Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week of November 30

I thought I would take a few of the last minutes of Thanksgiving break and work at least a little ahead for the week.  Since there's not a ton happening, this will be more of a recap than a things-to-come post, but there is at least one of those as well.  So here goes:

MONDAY, November 30 - Christmas parade and awards night.  The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. on Main St.  Students are to be lined up and ready to go by 6:00 p.m. in front of Cityside.  UNIFORMS will be the band parkas and street clothes with Christmas-type hats/headwear.  Students are free to decorate their instruments with lights and garland, etc., as long as they still operate.  The equipment trailer will not be available for this event, so students/parents are responsible for getting equipment to Cityside.  Thanks for your help!

Immediately following the parade we will have our annual awards night in the auditorium.  (Yes, the same one that got re-scheduled twice...)  We have been doing this event for about 12 years now, and each year it seems to draw more people.  With 225 in the band this year, the auditorium should be pretty full!  A few years ago we decided for the sake of convenience to put both of these events on the same night so students and families wouldn't have to give up additional weeknights.  We will start in the vicinity of 7:15 p.m.  There will be some fun awards and some serious ones as well as a season highlights video.  This is not a required event, but it's always a high point in the year as we look back on the last few months.

Speaking of the last few months, it is very hard to believe that come Thursday it will be three months since band camp started.  In those three months we have seen friendships formed, missions accomplished, and much laughter (and a few tears...).  The flexibility and adaptability of this great group of young people was never more on display than it was last Friday as we made yet another trip to the MHSAA State Football Finals.  From getting things rolling on Monday morning to returning to school at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, I was once again reminded that I have a pretty great job.  First of all they somehow convinced me that we really didn't need a rehearsal on Wednesday (besides, it was going to rain).  Not many people realize we hadn't practiced that show at all since running it on October 30 at the game vs. Plainwell.  (shhh... don't tell...)

But the performance, for me, wasn't the real highlight of the trip.  No, that came at dinner at Bahama Breeze on the way to Detroit.  No fewer than three of the BB employees made comments to me about how great our kids are.  The head server made it a point to come over to me as I was finishing dinner to tell me that "this is the most polite, well-behaved group of teenagers we've ever seen.  We have adult groups that aren't this good.  Everyone has said 'please' and 'thank you,' and they are just great kids."  So there you go.  Success.  My point to the students (and now to you, though I suspect you already know and understand this) is that any interaction we have with the public may be the only interaction we have with that public, and the impression we leave means a lot.  The staff at the restaurant didn't care that we've strung together a long line of I's at festival, or that we've been the best band at Tulip Time for four years running.  They weren't going to the game, either.  The sole interaction they may ever have with Zeeland schools in general was Friday  night, and our kids lived up to my/our expectations.  Some pretty positive PR, and we didn't even perform!

See you Monday night for the festivities.  Have a great week.