band, I wasn’t a freshman. I’m a 4th year senior, and I am supposed to graduate in May with an Engineering Technology degree. I’m not your “stereotypical” rookie. If you had told me about this my freshman year, then I would be a 4th year TUCBIDG member and 4th year at NKU. But it wasn’t until the spring semester of my junior year that I both learned and received confirmation about NKU students being allowed to march.

Through TUCBIDG, I have made a lot of amazing friends and memories already. I have made friends spreading from the drum majors, fellow members in my section, and those outside of my section. I will admit that it was uncomfortable and awkward at first, figuring out the dynamic and how to interact because the “usual” rookie questions didn’t work with me. But once we got past my year in school, memories were made. Anything from attending my first band bonfire after camp, to going on a Clarinet outing to see IT, which I proceeded to watch while hiding in the corner of my seat. I would say that my favorite memory is attending the UC vs Michigan game in the Big House. While the band setup was a mess, the laughing and memories that came from that stadium are worth it.

Through being in TUCBIDG, I have learned that not everything worth while is easy or comfortable in the beginning. Learning a new marching technique, remembering how to march after 3 years, or interacting with people from a different school and younger than me wasn’t easy, but the friendships I’ve made, interpersonal skills I’ve learned, and the experiences I have had make it all worth while. I would join TUCBIDG all over again if I had the choice, and I truly hope that the opportunity for more NKU students to join arises as more people on campus are made aware that it is an option.