Good to be home

We’ve had jam-packed, non-stop days since last Wednesday.

Four days after the marching festival October 12, the band performed at a regional competition in Lafayette, Colorado. Winners at regional earn the privilege to compete at state on Saturday, October 26; Legacy did well, placing second.

John spent seven hours one Saturday with five other band dads working on props for the show.  Most of their time was spent studying photos from the artistic director, none of which  captured even one single important detail. The guys pretty much had to go from scratch, starting with, "I'm trying to figure out how big this is…" and it was uphill from there.

John spent seven hours one Saturday with five other band dads working on props for the show. Most of their time was spent studying photos from the artistic director, none of which captured even one single important detail. The guys pretty much had to go from scratch, starting with, “I’m trying to figure out how big this is…” and it was uphill from there.

And if that’s not enough to keep them busy and out of trouble, the kids returned home that night to finish start packing for their Bands of America trip to St. Louis the next day

BOA poster

because we all know they’ve waited ’til the last possible minute and if they go to bed too early, they might miss a critical text from one of their 387 friends telling them “Hey.”

Our four days of grueling travel (35 hours on a bus, not including travel while in St. Louis), taxing schedules, sleep deprivation, physical torture inflicted by the most non-ergonomic bus seats EVER—you get back support or leg support, but not both; I chose back support and my knees are slowly starting to recover, crowd control, loads of music and marching, and a whole lot of fun began at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

The band director is highly organized and knows teenagers. These four busses traveled and parked in the same order the entire trip. Notice they are also four different colors, making it easy for sleep-deprived kids to easily find their assigned bus.

The band director is highly organized and knows teenagers. These four busses traveled and parked in the same order the entire trip. Notice they are also four different colors, making it easy for sleep-deprived kids to easily find their assigned bus.

Four charter busses pulled out of the high school parking lot at 8:15. Everyone settled in for what was estimated to be a 14-hour trip to St. Louis, Missouri, where the band would compete for its first time at a Bands of America event known as a super regional.

Fortunately, there was no pressure to load Big Blue, Legacy’s band trailer, as it had left the night before right after the regional.

According to some veteran band parents, the trailer was acquired over a period of several years. The signage was donated a couple years ago by a relative of a band parent who worked at a sign company.

According to some veteran band parents, the trailer was acquired over a period of several years. The signage was donated a couple years ago by a relative of a band parent who worked at a sign company.

Unfortunately, the amount of time estimated to travel the 857 miles was off by more than three hours because we didn’t arrive at the hotel in St. Louis until after 1:00 a.m. The adults on our bus were wondering how the kids would be able to wake up at 6:30 for breakfast and be ready to leave for practice at 8:00 after 4½ hours of sleep.

The kids warm up in the hotel parking lot on Friday morning before heading to practice.

The kids warm up in the hotel parking lot on Friday morning before heading to practice.

Fortunately, bus drivers are not permitted to drive without eight hours of sleep between shifts, so the kids got to sleep later than planned.

Band dads unload Big Blue at a St. Louis high school so the kids can get one more practice in before their performance. The kids who attend this high school were off that day, so Legacy's presence there wasn't a problem.

Band dads unload Big Blue at a St. Louis high school so the kids can get one more practice in before their performance. The kids who attend this high school were off that day, so Legacy’s presence there wasn’t a problem.

The drum line usually warms up separately from the rest of the band and joins them later. Ross is in the black shorts and white leggings.

The drum line usually warms up separately from the rest of the band and joins them later. Ross is in the black shorts and white leggings.

Practice makes perfect!

Practice makes perfect!

Quote from the band director: "All right, you guys, I want you to make this luscious…luuuuscious—like a big, juicy steak…a little salt and cracked black pepper on it—umm, umm." The band starts their routine, but he stops them right away and says, "Okay, the first bite was good, but the next one had a piece of gristle in it. Baritones, you were flat….."

Quote from the band director: “All right, you guys, I want you to make this luscious…luuuuscious—like a big, juicy steak…a little salt and cracked black pepper on it—mmm, mmm.” The band starts their routine, but he stops them right away and says, “Okay, the first bite was good, but the next one had a piece of gristle in it. Baritones, you were flat…..”

You can't visit St. Louis without seeing The Arch.

You can’t visit St. Louis without seeing The Arch.

All the kids toured The Arch but none of us on our bus did because our bus driver took a wrong turn and we ended up crossing the bridge into Illinois and lost an hour.

All the kids toured The Arch but none of us on our bus did because the bus driver took a wrong turn and we ended up crossing the bridge into Illinois, losing more than an hour.

Ross took this west-facing photo from the top of The Arch.

Ross took this west-facing photo from the top of The Arch.

Some of the band parents under The Arch. We were lucky to have such beautiful fall weather while there.

Some of the band parents under The Arch. We were lucky to have such beautiful fall weather while there.

It really didn't dawn on me until we crossed the bridge just how far east we were. In addition to these cities, we also saw signs for Memphis.

It didn’t dawn on me until we crossed the bridge just how far east we were. In addition to these cities, we also saw signs for Memphis.

Finally, in the dome, ready to perform.

Finally, in the dome, ready to perform.

prelim

After preliminaries, the band ate lunch at a rock 'n roll pub close to downtown St. Louis.

After preliminaries, the band ate lunch at a rock ‘n roll pub close to downtown St. Louis.

I have no idea if this bridge has a name, but it looks cool, so I included it.

I have no idea if this bridge has a name, but it looks cool, so I included it.

Legacy did not perform in the finals but did take fifth in music and, according to the band director, “…they dumped on us pretty hard for visual.”

Still, we were proud of the kids for their performance against some exceedingly talented and mostly huge bands (some with 250 to 300 members) from at least 10 other states whose performances border on professional…like, do they do band full time for four years running and then go to high school?

Congrats to Legacy marching band for a great show! Up next: State.

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3 Comments

Filed under kids

3 responses to “Good to be home

  1. Mel

    What FUN (when you’ve recovered) memories!!! I particularly loved the part about teenagers waiting for the ‘Hey’ text!!! hahaaa!!

  2. Rhonda

    Whew! I am exhausted.

  3. Joni

    This reminded me of our field trip to Scotland! Memories to forever hold on to. Enjoyable read and photos, too.

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