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Bluffton: When Everything is New Again

The first competition happened. Were you there? It was awesome! A Thousand Cranes shirts were everywhere!

Even though the Spirit of Woodlan musicians have been practicing for…well, ever…the first competition of the season is new. A new show. New members. New props.

At the first home football game, the Spirit of Woodlan took the field and performed for the audience, but at Bluffton last Saturday, they donned their uniforms and performed for judges.

I rode the bus and had a wonderful time chatting and laughing with the youngest of our group, a few who were about to experience their very first time on the field for a score. There were nerves. Suddenly they were on the bus and the whole competition became real, and for others their brains hovered in denial. No marching that day. Nope. No need to be nervous. What if they mess up? WHAT IF THEY FORGET EVERYTHING?

There were questions. When did they put on their uniforms? What about gloves? How did the whole competition work? WHAT TIME DID THEY HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?

Mostly they wanted a judge to get in their way, so they could run over them without caring. I think everyone dreams of that.

Even those seasoned vets, who had taken the field too many times to count, the ones sitting in the back of the bus relaxing, faced a new season. How would the judges react to this show? Would they be able to play it just right? Because “just right” is what they have worked for.

All zipped, gloved, and plumed…off they went for a whole new season.

And not only the band suffered from this newness. The put crew stared at props we hadn’t seen and didn’t quite know how to work. A map of the field was drawn to explain where the stages go. Discussions occurred. Plans were made. Then we waited for our moment.

The band arrived at the entrance to the field, the pit crew there to smile at them.

They took the field. Stages were set up. Time to perform.

Now the newness fades. Experience has been gained. With this first step into the season, the audience and judges witnessed what hours of practice and dedication have brought.

What did it bring?

FIRST PLACE! And captions in all three areas. Music. Visuals. General effect.

The nerves will return at Dekalb…and every competition after, but not because of the unknown, because the musicians want to do their best. And they will, because they are the Spirit of Woodlan.

A fabulous start to the 2019 marching band season.

To end…a little look at teamwork as they unloaded the instruments.

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