Friday, October 24, 2008

Marching band kicks my sash!

It's all my fault, Boy insists. All the concerts I dragged him to; all the times I told him that I had the most fun and made some of my best high school friends in marching band. So when he entered high school at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park this year, he decided to join the marching band. I was pleased. I thought he'd have fun and make friends, and his school's band has a great reputation, with numerous national top-10 finishes (and 3 championships) over the past 20 years.

Then I discovered why the band has such a great reputation. They work extremely hard: a week of full-day practices in June and July, and two weeks' worth in August, including band camp. Once school starts, they rehearse around 25 hours a week. Saturday is either a full day of practice, or a competition day with rehearsal, travel, and performance. And the result is amazing. I remember marching band as doing three, maybe four, songs at halftime of football games, with a single formation for each song. I was in the flag corps, and we twirled and spun our one flag in a routine for each song

The PCEP band, though, is to my high school band what the Rockette's Christmas Extravaganza is to a middle-school holiday concert. They memorize ten minutes of music, and they're moving around almost the entire time. The patterns are intricate, and the music is challenging (no movie themes or pop songs here!). And the color guard is—well, out of this world. They change flags. They change costumes. They have props! They dance and move around and generally make things look even cooler.

The other thing I discovered is that to have the band look so good, it takes a lot of volunteer effort. (And money, too, but the fundraising is so well organized it's not annoying.) So I thought I'd stick an oar into volunteer waters; I've got a flexible schedule and brains, so why not? I offered to help with publicity for the charity craft fair they're hosting in November, the week after Nationals. So I spent most of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday generating address lists, mailing labels, and letters so we can get local businesses to post signs promoting the event. Great! Now I thought I'd get back to writing, but then I saw they needed help making new sashes for the uniforms. The theme of this season's show is "Kaleidoscope," and they needed more pops of color/shine. Well, I can sew, I thought. I showed up Wednesday night and helped cut out material for the 170+ sashes they needed to make. Then I took some home and spent most of yesterday and this morning sewing them together. They weren't that hard (baste and topstitch seam binding), but they were time-consuming. Then tonight I'm going to help the uniform genies velcro the new sashes to the uniforms. They do look pretty, don't they? (Callie wouldn't cooperate and be a sash model, which is just as well; I can imagine putting the sash on an allergic tuba player and having them sneeze the instrument clear off their shoulders. Disaster would ensue.)

But, of course, I haven't done diddly with my writing this week. Final score of this lopsided defeat? Marching Band: 150 contacts, 17 sashes; Novel, 0 words. But at least the band will look great!

1 comment:

  1. At least you were productive, that's what counts - even if the word count is at zero, which, by the way, is the same as mine, though I have also been productive this week. I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out all the spiders and their corresponding webs from my living room and then proceeded to decorate for Halloween. I would have left the real spiders but they are way too messy. You better get busy though. I happen to that you have only twelve days to produce something for hungry readers!