Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marching Band '09-'10

So as mentioned before I am in Marching Band and I play piccolo. I started marching band last year and it was kinda my personal hell. I hated it soo much. This year is a thousand times better and I think my main problem last year was that I was new and it was just all new. Plus I hate being yelled at and that happens a lot in marching band.

So why do I do marching band? That is a really good question.

~ Well, my friends are in marching band. I have like, 4 friends outside of marching band (I def have many more friends than that outside of marching band but still, the majority of my friends are in marching band).

~ It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It is such a great feeling after you've done a run-through or whatever and you know you totally rocked everything in

~ My wonderful mother

My #1 Fan

I was gonna do this in yellow since it's her favorite color, but it doesn't show up well :( Anyway my number one fan is my mom, and I am hers!! She is what gets me through marching band. She is always so excited to see me perform in football games and makes point to come to every single one that she can. She is just so cute about it! She really makes marching band worth it to me :)

Marching Band has many elements to it. Here are a couple of them..

Evening Rehearsal

6:15 Warm-up and Stretch

Yes we stretch. We start off with running two laps around our practice field. Then we gather in a circle and David and Carlos lead us in stretching. This is the time where I stand with Julia and Seul and we catch up on gossip. After stretching we do ensemble push-ups. Ten of them. Alright I cannot do push-ups and really neither can any of the pics and the majority of the girls. So we pathetically squeal as we lower ourselves an inch for every "push-up" and the boys make fun of us. It is so sad :(

6:36 Basics

Easily the worst part of my life. Basics is when we work on marching basics like toe height, step size, shoulders, hips, forward and backward marching, duck walking, back-ward roll-up, and other horrendous things. Since it would take me forever to talk about all these things I will settle for describing the duck walk.

The duck walk is an exercise meant to help with toe height. We start at one side of the field and we go to the other side at a 16/5 stride, which is very small and sounds easy. The catch is that your toes cannot touch the ground. Ever. And once you get to the other side you have approximately 12 seconds to stretch your calves before you turn around and do it all again. Doesn't sound hard? Try it at a 200 tempo and get back to me.

Wow I sound nerdy.

7:20ish Set-By-Set of the Show

This is the time when the majority of the yelling happens. We go from one page to the next and fix things like interval problems and our personal marching. We also take this time to add in props and special movements.

Materials you need for this time include dot book, pencil, your instrument, and poker chips (each section has a deck of cards and we play poker while they work with other sections. JUST KIDDING!! Do you know how dead we would be if that was legit?? SO DEAD.).

Your dot book is your life. It is those spiral-bound flashcards and it contains all your coordinates and measure numbers and other valuable information. If you don't have your dot book, you should find a fake one right quick or else you're gonna be doing push-ups for every set-to-set we do. I have never lost my dot book but I've seen it happen to other people and by the end of the night they've done at least like 200 push-ups and that's prolly too low an estimate.

When you're first learning your dots we use poker chips so you know where you're going. We have red, white, blue, and orange poker chips and we use them in that order. Just remember your country (red, white, and blue) before your school (our school colors are blue and orange).

Pencils are used to write in your dot book and your instrument is used to play.

8:30ish Run-Throughs

Exactly what it sounds like. We do the entire show a few times.

9ish (In theory..we usually end at 9:10, 9:20ish) STORY TIME!!

The most wonderful words you will ever hear in marching band. And that includes "1st place" "WINNER RESERVOIR HIGH SCHOOL". Perhaps the only words better than story time is "rehearsal rained out". Fabulous.

Here is where we are told by Mr. Dubbs how wonderful/horrible/good/mentally not there we were that night and also what we need to improve on. Then Junior Drum Major Ryan will talk about the same thing and then Senior Drum Major Veronica will talk about the same thing (but I always like what she says the best) and then she'll say "at the ready" and we'll all stand with our feet shoulder-width apart with our instruments in our hands resting against our stomachs and our heads down. Then she says "detail! A ten hut" and we snap to attention with our head up and our instruments in both hands in front of our faces (but not in playing position) and our feet together and we yell "PRIDE" and then veronica says "detail, parade rest!" and we fall back into at-the-ready except for this time our hands rest at our sides and our instruments are in our right hands and we yell "HUT!" and then she gives last minute reminders and then says "detail fall out!" and we all cheer and are allowed to go home.

So basically the dialog is..
"Detail! A ten hut!"
"Detail! Parade rest!
"Detail Fall out!"

So then we go to the band room and we put away our instruments and change our shoes and go home.

Piccolo Section

A major part of marching band is your section. I am a piccolo and my section is pretty fabulous. So I will take this time to describe my slightly dysfunctional but wonderful section....

Seul: Seul is our Section Leader and I'm not lying when I say that we really couldn't ask for a better one. There are some really obnoxious, mean section leaders out there but Seul does not rank with them. Not to say that she lets us get away with things. There is definately discipline but she is just not mean and snappy. Thank GOODNESS. Seul is Korean and she and MiRae and Ketty will randomly start going off in korean together and us white girls in the section are like, uhhh..?? She also loves Japanese Soap Operas and follows them religiously. She is also what is called a "hopeless romantic". Seul sees hearts around EVERYTHING no lie. Oh and she's one of my best friends :)

Katie: Kaite is sooo cute. She is a pretty singer and is actually in Madrigals with me :) She loves to act and I always get the vibe from her that she feels like she has something to prove, which is way annoying in most people but with Katie it makes me want to stand up and cheer for her. Katie is someone I really respect and I feel like she will go very far in life.

Ketty: Ketty is just as cute as her name :) She is very studious and we aide together during second period (more on that later). My favorite memory of Ketty is when she fairly yelled "WHEN YOU HAVE SEX.." at the end of band camp dinner. ahahahaaaa I love Ketty.

Aria: A freshman in band years (but a sophomore in school years), Aria is pretty quiet so I don't know much about her but she has simply the longest hair that is very pretty :)

MiRae: MiRae is also quiet but I still know about her because we are fake-mean to each other. Here is a typical MiRae-Nicole conversation..
Nicole: MiRae I hate your shirt today that color looks awful on you.
MiRae: Well I like this shirt so SHUT UP and you got to your spot last soo push-ups.
This is how we entertain ourselves during band :)

Zoe: Zoe has been my flute buddy since the summer before 6th grade. We have always been in the same band since and normally are the next chair over from the other :) Zoe is this insanely good artist and she is really chill and it is such a breath of fresh air to be around her it really is. Zoe also should be a high-fashion model. She is like, perfectly shaped and has such a cool and unique fashion sense! Zoe is also insanely smart so maybe she should be an artist, model, and engineer. Just saying.

Stephanie: Ohhh I am SO EXCITED to be writing about Steph. She is a freshman in both band and school years and is soo cute. She really wants to be a good marcher but she is always getting yelled at about toe-height or shoulders or whatever it is so sad but kinda funny :). I love Steph because she is soo nice to me. She is always saying things like, "Oh Nicole I love you" or complimenting me when I'm at my very worst. What a sweetheart :)

Stay tuned..

So I will add more to this later because I have not even touched on competitions or in-school rehearsals. Funn stuff :)

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