And the 2011 Marching Season Officially Begins

I hate to start this post out by being all melodramatic and depressing, but we ONLY have two more years of this, ya’ll!

Jazz is a Junior this year, which means we have this year and next year and that’s IT!

Unless he goes to college and signs up to be in the college band, which … could happen. (With momma’s help. *ahem*)

Every year, the band director hosts a parent preview. This preview marks the “official” start of the marching season.

Band Parent Preview - 8-16-11

The parent preview takes place the evening of the last day of band camp. This preview gives the parents a chance to see what they kids have been working on.

Band Parent Preview - 8-16-11

The weather was perfect – low 80’s and clouds moved off, which meant there was a nice, cool breeze. Everybody was advised to bring lawn chairs. We did not. We stood – for about an hour. We took lawn chairs last year, but hardly anyone else did and we ended up standing up anyway because we couldn’t see past everyone else who was standing.

But this year, we were in the minority, most everyone else brought chairs.

Band Parent Preview - 8-16-11

The kids play three songs – that’s the duration of the show. So, it goes pretty fast once they get started. They also serve ice cream, which people can buy for one dollar. The band director gives the kids a chance to eat ice cream before they perform. (None of us ate ice cream because we were planning on going to Andy’s after the performance – it’s a tradition we’ve started).

Band Parent Preview - 8-16-11

The show finally began. Jazz started out the show the very last person on the far left – by the end of the show, he’s the very last person on the far right. So, the boy is required to MOVE during the performances. In fact, he said that he has to move so far, but keep pace with the rest of the band, that he ends up taking really big steps to compensate.

Band Parent Preview - 8-16-11

There is a point, in the second song, that Jazz and three other saxophone players meet at the front of the field and have a solo quartet number. It’s fun and fast paced and the kids played really well together. Jazz had to try out for this part, so he really wanted it and I’m proud to say, he’s really good at it.

Band Parent Preview - 8-16-11

I believe the show is called “Life’s Directions” and it’s geared to evoke different emotions in audience members – each person will relate to the songs / experience in different ways.

The weather was so nice this past week, that the kids KICKED BUTT on practice. They actually marched two out of the three songs. (Last year, they only marched the first song). And speaking of the music – it’s pretty cool. There are a few numbers that we recognize and I think it’s going to have a really fun feel to it after it’s been tweaked and finalized.

It’s always so fun for me to watch these previews and then compare that performance to later performances when they’re all in costume and have added in moves and steps. It absolutely amazes me that these kids learn these songs, and the steps, in such a short amount of time. Granted, they started learning the music at the end of last school year and they met a few times during the summer before band camp, but they played all three songs without sheet music – which is really saying a lot about the incoming freshmen and how fast they learned.

Kids are like sponges at this stage in their lives.

I was also really shocked, and I mean TRULY shocked, to see how much taller Jazz was when compared to his classmates. He’s always been the shrimpo in his class and this year – well, he’s NOT. I’m betting his new-found growth spurt attracts some girls’ attention this year. *ahem*

At any rate, here we go. The band has competitions scheduled for every Saturday in October, (except for the 22nd, which means they’re not participating in the Greater St. Louis competition this year, which … WTH?), and I plan on making every single one of those performances. Like I said, we only have two more years of this and I want to enjoy every single minute of it.

And of course, I’ll be bringing ya’ll along for the ride.

You’re excited, I can tell. 😉

ADDED:

http://twitter.com/#!/writefromkaren/status/104287180628819968

http://twitter.com/#!/writefromkaren/status/104292052703002624

CLEARLY, I need supervision.

I know it seems extravagant, but I’m going to call this sweatshirt my “souvenir” from Jazz’s marching band days. (Hush. I have to justify it somehow.)

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