Posted by: Hope | September 16, 2007

Band Competition Uno

The season for marching band competition began last night! We scored a 51.1 which isn’t “terrific” but I was content with it I guess. I was expecting low to mid 50’s. Some crazy people in my band were wanting like 60-70. I just kinda had to laugh at them for even expecting that. We’re decent, and better than we ever used to be, but damn…we aren’t gods. I attend Carman-Ainsworth High School, by the way. Last night we went up against a few of the states top bands and it definitely showed. Plymouth Canton dominated over everyone (of course) and took first place winning all three awards- best marching, best music, and best visual effects. My marching band has never been all that great and what I would give to have that feeling, emotion, experience of winning that. I am willing to bet I would cry if that happened. I mean, all of that hard work and dedication paying off like that?? Ahh man…the emotions that would come from that!!

It does make me wonder though…what’s the difference between them and us? Why can’t we do that? Why are they so much better than almost everyone in the entire state (actually, they are the best in the state, and have been for as long as I’ve been marching). But what is the difference between us? What is hindering us from accomplishing that? I would like to watch some of their practices, and strategies in everything to see the differences.  It keeps me wondering, “why are they so much better?” I mean, you can’t say that its because of the players, obviously something coaching wise is doing it. I mean, they’ve been great for years…and well…students change, grow up, and graduate. So what is it? You can look at this situation in almost all sports… I mean, look at the NFL. Why are the Colts, Broncos, Patriots always a good team? (ok, broncos not always…but a fan!) Compared to the crappy-ness of the Lions. I mean, whats the difference between them and us? Both teams DO have very talented players, but yet, the Lions always suck. Why? Why is it that certain teams are the under dog no matter what?

Anyways, with all of that said….I’m proud of our band. Sure, we are competing against other schools, and sure we always seem to lose. But, we keep improving over the years. My freshman year we truly did suck. We scored in the 40’s almost every time, which is pathetic. We were totally inconsistent and it was so frustrating.  My sophomore year we had a huge leap of talent because we switched to where competition marching band was not required and was a sign-up, extra curricular activity that only the committed joined. People were there because they wanted to be, and because of that switch we jumped up to getting 50’s and our high score was 61.something. Might not sound all that great, but thats good for us, and we took GREAT pride in that and still do. And this year, my junior year we started off our season good, and with pride in our final score. We came in last place, but we were content with having gotten that 51 because we expected that. We almost came in second to last, we lost to them by .8! So am I being critical of our score, of where we are, and where i wanna be? Well, yes…and no. I’m proud of this group especially considering (at least) 75% of them are ROOKIES, or underclassmen. It’s a new group, and we are doing great. But, we could do better. That’s all I’m saying I guess. I’ll see if I can put a video up of our show sometime soon.

Thanks for reading my ramble.



  1. Hi There,

    I’m a band mom from Plymouth-Canton. I enjoyed your blog. (I have a google alert on Plymouth-Canton.) After reading your post, I felt compelled to assist in answering some of the many questions you posted.

    The PCMB practices ALOT. Yes, the instruction is the best around. And you are right, the kids grow up and change, but they consistently do well. I believe a lot has to do with the number of hours the kids practice.

    My kid is a sophmore, and yes its an awesome feeling to see them perform. All the kids did great from all the bands Saturday night. It was a great show.

    Good luck with your music!

    PCMB Band Mom

  2. Not sure if you’ll be checking back here to respond to this, but I figured I would reply to you.

    Thank you first off for replying with that, I appreciate that. However, I’d like to ask how many days a week you guys practice and how many hours that is? When do you guys start practicing? Like, when do you go to band camp, etc.?

    Thank you,

  3. I just came upon your website and have enjoyed reading. In regards to your question about how often PCMB practices – their practice schedule looks like this:

    During the summer time there is a lot of practice going on – they have camp weeks where they stay a good 10 hours a day at the school practicing. They also go to an away camp where again, their practice days are typically 12 hours a day – the away camp typically takes place in August. Once school starts that’s when the major practicing begins . They practice every day when school gets out until about 6:00 p.m. When they do not have a competition, they have practices on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00-9:00 p.m. Whenever there is a half day, they stay at school and practice until 4:00-5:00. As you can see, there is definitely a lot of practicing going on. I’ve heard from other marching band students at other schools that they don’t practice nearly as often. Even on competition days – the PCMB usually meets at 8:00 a.m. and will practice the entire day until time to leave for the competition.

    I must say that I am impressed with many of the marching bands that compete. They are all good bands. PCMB might stand out more partially because of their size but I do believe that the amount of time spent practicing and the discipline involved definitely is a huge factor.

    :o) Best wishes to you and your Band!

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