Sunday, June 14, 2009

Band on the run

Guess what Charli and I did this weekend? We went to not one... not two... but THREE parades!

Why? Because we don't have enough Dubble Bubble, Dum Dums and Toostie Rolls of course. Duh.

Actually, the real reason is because Rosie has joined St. Cloud's All City Marching Band - and as parents we are contractually obligated to attend all parades no matter how far away, how rainy or how long they last. But that's perfectly ok with us because Rosie is a great kid and we are great proud parents.

This band is unique in that it's city-wide, and accepts kids from any school in the area, grades 7-12, whether they have experience or not. For 4 weeks they rehearse like mad until the week before the first parade of the season. Then, the entire band heads out of town to a rural middle school where they spend five days at "spat camp" practicing their marching routine and songs 12 hours a day.

This is the marching band equivalent of military boot camp, and by the time these kids are done they have been transformed into obedient little toy soldiers who can perform a choreographed routine in perfect unison while executing a complex musical score.

Rosie in perfect form

The entire week Rosie was there we only received 2 short phone calls from her. At first we thought she was being inconsiderate by not returning our pleas for daughterly communications, but when we unpacked her bags and saw that she had never even opened any of the Doritos or Oreos we sent as treats, we knew she was simply too busy and/or exhausted to worry about updating us. And every other parent we talked to said the same thing.

On the surface it sounds like a pretty rough ride for these poor kids, but as Rosie has said... "I LOVE IT!"... which also explains why the majority of them end up signing up for the entire 5 year ride. Of course it doesn't hurt that they get to go on cool band trips either. This year, they are headed off to Colorado for a week of sight seeing, amusement parks and white water rafting.

"uh, thanks mom and dad... but feel free to sit down anytime now"

So, if you're ever at a parade in rural MN this summer, look for the littlest kid on the end of the mellophones. Then look for her parents walking along the sidewalk taking pictures and generally embarrassing the crap out of her. That would be us.


Travis R said...

Did you repeatedly yell out a request for "Freebird" while holding up your cigarette lighter, dressed in a bad Hawaiian shirt with shorts and black dress socks? If not, you're not trying hard enough to embarrass her...

More seriously, good for her - I hope she's having fun!

Stefan said...

So Rosie enjoyed here trip?
I must say they look so cute in their suits. Unfortunately we didn't see any of her three parades... I would have liked to. Because does parades, too, but we're not so goodlooking during our parades ;-)
But she must have been very busy not eating any doritos or Oreos. (I must say the Oreos we exported are excellent!)
Greetings from Bavaria

PS: Jeff I find everything in the Internet

Unknown said...

Can I assume, then, that none of the schools in St. Cloud offers a summer marching program? *sigh* I came from a big band school, but we did fall marching and field contests, August-Thanksgiving. Our local hs just combined with the next one down the road to form the "212 Regiment." Better than chicking it altogether, I s'pose... Funny how none of these schools cut sports, though...

Mom Thumb said...

You know, in that second picture she kinda looks like, if she didn't have to have all her fingers on the instrument, one might be used in your direction. Just saying.

You have an amazing daughter, hope she has fun in Colorado!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

travis - So you DID see me! Hey, if you were there the least you could do was say hi. Sheesh.

stefan - I see that. I guess I'll have to be careful what I say about you from now on. ;-)

gette - You're right, no St. Cloud school bands. The hard part for this band though is that all the other school bands they compete against spend months practicing their routines, so we always come in at a disadvantage. But by the end of the season we usually win a few first places - which is always a huge thrill for these kids.

mom thumb - Yes, her fingers don't say it but her eyes sure do!

Mooselet said...

She certainly is giving you the evil eye in that second picture. Classic teenager look.

Good on her for doing this - it looks fantastic!

mom said...

I didn't even know Rosie played an instrument. Whenever did she start the horn? What with paper routes and karate---how does she find the time? She'pretty incredible!!!!

United Studies said...

I can tell you are very proud of her. :-) You've raised some good kids.

Maureen said...

Ahahaha! Isn't that why God created parents? To embarass the crap out of teens.

At least that's what I tell my daughter.

Good for Rosie; she looks great!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

mooselet - Yes... classic stink eye for sure.

mom - Rosie's been playing French Horn at her middle school since last fall. She is about the busiest kid I know, that's for sure.

jacki - Thanks... we think she's pretty cool.

maureen - You should have seen her after the parade when she was hanging out with all the other band members. For some reason she didn't want a big hug. I have no idea why.

Chris said...

Oh, man, I'm a band parent myself (in fact, my daughter ALSO plays mellophone), so I know of which you speak.

I also was a band geek way back when, and marched in a parade one Christmas season with a wind chill of -60. That's MINUS 60. The metal trumpet mouthpiece was not my friend.

Enjoyed this post! Nice work.


Ed said...

I always come to rural Minnesota in the summer...who wouldn't?

Watch out for the band camps though...this one time in band camp...

Corrina said...

How fun! You're such a good dad!

JD at I Do Things said...

What a sweetie! And, yes, she is TOTALLY giving you that "Um. Dad? Mom? Please go away" look in the 2d photo.

More important than the amazing experience of band camp, tho:

Your parades throw out candy???

Ours used to, but they stopped. What a ripoff.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

chris - Thanks for stopping by. I really like your blog and I loved your last post!

ve - Also, stay away from the apple pie.

corrina - Thanks... you're such a good commenter.

jd - Oh yeah, all candy all the time here baby.

Babs-beetle said...

Oh the proud parents! It's good for kids to belong to a group, all training and having fun together!

Anonymous said...

Is there no end to the wonderful talents of your children? They give me great hope for the future, and I'm not kidding when I say that.

Heather said...

I love the uniform, she looks very official in it.

Hope to see her this summer!

Windyridge said...

In Sherburne NY we have the Pageant of the Bands every year. Bands come from all over the country. It really is a fun day. Both my boys are in the school marching band but they only march on Memorial Day. Why don't they enter the pageant? Good the band teacher really doesn't want to answer.
Anyhoo, one of my boys turns 17 next month. Happy birthday to 17 year olds everywhere!

yellojkt said...

My son has had a blast in marching band. He'll do his second year as Rambling Wreck this fall.

Sistertex said...

Loved the post, I can remember when my oldest daughter was in her High School Marching band 'The Patriots' from Spring Lake Park, MN. We hardly missed a parade and there were a lot of them. I hope she enjoys it, even though it is a lot of hard work.