Friday, January 1, 2016

The End is Near

Wow.  What a day it turned out to be.  A great start to the new year.  I hope you are all keeping up with the band's Facebook page, because Amy Busa has been putting up some really great pictures.  I will try to get some of them posted somewhere soon, but I am pretty whipped tonight and don't really have the energy to download and import them!  Here's the daily run-down:

EARLY start today.  Breakfast at 6.  Even I needed an alarm to make it on time...  We headed off to the first of two mass band rehearsals for tomorrow's halftime performance.  Some of us expected the worst (it's just who I am...) - imagine nearly 1500 band students who have never met each other, rehearsed in 14 different states with many different directors, and we all have to play these two pieces together at the same time!  It sounded great.  Right from the start.  So that went well.

After rehearsal we ate some lunch and got to relax for a little while before the parade.  Kids are starting to wear out.  Adults have boundless energy.  

We arrived at the parade route and were happily surprised to discover that we could park and leave the buses right where they were for the duration of the afternoon.  This is very cool from a logistics standpoint as well as being able to keep the kids warm on the buses for a while before the parade started.

We had a really cool experience once we hit the parade staging area.  We were lined up next to a band from Durant, OK, and they were having some fun with their warmups.  Their drumline finished, so ours took over.  After we finished there was some applause, and then some heads got together in both groups, and before long there was a pretty cool session of "battle of the bands."  They danced, we danced, they played, we played.  This, my friends, is what music is all about.  Sharing the fun and excitement, showing off a little here and there, but overall just appreciating the hard work that everyone knows that everyone else has put into their show and music.  We had a great time!  Ask your kids.

{There is also rumored to be video footage of an adult male staff member being taught to "whip" and "nae-nae" and even some other weird thing that looks like sneezing into your elbow.  Should said video evidence surface, the perpetrators of such video-making will be dealt with severely...  Though the guy DID look pretty fly (is that still a word?)}

So then we did the parade down Beale Street.  Great street, great crowd, had a blast.  Oh, and we won "Best Music" in Class AAA and came in second place in our class for the competition as well.  A nice bonus to our day after having so much fun before the parade :)

The other day I mentioned how well the kids are doing and that the hotel staff was complimentary.  This continued today; I just read an email from a band mom whose family is here for the week and staying at a nearby hotel.  When their staff heard they were from Zeeland, she said "my friend works at the Hampton, and she says they're the best kids..."  Nice.

But I already wrote about the kids.  Today I heard something as cool as that.  Standing in the press box this morning as we discussed events of the day with the Bowl staff, I mentioned that I could have a parent take care of the issue at hand.  Greg, the event coordinator, looked at me and said, " you know, you're pretty spoiled.  Other directors don't have parents that do what yours do."  I was pretty surprised to hear this; I figured everyone had this!  Sure enough, a few minutes later as we planned how to get the box lunches to the kids, I heard a couple directors talking about which kids to put on a crew to do the job.  One group text to the parents later and the issue was taken care of for ZHS, along with how the uniforms were organized by the buses, where the hats were, and how we were going to make it all happen.  The kids got to relax and I didn't have to worry that things wouldn't go as planned.  There are a dozen or so parents along with us: head chaperone LoriJo Schepers; chief logistics operator (former USAF Tech Sgt) Andy Watson; handler of all things money and bills and that sort of thing Cathy Lugten; medical staff Dr. Becky VanValkenburg and Kaylynn Beltman; senior photographer Amy Busa; and chaperones and kid wranglers Bill Lugten, Tom Beltman, Tom Busa, Mike VanKampen, Jeff and Sherry Costello, and Meri Carpenter.  Several are ZPS staffers; the rest are parents taking time away from their regular jobs.  If you get a moment to send a thank you, I know it would be very much appreciated!  What a great staff!  And yes, I am spoiled.  But, as I told a couple folks today, I pride myself on surrounding myself with good people who help me look good.  Who knows where stuff would end up if Cathy, for instance, didn't chase down all the checks and purchase orders?  Everyone contributed to the final outcome, and it was all good.

Game day tomorrow/later today.  1500 band students will back up country star Craig Morgan at halftime.  Our color guard will be assisting at pre-game with the giant American flag on the field.  And at some point we'll be heading home to maybe get some sleep!

I'm off to bed - I doubt there will be a post tomorrow, but I will try to do a wrap-up on Sunday or Monday when we return.