(I have been trying to get this up for a week so the contest was actually two weeks ago by now.)

Well, we are back. Last week was CRAZY.

The band left Tuesday, to the cheers of the entire school. We (Brad and I) left shortly after the band and arrived in the late afternoon in San Antonio, where we met up with my mom, my sister, my brother and his whole family for dinner at Alamo Cafe.  We then hit the sack early as Brad had to meet the field crew downstairs at 7:30AM Wednesday. Mom and I left later, just in time to see the band perform.  At 10:30AM, we took the field in the 5A UIL State Marching Band Competition!!!!

In a speech Mr. Golden (Peter’s band director) gave to the band on Thursday, he talked about that moment when they walked through the tunnel and entered the Alamodome as one of his greatest memories.

For me, the moment I will never forget was at the end of their show, on their very last note, they all look up at the judges with this “I dare you!” look on their faces.  I was overwhelmed with how amazing their performance was – among their best ever for sure – and then I looked over and saw tears rolling down my mom’s face.  It was her first time to see Peter march in person, and it probably wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t made it down to San Antonio.  There’s was just something about seeing my mom love my kid that touched my heart.

We had no doubt we would be among the top 10 bands to make it to the finals.

We were wrong.

There were 5 judges and they scored us in a bunch of categories: our marching, our music, flag corp, drum line, etc.  From these scores, we were given a composite score – again, as per each judge.  That score was compared to the scores that judge gave all the other bands, and then we were ranked in order from 1 to 35. Once all the judges’ ranks were in, they were added together and that number determined where we fell in the prelims.  So I don’t know what the individual scores were, but I do know that the five judges ranked us as follows: 7th place, 12th place, 7th place, 21st place, and 12th place.  Here is a screenshot of the scores from the UIL website:

The long and the short of it was that if we had been ranked four places higher by any one judge, we would have made it into the top ten.  If they had adopted a scoring system where the highest and lowest scores were dropped, we would have made it into the finals.  And if the judge from Harlingen ISD had not ranked us 21st, we would have easily made it into the top ten, and according to Mr. Golden, a lot of sources have told him we would have easily placed in the top 5 in the finals.  But as you can see, we weren’t the only band with one judge who just didn’t like our show keeping us out of the finals.  The band that placed 11th suffered a similar fate.  And when it’s all said and done, placing 12th in the entire state of Texas in class 5A isn’t that bad, especially for a school that opened 8 years ago.

Back to the day of competition…after taking a group picture and after the drum majors were interviewed, the band went to put away their horns and headed back to the buses to change out of their uniforms.  On the way to the buses, we were able to catch Peter for just a second.  And we were able to snap a few pictures.

I love these pictures because of the look of pure joy on Peter’s face, combined with the obvious closeness of my mom and my oldest child.

And despite finding out later that evening that his band wouldn’t progress to the finals, Peter has remained happy with their performance and just glad they made it to the “big show” of marching bands.  The fact that he got to miss three days of school didn’t hurt his mood either.  🙂

Since the contest, things have been slowing down, getting back into a little quieter rhythm.  Last week, there was an article posted on the Frisco ISD website that I felt did a great job of summing up the whole experience.  http://www.friscoisd.org/news/district-headlines/2017/11/16/successful-band-season-brings-music-lovers-together