Well it has been a whirlwind couple of weeks and there is a lot to get caught up on...so I'll get right to it!
DEKALB - It seems like a century has gone by since we performed at DeKalb doesn't it? Never-the-less we were there and we were there in full force. We gave a strong performance but the kids described it as "timid". This was a word that stuck with us throughout the following week as we entered our invitational. But let me tell you - the odds were stacked against us leading up to our invitational -
- Build a yellow brick road out of a tarp (check)
- Paint the tarp (check)
- "brick" the tarp (check)
- build a prop 24' wide by 9' high (check)
- paint the prop (check)
- repaint the prop because Munoz SCREWED UP! (double check)
- Work the "change to yellow" (check)
- learn Norwell's school song (check)
- learn "Happy Birthday" in various forms for community performance (check)
- put on 3rd movement to perform by Friday (check)
HOLY COW!!! - looking at that list I honestly cannot believe how we got through it all! The kids were absolutely incredible. And our show was too! On Saturday we hosted 17 of the best bands from our area and it went off without a hitch. With the threat of rain we were ready to use our rain plan but luckily did not have to.
I am always amazed at the efforts of our parents - There are so many things that "just get done" without me even knowing. To be honest the entire day was a whirlwind...that was about the quickest 16 hours have gone by!! Our parents were running the invitational with such ease (from the outside at least) that I was able to focus on our kids and simply thanking people for attending. It is very comforting to know we have such a strong support system in place to help this gigantic program run. If you haven't gotten involved yet YOU SHOULD!! I know there are many parents getting ready to graduate with their students and they will be leaving BIG shoes to fill (and that's coming from a guy who wears size 14!).
Our parents are so incredible, in fact, that after the monstrous undertaking that was the 35th EN invitational they are now gearing up for Apple Fest this weekend!
What else is this weekend? Well SENIOR NIGHT for one tomorrow! I'm looking forward to being able to, if even for a quick moment, highlight what an outstanding senior class we have. They are the few, the proud, the seniors...and they have contributed so much and certainly deserve an evening where we can recognize them for all of their efforts.
Saturday is the big one though...DISTRICT! Parents and fans - you'll notice a lot of changes in our show - we are working on refining the show and creating a true "production". you'll get a sneak peak tomorrow night, but certainly to get the full effect you will want to be at Homestead on Saturday. Check the itinerary on the front page for times!
I'm very proud of this group - what incredible attitudes. To be able to work with such positive kids makes this show all the more special. I know the staff has been working fervently to make sure this show is as incredible for the kids as possible. Ladies and Gentlemen of Blogville - this is when the show starts to get really fun. Remember the family picnic? When we tried to do SOME of the third moment? Well if you do, keep that image in your head when we step off the line on Saturday - to say we have come a long way is an UNDERSTATEMENT, and I can't wait to show off what we have on Saturday!
Alright - that's it, I have about an hour until rehearsal so it's time to start focusing in on making this show as incredible as possible! I hope to see lots of Blue and Gold Saturday!!
- Mr. Munoz
p.s. - thanks to the Nowels family for the picture above (I stole it from facebook...better give some credit!)
Well you can tell we are in full swing when the blog isn't updated until Thursday!! But I AM here!
Last week was not fantastic because of our end result it was fantastic because the true character of our band was revealed when we were tested...MANY times this last weekend. Let's get it started:
Well we took our band photos for the season on Friday. I was the wise guy who thought it was a smart idea to take photos right before a football game!! Within the craziness of getting uniforms and instruments out our students were organized in an almost scary manner! Shuffling into the gym we were able to snap the photo and get started with individual shots.
Game time! Well....sort of. We made it through pregame and then the skies opened up - we headed indoors to keep instruments and uniforms dry, and tried to wait out the rain. We got a solid rehearsal in, however we were unable to perform. Pretty disappointing. What wasn't disappointing was sticking around to celebrate with our football team the thrashing they put on DeKalb!
We got out of there and knew we had a job to do on Saturday
Saturday - game day! well...our game day!
We had a fantastic rehearsal and I had never been so excited to perform on a first weekend. You see, the first weekend is the most terrifying to me because this is the "do they like it" show. You've spent all year designing a show, putting in thematic elements, teaching it to your students and then you run the risk of someone saying "what the heck were you thinking?!" - I'm not even this nervous at regional!
All seemed well when we were in the band room discussing what this activity really means to us. we loaded the buses and were on our way. The staff van was about 5 miles ahead of the buses when we "got the call" and turned around. Something was going off on one of the buses - our incredible transportation staff knew something was serious and needed to get off the road.
We had to make decisions in a matter of minutes - and I mean big ones...
- Do we need another bus?
- How long will it take?
- Can we even make it in time?
