Last Saturday, the Spirit of Woodlan played, not for judges, but for the community. The rain drove them inside, and no one cared. They sounded great! The cheering audience rose to their feet, giving the musicians the praise they deserve.
For the Saturday before that, their performance placed them in the top ten in the region.
Now semi-state, where the top twenty bands from Indiana compete to be in the top ten.
I hate semi-state.
Well, maybe I should say that I love when it’s over, when the results are in, when I know one way or another if Lucas Oil Stadium is in the future.
My first year, I had no idea what any of it meant. People kept talking about being in the top ten, gripping pens and the list of bands in shaking hands. Worried frowns creased their faces. We waited. We listened. I thought waiting for awards was bad, but waiting for the announcement of the state qualifiers threatened to suck every ounce of positivity from my soul. The heart-thumping, brain-fogging, nerve fest of semi-state.
This year, we play last, so as the announcer reads the qualifiers in performance order, there better be a few places left when they get to the bottom of the list. Now on my fourth trip to semi-state, you better believe that I’ll be checking the list. Counting. Hoping that tenth band going to state will be the Spirit of Woodlan.
Support at semi-state is so important. I know, it’s a long drive. I know…it’s gonna be cold. I KNOW.
If it is at all possible…put on your Spirit wear, hats, coats, gloves, heck…BRING YOUR SLEEPING BAGS and find a spot in the bleachers this Saturday. CHEER LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER CHEERED BEFORE!
Then wait. Hold each other’s hands. Hold your breath. Hold onto all the hope you can. They have done the work, folded the 1,000 cranes, and deserve to have their wish granted. They deserve to go to ISSMA finals.
I hate semi-state. It all comes down to this performance. I know the heart-break of that semi-state performance being the last one, of having the season end with a strangled gasp. IT SHALL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.
THIS IS IT.
These amazing musicians need support.
Let’s go, Spirit! We believe in your musical powers.
For your enjoyment…a peek at the locker decorations…