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More to the Story: Competition Band

Reporting by Ashti Tiwari, Seojun Cho, Grant Terwilliger, Silvana, Bilcari, Nadine Kohnke, Jack Casper, and Gio Arcuri

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The start of the season

“I thought at the beginning of this season that we were going to be really great. We had that solid foundation of people who were three-year veterans, and we had a lot of people who came from performance band. I thought that this year we were going to be really great, and everyone seemed very excited for everything. They seemed ready and they brought the energy.”  Emily Song•12

The show, “Slightly Off Kilter”

“When I first saw it, I was excited about it, because it was a Drum Corps International show that won in 2016. That was arguably one of the best shows, and we were kind of copying off of it. We had some of the music and definitely some of the inspiration about weirdness, so I thought it was spicy.” Reece Smith•12

The week before Championships

“The week of states is the most serious week of the season. I think it’s the week with the highest energy, but it’s also the highest stress. When both of those factors come together, there’s two outcomes of the band and we hit both of them. It was either crumble and just make minor mistakes you shouldn’t make or it was excel. We excelled here, but then there were certain parts that confused us and we dropped back for some reason.” RS

Waking up on Championship Day

“Before we went to bed we listened to a ton of trumpet solos to start building the mindset for the morning. You’re listening for all the clarity and tone, and beautiful solos, on YouTube. Then I remember I had a stressful morning when I woke up, because I was trying to find water for my section. There wasn’t anyone at the desk at the hotel, so I couldn’t go buy stuff from the hotel store. I was running around with my coffee in my hand trying to find water for my section, but by the time I got on the bus, I started to get locked in.” Alexander Kolpien•11

Skytop, the sectionals warm up

“It was a beautiful day. It was nice and sunny, and I had sunglasses on all of the time. I just remember going from section to section, and I was like ‘Wow, this is gonna be great.’ I thought the focus was really there, and everyone was really ready, but they didn’t seem like they were overthinking it. It was the right level of focus and excited energy, so it was just a really special moment.” ES

The bus ride to the Dome

“Everything kind of becomes scary again because you don’t know how it’s going to sound, and you don’t know how much the acoustics are going to affect it. But with all the practice that leads up to it, you just do what you do and you want to say, ‘Don’t look back because at the end of the day, there’s going to be mistakes.’” Gregory Lakota•12

The finals performance

“The show was really good for me. I think one of the best parts was the last part, when you see all the directors behind drum major Emily Song. They’re all jumping out of their seats. I’ve never really seen Visual and Music Technician Tyler Palm show any emotion. I swear he was the one that jumped the highest and was on the verge of tears. That made me feel really proud of the band, myself, and how far we’ve come.” AK

The score

“A lot of people, especially after the scoring, were upset at some of the scoring compared to last year, but I was just happy to be there. Even after the show, which I did pretty well on, there were a couple of parts where I was scared, but coming off of the show I was just lightheaded. It was crazy.” Layla Truxon•10

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