September 20, 2011
This past Saturday I got my first chance to be a roadie. For marching band, they actually call it the pit crew, but it is the same dealio.
As you know, my son plays drums, more specifically quads, in the local high school marching band. As a freshman, he is new to all things band competition. As his parents, Beth and I are new to being band parents. Therefore, when someone said I or we should help with the pit crew and said how fun it was and how great the food was, I was in. Did I mention that they mentioned food? That usually gets me unless they also mention Fear Factor.
So here is how the days goes for a band parent/pit crew member.
Show up at 1:00 with 3 pounds of ham. This was not a requirement for everyone as that would make for a rather boring buffet. That is what we signed up for.
Load band equipment onto trucks for 90 minutes. This includes the bell kits/xylophone looking things, the brass instruments, the drums, and the uniforms and such.
Drive 90 minutes to Circleville, Ohio.
Unload all things band from the two trucks.
Eat sandwiches and side dishes prepared by band parents. Yum.
Carry and guide percussion instruments to the field. This is the interesting part as the rest is mostly fun grunt labor.
As members of the pit crew you have to take your specific instrument (the gong for me) out of the trailer and place it in its specific location where the pit will be using it. HOWEVER, if you set one foot on the field, your band loses points. This was very good information to have as I could have easily seen myself turning my backside the wrong way to place my gong and dangling onto the field. Yikes. (Taken out of context, that is a weird sentence).
Then the band performed and then we scurried to remove the pit and skedaddle. If the performance plus set up/take down time surpasses 15 minutes, you are once again penalized. We made it.
And, before you think this post is all about me and my pit crew performance, here are the results the band achieved at their first performance of the year:
First Place Band, Class B
Best Overall Color Guard, Class B and C
Best Overall Music, Class B and C
Best Overall General Effect, Class B and C
Class B and C Grand Champion
Best Percussion (CJ, the drum line, and the pit rocked the house)-they tied another Class AA band for the best score out of 21 bands.
They also received a Superior rating which has qualified them for state.
If some of this is confusing to you, welcome to the club. I am starting to understand some of it, but the end result is that they brought home 6 trophies and did fantastic especially considering this was their first competition of the year.
Congrats to the Marching Mustangs!!
After the awards, we drove home and unloaded the trucks again and then got to our own home around 1am. It was exhilarating. Can't wait to do it again.
Now, if I can just find some liniment for my aching biceps.