One of the most cherished aspects of The Marching Virginians is the numerous friendships that are made through early morning game days, late-night rehearsals, and all the fun times in-between. I have made more friends in the past few years than I ever could have imagined, and each of my friendships is so unique and special to me. While everyone in the group forms new friendships each season, there are a few individuals who have developed even closer bonds and found their best friends through The Marching Virginians. These best band friends seem to be together every minute of every day, take the best pictures together on gamedays, and support each other on and off the field. For this post, I decided to talk to just a few of the numerous best friends in the MVs who are at various points in their lives and share their stories.
Lexie Hackman and Karen Small are Juniors at Virginia Tech in the saxophone section. They’ve been friends since auditioning for The Marching Virginians together their freshman year, and their close bond is evident in all the activities they do together and their numerous pictures with each other.
Haley Blevins, Drew Robertson-Gouge, and Stephanie Quesenberry are three best friends and roommates who were in the band together over the past few years. All playing different instruments, they became friends through the band hall in Pritchard their freshman year and have kept their friendship strong even through different academic and musical endeavors this year.
Evan Hornstein and James Bittner are recent graduates of Virginia Tech, each receiving their degrees this past May. Evan and James were both in the band hall and auditioned for The MVs on trombone, so they became best friends and ended up being roommates for the rest of their time at Tech.
Cammy Cohen and Courtney Amos were in trumpet leadership together for multiple years, but their friendship first started out as competition their freshman year. Now a year after graduating, they are living in the same town and staying close friends even though their post-graduate plans took them on different paths.
“When and how did you meet?”
“We met August 22nd, 2017. I have a recurring ‘friendiversary’ event on my calendar on the 22ndof every month.” -Karen
“Steph and I met in high school, but we really became friends when we both came to VT. Haley lived across from Steph and we jammed out in the hallway one night and have been friends ever since.” -Drew
“We met freshman year before band camp started in Pritchard as he was right across the hall from me. We were acquaintances until we got in band because we were each other’s competition.” -James
“We met at band camp and started out being super competitive with each other. Although we had a rocky start, it only took a few rank dinners and SpongeBob memes to kick off an amazing friendship.” -Cammy
“What is your favorite thing about your best friend(s)?”
“My favorite thing about Karen is that she makes me smile, simple as that.” -Lexie
“There’s too much to choose from! Drew and Haley both have huge hearts and their friendship means the world to me.” -Steph
“If I had to pick one, it would be that he is confident and a naturally born leader who isn’t afraid to take charge.” -James
“My favorite thing about Cammy is her passion. I’ve always found myself in awe of how entirely she dedicates herself to the people and activities she cares deeply about. She is fiercely passionate about her friendships and would drop everything to be there for a friend in need, as I have experienced firsthand more than once.” -Courtney
“What’s it like marching with your best friend(s)?”
“I wouldn’t want to stand next to anyone else for every single game; we never have actual keys during the “key play” so we just scream “JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE” until our throats get sore, it’s the best” -Karen
“The people are why I loved coming to band every day, and meeting Drew and Steph through band is why I’m able to love coming home every day!” -Haley
“Incredible. Not only did we march together all four years, but we were both rank captains for 3 of them. I always had someone I could go to who knew exactly where I was coming from. He really completed my MV experience.” -Evan
“The most fun I’ve ever had in my life will be the endless jokes and memories from band camps, rehearsals, and gamedays with Courtney.” -Cammy
“Do you think your friendship will be/is just as strong after graduation?”
“I believe so. It’ll be different and I know our friendship will change when we’re not so physically close to each other, but I think we’ll always stay this close.” -Lexie
“Absolutely! I see them both as friends for life! We’ve even already talked about who is going to be what in each of our wedding parties.” -Drew
“I hope James is my best friend for the rest of my life. No matter the distance nor time, we’ll always find a way to keep this unique bromance going.” -Evan
“Knowing that if I need my best friend, she is only a short 10 minutes across the city from me is something that I’ve found great comfort in and has helped make the transition to this new chapter of my life much easier. I have no doubt in my mind that this friendship will last a lifetime and then some. I love my best friend Cammy and I love the Marching Virginians for bringing her into my life.” -Courtney
Although each friendship in the band is special in its own way, it is pretty incredible that we all share this wonderful bond of music in The Marching Virginians. This group has come to feel like a family for me and so many others, and if there is one thing I have learned throughout my years at Tech, it is that band friends truly are the best friends.