Friday, August 12, 2011

Blue Band Officer Week: Days 1 - 3

August 12, 2011

  4 days - Blue Band Marching Auditions/Band Camp Begins
22 days - Penn State vs. Indiana State
29 days - Penn State vs. Alabama
36 days - Penn State vs. Temple

So much for that "daily posting" thing - it's been a significantly busier last four days than I was anticipating... but I've found a few spare minutes this morning as I sit in the lobby of the Blue Band Building looking out upon our field, Beaver Stadium, and the BJC, imagining the scene here in only 22 days.  

It's been a great week - preparations for the season are in full swing.  All of the officers have been taking care of their individual duties for the past few days, and I've been helping out where I can, mostly cleaning baritone horns and running small errands here and there... my job doesn't start until next week when all of the prospective rookies arrive.

My week started off with moving back into State College, waking up at 6:00am (with a large coffee), packing the cars and then driving three hours in the rain, unpacking my belongings into Eastview Terrace, and then finally getting back to the Blue Band Building.  What a great moment.  Our officer week started with our traditional retreat on Tuesday night in Port Matilda.  It was great bonding time, and a chance to ease back into being in the area and getting in the last bit of relaxation before the busy week begins.  We played some icebreaker-type games, made a campfire, cooked a huge dinner, and still managed to get a good night's rest.

Wednesday we had our first official meeting where we went over what needs to get done this week, and to be completely honest I spent the rest of the day cleaning baritone horns, which involves taking the entire thing apart, re-greasing all the slides, re-oiling valves, flushing it out with water, testing it once it's reassembled, removing dents, then logging all of the instrument information.  After that we went out to The Deli for dinner for my 21st birthday, since we couldn't go out the night before due to the retreat.  As a true lover of the city of Boston, I went with Sam Adams Boston Lager for my first legal drink, and they surprised me with birthday cake after that (see photo album at the bottom).  After that, we spent the rest of the night at Cafe 210, and I was blown away by the amount of friends that showed up that.  I had such a great time... hopefully a sign of how this semester is going to go.  Being one of the last people in my group of friends to turn 21 has really sucked (for a lack of a better word) for the past year, so simply being able to go out means the world to me.

Thursday I spent a lot of the day cleaning baritone horns like the day before, before totally tweaking my neck trying to throw a baseball about 250 feet as we took turns taking "batting practice" in the band field (including Dr. Bundy himself - see the photo album at the bottom)  That certainly made turning my head and sleeping a fun task.  It feels a little better today, but it's still stiff and stings when I turn it.  Good thing I've got a few days before I have to do anything. 

Today, as soon as I post this, I'll be trying on the DM uniform with the new additions and seeing how it looks.  Then I plan on cleaning the remainder of the baritone horns, doing some mace work, then going out to lunch with the managers and the band's volunteer assistant who does instrument repair.  Since I'm going to be the manager for the Fall Athletic Band (women's volleyball band) this year, he offered to take me as well.  I'll spend the afternoon studying fundamentals and preparing to do some dry runs of the band's new warmup sequence to see how feasible it is when done along with this year's show music (disclaimer: no, I'm not going to "leak" any of the themes/songs here until the week of the show, sorry!).  If the music doesn't work for a particular week, I'll have to start accumulating a backup list of any-purpose tunes to use.  After that, I'll be doing sprints and ab work outside on the band field, more mace work, and then once Dr. Bundy gets here, I'll be checking off music for Sousaphone so I can be an additional guide for that section this year. 

This weekend we don't have any responsibilities with band preparation so we'll have the weekend off to relax, go out, sleep in, and in my case, I'm going to be turning up my preparations/work to make sure that I'm flawless next week starting with the guide/student leader training on Monday.

Enjoy this photo album of the past few days - you just need to click on the picture that's displayed in order to view the rest of them.

I'll try to be better about posting daily from here on.   Next week will be quite tough balancing getting settled into my apartment along with band camp, then tack photoshoots and errands on top of that and things get intense.

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading.

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