Well, I’m done with contest!
end of story.
Just kidding. 😀
First, I had a real hard time falling asleep last night. I just couldn’t get the music out of my mind. I turned on the Light Classical station of my Digital Cable service and set the sleep and it worked. I got my band music out of my mind and relaxed enough to fall asleep. Full nights sleep and no wierd dreams – a big blessing the night before the big contest.
Today was a good day. We all stayed really calm and most everything I had to deal with (not just contest) went really smoothly. In other words, the kids kept all their questions (good ones as well as potentially stupid ones) to themselves (or another director). The Orchestra also got off okay to New York so that always is helpful in keeping a day light in stress. So, rehearsal was fairly easy – I didn’t ask the kids to do too much. We went through the recording of the last rehearsal and procedures of the day and I sent them off to their next class. I took care of a few personal errands and avoided the next band, of whom a lot of kids didn’t realize or care to think about my taking a band to contest so that was also good.
My kids came back, loaded the truck and I said a few last instructions and away we went. They were so well behaved the entire way and it was fun travelling with them. We joked a bit and kept the energy very light, despite any stress any of us felt. (YAY!!!) Of the entire process, that may have been one of the most difficult parts of the day…no, it wasn’t. That was sightreading.
We got to Georgetown with no problems only to find that Westlake (coming from way South Austin) had gotten behind a wreck or something on Mopac so we had to wait for them to get there before we could proceed with the contest. The band that was before us but after Westlake decided that they wanted to be nice and wait for Westlake to get there. They had just decided to not wait any longer when guess who pulls up in the parking lot. That kinda sucked – having to “hurry” to get there then sit and wait for 30+ minutes…but again, my kids handled it like champs. It does wear a group down, just waiting, though.
Finally, we got into the warm up room. We had a fantastic monitor, too. She was cute – kept reminding me to breathe and wishing us luck. We had a very smoothe (and again, well behaved) warm up time. We moved to the concert stage. They got settled nicely and away we went. From where I stood, there were some wonderful parts of pieces that had obviously been their best playing so far. There were also parts that were blips and blemishes that had never happened before but the recovery was beautiful! Coming off the stage, they talked about their blips and blemishes more than their beautiful parts but I think they were really proud of themselves. I know I was and am very proud of them.
Now, sightreading…it’s a monster of a piece. For about the past 7-10 years, they’ve been using pieces composed just for sightreading because so many bands were coming across pieces that they had seen before (which would negate the term “sightreading”) when they were using pieces published for concert performances. There are specific things composers are asked to incorporate in their work so most pieces follow a very systematic pattern that is fairly easy to predict. Not this one! It was quite a beast and my kids did a good job at following as many things as they could catch along the way. Again, a scary situation survived = a very proud band director.
So, our scores…
3 judges in each room.
Each judge could give us between 1-5, 1 being “Superior”.
Each judge in each room gave us a 3, which is categorized as “Good”.
The comments that I’ve read through have pretty much told me what I already know we still need to work on. Do I agree with the number they gave us? Maybe not…for the kids sake…but it’s just a number.
And, MANY bands were in the same place today; even the ones that usually get better numbers. That’s always reassuring – I’m right in the pack with the “big boys”…or just boys.
I also talked for quite a bit with my high school band director tonight. He called to find out my results and he said that I certainly am on the right track with the band and to call him for help or a clinic anytime…but book him early in the season. How cool is that? He really is one of the people that I admire and one of the big reasons I decided to become a band director.
All in all, I’m going to sum up with:
YAY, I’M DONE!!!!
Now, end of story. Good night. 🙂