As I sit on the couch (clearly my blogging location of choice) with a cup of coffee (clearly my blogging beverage of choice) I find myself recounting virtually every last minute of yesterday’s…um….event. That is what I will call it: The Event. I call it that because frankly I don’t know what else to call it!
- 11:00 AM: I arrive at the stadium, slather myself with sunscreen and walk to practice fields.
- 11:15 AM: I arrive at practice fields soaked through my clothes. Temps: 90+ (over 100 on field).
- 12:15 PM: Everything is on schedule…this is when I should have gotten nervous.
- 12:35 PM: Buses almost nailed the new traffic flow directions…almost.
- 12:45 PM: Rehearsal starts EARLY. (Now we’re truly screwed…)
- 2:45 PM: Rehearsal finishes EARLY. (Refer to previous bullet point…)
- 3:15 PM: Band gets dressed and moves to holding location for Team Walk.
- 3:30 PM: Team arrives ON TIME! (Again…refer to previous bullet point…)
- 3:32 PM: TEAM WALK gets underway albeit not completely according to plan.
(Bear in mind that it is still over 90 degrees out and the humidity is of the Delaware special variety.)
- 3:45 PM: Band has dinner and extra water and relaxes for a few…as the sky darkens.
- 4:10 PM: I discuss probability of band NOT performing at President’s Tent with his “people.” My thinking is “stay near the stadium and Field House…this is not looking good.”
- 4:15 PM: While walking back to the Field House the sky is changing color…Midwest type colors! I see former AD Edgar Johnson and start to say hello…we both stop and turn our heads with EVERYONE else in the parking lot to see what was a massive dirt filled wind tunnel-type formation moving from the STAR Campus to the south…everyone starts to scramble as the wind goes from 0 to who knows what in the blink of an eye while the temperatures plummet. While moving as quickly as I can (which is not very quick these days–ugh) my phone starts to go wild…”GET THE BAND UNDER THE WEST STANDS–NOW!”
- 4:17 PM: “STOP! GET THE BAND INSIDE THE FIELD HOUSE–NOW!
And there we stayed…and stayed…and stayed…
I have had the privilege of working with what at last count is over 15,000 college band students during my 27 years of teaching…(UD & UMASS & Temple U for those trying to figure it out) and I will say this:
The members of the UDMB are who they are because of those who came before and the philosophy upon which this program is built. I have NEVER been more proud to be associated with such incredible young men and women.
The trust and respect this band exudes is without bounds. They listen, they respond, they act appropriately. 330+ college band members who were worn down to the very fibers of their souls after 3.5 hours in the oppressive heat during a “make it or break it” rehearsal and quick parade all quietly moved without any sort of panic from one location to the other in a matter of minutes!
The UDMB is a MACHINE!
So….what does one do with 98% of band (the pit was in the BOB) after being trapped inside the UD Field House for over 90 minutes while Armageddon is breaking loose outside?? A STANDSTILL CONCERT FOR THE FANS TRAPPED WITH US!
And today…well, yes, today the team will take the field and play Del State because the game had to be postponed. The weather was indescribable. The band…it will be a volunteer pep band. The students have so very many other obligations: work, other ensemble rehearsals, study groups, etc. There is no way to pull them together as a whole. Those of us who are at today’s game will have a blast–that is guaranteed.
And the unveiling of the 2014 edition of the UDMB? That will happen next week against Colgate (remember 2003 in Chattanooga?!) during BAND Day!