Carmel Bands, Carmel, Indiana

Blog #3: Precision, October 5, 2011




Precision matters in band competitions as with many aspects of life. It especially matters at the end – in the finals performance at the Bands of America National Competition at Lucas Oil in November. Precision also matters when feeding a hungry group of teenagers, directors, field crew, etc.


The parents who were given the charge of feeding this group before the CHS / Warren Central game at Lucas felt that they truly had a plan for the efficient feeding of so many people. One must understand, there was much at stake. No, it wasn’t that we needed well-nourished kids for the half time show or that the field crew needed the energy to move all of the equipment – it was that those of us who were feeding the group needed to get to the parent / family party at the parking lot with Bub’s! Yes, that was the ultimate goal!


So all of the plans were carefully laid…..load the box trucks the day before with tables, food, drinks. Get to the parking lot by the buses by 5:00 so that everything could be set up and the food could be placed for optimum “grabbage” as the kids zoomed by. Steam all 320 of the hot dogs, make over 100 peanut and jelly sandwiches, open the chip boxes wide! By 5:30 everything was set! We were all so pleased with ourselves! We would get the kids and adults through quickly, straighten up a bit and head across the street for a Bub’s burger!


Well, this is where the precision piece did not go so well. The winds began to pick up about 5:30 or so. Rice krispie treats, bags of trash, and paper plates were flying across the lot. “Let’s move a bus so that we have a wind blocker,” President Lisa called out! Stacy Ellsworth went looking for a bus driver to get some keys, yes it turns out she can actually drive a bus! Certainly no one would mind if we borrowed a bus! Surely even the bus drivers and Lucas officials understood that we needed to get across the street! We needed precision!


Okay, so we all wised up and felt that maybe borrowing a bus was not the best solution to this windy catastrophe. So instead, at about 5:45, we all decided to move all of the completely loaded tables to a more protected space between two buses. So all of us picked up tables, coolers, boxes, trash bags and moved them to a better location. Several of us then hustled into the box truck where the hot dogs were steaming. Although we had carefully planned the timing of having warm hot dogs, we did not plan the placing of them in the buns and wrappers for distribution. But we were not to be deterred, so to the sound of a herd of hungry kids arriving and husbands looking for their wives on the box truck – we prepared those hot dogs for consumption! They were eaten as fast as we could get them to the tables!


So precision does matter….especially at the end. We DID make it across the street for a burger and drink. And we all agreed it was the best burger ever! So, Mr. Saucedo – it doesn’t matter what happens along the way – you will get the band to the BOA where they will perform with precision!

Pat Gerber