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A Big Bluffton Weekend!

This past weekend was a very big weekend for the Spirit of Woodlan! On Friday night, the band performed in uniform for the first time this season at the Varsity football game versus Bluffton High School. Nerves were a little high for their first performance, but the band did a great job! All of their hard work for the past several months came down to this moment, and each student stood a little taller and looked so good in their uniform! It was great to see the show come together. Many of the students have said that they have a lot of hope for this season and are excited about this show. It was a great first performance in uniform!

The band playing the school song at the football game on Friday.

Their first performance in uniform on Friday night!


The next morning, Saturday, September 9th, the band began practice at 8am on the practice field. They practiced all morning and had a nice, cool morning for practice. The band stopped for lunch at noon, just in time to see their new semi-trailer revealed (though many of them got a peek at it when it arrived to be loaded in the morning). After taking pictures with their new trailer, they headed to share lunch under the football bleachers. They had a lunch of hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, chips, cookies, and fruit that was provided by parents. They loaded onto their buses and left Woodlan around 1pm. They quickly began their long-lasting tradition of screaming out, “WE’RE TURNING LEFT!” as they made their way to Bluffton High School for the “On the Banks of the Wabash” competition.

Taking a break on the practice field.

The 2023 Spirit of Woodlan members and their new trailer

Mr. Slattery and his band students

Just a few of the people that have worked hard to make this dream a reality.

Lunch time!

The new trailer on its way to its first competition!

Pulling into Bluffton High School, it felt incredible to see our new trailer taking its place among the other band trailers!

After arriving at Bluffton, the trailer was unloaded and the students gathered their uniforms to change. The process for uniform distribution was different and more chaotic than in previous years as the pit crew is working on figuring out the best ways to utilize the interior space of the new trailer. Fundraising goals this season were high in order to purchase the trailer, make necessary refurbishments and repairs, strip off the old exterior decals, paint the entire exterior, install new Spirit of Woodlan graphics, and outfit the interior space to accommodate areas for props, instruments, uniforms, hat boxes, and shoe boxes. The community has been very generous in their support of this effort, and we have raised close to 60% of the funds needed to complete this entire trailer project. The interior design work will have to wait until more funds are raised, so the pit crew is working hard to figure out how to make the interior space work in the meantime.


Unfortunately, the bees were out in great numbers at the competition, and one member got stung on the tongue by a bee as he was eating a snack. Despite being very uncomfortable, he was fine and was fortunately able to compete with the band. The band headed off for warm ups before taking the field for competition at 4:45pm. In Open Class D, the Spirit of Woodlan was competing against the Spirit of Triton and Adams Central Squadron of Sound.

Poor Philip got stung by a bee on the tongue!

All ready to compete!

The annual Kailtyn Picture! Katelynn, Caitlyn, and Kaitlyn (Katy)!

The Spirit of Woodlan Senior Class of 2024! Emmy, Braedon, Bella, Ean, Ava, Darren, Delaney, Josiah, Joe, Rogan, Alex, and Katy

Some of the pit crew guys killed time waiting for the band by jump roping :)

Members of the pit crew waiting for the band at warmups.


Spirit of Woodlan’s performance of their new show, The Undiscovered, was fantastic! Mr. Slattery told the band afterwards that it was their best run-through yet. Everyone did a great job and they sounded great! There is a lot more to the show than what they performed at Bluffton, as they only performed the first two parts of their show. Six of the twelve tree props were finished early Saturday morning, so they were able to include them in the show. More props and features will be added, so stay tuned for more! It was a great first competition performance and Mr. Slattery was very pleased with their efforts. It was also a beautiful day weather-wise, and no huge down-pours like last year!

Braedon Miller, Drum Major

After their performance, the students only had time to drop off instruments and hats and head back to the stadium for awards. Drum Major Braedon Miller was joined by Color Guard section leaders Katelynn Spencer and Katy Gilbert for the awards. The results for Open D Class were:

1. Spirit of Triton

2. Adams Central Squadron of Sound

3. Spirit of Woodlan


While the results were disappointing, and no one wants to finish third out of three bands, Mr. Slattery told the band that he was pleased with their first competition performance and the band received the highest scores for the first week out in the last 5 years or so. There is a lot of work to be done, indeed, and they will resume their hard work at practices this week. Onward and Upward!

The Awards Ceremony

Katelynn, Braedon, and Katy representing Woodlan

Winter Winds folks may recognize Sam (left, from New Haven) and Calvin (right, from Heritage) with Braedon, who both marched with Woodlan during last year's Winter Winds season and are part of our band family!


Next Saturday, Spirit of Woodlan will head to DeKalb High School on Saturday, September 16th for the Baron Brigade Marching Invitational. Woodlan will again compete against Adams Central Squadron of Sound (6:00pm) and Spirit of Triton (6:15pm). Woodlan will perform at 6:30pm. Awards will be held after Class B and A performances at 9:40pm. These kids have been working so hard and would love to have your support to cheer them on at DeKalb. We hope to see you there!

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