We were on a band competition trip this past weekend. The kids marched better than they ever have. They played really well - the music was terrific! The kids came off the field proud of what they accomplished.
We stayed for the awards ceremony later that evening. Our two drum majors were on the field to receive the trophy. The kids got second place, but scored 5 points higher than last week - which is unbelievable!! They also got the award for best music! This is nothing to sneeze at. When they called our school's name, the kids went crazy - They hooted and hollered and cheered!
When the drum majors got back to the bus, they were upset and wouldn't smile. They wanted first place - who doesn't? They refused to smile for the picture. I can't submit two puss faces with a trophy to the paper. The Assistant Director gave them a quick pep talk, but by then, it was too late. They refused to bring the trophy onto the bus and handed it to the Color Guard Coach. Later, after they had changed, there were tears.
In my world, there is nothing wrong with 2nd place. Their Band Director brings them to these competitions for them to learn - not to walk away with first place. He really and truly doesn't care if they win or lose, but that they work as a team, have fun, and make music together. The bands are judged - scores are given based on someone's opinion. It's the luck of the draw really... So, today they liked someone else (one point better) - so be it. I was a bit disappointed in the DM's... If you aren't proud of what your team accomplished - no matter how you are judged - your priorities are messed up -- and you shouldn't be wearing that red plume.
I can honestly say that my DM was never ever disappointed in our efforts. We didn't compete, but we traveled with the football team and played the show every week for 10 weeks - some schools we played had bands 3 times the size of ours and could literally blow us off the field. He told us we were the best band even when we knew we weren't. He told us our music was beautiful even when we knew we'd messed up. He was our biggest cheerleader... and we believed every word he said.
They have one more competition in 2 weeks. I can't go to that one, as I'll be doing handbell stuff. I certainly hope the DM's pull it together and decide that, no matter how they place, the kids on the field have done their very best.
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