EDITOR’S 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 Competition.
Today was a huge day for us. We were finally going to learn the last movement of our show!
Our goal is to have our entire show done by Oct. 5, the day of our first contest. At this rate, we have a very strong chance of achieving this monumental task.
We set up the end of “Movement 4” and began the drill learning process.
This rehearsal was perplexing, to say the least. It was difficult to isolate each move because every section of the field was doing something different. The level of focus vacillated every minute.
After learning three pages of drill, we called it a day.
During all of the band classes, the different bands went outside and chalked down their drill sets. By pre-learning our spots, we could come out at 5:30 and just rep what we already learned during class.
Because of this new method of drill teaching, the band was on their A-game after school. Everything went very smoothly when we reviewed the pages we had already with the entire band.
There was also a new addition to the field. Eleven 8-foot trees dotted the field, furthering the illusion of a mystical forest. These trees were mounted on wheeled platforms that will be transported around the field by our visual cast members.
We extended rehearsal by 30 minutes so that we could have more time to rep the show and do production runs in the stadium.
A lot of great things are happening on the field and the energy keeps getting better and better.
We did the same thing during class today as we did on Tuesday. All of the band classes came out to learn more of the show.
At 4:15, the entire band came out and set up the Charmer Block. We did our halftime routine with the Charmers a few times and then shifted gears back to our marching show.
At this point the band knows half of the “5th Movement,” but now it is a matter of gluing the three different band classes together so that we perform the latest addition to the show as an ensemble.
We polished the show and did some fine-tuning before we began production runs.
After running major chunks of the show, we set up for our final run of the night. During this final run, something special happened. The band played as if we were champions.
There was a showmanship and sense of pride that had been absent until tonight. After an electrifying pep talk from Mr. Armstrong, the band parted ways with a buzz that only comes from leaving your heart on the field.
We began our rehearsal in the Charmer block to tweak the beginning of the halftime routine and to get our sound going.
After playing a couple of stand tunes, it was clear that the band was not 100 percent focused.
Mr. Armstrong reminded the band that if we can’t take our stand tunes seriously, then we won’t take our marching show seriously.
We then set up for production runs, working backwards in the show. After cleaning some feet and getting more sound on the field, we were dismissed from practice.
After such a successful week of practice, the band was ready to light the stadium on fire.
The question Mr. Armstrong asked after every rep this week was, “Is that what you wanted me to see?” This reminded the band that every step we take and every note we play has to be the result of a conscious effort of greatness.
With that mindset, we took to the field and performed with purpose.
After we left the field, the band huddled up and Mr. Armstrong asked us to indicate our personal performance with thumbs up or thumbs down.
The number of thumbs up tonight proved that the band is finally on their way to doing something memorable.