A bit of a stream-of-consciousness, as well as bit of a brag.
Marching band has been kind of weird this summer. This is my third summer playing with them, and when I joined, I decided to play percussion, because why not learn something new? We rehearse once a week during the summer and play maybe six gigs, and I never practice, so if you put that all together, I've played percussion for maybe about 60 hours total. Not very far along the way to that 10,000 hours you're supposed to put in to become an expert at something.
I've been playing snare drum for first two summers, pairing up with another snare drummer who played in high school and has been playing off and on since then. This summer, we got another snare drummer who played in high school and also played drum set in small amateur bands, so I moved to bass drum - which is a surprisingly difficult instrument to play, but I digress. The first snare drummer, who I'll call Mandi, reads music well and is good technically, but she doesn't pay attention to much beyond the page. The new drummer, who I'll call Mal, barely reads music, but simply has raw talent and improvises like you wouldn't believe. And then there's me, who doesn't play the drums well at all and has no actual musical talent, but reads music very well and pays a lot of attention to detail and to the rest of the band.
So, I've been finding myself basically taking charge of the section, deciding who will play what and playing mini-conductor by warning them before each piece what things they have to remember and pay attention to ("Remember, in this piece, you two are always going too fast. Slow down, watch the conductor.") and motioning to them to cue them in (while trying to play my own instrument). I find it really strange that the least competent person is being the section leader, and yet, I'm rather flattered by it. I talked to the conductor about it, and about whether or not I was overstepping my bounds, and he said, no, he thinks that the section really does need a firm hand and that I'm the one who should do it, because my grasp of music and ensemble theory is better than theirs and I have a lot more experience than they do in performing in this type of a group. He gave me some tips on things I can do to help them along, but in general, he's happy that I'm stepping up.
All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've noticed that I'm never great at anything, but I get chosen to organize them. I guess I've found a talent. :)