"Tryouts are five days of nothing but playing and playing and playing from dawn to dusk," said John. "People get blisters on their lips and get dehydrated so much that their tongues become sandpaper. In Blacksburg [where Virginia Tech is], we get temperatures in the 80s with high humidity, so many people trying out end up passing out. You are destroyed by the end of the band tryouts."
"Each year I had to compete for one of the 32 trombone slots. You usually get 40 or so people who have played it all their lives, and this is the only place to go. The band director doesn't even get to choose who makes the band -- it's the section leader, an older student, who picks -- usually only picking people they like."
Infrogmation of New Orleans/Wiki Commons
"A silver trombone? Hit the pavement, fancy pants."
All right, so a bunch of people make it through the world's most unimpressive bootcamp and are accepted into the band. Turns out, the worst is yet to come, because ...