We Are… (A Member’s Perspective)

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As one season ends and the next begins, we reflect on what we are, and more importantly WHO we are. On the surface, we are all musicians. We are simply just everyday people, and performers. We love what we do, and it shows. Impact has grown in a small amount of time, but in that short time span we have become something so much more than just a musical ensemble.

From the outside looking in we might look like the living embodiment of the Island of Misfit Toys. We might not be what society has deemed “popular” or “cool”, but what we are can be summed up into one word…Ohana. (Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.{Lilo and Stitch})  The loyalty, friendship, and love that we have for each other is something that cannot be faked or duplicated anywhere else.

 Who are we?

After spending a season together, here is what I have learned. We are teachers, parents, medical professionals, city employees, retail workers, and some are lucky enough to call themselves retired. Some of us have fought for our country while some of us fight the small battles at home that truly aren’t that small after all.  We are Orlando Strong. We are young and adventurous and yet we are mature with a lifetime of experience. We are eager to learn, and wise. We are humble, and proud. We are all in different walks of life, but yet at our very core we are one in the same. When we go out on the field we give it everything we have. Each time we perform, we leave a little bit of our heart for all to see. There is a quote that says “Music can change the world because it can change people.” That is our mission… to leave people better than we found them.

Words cannot begin to describe how much this group means to all of us. For some of us, Impact has truly saved our lives. The passion that we have, and the music that we make have brought us back from the brink. None of us have made it through life unscathed. Some of us have battled divorce, depression, loneliness, death of loved ones, or simply the feeling of not fitting in or belonging; but in all of our cases one thing remains… it was the music that saved us. From the first rehearsal, here at Impact of Orlando, I can guarantee that you will fall in love again. You will feel more like yourself than you have in years. For the first time in forever, you will find a group that loves you and accepts you for exactly who you are. You will regain that passion that you thought was gone forever.

Some of us have been playing for 30+ years, while others haven’t touched an instrument a decade or two (maybe more). It doesn’t matter. If you have ever thought to yourself “man, I miss playing” or “those were the best days of my life” then I challenge you to come to an open rehearsal. Don’t put yourself down and feel like you aren’t “good enough” or think that you might be “too old/young” Come to one rehearsal; just one and you will see that you aren’t alone. You can do this, and we would love to have you in the family.

I leave you with the lyrics of Jason Mraz. This is our official Corps song for many different reasons. The lyrics are simple, and yet they mean so much.

“I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up; I’m still looking up.”

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