Today's guest post is from Larry Harper, Jr. Thank you, Larry for allowing us to share your thoughts on the 2013 Grand National Championships!
Seeing smaller bands go out and completely win over the crowd inside a massive stadium.
Witnessing so many countless acts of complete selflessness you don't even bother trying to note them all.
Although the performance might be the highlight of the trip for many bands, I guarantee that the experiences had from the time they arrived in the parking lot, until they left on Saturday night were unlike any found elsewhere and had very little to do with competition.
Competition is healthy and has its place in our activity. It pushes us to work harder and to achieve things we never thought possible, but at Grand Nationals, its about the common bond and experience that all of those performers, parents and staff shared.
Those life-changing experiences are what makes the event great.
Not the props, not the giant eagle, not even the stadium. The fist-bump, the high-five, the "Good Luck".
It's not just being able to have the opportunity to perform at the highest level; its about being supported by, and sharing the experience with 90 other bands.
Regardless of who we are, this week we're all just a stadium full of 'band kids.'
- Larry Harper, Jr.
Larry Harper, Jr. has spent the majority of the last fifteen years living in the Triangle area of North Carolina and filling a variety of roles in the marching-arts world. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Carolina Gold, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a stimulating and rewarding social experience by promoting responsibility and self-discipline through music education, competitive performance and community engagement. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Larry served as the Assistant Marching Percussion Instructor to the UNC Athletic Bands program in addition to serving as a visual instructor and drill writer for a variety of other area programs. Larry has spent a significant amount of time in service to organizations such as Winter Guard International and Music for All as well as having coordinated events in partnership with Drum Corps International.
This weekend is Music for All's 38th Annual Bands of America Grand National Championships. Gary Markham explains why Music for All's Bands of America Championships were developed so many years ago and why they are so important and impactful for students.
For Throwback Thursday we are heading back to the first year we called Lucas Oil Stadium home to the Grand National Championships- 2008!
Pictured above are the very first Grand National finalists to ever grace the field of Lucas Oil Stadium:
Class A Exhibition: Bourbon County HS and Finalists: Avon, LD Bell, Lawrence Central, Marian Catholic, Carmel, Broken Arrow, Tarpon Springs, Kennesaw Mountain, Centerville, Ben Davis, Plymouth-Canton Ed. Park and Lafayette! (If you can't help yourself and want to check out scores after reading this list- you can find those here.)
And who was the very first band to be named Grand National Champion in Lucas Oil Stadium? That would be Avon H.S. from Avon, Indiana!
We are excited to be back in Lucas Oil Stadium again this weekend for the Bands of America Super Regional Championship at Indianapolis and then once again next week for the 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championships!
Join us for the Tim Lautzenheiser Student Leadership Workshop during the 2013 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha! Work with the man himself, Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser on Friday, November 15th. This leadership workshop encourages the growth of the group via a nurturing of agreed-upon organizational values that establishes a solid foundation for positive growth in every aspect of your band program.
This is a MUST on your list of things to do while at the Grand National Championships. And the best part? The early pricing has been extended! Register online BEFORE you arrive and you can register for the workshop for $30 per person! Remember: one director attends FREE for every 10 students enrolled! (But register now for these savings, it will be $35 per person on site).
Leadership skills are not just something that will help you in band, or in high school. This is one of those workshops where you will learn things that you will utilize every day for the rest of your life, and have fun while learning them!
So don't wait- register now and get ready for an awesome two hours with the incomprable Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser and more than 500 of your new best friends!
Supporting others and acknowledging other groups needs to go beyond just applauding, screaming and spelling. After all, performing for attentive enthusiastic audiences in high-quality settings is one of the hallmarks at each and every Bands of America event/
So what can we do to ensure every band gets the best audience:
#1 Be as attentive and polite during other band performances as you’d want during your own– looking and listening. While football stadiums hardly require or demand the same kind of concert etiquette as a symphony orchestra hall, we can certainly raise the bar way beyond the average football game.
#2 Be sure to say hi to other band members acknowledging their performance and/or wishing them the best for a good show.
#3 If you hear something or see something that excites you on the field, then let the performing band know right then and there with your applause. Later on, be sure to follow up and congratulate them on their performance.
Acknowledging others in a positive way – both on and off the field – is what sets BOA events apart from other programs. We’re not just there for our own band, we come together to celebrate all the bands of America. And if we want others to pay attention to us, then we need to pay attention to them. You get what you give, so give it all you’ve got both on and off the field acknowledging others.
Question: Who was the first Grand National Champion to receive “The Eagle” Grand National Traveling Trophy?
Answer: Center Grove H.S., IN (1995)
In celebration of BOA’s 20th Anniversary, Bands of America debuted the Grand National Traveling Trophy, commonly referred to as “The Eagle.” Center Grove High School, under the direction of Thomas Dirks, was awarded the travelling trophy in 1995 for their show “A Journey into the Adventure Zone.”
The trophy quickly became the quintessential and recognizable icon of the Bands of America Fall Championships. Still today, the Eagle is kept with the reigning Grand National Champion. During this weekend’s Indianapolis Super Regional, 2012 Grand National Champion Carmel H.S. Marching Greyhounds will return the travelling trophy to Music for All in preparation for next week’s 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha.
Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Super Regional Championship at San Antonio, presented by Yamaha!
Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure you check here for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.
Can't view the slide show? Click here.
Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Congratulations to the 2013 San Antonio Super Regional Champion: The Woodlands H.S., TX!
It's Throwback Thursday! You didn't think we'd forget did you? Today we are heading back to 1995!
This photo is of Jenison High School from Jenison, Michigan when they came to the 1995 Grand National Championships at the RCA Dome!
In 1995 the Jenison Marching Band was under the direction of Tom Weidner with drum majors Matt Reed, Ryan Wood and Amanda Darby.
The Jenison band's show entitled Brazilian Impressions included: Brazil, Brazilian Impressions, Danza Final from "Estancia", Gabriel's Oboe and The River from "The Mission," Suite Popular Brasilera, Desifinado and Symphonic Dance #3.
Were you at the 1995 Grand National Championships? Perhaps you remember this program book!
Do you have a favorite memory or photo from the 1995 Grand National Championships? Share it in the comments!
The 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championships is arriving in just two short weeks. Grand Nationals has called Lucas Oil Stadium home since the stadium’s opening in 2008.
Featuring 90 premier high school marching bands from across the nation, exhibition bands from top universities and local Indianapolis high school marching bands in the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament, this four-day show will display the incredible discipline and talent of students. Join us for the 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championships, November 13-16.
Check out a list of participating bands here and for ticketing information, click here. Not able to make the show? Don’t miss out on the action! You can watch a live webcast and be a part of the Grand Nation Championships experience! View the live webcast schedule here.