Milton HotCakes and I scooped Karen in the AM, we pit stopped at 7-11, then on to Marina. The skies were heavy with dark clouds that threatened rain, but we were dry, for the moment.
After arriving to the parking lot, I scooted to the bandroom, and took my spot in the front, on the stool by the piano. Byron Baba and I had a brief chat. Mike came over and showed me Opener music (The Red Humpback Whale)
Show Spoiler Alert!!!!!…
A docile, mild mannered whale, named Triton, will be befriended by a bevy of mermaids. An army of evil penguins, with a predilection for wearing baseball caps and playing music will challenge Triton and the sexy sirens for sea domination. (Plot twist: the discovery of a treasure chest containing exploding meatballs.)
Meanwhile, back at Marina. Kids head out to warm ups, Josh, Aldo, and Hotcakes head to the truck to check horn equipment for any possible issues. I put Trevor in charge of getting the corps ready for the day, and he does an awesome job doing warm ups with a big assist from Holly. Kids were on the basketball courts. A handful of geese were at the other end, just saying.
Talked with all the kids briefly after warm ups before specifically talking to the horns and sending them back to the truck to get equipment.
The battery and I sat down and I wrote names and sections down for the first time. I pointed out the contingency plan should the sky open up and buckets pour upon us. After a few more words we all got up and I did a check of their ability to perform at an immediate acceptable level. My previous instruction to them was obviously woefully inadequate.
The battery attempted to do the exercise they’ve attempted to do now, for the most part, for the third time. Attempted.
Let’s start with the positive. They look smarter at the end of each block and each day, compared to where they start each block and each day.
Not a judgement or opinion, because excellence is a non-negotiable standard, but they are not starting each day with the intent of being excellent from the first step, the first beat. In fairness to a few individuals, there are a select few that are, but an ensemble performance cannot be appreciated through individual excellence.
They did stuff. It got better, because it should; because it’s supposed to. Rare was the ocassion where they impressed me with either their performance or execution. That needs to change, sooner rather than later. Not because I want or care if they impress me, but because performance excellence is the standard they have stated they are striving for, a goal they are moving towards, at this point, at a glacial pace.
HotCakes dismissed the hornline to lunch; I dismissed the battery. Kept the vets briefly for a chat, then sent them to lunch.
Brian, most outstanding visual performer 2015, and Mando (the 4 year vet, not the annoying one) came by for a visit. They brought their friend Brook (as in Brooklyn); she’s doing BDB. After she told me where she’s marching, my initial dislike for faded while talking with her, but she’s friends with Brian and Mando. Sketch. Just kidding 😀 Love those guys.
Love all the Impulse, current, alumni, volunteers, staff 🙂
Then, I listen to the battery.
Fernando (percussion staff lead) “Battery, let’s do that again. This time don’t mark time.”
WTF. I need to do a much, much, much better job.