Peace be to you….
Yesterday was the culmination of an career goal almost 29 years of trying. I am proud to say that I never gave up…but wanted to sooooo many times.
Yesterday, the band I am co-director of: Montgomery County United Marching Band and Color Guard participated in the 2017 Indiana State Fair Band Day Competition. And for the first time FOR ME, The band I work with made it to finals. We made the night show!!! the Sweet 16….State Finals; What an experience!
I saw video of me when our band secured one of the top 16 spots….I Threw my papers in the air, yelled to the top of my lungs “YEEEEAAAA” (ala Roger Daltrey), than fell prostrate on a filthy clay dirt track. I have been semi numb ever since. What’s more special is my wife has been with me the entire time. She has seen many failures in my career but they were not bad. They made most of my students better as I continued to push myself to get better and better. I never gave up on getting better at what I do…..Never
When we first started getting together at rehearsals, I made it a point to try and learn as many names as I could at this new band. I did and heard stories from the older students that last year, this band went as far as 17 last year…meaning they did not get to the night show. Many of the kids from South were devastated and wanted redemption. You see, one music judge gave them a terribly low score that did not match any of the 7 judges scores at all. This one judge caused all the numbers (once averaged out) to fall below the sweet 16 threshold….I resolved that I was pull out the stops and use all my skills, all my powers and use up all favors to ensure that i give my best 100% of the time. Just like this amazing team that I am a part.
This is what I came into: a great set of people who brings their strengths to our weaknesses; we balance out each other out for the benefit of the students we serve. We have temperance, wisdom, experience, passion, ability to solve problems, precision, friendliness, perseverance, musical ability, visual ability, effect ability, musicianship of a high calibre, a high concentration of the basics (“fun-sies”) …..high expectations from all of us, high results from all of us…..we are Baseball and Fans, followers of DCI, have families, aspirations and dreams,ect.
How could one not succeed with a fine group of people like this? It is great to have an administration of school officials who believe in the arts like ours do and support OUR ideas to make it happen. They do not micromanage but get out of our way to ensure success since they already believe in the program. They show up to most every rehearsal, some show up to EVERY rehearsal and even the band parents of SHS help out in more ways they can possibly know to make all of our jobs easier.
We also are all friends; like a tight clique that would welcome everyone…so as long as the kids are the focus and not “egos”. I have learned that we do not like ego…ego is bad…ego does not advance a goal…..ego is a narcissistic route to the self and the spotlight to the self…..that is not our bag, man.
Man, this zombie dust is really good tonight…..
Last night was the last time we will perform “Home is where the heart is”. This was a great show because of the people listed above took a slightly below average drill and less then “ok written” music book to a level that reflected a group of students willing to set aside school rivalries and focus on the music and the pageantry arts to become a state finalist high school marching band and color guard.
…..School starts in 2 days and I have already worked an entire summer. I get 3 days off for the summer……but I would not have it any other way…..We played at the night show and it was wonderful.
Bye now, and God love you.