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Dan Balash

What is your favorite high school band memory?

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By request, here's the favorite high school band memory thread. Share your favorite concert band/marching band memories.

 

I'll share mine first:

 

I have 3 (and they all share a common theme), but there's many more.

 

1.) Grand Nationals 2003. We had just finished eating dinner, waiting to see if we were going to perform in Grand National Finals, and if so, when. Mr. Lambert tells us that we are performing in finals. We all cheer and get excited. But-"I regret to inform you that Lake Park and Plymouth-Canton will not be joining you." This was the first time since 1987 that Lake Park had not made it, and the first time since 1988 that Plymouth-Canton would not be performing either. The room was stunned into silence-you could hear a pin drop. We decided that we would perform in honor of them, as we are good friends with both bands.

 

2.) Grand Nationals 2002. There was a general consensus among many of the band members that we didn't have a very good run in Semifinals. There were tempo rips, drops by the guard, forms that were kind of shoddy, and the like. After dinner, Mr. Lambert tells us that we'll be performing in finals, but there's more-we were 2nd in our class, behind Lassiter from Georgia. We're all kind of shocked that we were placed so high. We perform our hearts out in finals, with a little tempo rip near the end, and end up getting 3rd as we're all bawling our eyes out on each other as we waited to take our seats to watch the rest of the bands in finals.

 

3. Grand National Finals retreat-2001. (Starting from 6th place scores): "In 6th place: with a score of 93.20, the Tarpon Springs High School marching band!! In 5th place, with a score of 95.45, the Marian Catholic High School marching band!! In 4th place, with a score of 95.85, the L.D. Bell High School marching band!! In 3rd place, with a score of 95.90, the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park High School Marching Band!!" At this point, we're all starting to look around at each other, as there's 3 bands that are within .45 of each other. Back to the scores. "In 2nd place, with a score of 96.35, the Carmel High School marching band!!" (the crowd is stunned here). "In first place, and the 2001 Bands of America Grand National Champion, with a score of 96.40, the Lawrence Central High School marching band!!" That's right. 5 bands within a point of each other, 5 of my favorite shows of all time, as well.

 

 

Some really great memories here. I have more, but I think others should post theirs first. :)

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ISU 2005- My freshman year, our closer was Ride by Samuel Hazo. We had just finished putting on the drill a week earlier but the ending (which we took at 200) kept ripping. It was still ripping during the rehersal the day of ISU. We perform it, and it holds steady. I just remember feeling awesome about it and how the audience gave us a standing ovation. We didn't care that we didn't make finals; we just did the best we could.

 

Fiesta Bowl 07- During the prelims performance we couldn't hear any applause. So we all thought that the audience hated the show. We find out we got into finals. We watch a tape of the performance, turns out the crowd loved it and we just couldn't hear it. We play in finals. "In 5th place...Normal West High School from Illinois. 4th place...The Trabuco Hills High School from California. In 3rd place...Riverside King High School from California. In 2nd place...Los Ossos High School from California. And in first place...Chino High School from California"

 

ISU 08- "In 3rd Place...The United Township High School" At this point everyone in the stands shares a unison *GASP* "In 2nd place...The Bloomington High School" At this point we're freaking out. "And in first place and an automatic bid into tonights finals compition...The Normal West High School" We all go crazy. The goal that us seniors and the seniors who came before us have worked for came to fruition. We wern't doing it for us, we did it for Ms P and Mr B and all the alums and for our school that's never had a state title in anything.

 

Oh man, I'm gonna miss it :(

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1996 - Herscher Practice Field - There was a night towards the end of a rehearsal that our director pulled in the seniors to tell us about a situation. We were performing the music of John Williams. Our opener was JFK in to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Theme (which might at add at the time, only the Boston Pops, the Cadets, and we had), second movement i can't recall, third moment was Close Encounters with a medley featuring sections in a "call and response" to reflect CE, and our closer was Land Race from Far and Away. Well, as everyone currently knows, it's nearly impossible to get the rights for any John Williams arrangement. (thank you ohio state... grumble grumble) Anyway, our director tells us that either we learn a new closer and drill, or we keep the show we have. So here we were as seniors, with what felt like the best band we had ever had, and we have to make the choice two weeks before ISU to potentially change our entire closer. Well, we choose to keep it as is, and we grew closer as a group because of it.

