Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Little Band That Did

So for several weeks now I have been posting about our little band at North Central High School. The NCHS Marching Band is the smallest marching band in the state of South Carolina with only 17 kids, three of which are color guard. The show for this season was entitled Versatility and each member played at least two instruments, including the three guard girls who played percussion, saxophone, electric guitar, and most of the musicians waving flags. All of this sounds impressive to me, an extreme musical novice. I often have trouble playing the radio, much less a musical instrument. It has; however, become an increasingly impressive feat as I have heard other band parents and musicians tout the incredible nature of this accomplishment. Most notably, the change from wood-wind to brass and back again has impressed the musically literate of my run-in-tos.

Now, my son is one of the members, which of course, you know. (And a wood-wind to brass switch-hitter, I might add.) But despite my natural inclinations toward prejudice, I can honestly say, the band of which I write is a group of phenomenal kids. I started calling them the Little Band That Could a few weeks back, as they kept performing beyond the expectations of everyone around us...but us. They kept hitting their stride, climbing higher and higher in their scores. Until, one crisp Fall evening, just North of Greenville, SC, the Little Band that Could…did. The band placed sixth in the Up-State Regional’s. They were just good enough to allow them to make the State finals. Now, mind you, there are 52 bands in SC that are in Division 1-A—a school with a population of 450 or so students. Most bands in this division have 40-50 kids on field. We were sixth out of about 25 bands in the up-state division. So when we went to the State finals, we would be ranked either eleventh or twelfth, depending on the score of the sixth best band from the lower-state. We ended up eleventh.

So, on we went to Batesburg-Leesville High School and the STATE compitetion. They played their hearts out and left everything on the feild. After all twelve bands preformed, our little band marched on to the field for the awards cerimony, dwarfed by the bands around us.
Twelfth was called. Not us! We expected as much.
Eleventh…where we were ranked when we started the afternoon. Not us again! Yes! We would be in the Top Ten.
But, not tenth.
Not Ninth.
Not even eighth.
With baited breath we listened...“And in seventh place, with a score of 89.92 (or something similar) The North Central High School Marching Knights.”

Wow. They might have been the smallest band in compitetion, but they were the seventh best band in the state of South Carolina! This was the best finish in the school's history. The Batesburg-Leesville High School Band ended up being first. (Maybe a little home cooking there.?) But they were no way near as happy or ecstatic as 17 kids, one band director, and a dozen or so parents from little old Boonetown, SC that night. For the Mighty Knights had conquered. They had conquered the prejudice of size. They had conquered the prejudice of reputation. And they had conquered the stinging budget cuts that threatened their ability to even travel to such competitions as these. Against all odds, they had prevailed.

And that warm Autumn afternoon, before my very eyes, The Little Band That Could became The Little Band That Did. They became champions; they became more than conquerors; they became my heroes.

1 comment:

Technically Speaking.... said...

once again, tears came to my eyes!