EDITORíS NOTE: Sara Rundgren is a senior member of the nationally-recognized Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band. Playing flute, she is chronicling the marching band during the 2013 season in their bid to return to the Texas UIL State Marching Band Contest.
As the band begins to trickle down to the practice field before our 5:30 p.m. practice, an ominous dark cloud looms over us.
One by one, small beads of precious water begin to descend down. An inkling of hope that our marching rehearsal will be graced with some cool rain turns into pure elation as the dark clouds begin to hammer down on us.
As the torrents pour down, everyone scurries around the field like ants, frantically putting away instruments and getting personal belongings out of the rain.
Once everything is put away, we run onto the field and dance with jubilation in the much-needed rain. Everyone is hoping the same thing: maybe practice will be canceled!
Alas, these optimistic hopes are crushed as 5:29 p.m. approaches and the rain abruptly stops with an antagonizing final raindrop.
It is a firm belief that Mr. Armstrong controls the weather.
We set up the warm-up block and begin with fundamentals. It is obvious in our marching that everyone is still upset about the vacillating weather. After a firm scolding from Mr. Armstrong, we quickly retreat from our lackadaisical marching and put on our game faces.
Our chalk markings that dictate where we should be at the end of each move have vanished with the rain, so the drill process requires a lot of mental effort to remember each destination.
As 7 p.m. approaches, we migrate to the stadium for the remainder of rehearsal. Our sound in the confinement of Lumpkins Stadium is magnified and the plush turf under our feet helps to put us in the mindset as if we are performing in the Alamo dome as 8 p.m. rolls around and a long day has come to a tired close.
The only thing that is on my mind as I stand outside at 4:15 p.m. awaiting rehearsal is that it should be illegal for the sun to be so hot.
Itís been a long day of school and I am dreading being in this outdoor sauna for the next 2-and-a-half hours. Iíve been standing outside for 2 minutes and I can already feel the beads of sweat culminating on me. But I remind myself that every drop of perspiration will be worth it when we embark for the State Marching Contest in November.
The Cherokee Charmers accompany us for the first part of rehearsal as we run the halftime performance for tomorrow nightís football game against Midlothian.
The heat is too much to handle for some people and they hobble off of the field and into the air-conditioned multi-purpose center.
As the rest of us stand outside playing stand tunes, it is brought to Mr. Armstrongís attention that not everyone has their flip folder. He banishes them from the field and has them stand motionless on the sideline. A lesson to all: Always have your supplies.
The attitudes on the field are slow and tired, muscles and brains melting in the sun.
After some threatening remarks from Mr. Armstrong, we forget about the heat and move on to the marching show. We review what weíve already learned and begin to learn new drill.
Mr. Armstrong conditions the band from being lazy or fidgeting between sets by physical exercise. After series of push ups, sit ups and jump squats (known to the band as Burpees), we finally begin to get some work done.
We do a final run through of the show and at 6:45 the band is dismissed, except for the leaders. Mr. Armstrong calls an unplanned leadership meeting. In this 15-minute span we discuss different methods in preventing another unfocused rehearsal like today from ever happening again.
After a night of rejuvenating rest, its time to begin the day with a 7 a.m. rehearsal.
The attitudes from yesterday have disappeared, leaving a determined aura in its place.
This morning we run the halftime performance in preparation for tonight. With the limited time for rehearsal before school starts, we make the most out of our 55 minutes.
After a run through of the show, we end the rehearsal, pumped about our first home game of the football season!
We play ďGet Ready For ThisĒ for the Charmers as they dance their palm routine.
Although we have learned half way through Movement 3 of our marching show, we only march through the second movement. We still need time to polish the new addition to our routine.
At the end of the performance, the sweaty bodies stride off the field, proud of what they have left behind.