 

1996 - ISU - In third place, the Illinois Valley Central High School... We went nuts. We didn't care if we won or not, but IVC had a 9 year reign on the class at that point. We also noticed the Limestone kids going nuts, and it didn't shock us, we shared instructors and shared the rival. In second place, Lemont High School. Well, we knew right then and there what was going to happen next... Tears shed everywhere. After 4 years of work, we got there... from 4th freshman year, to 3rd Soph year, 2nd Junior year, and there we were... Going to finals at ISU!!! Under the lights baby!!

 

1996 - Rowva Jazz Festival - Our 2nd jazz band was good. It was a few of us from top band playing different instruments in 2nd band, and the other students that wanted to play some jazz. Well, in 3rd place, the Metamora HS Jazz Band, in 2nd place, the Herscher High School Jazz Band 2, in first place, the Herscher HS Jazz Band 1... We were on top of the world, the whole way home... That is for everyone that wasn't playing against me in hearts on that bus ride home =)

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2005, My freshmen Year, obviously I will always have great memories from that year, however ISU was Fun to take 1st place ISU 6A Prelims

 

2007, ISU Finals, When we took 4th place, that was always fun.

 

2008, When I had surgery and missed 3-4 weeks of marching. This was a sad memory, as it was my senior year, and I missed a large chunk of it, then came back and marched my first show, ISU!!! and didn't mess up either :D

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I spose my favorite memory would be from our trip to Texas.

 

1). My freshman year we went to Dallas, TX for the Cotton Bowl. There was a field show, parade competition...and then the halftime show at the Cotton Bowl. It was a 16 hour drive from Eureka, IL to Dallas. On the field show competition...we were in the parking lot of a high school football field in Plano, TX...warming up. It began to rain a little. Mr. Stalter told us to put our plumes in our inside pocket...we would go plume-less. We warmed up some more and the sun came out for a little bit. We put our plumes back in! We formed up and moved to the tunnel..(this high school stadium was HUGE...Texas really likes it football). It began to drizzle out...and then we marched on the field....and the sky opened up. More water fell in the 11 minutes we did our show then I think IL gets in a month...but we finished the show. A tornado warning was issued shortly after we got done. And it was raining so hard that CNN covered it....there was a shot of us leaving the field and walking back to the buses...drenched.

 

On New Years Eve, there was a party and awards ceremony for all the bands. There were 16 bands, in 3 classes. Eureka got first in AA which was amazing. Then they announced the grand champion field show...and when they announced that it was Eureka...we went ballistic. I believe it ended with everyone picking up Mr. Stalter and carrying him around for a bit, hehe. We also started the Pony Game in the ballroom and got all the bands to join in...it was massive.

 

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I would have to say that my favourite high school band memory was getting off the field after the St. Louis BOA regional. It was quite honestly the best part of my high school band career. I had marched and played the best show of all four years and it was just such a phenomenal feeling to come in second place. Everyone was so happy and it was just such a great way to send off my senior year.

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My Favorite memories were...

 

- ISU 08 When we placed 2nd in 6A and barely got beaten by Lake Park and how our director had a speech about it being our year and what not. Pretty inspirational speech.

 

- BOA Youngstown of 07 the feeling of makin finals in BOA is pretty intense as a freshman. You finally figure out what its all about.

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Concert Moments

2007- Playing the encore concert at Festival of Gold in Orchestra Hall to a standing room only crowd. At the end of Mvt. 3 of Pineapple Poll we heard some guy go "daaammn" lol

 

2009- Being conducted by and having Gary Green as a clinician at WIU Showcase

 

2009- Playing Watchman, Tell Us of the night. As difficult emotionaly as it is Musically (Grade 6 Euph/Horn part anybody?)

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2007- Playing at the Georgia Dome for my last performance and seeing Flavor Flav later that night! True story!

 

2006- After I broke my foot i was placed in a cart with my tuba on the 50 yard line backfield. After one performance, the badn started marching off, but they forgot me! The other band was taking the field and I was still there. Luckily someone got me before they started playing and carted me off

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First was learning we made night finals at St Louis. Second was later that night before we performed out one of our guard instructors surprised us. Our other instructor was getting married and couldn't be there, so we thought we would have to go it alone. He drove three hours to come see us and be with us. He celebrated with us and he cried with us that night. I just remember it meant so much to me to have him there to support us for the biggest show of my senior year.

