There was a man who once said, “I love watching lots of people doing great things.” This man was correct as there is perhaps nothing more rewarding than a group of individuals working together toward a common goal. In this case we are talking about over 400 people (330 in the UDMB and another 70+ volunteers–parents, friends, colleagues) working 3-4 hour shifts, doing a wide variety of jobs from ticket sales, program selling, tshirt pressing, moving high school bands around the athletic complex, greeting band directors, and setup / cleanup….all for one purpose: creating an experience OTHERS will remember for a lifetime.
The world we live in is one of selfishness. We are products of a society whose mantra is “What’s in it for me?” This is an extraordinary narrow life view. The humanity has been beaten out of us to such a degree that people no longer have the ability to communicate with another member of the species unless it is via an electronic device. Social interaction is the newest phobia. And yet yesterday I watched my students go out of their way for each other as they went beyond and above the call of duty for thousands of strangers.
26 high school bands were in our “house.” They came to us from as far north as Connecticut to as far south as Georgia. They brought parents, friends, siblings, extended family members. Community members from Newark, Delaware were there as well. Family and friends of the UDMB too. Thousands of people passed through the gates of UD stadium and spent the day relishing the talents of over 3000 musicians and performers–who gave their all in the spirit of competition, education, and growth.
Bands of America came to UD for their Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. UD and the UDMB were their hosts. The day began at 5:45 am and ended at 11:45 pm. The UDMB performed twice in exhibition–once at the conclusion of prelims and again at the conclusion of finals. …and yes, the band grabbed the audience by the throat and said, “You will love us.” …and they did.
I could write for pages about all the incredible moments woven within the fabric of those 18 hours but it is not necessary. I will simply state in print what I said to the members of the UDMB last night at the conclusion of their last performance:
I have never been more proud of this band as I am today.
…there were, of course, many shenanigans taking place throughout the day as well…I leave you with an image of my transportation for the day. Decorations were courtesy of my professional staff….