One of the great things about college football game day at any school is the atmosphere. And one of the most important parts, and often under appreciated, is the band.
I was in the band in high school and spent two years paying for my education in the band at Northwest Community College before finishing up at Mississippi State. So I decided to put the spotlight on the Famous Maroon Band this summer.
I had been doing this when I was still writing for Maroon and White Nation. Now that I am here at FWtCT, I decided to pick up where I left off.
Today we put the spotlight on clarinet player Shanika Parker. Shanika will be entering her sophomore year at Mississippi State in 2016-17
In all likelihood, you joined the band in middle school or junior high. What made you want to be in the band at that time?
When I joined band in middle school, it was the thing to do. If you join band you don’t have to take gym or art. Little did I know that it would have such a huge impact on my whole school career. Even when it wasn’t the thing to do anymore, I stayed with it. And I’m so glad I did because I’ve made so many amazing friendships in my time in band.
What musicians have had the biggest influence on you?
Probably my best friend Rachel. When we met, she was a junior in high school and I was a freshman. She took me under her wing and taught me how to play louder so that we could be heard. As she moved up and became librarian and section leader, I wanted nothing more than to follow in her footsteps and be the best I could be. Even now she inspires me in both band and life.
I also love Disney and when people are featured on popular songs. The people who play for Disney and are in bands for famous people are my goals. Maybe one day I’ll be good enough to be on the radio!
What is your favorite memory of being in the band at Mississippi State?
Honestly, all of them. I’ve only been in the Famous Maroon Band for a year, but it felt like home the moment I walked in for my audition. I went from a small pond of barley 100 people in band to an ocean of 300+. And it didn’t feel much different. The friends I’ve made are unlike any other. From my squad leader to the entire clarinet section, I felt like a million bucks. My favorite times were shouting in the stands telling the football players to “watch their friends,” going to the Belk Bowl, and just the whole experience. Everything about the Famous Maroon Band makes me so happy to be a part of it.
What is your favorite non-band related memory at Mississippi State?
Living in my dorm. When I wasn’t at band or in class, I was in Hull. Hull is probably the best place in the world (because it’s right next to the stadium). I loved living there. Like the Famous Maroon Band, Hull was home. I made friends there that I hope last a lifetime. My roommate and I both were in band last year and it was always so fun to get walk home after a game and just hang out together.
If you would like to keep up with Shanika, you can do so on two different social media platforms. Here Twitter handle is @shanikateresa and her Instagram handle is also @shanikateresa. She also writes a blog on The Odyssey.
Thanks to Shanika for allowing us to feature her in this Famous Maroon Band Profile. Also thanks to Dr. Craig Aarhus, one of the Associate Directors of the Famous Maroon Band for working with us to be able to spotlight the members of the band.
You can follow the Famous Maroon Band on Twitter with their Twitter handle @maroonband. The band also has a Facebook page you can go and like to keep up with all the happenings of the Famous Maroon Band.