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let's just say, I always loved warmups.

 

ISU 2003 - Finals was so much fun.

 

Outback Bowl 2002-2003 - Florida is just way too cool

 

ISU 2006 - I didn't much care for being Drum Major, but it was an honor to be able to see my last ISU performance live

 

Edit: Party foul! It wasn't the fiesta bowl. That was 2005.

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let's just say, I always loved warmups.

 

ISU 2003 - Finals was so much fun.

 

Fiesta Bowl 2002-2003 - Florida is just way too cool

 

ISU 2006 - I didn't much care for being Drum Major, but it was an honor to be able to see my last ISU performance live

Um...isn't Fiesta Bowl in Arizona? lol

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I have more, but this is what i'm feeling right now...

 

BOA Toledo 2001 - Having our prelims performance at some insanely early hour (like 815 AM). It was cold enough that at the end of the performance, I snapped my horn down and both the mouthpiece and large back pipe were steaming. As a freshman, I did not realize this would be a reoccurring phenomenon in cold weather.

 

ISU 2001 - Making finals as a "new" program, after doubting if we would after a poor prelims performance

 

Outback Bowl 2002-2003: The parade in Ybor city. We got to the parade route early (as per normal) and, after hanging around for awhile, did music warm-ups. We still had the field show competition the next day, so we were running show music. That year, LWE's closer started with a 16th note run to a staccato note and then a measure of rest. Well, in this narrow, building lined street we hit the last note and it echoed up and down the street, which is still one of my favorite musical memories. After all this, the weather turned and the parade stepped off in the pouring rain. About 2/3 of the way through, we went between two bars where people where throwing things back and forth over the parade and a set of green Mardi Gra style beads ended up over the lead pipe of my baritone. They are still on the giant rubber duckie (also from HS band) here in my dorm room.

 

Band Camp 2004- Kurt, I'm sorry to hear you did not enjoy being a drum major, because I had a blast. Band camp, with the frustrations that came with being drum major, was a great time. Highlights: Being in the auditorium bathroom doing conducting exercises in front of a mirror with a midi CD (thats right kids, CDs) and met learning scores and camp staff wandering in and out trying to clean it. And, for the final evening block, borrowing someones (I believe it was Kurt's) Mickey Mouse Sorcerer's Apprentice hat and wearing my white gloves and hamming it up, even if I was the only one who knew how much I was into the part.

 

ISU 2004 - At ISU 2004, I realized during finals why scores didn't matter. We started the show and the batterie, pit, and hornline all took different tempos. It was actually kind of cool until the horn line entered about 8 bars in. It got back together and was probably the best run of that show's life, and more importantly, the band was happy with the performance and, as a senior and drum major, I was (and still am) proud of the group and the season. The placement the judges gave us really didn't matter, just what we were able to do together did.

 

ISUs since 1992 - I've never been to an ISU where a LW has won. I've been to most every since 1992, except the 3 years (1999, 2007, 2008) with a LW champion. I still support the program and have since my oldest sister started way back when, but just keep missing those. (this may be more amusing to me than others, sorry)

 

LWEHS since 2005 - running the high school track during rehearsals. I realize it may be distracting, but I enjoy running there when I'm home because the track is easier to run and interval train on than suburban streets, plus hearing the doctor beat and watching the band do basics (or them watching me run when its 100 degrees, I'm on mile 6, and they are on water break #2 since I showed up)

 

ok, thats enough. I have other stuff i could add, but i'm supposed to be writing for class, not for my own gratification.

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Making finals for the first time in school history at st. louis or the inaugural parade (despite freezing weather). but who knows, maybe i'll have a better one by the end of this season!
that would be a good memory

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It's really hard to nail down just three things... I was trying to think of just 3 and I realized just how awesome the whole experience has been. Between big trips across the country, crazy band camps, bizarre people, late rehearsals, early rehearsals, rehearsals in hotel parking lots, ISU, U of I (yes, I had fun there!), Regionals, Super Regionals, Nationals, and so so so much more... I feel that even if I didn't enjoy some parts at the time, I can definitely look back on everything I've done in the last three years of band and say that they have caused some of the most incredible and memorable experiences of my life.

 

Man, this activity is awesome. Thanks for making me nostalgic :P

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More great memories, this is a truely amazing activity, and program. I personally loved every second of it, but now that I am out of all marching bands, I see how much I really miss it...

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