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What a Difference a Week Makes!

The Spirit of Woodlan Marching Band and Color Guard has had a very busy, yet very productive week! On Thursday, September 29th, the new tarps arrived just in time for practice that evening. As the evening went on, and the temperature dropped, the students noticed that the tarps became quite slippery. Some even said that the tarps felt like giant Slip ‘n Slides! It was probably a good thing for them to find that out during practice, rather than during a competition!

The first practice with the new tarps - still in square version!


On Friday, September 30th, the students gathered for a practice after school. They were graciously provided dinner by Woodburn Missionary Church. They were served hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, Little Debbie treats, and drinks. What a nice gesture from the community! At the same time, a handful of parents gathered with scissors to cut the tarps into the circular shapes that they were intended to be (to get them to us sooner, the company that produced the tarps sent them uncut). The parents finished cutting the tarps just in time for the students to learn how to fold them in an efficient manner. Then, it was off to change into uniforms! The guard members debuted their brand-new uniforms that also came in this week! It was a big week for shipping!

Parents cutting the tarps into their intended circular shapes!

Mr. Slattery explaining how to fold the tarps efficiently

The students did a great job performing during the home football game versus Culver Academies, including their first performance with the new tarps. It was a chilly evening but they looked great during their performance!

The guard members debuting their new uniforms

After a late night at the football game, the band gathered together the next morning, Saturday, October 1st, at 8 AM for a morning rehearsal. It was rather chilly, but the students did not let it phase them. They worked diligently on their drill. The pit crew members gathered together for practice as well, in order to help the students get all their new props on and off the field. After a quick 30-minute drive, the band arrived at Homestead High School to participate in their annual Fall Festival of Bands. At this competition, Woodlan competed against only Whitko Marching Pride in Class D.

Early morning rehearsals on Saturday

An annual tradition that many of the students enjoy at the Homestead competition is Soup Day. The parents provided a lunch of hot soups, including Vegetable Beef, Chicken and Noodles, Potato, Chicken & Dumpling, and Tomato. Lunch also included ham and turkey sandwiches, chips, brownies, granola bars, and drinks. After lunch, the students got dressed in their uniforms. Because they now have to take only one bus to competitions, the boys started changing in the semi-trailer last week, and most of them say it’s much nicer than trying to change on the bus.

Soup Day!!!

Saturday was a beautiful fall day that was warm in the sun and a little chilly in the shade. It was a very windy day, which made everyone a little nervous when considering flags and the new tarps. The pit crew parents worked to affix heavy chains to the tarps to help weigh them down, but there were not enough chains for the biggest, center tarp. Many of the students and parents came home with sunburns from Saturday, though it was hard to know if they were sunburns or windburns, to be fair!


After warm ups, the band and guard made their way to the performance field. The difference this week in the show was incredible! All of the students’ hard work this week at practices paid off, and they gave an incredible performance! With the new tarps, guard uniforms, and all the extra hard work, the show was fantastic! The strong wind made flag tosses difficult, and it also caused the center tarp to curl up, which created a tripping danger for the students, who fortunately handled it like pros! They did a great job!

After their performance, they changed out of uniforms and loaded the truck. The students sat together to watch the other bands perform until it was time for the awards ceremony. The students sat on the sunny side of the stadium and were quite warm; the spectator side of the stadium was in the shade and got very chilly! As they awaited the awards, there were definitely some nerves, as Whitko had beaten Woodlan last week. At the awards ceremony, Woodlan took first place and all three caption awards (Best Music, Best Visual, and Best General Effect). The students were thrilled with their performance, and it’s always nice when the rankings reflect that! The Spirit of Woodlan made a huge leap in their scores from last week, and their efforts this week really paid off! While it was a nice comeback from the week before, many of the leaders in the band cautioned about not getting too comfortable in their win, but to remember it takes hard work to put on a performance you can be proud of.

It’s back to practice for the kids this week, who will be working hard to clean up their show for the first ISSMA event of the season, an Invitational at Homestead (once again) next Saturday, October 8th. The Spirit of Woodlan will perform at 5:30pm. This week, Woodlan will compete against 6 other bands: Spirit of Triton (4pm), Adams Central Squadron of Sound (4:15pm), Whitko Marching Pride (4:30pm), Elwood Community Panther Band (4:45pm), Taylor Marching Titans (5:00pm), and Alexandria- Monroe Marching Tigers (5:15pm). Awards for Classes D and C are scheduled to be held at 7:30pm. Please come out to support these awesome kids! They are working so hard and would love the support from our community! Hope to see you there!

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