Nation Ford Marching Band State Champions 2013! Ancient Art Of War

2013 November 5

I already wrote about how insane Marching Band is here in the South. {{ALL CAPS: INSANE}}

 

But… rewarding too.

2 marching band state champions nation ford 2013 goodncrazyStarting mid-July the band kids have 3 weeks of boot camp… er.. I mean Band Camp. They get about 3 days off before schools starts. On school days the band kids are out on the field marching and learning their show for 90 minutes during class and 3 days per week they stay after school and keep marching for 3 more hours. Several Fridays during the season they also play during home football games and during halftime they put on their show as far as they have learned.

Most Saturdays before competition season (which is mostly in October) they practice from 9AM till 5PM.

On any given week that is just under 20 hours of practice.

TWENTY!

It’s been eye opening for us to watch this unfold. But more interesting is to watch our kiddo become a team player and really learn to enjoy working this hard on a group effort THIS big! 150+ kids are involved in the Nation Ford High School marching band. My kid is a clarinet player in a section of over 30 total clarinets!

3 marching band state champions nation ford 2013 goodncrazy

I know this is out of focus, but it’s such a great shot of the kids waiting to take the field…

She has learned a completely different way of marching than she knew before. She has to “find her dot” and she had over 100 dots(!), then memorize 10 minutes worth of very advanced music, then memorize ‘body movements’ while holding completely upright, and moving without bending her knees. The whole band when they are moving look like one organism moving and sliding around the field.

Our football team is… well… they suck.
But everyone knows our band is expected to do well!

No pressure.

I saw a T-shirt for sale that said: “What is that football team doing on OUR field?”

Competition Season

Early in the season the band went to a small local competition and I was all worried and stressed for them. Yeah. No. That was more of a joke entry. We took first place in every possible award level. From music to performance to our ‘Color Guard’—which is the flag team part of the show.

I began to wonder? Wow, are we really that good?

4 marching band state champions nation ford 2013 goodncrazy

These are taken at Western.

Next up was a much bigger competition at Western Carolina University. They narrow the entrants down to the top 10 and those top ten play again later that same day. We made the top 10 but only barely. The kids were ‘off’ that day and just not playing their best. Mostly the music was the problem, all flat and no excitement. So they tell me. (I thought they sounded amazing? But I clearly have no idea!)

In the end they came in 2nd overall at Western, 2nd to a HUGE Mega-band out of Tennessee.
And we officially hate that band from heretoforwithandforever.

The following 2 competitions were the state ones. First the qualifier… 14 schools from the upper part of the state, appropriately called: Upper State Competition. We came in 3rd to 2 other teams right next door to us in our same county. That was a little disheartening. Until my daughter explained the same thing happened last year, they did kind of poor at Upper State only to do much better at State the next week? Okay? We’ll see??

She was right. They knocked it out of the park at State! Even I could tell this was a really tight performance, not a single drop by the color guard, the music sounded loud and bold and just.. amazing. Please see for yourself. This is college level stuff!

I give you…
The South Carolina 2013 4A State Champions!

If you do nothing else just watch the beginning of the performance up to about the 1:13 minute… where the color guard toss and exchange their giant flags OVER the heads of a line of band members. (My kiddo is in that line!!)

How can you NOT be proud of that?

1 marching band state champions nation ford 2013 goodncrazyA few days after ‘taking state’… when the reality set in… here are a couple quotes from my daughter, who in the beginning was not at all sure she really, really wanted to do this intense marching band ‘thing’.

  • “Mom, that was the best day of my life!”
  • “I can’t believe anyone would quit marching band after going through all that together?”

She is excited to be a senior next year in the band program. They expect a lot out of the seniors and they expect them to be leaders.

Possibly her favorite part: seniors get these cool red visors to wear during the hot hours of practice!

All worth it.

 

 

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