Band homework

As the state competition drew closer, band obligations and special events grew in number. In addition to practices every day after school, there was a senior dinner on Monday, a band room decorating affair on Thursday, more food prep to feed the band at State, and a private (no parents allowed) candlelight ceremony for the entire band Friday night.

Decorating the band room and your student’s band locker is a long-standing tradition at Legacy. The parents do it while the kids are practicing and the upperclassmen are sworn to secrecy so it’s always a surprise for the freshmen. When the decorating is finished, the parents head to the field to watch the rest of their rehearsal,

balloon release1

cheer them on,

You can spot Ross in the center of the photo in the snare line, fourth from left of the white pole.

You can spot Ross in the center of the photo in the snare line, fourth from left of the white pole.

release balloons,

balloon release4

and then gather in the cafeteria while their students munch on treats supplied by band parents. To that end, I started my day on Thursday in the kitchen making five dozen chocolate chip cookies.


That was easy. The decorating thing was another story. I hate making posters, primarily because I stink at it. I’m not good with paper, glue, lettering, markers, stickers or glitter—it’s all just too much for me. Flowers and a card didn’t seem right for Ross’s personality, and because he plays snare and guitar, he doesn’t even have a band locker, so I was stuck wondering what to do for him?

In situations like this, you turn to what you know best, which for me was fabric and needlework; I made Ross a quilt block.

quilt block

I used graph paper to map out the lettering, which I decided should be cursive, which is much harder to do than block lettering, but I do this to myself all the time, so I’m used to it.

graph paper

After I finished backstitching the message, I thought it needed some filler, so I did a web search for free music-themed cross stitch designs, and found the treble clef. To save time, I didn’t even bother printing the design; instead, I used a post it note as a line minder and stitched it sitting in front of my computer screen. I found the notes in a Christmas cross stitch book and had to adapt the pattern to fit the space.

I’m hoping Ross doesn’t read this because I’m always on him about planning his time, and there I was at 3:15 still working on his block and decorating was to start at 5:00.

I ended up basting all four gold borders on so the seam line would follow a grid line on the cross stitch fabric, which took extra time, but I do this to myself all the time, so I’m used to it.

I found a cute polka-dot for the back,

polka dot backing

put right sides together, incorporating two lengths of gold ribbon into the top seam to either tie it to something or use as a hanger.

Ross was surprised and seemed to like it. He said the next day some students even took notice of it, so I guess it passed the teenager approval test.


On Friday, my friend and Houston neighbor Rhonda flew in to visit and watch the band perform on Saturday. After picking her up, I had to break the news to her, “Um, I just need to tell you this right away—I have band homework.”

On Wednesday, I’d gotten a call from one of the women on the food committee asking if I could bake four dozen apple cinnamon muffins for brunch on Saturday at State. Yes, of course. I see how hungry the kids get at these events.


We finished the muffins around 3:30, packed them in boxes, and started prepping for dinner. I was ever so grateful for the help, as I was still recovering from the bus trip to St. Louis the weekend before. Around 4:30, we loaded the muffins into the car and took them to school to hand off to the food coordinator. I also wanted Rhonda to watch some of the rehearsal

balloon release3

and hear the music up close and personal because I thought their show this year had a really good and memorable mix of songs.


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