Tuesday, October 03, 2006


My daughter Aubree' plays the flute. She is 17 and a Senior in High School. The Band consists of 260 kids and they have earned a reputation Nationally. Thats all well and good, but what I want you all to know is that what the program, the Director, and his staff have done for my Daughter I could not have done using a million words.
I went to the Bell Band Pizzafest Fundraiser on Friday
Night. They had Raffle tickets and a Silent Auction. The child's mother, Shila, said she
bid on something for me but would not say what...

I bid on some Photographs from the Grand Nationals in Indianapolis last year. They had placed 3rd out of the 120 bands represented. I also bought some raffle tickets for a Dallas Stars Hockey Jersey signed by Modano. If I had won, I would have sent it to my nephew Davy. He is so nuts on hockey, he has a piece of Plexiglass on the back porch and fires shots into a Rubbermaid trash can with a hole cut in it.
I bid on a Unicycle. I think I'd look good on a unicycle.

The Pizza is set up in the Gymnasium. It is a raucous affair, people on the floor eating, and in the stands waiting for the show to start. Actually the show has already begun. Before the Bell band plays, two area Junior High Bands have been invited to entertain us as we eat and the auction takes place.
They are doing the best they can to play "Smoke on the Water" and "Joy to the World".
The Cheerleading Squads are fired up and all the kids are dancing to  "Ice Ice Baby".

The excitement builds as the Bell Band files in. The percussion section is huge, with Bells and Marimbas and Xylophone's and all types of drums. The Drumline is set up on the floor with the rest of the band in the pull out bleachers. It is LOUD and the House is a Rockin'.

I'm sitting in the stands of the Gym with 500 other people and Shila.
The Band plays through the program they are taking to the Grand Nationals this year. It is called "The Remaining". http://theremaining.org/

Suddenly, I hear my name over the Public Address.
Shila has won her bid!
The bid was for the Honor of leading the Band in the ol' School Fight Song. They need me to direct! I race to the front, struttin' and doing a little dance.

I locate Aubree' in the stands; she has turned Lobster red.
I climb to the top of the podium, its like a stepladder the Director directs from. The Band Director hands me a little baton, and whispers "Do you know how to keep time?"
"Sure I do Boss!"
I lied. I had no idea what to do.
But, these kids are well trained. I bet they can play the Fight Song without any help from me.

I turn to the Audience and do my best Slow Motion Drill Sergeant salute which starts at the knees (when the real Sergeants do it, its pretty cool looking and every band has their own Salute) and finishes with a gesture like a truck Driver blowing his horn.
Very cool.
I needed gloves and a hat.
I turn back to the Band, tap the little baton on the podium rail,  and yell  "uh-one an'a two an' AWAY WE GO"!
The crowd goes WILD!
The judges give me..........ALL TENS!

The band plays the fight song while I do the "Monkey", the "Pony", "The Freak Show on the Dance Floor " and some other stuff I just made up, right there in the middle of the gym and 500 screaming band parents.

I told Aubree' after the show that they sounded a little
weak on the Fight Song and she said it was because 2/3 of the Band was laughing at me
so hard they could not play.
Oh, we are going to have so much fun this year!


Barbara said...

She was probably inwardly high-fiving you even though she had to appear embarrassed. You sound like a one-man show!

Mother of Invention said...

That's too funny! You sound a bit like my father..we spent 1/2 our lives being embarrassed at his antics!
I played trombone in our high school band and dance band but they didn't make a fraction of the big deal and support you guys do. You have a lot more spirit and support for college sports etc. too

GrizzBabe said...

Oh, you wouldn't be a good dad if you didn't embarrass your daughter every once in a while. Keeps 'em on their toes.

Barbara said...

As for The Benefit of Mr. Kite, did that originate in the Beatles song on the Sargeant Pepper album? Or is there something more to it? Does anyone know?

steve said...

She says I am "playful" and tells people 'sometimes he's really funny but other times he's just embarrassing".
I try to have fun and am generally unapologetic about it.
Mr. Kite is fromm Sgt Pepper, Barb, and advertises a circus-like atmosphere that I love.

Old Lady said...

Show off! Did you get video or is it on the link?

kissyface said...

Smoke on the Water? They are teaching Deep Purple in junior high band? AMAZING. I also find it funny, because Zappa is mentioned in that song, and you have a "mother of invention" posting here.

any chance there is video of your dance? put it up!

speaking of embarassing kids - i once read an article of Dave Barry's where he recounted being approached by Oscar Mayer. seems they wanted to offer him use of the weiner car. how could he refuse that? so of course he picked his thirteen(ish)-year-old son up from school. the other kids thought it was cool; the boy was mortified.

steve said...

We high five a lot.
I used to play the trombone!
Thank you guys for the comments. This is a huge deal for her and I am living so vicariously through it! I plan to do a lot of posts about her Season... I wish I had started this for her two years ago.