State Weekend

Every Tennessee and Alabama fan knows what happens on the third Saturday in October. And every Tennessee Division 1 band member, director, staff member, and alumnus knows what happens on the fourth Saturday in October. The famous Division 1 State Marching Band Championship.

As is my custom, I make a whole weekend out of the event. I compare it to the excitement I feel when I go to a UT game. In that I leave on Friday and don’t come back til Sunday. My dear friend KailynMarieLovelace was gracious enough to let me and my brother stay in her apartment while we were there. We got to hang out with her and Marla (whose album, “Ready for the Rain,” is now on iTunes…GO FORTH AND BUY!) that evening and had such a good time. I showed up early Saturday morning (even though AHS didn’t perform until 4:45) so I could watch the whole thing. Not having gone to any band competitions this year, I was suffering some big withdrawals. As cold as it was, I had such a great time hanging out with old friends, watching the bands, and taking on the role of cheerleader for the AHS Band.

To our disappointment, we came in 2nd this year by 0.65 points to Cascade High School. The top two in the state is a great accomplishment for anyone (we’ve been in the top 2 since 2004). But after winning three years in a row by a decent margin, anything less than first has become a heartbreaker. However, the band kids did their best to keep their heads up. I was so proud of their performance, especially my girls in the front ensemble who started their band career with me in 2008. They did so well. I never would have predicted that they would be as great as they were. I have to come back to State next year for their senior year.

I so much enjoyed spending time with Kailyn, Hunter, and Jessica while I was there. We pretty much hung out the entire day, getting closer than ever to share body heat! I kid you not, it was no warmer than 55 degrees the entire day. The wind did not help matters at all. We took off during the dinner break to grab Zaxby’s and more clothes and blankets. Jessica was gracious enough to let me put on a pair of her sweatpants over my jeans and apply another pair of socks to keep my feet warm.

I’m also very proud of Anna Cooper, Adamsville’s new drum major. She scored first place FC in preliminaries and second place FC in finals! Not bad for your first year, huh? She’s also one of those band kids that started her career with me in the front ensemble 🙂

You did great kids. I am one proud alumnus 🙂


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