Well, it turns out some decisions were made quickly. We did some math, and figured out that with parents we could fit onto one but (if we go three to a seat) and have 2 spots to spare! Without hesitation or complaint, our kids loaded all the bookbags onto the semi and with just ipods in hand sat three to a seat for about an hour, from there we heard the replacement bus was catching up. So we made some adjustments to our schedule and had dinner in the parking lot of a rest area at around 4:00 and waited around for the bus. by the time we got loaded up we were clearly going to miss our performance time. And here is the part of the story that makes me REALLY love what I do:
A simple phone call to the contest director and he was gathering other AAA directors and telling them what was going on. Without hesitation two directors that perform after us stepped up and said they would push their schedule and have their bands go earlier than anticipated so we could still compete! Wow....in the face of competition (fierce competition) directors still understand that the real reason we go out every Saturday is to give our students and opportunity to feel what it is like under the lights and perform something that they have been working on for so long. Luckily, with a lot of help, we got that chance. And the kids shined!
Remember what I said about being terrified about the judges liking our show or not? Well...they love it! They are in love with our ideas and now we leave it to the kids to perform and make this year a memory that will last a life time!
You know it is interesting. I was stopped by a teacher this morning telling me her HS days when a bus broke down. It was a fan bus on its way back from a football game and she remembered having to pack onto a football bus....with the team...after the game remember...so....with the sweaty team... I asked her: "well did they at least win" and she said "you know I don't really remember".
Ladies and Gentlemen, we wont remember our score from this past weekend. In fact we may not even remember where we were going. What we will remember is the tenacity of our band and what we were able to do in spite of all the hurdles. We will remember the friendships and the lessons learned through this year. We won't remember the finish line...we'll remember the journey.
The next stop on this journey...DeKalb invitational! If you saw us last weekend...get ready to see a completely different band!!
- Mr. Munoz
Well we are here! This Saturday will mark the beginning of our 2012 competition season! It is always crazy to think that our season is actually MORE than halfway done! We have now put in more practice hours than we have left before this marching season comes to a close. We've been up to a lot so let's get this underway!
It was labor day weekend - and it was full of laborious tasks!
Step one: Tape together three giant tarps to make a 60ft. x 30ft template (check)
Step two: repeat step one two more times (check)
Step three: Trace a pathway on each tarp and cut out (check)
Step four: paint three tarps a gray color (check)
Step five: take massive amounts of sponges and make those puppies look like brick roads! (check)
Five "simple" tasks and we've got our brick roads ready for use this weekend (Friday included). The show will hopefully make a little more sense. We've also added our "pre-show" to the performance. At the beginning you'll see wandering kids as if they're lost looking for their way home. There are no yellow bricks to follow....yet...
The kids have been HARD at work making sure this show is as ready as it can for Saturday. Saturday we'll be performing the first two of three movements. In uniform (color guard included) with show flags, and with tarps and electronics! An amazing feat! Saturday will be a sweet day for sure being able to look at how much we've accomplished in such a short time.
Here are some things coming up this week to remember:
Spirit Wear orders are due (online) by tomorrow evening (Thursday). Go to: bsnsports.com - click on "My Team Shop" - type in "knight7x7" - pay for them and they will be delivered to the school.
Next - Show shirt orders were due Tuesday. I have a VERY limited stock left and will sell them to anyone on a first come first served basis.
BAND PICTURES - are this Friday before the football game. Group shot will be in the gymnasium at 5:00 P.M. DO NOT BE LATE! Students should leave plenty of time to get dressed so they are ready with instruments in the gym by 4:57. Individual shots will be taken afterwards. Order forms were given to students but extras are in the band room.
COMPETITION! - itinerary is posted on the front page of our website (if you're reading this I think you know how to get there!) - you can download it as no paper itineraries will be handed out. This is our longest competition day, but hopefully a great one!
Finally - I want to echo what my band director told me last night. Mr. Karkosky is a great mentor and I'm so lucky to have him by my side this season as a sounding board and to give me some words of wisdom. Well here is some he gave me last night:
"Bryan, you're so focused on the end result - which is good! That's what you should be doing. But don't forget about the journey. These kids are doing phenomenal things out on the field. To be honest I'm not sure I've seen a group so willing to jump at a director's every command - you've got something special here. And while we as directors should never be completely satisfied with what we have and continue to find ways to improve our students, we have to recognize all the cool little moments that are happening right before our eyes. We're all taking this journey, and it's our job to point out the moments they'll remember for a lifetime along the way" - Mr. Karkosky
It stung a little to hear this - but most good advice does sting. He's right...our students are simply knocking it out of the park each rehearsal, which drives me to push more and more. This is such an incredible feat in and of itself. Beyond that the "goose bump moments" are starting to happen more and more in our show. Saturday is going to be a fantastic night and a fantastic performance because of the students' relentless pursuit of perfection. We're certainly not district ready...and to be honest - if we were, the show is too easy. But we are MORE than week 1 ready. We will perform and have an incredible feeling walking off the field. I hope there is a buzz of excitement out there because our students deserve it! so to you kids reading this - BRAVO! You're on the track to greatness. And to those parents out there - ROOT FOR YOUR KID!! Come to contests and scream loud and clap hard! It means something to your child - they may not say it now...but it does. Competition days are special, and when you're under lights with your loved ones cheering you on - that's when the magic of music takes its course and something special happens.
I'll see you on the turf Saturday....
- Mr. Munoz
A blog to keep let you know how things are going! Weekly updates from Mr. Munoz, Mr. Cary, or Mr. Haydl