Posts Tagged ‘BOA’

UDMB @ BoA Newark, PA Regional

UDMB @ BoA Newark, PA Regional

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….

Sarv's Ride

Sarv’s Ride

My whole life I have loved a challenge, both personal and professional.  My parents knew from the get go that the worst thing they could ever do was to tell me I couldn’t try something. If the words “You know, maybe should think about doing something else.” ever came out of their mouths the look I would shoot across the room was one of sheer defiance and raw determination. I’m sure they thought I was possessed…perhaps they were correct.

Don’t tell me no. Don’t tell me I’m not capable. Do not ever tell me to slow down.  (…frankly someone probably needs to teach me the definition of the word ‘moderation’ but let’s face it, life is short so why waste your time on the impossible…) This approach has gotten me pretty far in life, albeit the equivalent of a runaway freight train coming down the side of a mountain.  But when that train gets to the bottom and has to being its trek up the other side, THAT is when my tenacious personality seems to take hold.

So…Bands of America needed a venue for a regional championship.  Ok. I have always thought Delaware Stadium is the most intimate place on the east coast for a marching band show. And the facilities are perfect for everything needed to support such a venture.  Let’s give it whirl.

Tomorrow 23 high school bands from up and down the east coast will make their way onto campus.  We start setting up this afternoon and we will be finished at approximately midnight tomorrow–about 29-30 hours from now.  Prelims competition all day; finals all night.  The UDMB will perform at the conclusion of both segments. The UDMB will be running every area of event with the exception of the times they are performing when alumni, family and friends will take over. Band of America is in charge of everything else (so if you want tickets get to their website).

My friends and colleagues are concerned of course. How the heck am I going to get through a day like this. I refer you to my opening paragraph.  I’ve got it covered! I’m fine. I’m ready to go……I’ve got enough corticosteroids pumped into my body to last lifetime….and I have a GOLF CART courtesy of UD Athletics!  Let’s roll folks!!

But seriously, I am, indeed, just fine.  I love a challenge–both personally and professionally and clearly tomorrow will be one that will test both areas.  I cannot wait to see all the vets from the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy® in action on the podium and on the field.  I cannot wait for the UDMB to rock their own house in front of thousands of high school marching band performers and their parents and staff.

The UDMB takes center stage tomorrow in a national setting–right here in their own home. How cool is that!! ..yes, I guess I am that proud parent that loves showing off her kids to the world.

So if you’re not doing anything tomorrow, October 25, come down to Delaware Stadium on the University of Delaware campus and check out some of the best high school marching bands on the east coast.  But watch out for that blonde behind the wheel of a golf cart…she’ll be on a mission and moderation is not something she understands.