I had an interesting experience about a month ago that I thought I would share. Fall Marching Band is over and life seems to be a little more simple and relaxing. I attended the last Mt. Timpanogos Marching Band Competition when the weather was still warm and the air had excitement with hundreds of instruments and High School students from all over Utah.
I’ve been supporting the Provo High School Band going on ten years now and I have never gotten tired attending band competitions. The first BYU Rocky Mountain Competition was so wonderful I really felt I was listening to the future “Second Coming” horn performers. I was so excited to be witnessing such great and powerful music. Watching choreographed marching steps from happy clean youth was something to behold. Color Guard is another entertaining phenomenon. It takes lots of practice to catch flying flags, rifles, and swords. All at different times of course. Jess started out performing with Color Guard and then became drumline captain this year which she has really enjoyed.
Back to the last competition which was held at Pleasant Grove High School. The official title is the Mt. Timpanogos Competition because American Fork Band Parents are the ones who sponsor the big event since American Fork Marching Band is one of the most awesome high school bands ever organized in the history of the world. John Miller has been the band leader for over twenty-eight years and will retire this year. American Fork has been champions for over twenty-five years as a 5A school which has over three hundred bandies. That is not only amazing but a lot of work and organizing.
Since Provo High is a 3A school because of a smaller band they still did very well. I feel pretty good as a supporter since I help move pit instruments out on to the field at some of the competitions and football games. I don’t attend all of the competitions since there are usually eight within a six week period. At the Mt. Timp competition I went to the ticket gate and paid my fee along with my youngest daughter who wanted to watch and observe. I left her while I helped move the instruments out on the field since the band is judged by how fast they can get into position. After Provo High’s wonderful performance Julz and I decided to go home for a few hours and work on her halloween costume and then we drove back so we could see the big high school bands perform. Luckily we still had our red wrist bands that were given to us earlier in the day so we could re-enter the competition. Or so I thought.
I left Julie in the bleachers while I went back out by the restrooms to stand in a very long line. As I was getting ready to re-enter, the gate person with an American Fork High Band hat told me I couldn’t enter. He said I had the wrong wrist band so therefore I must have made it myself. At first I was a little confused because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In fact I had to look at the wrist band again to see what he was talking about. I was informed that my band was a lighter red and therefore I was trying to get into the competition without paying. I explained to the proud AF High dad that I had paid earlier in the day and had gone home for a few hours and maybe the water from the dishes I had put in the dish washer had made my paper red wrist band go lighter.
What really shocked me were the women standing by the gate person who were looking at me as though I had just committed a felony for not paying the entrance fee. I informed the gate man that I had actually written a check out to AFH Band for both me and my daughter and had contributed $10.00 to the cause. And if he would like to follow me to the ticket office I could prove to him that I was not being dishonest!! They still did not believe me and by this time the line behind me was growing by the minute. This was my first experience of being falsely accused. It really happens in America! And it was a total of a huge amount of money!! I was starting to get very upset so I informed the group that I had a twelve year old daughter sitting in the bleachers all by herself with the hundreds of other band supporters so I was leaving. And I left.
I finally found Julz and informed the people around me that I apparently had a wrist band that was too light. They laughed and noticed that my daughters wrist band was the same color. The next thing I noticed was Mr. Gate Man walking with another crowd of people who I thought were looking for me. It almost felt like the Gestapo was after me so I told Julz that I was going to the ticket office and that I would be right back. I was so careful running through the crowd so I wouldn’t be seen. I reached the ticket office in time to tell my story to the sweet ladies who believed every word I spoke. They informed me that the paper wrist bands earlier that day had been a lighter red color so they knew I was telling the truth. Luckily one of them escorted me back to the entrance gate to let Mr. American Fork High Dad know that I was innocent!! Unfortunately he was gone but the same women at the gate were still there and they apologized to me. I felt relieved to know that my own peers were finally seeing the light.
By this time I had missed a couple of the big bands performing but I had actually seen them perform at other competitions. Julz was the reason why I went back in the first place. She is considering playing the clarinet for Provo High Band so I’ll be committed for another five years! Only next time I attend a High School Band Competition you can be purty darn sure I’m going to ask about the color of the wrist bands. I decided to keep my Mt. Timpanogos 2013 light red wrist band so I have something to remember.
When I finally made it back to Julz guess who was sitting right next to her? Mr. Gateman’s family. He had two kids and a wife and he sat five people away from me. I decided I was going to enjoy the evening and not let anything bother me. The air was cold but my heart was warm. Julz and I had our coats, hats and blankets. Music can lighten the soul and I was grateful to have recovered from another experience.