Those three letters say it all – Wow, what a night! Having 2 children go through the band (not concurrently), I’ve seen a band performance or two. I was fortunate enough to have my older daughter in band during the Fall 2005 season – the last year that Carmelwon Grand Nat’s. When I think back to that show, that night’s performance, and that night’s awards I still get chills. Many events stand out in my life as ones I will never forget – of course the birth of each of my three children, job promotions, family events, etc. The Grand Nat’s of 2005 is one of those special memories. I was sitting in the crowd with my younger daughter listening to the announcer slowly go up the list of placements. Each time a school was ready to be called, I said to myself…”Not Carmel, Not Carmel”. And in third place…..”Not Carmel, Not Carmel”…my blood pressure was rising. Kenzie and I were growing more excited by the second. And in second place…..”Not Carmel, Not Carmel”……and of course second place was not Carmel. I don’t actually remember any of the other top placing bands – I just remember the feeling and excitement of hearing, “And in first place, Carmel Marching Greyhounds”!!! The crowd went crazy – everyone went to the field to congratulate the kids. It was so special.
Now flash forward to November 2011, this time sitting with my older daughter who had experienced a big win at Grand Nat’s and many Carmel parents, there was such anticipation that the kids would really perform the show the best they have all season. We sat on the edge of our seats, nodded with the beat, and cheered when we knew the kids had “hit” the key components of the show. I looked up and saw the Walled Lake Band students doing the Double Dream Hand dance and was so impressed with their encouragement of our kids. When the band finished, a round of thunderous applause broke out (not just from theCarmelparents) and there was not a dry eye around me. I could feel it again. It was 2005, it felt “right”. The kids had done all they could to show the judges that they deserved a high ranking.
When the announcer again began his pronouncements of awards…and in twelfth place….again I started with “Not Carmel, Not Carmel”. I am sure John Vasuta, sitting in front of me was thinking – what the heck? But I kept it up. And when it was announced that there was a tie for best music – we knew. We just knew. And whenCarmelwas announced for best music, it was as if we had won again – just like in 2005. We all knew what a huge accomplishment it was for our kids and the directors to get that award. So no matter whetherCarmelever actually gets possession of the award, there is a picture that memorializes the accomplishment. But it really doesn’t matter if we have a trophy or a picture, I have a new memory. Thanks for the ride, Carmel Marching Greyhounds!-Pat Gerber-