Saturday, October 11, 2008

20th USSBA Marching Band Competition

This over-the-shoulder shot shows how well the kids can behave on the bus.

Today we are heading into the wild lands of northern Hays county, just outside of Buda, for a marching contest. The band squoze onto five buses for the trip.

Taft High School Marching Band

Everyone practiced for an hour before checking out their uniforms, eating a bite, and boarding the buses. Percussion rehearsed for an additional hour plus before that. I worry that they—especially the percussion director—may be pushing the kids too hard right before the competition. I know Suna was worried about Beccano being out in the sun for that long.

But at least they are quite on the bus. (I’m starting this on the ride down.)

Taft HS did a very pretty/difficult performance called The Forgotten People, complete with Mayan props and Native American percussion. I really enjoied the visuals. Me—the guy who listens to the marching bands and ignores that marching stuff.

Maverick Color Guard Tosses Flags

We followed them with our rather uninspired choreography and arrangements. Our director seems to have something against the audience enjoying the show. I certainly don’t see how they can win anything with this show.

Maverick Pit and Tubas

OK. I stand corrected. The kids played awesome. They made these tepid arrangements come alive. I didn’t even recognize it as being the. Same performance as they played Thursday. I am so impressed! The dynamics were better than ever, and tuning was impeccable. They ended up third of five in their division and were awarded the best percussion section. Go, Beccano!

LBJ’s Dancer

LBJ HS, who followed us had a balletino. He was spectacular until he lost a shoe. But he recovered well and rejoined the color guard smoothly.

Weslaco Marching Band

The most impressive band of the evening—and I hate to say it wasn’t ours—played last and drove the farthest—all the way from the valley. Weslaco was musically impressive, and their marching was completely entertaining. They didn’t double-time; they ran full speed in some of their maneuvers. They danced. They swayed. They ran some more. And they did all this while playing some difficult charts. All this entertainment out of a small band from a city of about 26,000 people!

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