Every night for the past week, I've looked up at the gold medal above my bed and thought 'Another one like that. Exactly like that, but with the year 2010 engraved instead of 2009.'
This year we knew it was going to be hard to get a gold medal at marching band finals. For one, you had to get an overall 5 stars to get gold, instead of last years scoring which was only on a scale of 1-4.
For another, my band director took a huge risk in the music we played this year, in that it was well off of the beaten track of marching band music.
It was the most complex show he'd ever written, and the longest too.
But we also had a great band.
And we kept improving throughout the season earning 3's, and then 4's, but even at our show last weekend, there were still no fives. In would take a truly incredible show to earn a gold medal for the 6th straight year, and uphold our reputation as the best band in the state.
So what did we do? We worked HARD. We'd been working ourselves for the whole season, of course, but this was the final week, our last chance of the season to make it perfect. And so we rose to the occasion with great practices, intense marching, visual additions, and music modifications, and by the end we had only two questions.
Would we be able to pull it off on Saturday?
And what would the judges think?
Yesterday morning dawned sunny and freezing cold, with a temperature of only 33ºF. Brrr! We were at the school at 8am for formal pictures and then we had our final practice. Practice was very good- but cold! I was ever thankful for my plastic mouthpiece, but my trumpet was like ice, and was almost impossible to get sound out of at the beginning! The whole band was extremely thankful of the hand warmer that our *awesome* music boosters passed out.
Practice was soon over though, and we all had a yummy baked potato lunch up at the school before getting on the buses. The bus ride was fun as everyone was really pumped up for the big show and there was a lot of throwing stuff... *sigh* I think I got hit in the head by about three or four packets of mini pretzels.....
The ride was only an hour, and soon we made it to the host school! We got to watch about four or five bands perform before heading back to our area which was nice, except that there weren't any seats left and we had to stand. :P
Finally, it was time to perform. The walkway heading to the band's entrance to the field was lined with pumpkins carved with music notes, "5 Stahs" (the chief judge has a heavy accent and it's become quite popular with all the bands) , and other marching band stuff. It was cool.
Our performance was AMAZING. Really, all the things we had worked all season to fix, were fixed, and it all came together perfectly. And it paid off too. We were all shaking during retreat when they announced our scores, and we couldn't believe it when we got 5 stars (or 'stahs') in every caption! It was nearly impossible to just stand there after without showing any emotion like we had to do.
So we got our gold medals, we upheld our reputation and had a totally awesome 2010 season.
That's just totally cool.
Yesterday's (freezing cold practice)
Headed for the show! (Equipment trailer)
We trumpets can be.....silly sometimes.
But we can be serious too.....if need be.
Show! I <3 AstroTurf SO MUCH.
Retreat and awards.....GOLD MEDAL BAND!!! WOOT!
(disclaimer- photos taken by our music boosters)