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Rain and Ponchos and Trophies OH MY

Competition season began with a cold, wet bang at Bluffton last Saturday. The band assembled at school at 8am, ready for a bit of practice before the first competition of 2018. They were inside. They were outside. The Spirit of Woodlan tried to polish parts one and two of their show The Witching Hour so it would shine on the field.

Nerves and excitement ran amok through the minds of these musicians. The day had finally arrived!

Very little sound crawled through the girls’ bus on the way as they listened to music, chatted quietly, or huddled under blankets. The rain fell outside the windows, little drops of frustration, waiting to try to test the marching band’s determination, their spirit.

The energy shifted when we arrived, it zipped to life. Those who faced their first competition, those who faced their second or third…or fourth season, suddenly the fact of marching for judges, marching against other bands, became real.

Soon the uniforms came out.

Gloves. Gauntlets. Hats.

The band prepared to do their best. To show our pride. To show our spirit. For we are The Spirit of Woodlan.

The instruments took cover.

And so did the band. Well, most of them. Though they weren’t thrilled with these fluttering plastic things, they put them on. They laughed. They grimaced. They wondered how the heck doing the show in ponchos would work.

But no amount of rain drops could dull the shine. The tiny spheres of water can only add to the glow.

Mr. Slattery stood by, watching. Calm? Maybe. Excited? Maybe. Nervous? Maybe.

Dear Sarah Gunder braved the rain with camera in hand to capture moments. Check out her pics on the FB page! (they are much better than mine taken on my phone)

Looking a bit like ghosts, the band waited in the rain.

Their spirits look dampened…or maybe those are the faces of concentration.

Of determination.

Of excitement…to be there with friends, to be their best, to have fun.

They lined up, ready to go.

And off they went.

People took their seats, the stands full of color, to ward off the rain, as if to scream that nothing can keep us from cheering, from competing.

The Spirit of Woodlan appeared, ponchos and all.

The pit wrapped in plastic. They took the field.The rain couldn’t stop them. The cold an annoyance only.

The audience cheered…W…O…O…D…L…A…N…

What does that spell?


What do we have?


Who are we?


“Drum Major…is your band ready?”

Oh yes, they were.

Rain. What rain? Stupid ponchos. Who cares?

And it began. All the hours of practice. All the work. Time to march.

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

photo by Sarah Gunder

Then it ended…and they walked off the field. And we waited for awards.

photo by Sarah Gunder

Best general effect…best visual…and first place!

Seriously. Best visuals in ponchos and no props? Just think how awesome the performance will be without the fluttering plastic ghosty things and with our amazing towering clocks!

Happy victory!

Enjoy the feeling! Enjoy your moment! For it is just the beginning.

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