Written by Tabitha Rice. Media by Logan Nelson.
“Who are we?”
“Who are we?!”
“WHO ARE WE??”
This call-and-response can be heard at the end of every home football game, the baseball field late Monday nights, and every All College Hike and Homecoming Pep Rally. This is the cry of one of the most important and well-loved families on campus, the Greenville College Panther Corps marching band, and it is not to be ignored.
During band camp, Mr. Fairbanks referred to the band’s sixth year as “Gideon year.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story of Gideon, it can be found in Judges chapters 6-8. The narrative follows a young man named Gideon who is chosen by God to lead his people into battle against the Midianites. Despite his reputation as a man of faith, Gideon had doubts about God’s provision for him and his soldiers and tested God’s faithfulness with a piece of fleece (the wool of sheep).
God informed Gideon that his army of 32,000 men was too large and had Gideon send away those who were afraid to fight. This request left Gideon with 10,000 men, which made him more nervous to go up against the vast number of Midianite soldiers. Even though only the brave and willing remained, Gideon had difficulty seeing that his army was stronger for being smaller. God wanted not only the bravest but the best.
When God told Gideon to take the men down to the river to drink, the majority of them cast aside their weapons and crouched down to take a drink with both of their hands. Three hundred men kept their weapons ready and merely scooped up water with one hand to drink while standing.
To those three hundred men, Gideon gave a lamp, pitcher, and a trumpet. They hid their lamps in the pitchers and made their way down to the Midianite camp in the middle of the night. When they completely surrounded the camp, they threw the pitchers to the ground and sounded their trumpets, terrifying the sleeping Midianites so much that they started cutting each other down in the darkness. After taking down those who managed to escape, Gideon and his soldiers returned victoriously without losing a single man of their own.
Mr. Fairbanks used this illustration to assure the band that although their numbers are few at twenty-five, they can still be mightier than the largest college marching band. One way to be small but mighty is by always doing your very best. He spoke to the band during one of their breaks about having a “winning attitude.” Every time they pick up their horn, drumsticks, flag, or baton, he encourages them to make it their very best. Every note they play, cadence, toss, and twirl should be done with excellence. The goal is for this attitude to become a habit for optimal performances.
This is the last year the band is calling itself GCPC. When you think of the band, remember the family, God within the players, and how loud they can get with less than thirty people. They’ll have big bands like the U of I Marching Illini running scared yet.
Between their “winning attitudes” and God’s assistance, the band is much mightier than it looks.
Check out this video of the band produced by Logan Nelson!