Monday, November 17, 2008

Back from Indy with a Smile

We are finally back from Indianapolis with a great outcome. The trip for all was very wearing but very worth it. The band arrived on Thursday night, Chris and I arrived on Friday night. We missed the prelims because of our flight, but from what the kids said, they had a hard time with the new turf of Lucas Oil Stadium and the pro hash marks vs. the high school hash marks. No matter, they still went on to Semi-Finals on Saturday.

Chris and I got stuck in Chicago and ended up renting a car and making the three hour drive into Indianapolis, which was a good thing. Just as we were entering the city, Michael called to tell me he was having an allergic reaction to something he had eaten for dinner and could see his cheek swelling up to his vision. Thankfully, we were just blocks from the hotel, so I called Chris's sister to ask her to get a hold of the nurse and meet me in the lobby. The band always travels with a nurse and her husband, a doctor, came along for the trip to Indy. I rushed into the hotel to find Michael and get some Benadryl to see if that would help. Michael has been known to have a very random reaction to things with tomatoe but after having him allergy tested with nothing confirmed, we basically just wait for things to happen. The next morning, they had to give him more medicine because he still wasn't feeling very well. That seemed to take care of the reaction.

The band performed in Semi-finals at around noon. The show was fabulous and the crowd reaction was wonderful and motivating as usual. Results for Semi-finals were:

Class AAA:

Outstanding Music Performance - L.D. Bell H.S., TX
Outstanding Visual Performance - Avon H.S., IN
Outstanding General Effect - Avon H.S., IN

1st - Avon H.S., IN
2nd - Lawrence Central H.S., IN
3rd - L.D. Bell H.S., TX

We drew the second spot to perform in Finals, which isn't always the best. The statistics are such that a band who has won and comes back the next year to defend their title doesn't place in the top three. Knowing that going in, everyone was a little concerned about the outcome of the finals competition. I know that my kids were extremely pleased with their job in the show. That meant the most to me, that they were happy with their personal performance.

On Saturday, November 15th, at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, the L.D. Bell Band placed second at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championship. L.D. Bell stands alone, having placed in the top three at BOA Grand Nationals for the past four years (2005 - 3rd; 2006 - 2nd; 2007 - 1st; 2008 - 2nd). Congratulations to Avon High School as the 2008 Grand National Champion!
Since 2000 the Blue Raider Band has now medaled at BOA events 19 times and has been in the top 5 of all entered contests since 1999... with a 50% increase in enrollment since 2003, it can be surmised that many students find band at L.D. Bell to be fun. Congratulations to L.D. Bell Band stakeholders past and present!

2008 Grand National Championship Results:

1st place - Avon H.S., IN
2nd place - L.D. Bell H.S., TX
3rd place - Lawrence Central H.S., IN
4th place - Marian Catholic H.S., IL
5th place - Carmel H.S., IN
6th place - Broken Arrow H.S., OK
7th place - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
8th place - Kennesaw Mountain H.S., GA
9th place - Centerville H.S., OH
10th place - Ben Davis H.S., IN
11th place - Plymouth-Canton Ed. Park, MI
12th place - Lafayette H.S., LA

During the final performance, it dawned on me that this was the last time that Michael would march, unless he marched in a college band. I didn't cry, but it was a little sad. He has come so far since his beginning high school. The funny thing is when we got to the hotel to see the kids off on the bus he said "I'm so glad I won't have to wear that ugly uniform every again!" Well, at least he wasn't sad! Alyssa wanted me to come up and see her hotel room. The time it took me just to get on the elevator to get up to her room was challenging. Then I got to her room and it was such a complete mess that I was just thinking I wanted to get out of there! Six teenaged girls in one suite was crazy! I just laughed and told them to make a double and triple check of the room before they shut the door. There is no telling what got left behind.

I think to myself that I have three more years of this (hopefully) and and I just need to get it together and not stress out with having two kids and two uniforms to care for. It is all very worth it if my kids are happy. It's back to the normal life now. Gosh - what am I gonna do with my time???

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