Monday, September 14, 2009

Competition Weekend #1

Well, Marching season has offically begun. I am super-excited about the show! Last Saturday we travelled to Belleville and O'fallon. We placed 5th at Belleville, which is fine, the big thing is we outplayed Mater Dei, both times. As in football, there have been times, Mater Dei has been a bit of a thorn in our sides. Mater Dei and Newton were predicted to run for the title in our class for both competitions, Belleville didn't happen. I still don't understand the class set up in Belleville but you know, you always have to have the "very first" time on the field. These two competitions gives the kids that starting point.

The big news of the weekend was O'Fallon-- We placed 2nd!! AND our auxillary won the caption award AND we won the caption award for Best Visual! Okay, here is the secret--the kids still have things to add to the show--lots of things. Effingham is who took us out, We split the caption awards with them and when it came down to it, they were first, we were second. I am looking forward to seeing the scores.

There are a couple of things in this years show that the next time you are at the football game, or at a competition, be sure to notice. First, the kids start performing this year before they ever get on the field: When they get lined up across the back of the football field, Mrs. A. calls Parade Rest; in sequence, starting at the 50 yard line, they all go into parade rest, doing a wave down to the ends, it is cool. The coolest thing though, is when she calls them to attention, they do it in reverse meaning the two people on the ends start it and it always ends with the three snare drummers on the 50. It looks SHARP!

Another thing, there is a point in the opener where they are back marching, they turn around and it is gorgeous. At this point, sometime just shut your eyes and listen to the music. I think at times we get so involved in the show, you don't just enjoy the melody.

I am just really excited and talking to the kids lately, my biggest thrill is they are too. I have especially been impressed with the enthusiasm of some of the freshman. They are enjoying being a part of something bigger than themselves. I'm not going to go off on a whole post of how band teaches you things you can never learn in a regular classroom, but I will say there are reasoning and coping skills I use everyday that comes straight from my young years of learning to become one with 250 other people.

The rest of our weekend was good too. We stayed in O'fallon Saturday night. Plans were to go back to the hotel and swim, somehow, after everyone found the beds, nobody made it down to swim. It was really nice not having a two hour drive home though and I will venture a guess I plan the same thing next year. We went to the zoo yesterday and had a great time. I am in a picture taking funk at the moment. I gave the camera to Robert and he took pictures but nothing of US at the zoo. Oh well, deep down inside that is some physcological thing because I am so far behind on scrapbooking--if I don't have pictures I can't scrapbook, I will have to work on that before I end up regretting it.

Here is the rest of our Marching Season schedule:
September 19th Fall Festival here in Newton-- we stay home the rest of the day!
September 26th Eastern Illinois University--they didn't have this competition last year but Robert's freshman year, we took home Grand Champion!
October 3rd Robinson
October 10th, Newton Classic/ Effingham
October 17th University of Illinois
October 31 Oblong.

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