I honestly am not completely sure where to begin although I must first make a very bold statement: The 2011 UDMB is simply outstanding in every sense imaginable. Ok, blog post complete.
….alright, I’ll write more….
I best turn back the wheel of time and start with band camp–and what a band camp it was. “Natural Disasters ‘R’ Us” is perhaps the most appropriate title for the annual “coming of age” all college marching band members undergo. Here’s the order of all the various events Mother Nature tossed our way:
- Rogue Thunderstorms – no warning
- Cloud to Ground Lightening without rain
We are watching very carefully for either the sudden eruption of a volcano that may suddenly form in the middle of Delaware Stadium or a massive swarm of locusts. …I wish I were completely kidding here. The cloud to ground lightening was perhaps the most frightening of all because the storm clouds were well out of a 10 mile radius of our rehearsal field yet we could SEE the lightening bolts. Not cool…
Hail during a massive thunderstorm at the start of Rookie Camp was, well, honestly old hat for some of us. Much of the staff had already experienced hail storms while teaching with the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy® this past summer. However, the rogue thunderstorms that formed “out of nowhere,” were not on the NOAA radar app (not kidding–I paid for that one!) one minute but there 5 minutes later were scary. They were completely unpredictable. And yet we survived.
Ok, earthquake story time. Yes, an earthquake–WTH?! The music building classroom walls were rocking; the light poles at the field creaked first and then started swaying; I had just parked my car and literally stepped on the brake AS the tremor hit and I thought I have blown my transmission because the car was bucking; every building on campus was emptied as per order of Public Safety (which actually folks, you are NOT supposed to race outside and are safer under a table or in a doorway because A BUILDING CAN FALL ON YOU…but what do we north-easterners know….); and yes, the battery played right through the entire episode. Well, no surprise there at all. 🙂
And then just when we thought we were back on track: “This is text from UD Alert.” And just like that Band Camp 2011 came to an unexpected halt on Friday afternoon due to Hurricane Irene heading up the coast.
HOWEVER, despite all the set backs, delays, and halts, the UDMB left Newark on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 5:00 PM with the COMPLETE halftime show and COMPLETE pregame show on the move WITH music. ’nuff said!
Today we returned to the turf for the first time in exactly one week since camp concluded. In the words of Jim Ancona at the conclusion of rehearsal, “I really expected to be going home in tears.” But this band is something VERY unique. Not only was retention at an all new high level of achievement, but the focus of this band is OFF THE SCALE! (I just pray they are having fun too because I’m not completely sure!!!) We finished the 2 hour rehearsal having chunked the entire halftime show—in short, no problems. I’m floored.
Of course, we now do not have rehearsal until Wednesday due to Labor Day Weekend and will only have 2 rehearsals before the first home game which is also BAND DAY. …and this band is going to crank it through the roof, of that I have little doubt.