Because of deaths/illnesses in the family my freshman year, and taking 19 hours of classes in spring of my sophomore year, I wasn’t a full participant of Montevallo’s College Night tradition until a junior. I wish now that I’d pushed through freshman and sophomore years to get the CN experience well before I did, but you can’t change the past and blah blah blah. But every time I have gone or watched College Night since graduation, there’s the bittersweet feeling all College Night alumni feel.
It’s exciting because you know you’re about to see and experience and feel in the air something that predates you all: cooperation and innovation, student genius and dedicated blood/sweat/tears to produce The Coolest Show Ever. The feeling of pride in the way your Side makes you cry, smile, and laugh is something you never forget, and something always buried in your heart. You know you’ll see incredible things, and your ears might be a little deaf from all the screaming and cheers, but that’s where the soul of it all resides.
Looking back, it’s the little things I remember. The frigid & bitter cold of walking to Davis Hall, Lady Gaga in my ears which were frozen solid and hands stuffed in my pockets as I trekked across the huge, sprawling (that part’s a joke) campus of UM. Flute slung over my wrist, sheet music tucked under my arm as I braced the frozen tundra of central Alabama in February. Being in Palmer rehearsing ’til we couldn’t keep our eyes open and instruments up any longer, hoping against hope they would let us go for the night, but still keeping in mind that the extra work is worth every second.
I remember the casual and serious modes of our Purple Orchestra conductors, and how every single person in that room poured their heart into bringing out fun, exciting, and beautiful music. Coming back home to Brooke Hall at 2:30 or 3 in the morning. Scurrying and shoving down the stairs to the orchestra pit on the nights of the show, adrenaline coursing through as you know your Side depends on YOU, but that everyone is there to support one another too.
You’re part of something that affects and drives so many–how can you not love that feeling? Your friends are ones you share this love with for the rest of your life. I can’t tell you how much I love people seeing my Montevallo sweatshirt and giving me a “PV!” (I guess a “GV” is fine too but I’m only concerned w/ the Purples, heh (kidding–or am I?)) There’s not a feeling in the world like it.
This year I’m not able to make any of the shows, and that sucks (first because of classes Wed & Thurs, then work Fri & Sat). Luckily this year, like last, UM is offering the livestream of it, for which I’ve already paid and will be watching. Even though I can’t be there to feel the spirit all around me, I’ll be there from afar, joining my Purple family and circling up with you.
P-MF-V. Do great work, like you ALWAYS do.