Monday, October 10, 2005

Band Story: A postscript

Yesterday was a highly competitive marching competition in our area. The Westlake Marching Festival.

CHS and HHS both competed. HHS placed second in its class. Due to scheduling conflicts (SAT exam), CHS chose to compete in a higher class, later in the day. They did not place in that class, but marched well.

The top 10 scoring bands advance to Finals competition. At the end of the preliminary rounds (about 5:30 in the afternoon) the announcer reads the names of the bands that will advance.

"In No Particular Order" he says.

We listened, with hearts in throats. We knew we had done well, but was it well ENOUGH? And since CHS had not placed in the higher class, it was hard to know just how they had scored.

The names were read. In no particular order.

1, 2, 3, know we are counting in our many more names to read?

5, 6, 7...and still neither name we want to hear.

8. No.

9. HHS!
10. CHS!

Once more, the "rival" bands cheered loudly...for each other.

Finals competition was at night, between 7:30 and 10:15.

6th in finals (up one place from last year at same competition) - HHS

5th in finals (up one place from last year at same competition) - CHS

I like to think that Abraham was smiling down on all of us, just a little.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Band Story

8 days ago, every parent's and band director's worst nightmare came true...a 15 year old trumpet player at our local arch-rival school was killed in a car accident. Car full of band students, going to get a bite to eat before the Friday night game. The community, was, understandably, in shock.

Last night, our school (HHS) played their school (CHS) in football. So far, in the three years our school has been open, this game has always been a disaster for us, but we keep hoping...

The administration at our school wondered what could be done to promote more of a shared spirit between the two school in place of the intense rivalry.

When the idea was presented to have the band boosters prepare a meal for 400 (Our band, CHS band, and various assorted directors, school staff and the Booster officers of both bands), I was skeptical, but stepped up to the plate.

I finally asked...WHO is in charge of this shindig? Where's the spaghetti coming from, etc?

Dr. E.
Our principal.

OK....well, I guess she certainly can get permission to use the big cafeteria kitchen if she wants to...

Well. Not only can she get permission, she knows how to SHOP. And how to steer a dozen band parents into work teams to serve spaghetti and meatballs, penne pasta with veggies, tossed salad, bread sticks, sliced watermelon, brownies and beverages to 400.

I chopped bell peppers and onions, cleaned and chopped broccoli and put croutons in big bowls. Others opened cans of sauce and boiled noodles and heated breadsticks and made gallons of lemonade. They do say that kids join band to learn new skills. I just didn’t realize that meant the parents, too.

And the best part? Those who cooked didn't have to clean up.

When CHS walked into the cafeteria, the HHS band stood up and cheered.

The bands were fed, fellowship was had, and Isaac met another male flute.

I was introduced to CHS's uniform mom. We compared notes on hems and organizational spreadsheets.

The principals and band directors of HHS and CHS have spoken. As long as they are on the staff at both schools, the HHS/CHS pre-game dinner will be a tradition. (The CHS principal did say that they might do better to find a head cook other than himself next year when it's at CHS!)

The HHS band wore green ribbons on their uniforms last night, in honor of Abraham G, trumpet, age 15.

Abraham was buried Wednesday. In his band uniform.