It all started last May. Just before my family left for vacation in beautiful (and cold, wet, and snowy) Yellowstone. If you have been keeping up with my little blog you know that our little town of Windsor was hit with a Tornado. We didn’t suffer any real damage, well nothing that a new roof, patio furniture, shed, windshield, paint and a refrigerator full of food couldn’t fix. It was just a short Vacation to Yellowstone. We had to make sure that we got back before the following Monday because that was the first day of Band Camp for my son.
He is a senior at Windsor High School and takes marching band very seriously. The whole band is serious about doing their best, that’s why they started practicing in May. Some of the students had their homes destroyed or damaged by the tornado, but every single one went to band camp. They worked all summer to get ready for the next school year, all of them volunteered.
My lovely wife and I are band booster parents, so we were much more involved than most parents. We go to every foot ball game, competition, and most weekend practices to help. They always need extra hands moving instruments, setting up or creating props, taking photos, handing out water, juice, cookies, and doing what we can to make things easier for the band instructors so they can concentrate on what they do best.
Early on my wife and I knew that this band was special. The way the kids got along with each other, how respectful they were to the instructors, they never complained. Not even when they were practicing in the hot sun in July, or freezing mornings in the fall, there were no complaints. They practiced weekends and before school. Most of the summer and fall they practiced to the tempo of workers hammering new roofs all across town. They worked like they knew great things would come their way, patiently, persistently, and with a devotion that bordered on mania.
The first objective vindication that the band was remarkable came during their first competition. I will admit it for a while I thought that they were good because of parental pride. It was my son in that band, how could they possibly suck? But when they walked (Marched) away with top honors we knew this would be a good year. We didn’t know how good at the time, but I think that the kids had an inkling. They had a remarkable way of working harder even after a success to strive to be even better, rather than resting on their laurels.
At the state marching band competition they preformed remarkably well, the weather was breezy and cold the bus ride long and tedious. They took the awards in high visual performance, high general effect, and placed first in State for category 3A. The last time that the marching band won a state competition was before any of the students were born. Then they got a chance to bask in glory, lots of attention from class mates, the school, teachers, and the school board.
It was so much fun to see my son receive these honors, especially because I knew how hard he worked. Some people scoff at the Band geeks and laugh that they are not learning anything valuable. Hard work over a long period of time for a set goal is an important lesson for anyone to learn.
Yes I am an insufferably proud parent.
This is a great way to end my son’s senior year. He loves high school, playing music and all the wonderful friendships he has made during this year. We didn’t think anything would top winning the State championship. Then we got some news on Thursday…
The Windsor Marching Band was nominated to represent Colorado at the Presidential inaugural parade in Washington DC. To say the kids were excited is an understatement. This kind of thing is not paid for, we parents are being asked to fork over serious bucks to fund this trip. The students were given a secret ballot to fill out with their parents. Simple question: Go / No-go. Every single student brought back a ballet with the Go circled. Every one.
Then on Monday the band instructor got a call from the Governor, the marching band was chosen to go to DC. All heck broke loose, camera crews came out of the wood work, news media everywhere, and this was front page news all over Colorado. . Beaming is the word I would like to use.
Now the work begins. The band will be once again practicing mornings, weekends, and holidays to get ready for the parade. They have to learn new routines, the dancers will have to learn new steps, the drum line has to change their pace and most of all they have to sound perfect. If I am not mistaken, they will be not only the only 3A band but the only High School band in the parade. They want to do their best.
Also, we parents are going to work hard. We have to raise enough money to pay for this little adventure. It will cost just under $140,000.00 to make this happen. It’s not cheap to sent 90 kids, instruments, uniforms, chaperones, instructors, etc to Washington D.C. for three days. Hell it costs a fortune just to feed them!
Check out this website to learn more about this wonderful adventure that our little town is supporting and how you can help.
As you can guess, I am one proud flounder.