Casey, JW. et al
A school marching band is being praised by STEM majors the world over after boosting a lethargic crowd with a live performance of the citric acid cycle. The change in programming was the brainchild of Chemistry teacher Ari Barsamian, who, after a series of budget cuts, also became the school’s Music Director.
Mr. Barsamian’s main challenge in his new role was not so much the music as the choreography. He knew nothing of the intricate patterns of a high school marching band. So, he turned to what he was currently teaching in class.
“The Krebs Cycle” he noted with increased respiration. “From what I observed, they often march in a circle anyway, so I figured why not give the crowd more energy with some ATP?”
Mr. Barsamian had them start the process by drinking a can of cream soda “for the initial steps of glycolysis into pyruvates.”
“Acetyl CoA, that’s the saxophones, combine with four carbon receptor molecules, the trumpets, to form a six carbon citrate group,” explained Mr. Barsamian. “Then two of the saxophonists split off to represent the NADH. It’s pretty dynamic when you see it from the stands. Really!”
Mr. Barsamian explained how the drummers file through a double row of trombones. The formation then opens up with musicians quick-stepping out of the line.
“That’s the electron transfer chain. The energy produced by the movement is so exciting! The reaction of the crowd should generate scads of Adenosine Triphosphate.”
The move may not last long, however, as the school was able to hire back its previous Musical Director at a reduced salary. Sidney Tavris is scheduled to return to his job next week and notified school officials that he was cancelling Barsamian’s project for a halftime show featuring what he felt was a touchy arrangement of Lithium by Nirvana.
“Look. The guy’s talking about dividing the band into two sections to represent equilibrium and Le Chatelier’s principle,” complained Mr. Tavris. “Maybe we’ve had enough experimentation for one semester!”
Still, there appears to be something of a bond between the two teachers and new configurations are being discussed. Barsamian suggested Chain Reaction by Diana Ross with the band first converging in tight formation and then “radiating outward towards the sidelines in a flash!”
“Dunno” joked Tavris, “That could bomb with the spectators”
“It’ll be fine as long as we don’t reach critical mass,” Mr. Barsamian added in earnest.