May 16, 2007

State Band Championships

Last Saturday was the 2007 OSAA State Band Championships. Let's get the nitty-gritty out of the way first: We got 6th place out of 20 schools. Now for the good stuff!

Nintendo DS
Yep, just like I said in the last post, Nintendo DS was designed for bus rides. MarioKart FTW!

Jake's Music "Issue"
State this year was at Oregon State University, and my friend Jake just so happened to be there for a state math competition in the morning. Apparently his music never made it. That was quite the shocking moment when he walked up to our director and said "Mr. Howard, I have no music." Jake is our lead trombone player. No music is a BAD thing! Everybody entered survival/problem solving mode. It was decided that with an extra second trombone part and a score that Jake could quickly write out his music, or at least the key parts, in the half hour we had before our performance. All the trombone players rushed off with scores and began the frantic transcription. Luckily, our favorite people in the world were there. . . Reporters! Reporters are the bane of the band member's existence. We hate them! They are constantly in the way, asking us about if we think we'll win, and taking flash photography at inopportune times. Thank God they found Jake during his moment of crisis. Luckily, nobody told them what was actually happening, so the story they ran looked like this:

A Sprague High School band member makes some last minute notes on his music sheets before the band performs at the OSAA 2007 6A Band State Championships at Oregon State University on Saturday May 12, 2007

My favorite part of the picture is Kevin with his hand over his mouth thinking "Oh My God, What Are We Going To DO!?!?!?"

Luckily it turned out alright and Jake did great, even though half of his performance was muscle memory.

The Performance
Our performance sounded absolutely Amazing! I have the recording of it, I will work on getting it uploaded and will post a new entry when they are available. We played so well that a 6th place finish, honestly, didn't bother us at all. We knew that we sounded just as amazing as any professional recording we had, and that was enough. There was an issue with a jealous saxophone player who thought he was too important to listen to our band director, but we'll skip that story (it'll turn into a long rant). Let's just say, it's the same saxophone player in this post. Here are some candids of us in warm up and on stage!

Sight Reading
The thing that a lot of people don't know about band championships is that the performance on stage is only half the battle. After exiting the performance hall we head directly into a small room where we are handed a brand new piece of music and then play it. We are then judged on how well we can just pick up a piece and read it. Let's just say, sight reading wasn't good this year. We, um, scored quite badly, which contributed to our 6th place A LOT. Meh, whatever, it happens.

Panda Express Part Two:
After our performance we went to, you guessed it, Panda Express, where we got even more fortune cookies. Just like last time, simply add the words "in bed" to the end of each fortune to laugh (a lot).

-You will live a long and prosperous life
-Do not let your instincts run right over your reason
-Accept the next proposition you receive
-You will soon change your present line of work
-You are a fun-loving person and will find much happiness
-You will be successful in your career
-You have an ability to sense and know higher truth
-You savor the challenge of satisfying your high goals
-Get to the nitty-gritty of things in all dealings
-You have an ambitious nature and will make a name for yourself
-A wish will be granted after a long delay

And now, for the funniest one ever:

-You could prosper in the field of wacky inventions

Strange Games
A bunch of people left early to go to prom, but about 10 of us stayed for awards. To kill the several hours before awards, we developed some fun time-passing activities out in the courtyard. One consisted of walking and then just freezing in a strange position as people walked by. Another consisted of pointing and insisting that there was something in a tree, convincing everybody around you to look.

There was a short-ish wall in the courtyard that provided some fun as well. If you perch on the corner you can pretend to be a gargoyle! Also, if you stand on one side of the wall and put your arms behind your back, somebody can stand behind you and stick their arms through yours. That way, the person with their arms behind their back can talk, but the other person is the arms. Apparently I tell good jokes or something, and I had a good hands-partner, because the laughing was uproarious. Good times at the band concert! We all felt VERY mature!

It's tradition that the seniors go up on stage to get the trophy. Before awards, the 4 seniors that were still there planned our approach to the stage. We had this very elaborate plan that, alas, wasn't afforded with a 6th place finish.

While the first place band was on stage, celebrating, we started to leave the auditorium, when we heard the announcer come onto the microphone. He was holding a stool.

"This stool belongs to Sprague High School. If we could have a representative from Sprague please come up and get the stool, that would be great!"

The seniors looked at each other: "YES! WE WON SOMETHING!!!" We all ran against the flow of people to get to the stage, cheering and screaming the whole way. People patted us on the back and congratulated us. When we got to the stage we shoved our way through the winning band to the stool. We grabbed it and held it above our heads, high-fiving each other and jumping up and down. The audience cheered for us and they took our picture. Then we ran out of the auditorium, cheering the whole way. We love that stool, we were so proud! Here are the seniors with our stool. . .

We rock.

After all of this excitement we finally had to head back home. More Nintendo DS, but I also managed choke on some bottled water and almost died. That's not really an exciting story, so I'll skip it. In the end, I had so much fun at State, it was worth not going back for Prom. Yes, Prom conflicted with State, but it worked out in the end.


Anne said...


heh good times.

I have pictures on my phone from the courtyard ... but i dunno how to get them off.

so anyways yea.


Anonymous said...

Hah, our prom was the day of the (Washington) state math contest. We had a picnic in the hall of the hotel and had fun with the messages on Dove chocolate wrappers...

Bekah said...

you forgot about Mr. Raschkes' cell phone going off during our warm up! Oh man... that was probably the greatest moment of the day.

Mary said...

MICHAEL! Don't you see? Only by accepting the past can you alter it!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post...ah, band! lol My (band) friends and I love the fortune cookie game too. My last fortune cookie said "You will come into a large fortune", so of course everyone had fun adding the appropriate (or inappropriate, rather) ending to it.

Also, people must take band pretty seriously out there on the west coast...there have never been reporters at our state band competitions. The idea of reporters hanging out at band is pretty amusing.

Anonymous said...