Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adventures in the Griffin's lair

No, this isn't some kind of fantasy blog post, but rather a follow up about the contest I went to on Saturday which happened to be hosted by a school with a Griffin as the mascot (hence the title).

It has been brought to me attention, that there are more than a few of us marching band bloggers out there, so this is more for you guys than anyone else.

Saturday was forecast earlier on in the week to be quite warm, at 80 degrees, but a cold front came through this time last week, and changed everything. Turned out that the temp didn't get above 60 (plus cold wind gusts).

Now for those of you that live up north, you'd probably be dancing around outside in your underwear if it would be like that where you are, but for us down here, especially since it was so sudden, it takes a little bit of adjustment.

Lucky band kids get to wear their nice wool uniforms...not really a fan of the baby blue, but school colors are school colors, what can I say?

I must say that I enjoyed myself on Saturday. The most I've done so since I was on the other side of the podium. This turned out to be one of the most entertaining contests I've been to in recent memories. I think that has a lot to do with the bands not trying to make the football field a concert hall or do something cutting edge, but rather entertain the crowd.

There were some of those original, concert shows, but there were also to see that featured music of Broadway, Billy Joel, Michael McDonald, Evanescence, The Beatles,Earth, Wind, & Fire, and Latin music. I would prefer not to mention the atrocity that was done to Michael Jackson's music by the first band to compete. Let's just say it was bad times 100.

After they finally walked...yes, I said WALKED, off the field, we entered the stadium and the place went bananas (as much as it can with only a handful of people there...gotta love being one of the early bands). The kids rocked it. Yes, there were a few mistakes, but those were mainly nerves with this being the first contest and all. I was pleased with that they did, and I think bossman was, too.

The day went on and the bands got bigger and better. The sun went down and it got colder and colder. Finally, the awards ceremony started.

They call our name and the ratings: percussion-2, band 2. Not the best, but we could have done a LOT worse. They then announce the rankings...percussion 2nd in small class, band 3rd on small class (out of 5). Not too shabby. Some things will be cleaned up before we head to the big contest on a couple of weeks.

As good as they may think they were, it won't cut the mustard out there. I will say though, that this has to be one of the most enthusiastic group of parents I've encountered in my band career. Of all 35 students, 30 sets of parents made the 20 minute trip to see their offspring perform, and what was even better, they stayed the whole day!

The grand champion for contest was a Class AA band (that's average size), which is quite odd, since most of the time its one of the giant bands that ends up winning, but never a small band. One day I'll go into the small band bias.


Lin said...

Oh, you did pretty well! I know all about cleaning up after every contest and preparing for the next--it all changes from one contest to the next!

I always hate how they categorize the bands by school size. We have a large school, but a small band --only about 70 marchers max., but we do really well in comparison to some of the big bands because we have great sound. It is hard to beat those large bands, but it can be done. We are small, but mighty.

I'm glad you posted your results, I was waiting. Keep me up on your future results too--perhaps a video?????? I'm working on ours to post on my blog.

Go Marching Band!!! Oh--Love band parents--they ROCK!

Jen said...

If it was 60 I would indeed be dancing outside in my underwear. We haven't seen 60 in over a month, even 50 would be nice. I can't even imagine 80 at this point. Enjoy it and I'm glad you had a really great time.