Sunday, November 05, 2006

Misty watercolor memories

The rain let up slightly yesterday, so we took the kids to a local marching band competition.

Now, granted, I was a big band geek. I remember band competition days as being among the best in high school. From negotiating our way onto the Cool Bus to the joy of performing to the fun of a road trip with 160 of your best friends. And we usually won, which made it even better. Yesterday's outing reminded me of all that.

I got to see my alma mater perform. They still have the same band director, and I recognized at least one of the staffers as former alums from my time. (Hi, Dave!) The band is significantly smaller than it was back in the day. It seems like none of the bands fielded over 100 students, whereas my sophomore year, we have over 170, and were never below 140. I wonder if this is a trickle-up effect of the major cuts in elementary music programs in the state. To plug VH1 once again, Save the Music!

It was windy as hell, so I felt bad for the flaglines and any band that used a lot of props (scratch that: you get what you deserve when you use excessive props!)Despite the weather, we had a good time. The kids were fascinated at first by the sounds and the uniforms and the flags, and especially the drumlines. (Yay Jade!) Eventually, however, they tired of the pageantry and turned their attention to running ramshackle all over the stadium. They got sick of it about the time the heavy rain arrived. We didn't get to see the later bands perform, including Rival High School, which is under the direction of a friend and massive crush from high school.

DQ came home saying she wants to play the flute. Over trumpet-playing Daddy's dead body, honey. (Sorry, N!)


Blogger K-Lyn said...

Flute? Let's plan the intervention early...Even Flora ditched the flute for the dance team senior year.

I did catch the results later that night (my day went further downhill after we spoke) and have a few comments:

A. Isn't the hosting band not allowed in the standings. As in, they can be judged for their own experience but not, say, WIN THEIR CLASS???

B. Sad about the numbers. I noticed the same thing when trying the figure out he classes in the last few years.

C. Beaverton??? HAHAHAHAHAH!

D. Rain check - can we have a date for the Festival of Bands in June?

12:22 AM  
Blogger Quinn said...

A. Yeah, I had assumed they would be in exhibition, not performance. Also didn't realize they were no longer in the same class as the other "biggies."

C. Ditto.

D. SO doing Fessssstival this June.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Just a brief thougt about the size of the bands - while I don't doubt some of it had to do with budget cuts in the arts, they did build two more high schools after we graduated since we were overpopulated.

WV is 'stagt' - damn budget cuts, people don't even know how to spell 'stage' anymore.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Drumlines rule. :) If you want to impress the kids more, take them to a drum corp. show... way more interesting to watch. I think they wander up to Wilsonville once a year (or somewhere along that strip of I-5)

I TOTALLY agree about the props! I always loved that our director gave us good jazz based music to play, and I remember going to California and watching the Oak Grove Marching Choir perform a medly from "The Little Mermaid" - I still can't watch that movie without seeing those giant blue dots the band used to march in circles around. (Talk about cheating... come on! Find your marks like the rest of us!!)

10:55 AM  
Blogger K-Lyn said...

OHMYGOD. I almost mentioned the pool covers that band needed to make a decent circle!!! I thought it to obscure a reference to bother.

Oy, did I hate them. If I recall correctly they also had an amp system for their pit...CHEATING!!!

12:34 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Yep, they had an amp system, and it's not the first time they used it. Dan went to high school there, and I've seen the tapes of their older shows - it seems they were fond of throwing a singer up for finals to sing over top of the band. He always found it cheesey.

12:15 AM  

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