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Going for the Gold at ISSMA Invitational at Homestead

Saturday morning, October 9th, brought chilly temperatures and fog to the area. It was another early morning practice for the band and guard before they got ready to head to Homestead once again. The weather was perfect for today’s lunch: soup! However, by the time the band arrived at Homestead, the sun came out and burnt off the fog and it became a rather hot day! So much for soup weather! It sounds like soup day has become a cherished tradition for a competition day at Homestead, and many of the kids were excited about the choices of soup! They enjoyed a great lunch together before getting ready to do what they do best: perform! As it turns out, the sun ended up burning off more than just the fog that day; several kids and parents enjoyed a souvenir sunburn as well!

Early Saturday morning practice: this just spells D-E-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N!

I always like to include pictures of the students, staff, and parent helpers on competition days gathered near the buses and trailers. Yes, band is about presenting an excellent show of music and visual performance, and these students do that incredibly well. But there is so much that happens “behind the scenes” that I believe is equally important. There is time shared together talking, sharing laughs, and building comradery. Band provides a welcome family and a sense of belonging for many of these students, and I find that to be such a beautiful thing! I think it’s awesome to see the kids gathered together sharing lunch and playing games. It warms my heart! I also have quickly learned what a great and caring group of staff and parent helpers show up for these kids each and every week. It’s a pretty awesome place to be!

The students were excited to see some Spirit of Woodlan alum show up to offer their support: Ella Palm, Andrew Chlebek, Jesalyn Blackburn, and Chloe Miller

The pit crew usually has an hour or so to wait while the band warms up. Time for some great conversations!


Before long, it was time for the band and guard to go warm up and get ready to perform for the crowd. As it was very hot, warm up they did! We had heard about other bands having students pass out from the heat, so students were encouraged to drink and stay hydrated. Fortunately, our students made it through just fine! They put on another incredible performance and wowed the judges and the crowd.

After their performance, there were some that decided to change out of uniforms very quickly, some remained in uniform, and some did half and half! There was not much time before awards, so they quickly scurried out to the bleachers to be ready to watch awards. Fortunately, today, the announcer got it right, and the Spirit of Woodlan earned a Gold rating and Distinctions in Music, Visual, and Effect. Great job, Spirit of Woodlan!

Next week, Spirit of Woodlan will head to Chesterton High School for ISSMA Regionals Competition on Saturday, October 16th. Woodlan will perform at 2pm EST, 1pm CST. Awards will be at 3:45pm EST, 2:45pm CST. I hope you can all come out and support the band and guard! They are doing an amazing job!


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