Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blue Band Officer Week - Days 4-7 & Band Camp: Days 1 & 2

August 17, 2011

17 days - Penn State vs. Indiana State
24 days - Penn State vs. Alabama
31 days - Penn State vs. Temple

It's been awhile since I've had the chance to post - it's been quite a busy past five days.  I can't believe I've already been back in State College for a whole week already.

I'm currently enjoying air conditioning in-between sessions for our prospective rookie marching auditions which have been going quite well so far.  I don't know how their music auditions went, but in just six hours they've come a long way.  To wrap up officer week, for the most part all of the other officers were taking care of their individual duties (Pres., VP, Sec., Treas., Managers, Librarians, etc) - not a whole lot for me to do without "getting in the way" of their processes.  I did finish cleaning all of the performance baritones inside-and-out, so they're ready to go for the season.  The officers had the weekend off, so I spent a great deal of that time either sleeping, out at the Blue Band field doing weighted sprints or mace spinning, or studying the fundamentals booklet to get ready to teach the fundamentals sessions that I've been doing all day today.  I did get the chance to enjoy myself though by going out dancing at Indigo downtown on Saturday night, which was a much needed bit of fun and relaxation before the long week ahead.  It's so easy to get "locked in" to doing a job and forget to take a few steps back to do something for enjoyment or stress-relief.  I make sure I take some time every day to do that - however short that time may be.  Sunday some of the officers and I made a trip out to Altoona for lunch at one of the manager's houses and then we went to the Pennsylvania railroad museum for the afternoon, which surprisingly was a really interesting experience.  I had no clue there was any significant history in Altoona.

Yesterday and today have consisted of getting all of our rookies registered, oriented, music auditioned, and prepared informatively, which is an extremely long and hectic process, but we (the officers) pulled it off well this year... everything has run quite smoothly so far, to all of our relief.  Leadership training with all of our guides went well yesterday and they've done a great job providing constructive criticism and feedback to all of the rookies auditioning today.

We started around 8:30am today, finally getting the opportunity to debut the new Blue Band warmup/stretch sequence for this season, and I was quite pleased with the feedback that I got from people.  Of course some people are going to have to warm up to them (no pun intended) after doing things "one way" for the previous 5+ years, but I think it's a very welcome change and it does a significantly better job of preparing everyone for the high physical demands of marching the Blue Band's high step. 

So it's about 5:30pm right now (on Wednesday)... what's left for today consists of a returnee meeting at 6:30pm for all band members, which is pretty much going over the same info about the season that the rookies got last night, so I probably won't be at the meeting for the entire time.  I plan on doing a flip or two before the night session begins depending on how tired I feel when I get back out there.  I've been keeping statistics since the end of last season and out of 54 flips I've only missed one due to uneven ground in my yard, so, to say the least I'm feeling quite confident.  I even managed to drop a bed frame onto my second largest toe on my right foot two days ago, turning it into some odd shade of blue (my guess is that I broke it), and still managed to land one cleanly while practicing yesterday.  Sorry for digressing.  After the meeting and possible flips is the final rookie marching session, where we will review all of the marching fundamentals, then break off and have all of the rookies march in front of the band staff as they determine this year's cuts.  Around 10pm they will be brought into a block, and at that point Dr. Bundy will announce who will be coming back for band camp starting tomorrow at 8:30am.  It's tough seeing some capable marchers go, but it has to happen in order to
 make the best band that we can.

Bit of a short post today - I didn't want to spend all of my free time on this.  My mind needs a break after commanding a block and teaching ~150 people how to march (did I mention the sunburn?)

Here's a random assortment of photos from the past few days that I ether took or found on the web:

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading.

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