Grand Nationals Approaches with Hopes of Perfection

Adam Duffy, Staff Writer

Months of tireless work and years of dedication have led to this moment. Hearts pounding out of every teenagers chest on the field. Praying. Hoping.

These kids are not at a party. Or studying. Or working. These kids are standing in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, awaiting the results of the final competition of the marching season.

Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble. Avon High School Marching Band. Marion Catholic High School Marching Band. All former champions. All bands competing this year. Against each other. Against us.

The experience of going to Grand National Championships is unmatched.

Seeing the outside of Lucas Oil Stadium on the way to the hotel is like seeing your firstborn child. You nearly want to throw up (also because you ate so many cheese based snacks on the 14 hour bus ride up there). After the rehearsals on indoor marble floors and getting set in your hotel rooms, it’s time for performances.

First preliminaries. We expect to pass prelims flying.

Then comes semifinals. This is where competition starts. The better than average bands are eliminated. The judges cut the competition to 12 bands, battling for perfection.

The competition is no longer about how good the show is or how the band sounds or even looks. The factor that separates number one from twelve is their closeness to perfection. A crack in a note. A misread form. A slight fall in choreography.

This will singlehandedly eliminate a band.

Finals runs feel different. A lot of bands are told they should not be here. They were not targeted to be before the competition.

Yet here they are.

As Wando, we compete to try to earn every run. We earned our spot to be in Indianapolis. We will try to earn our spot to be in semis. We will try to earn our spot to be one of the top 12 bands in the nation. With a finals run, we will try to earn our spot to compete against perfection.

There is no rush like stepping off the field after finals. The last run of the year. That last fight for a championship. Wando earned a seventh place spot last year as on the of the Bands in America.

In three days, we go back. In three days, we earn perfection.