Sunday, October 4, 2009

Homecoming

I was really tired when I came home, so I couldn't write or post this last night.

Yesterday was Homecoming. As a result, I was pretty much in my marching band uniform all day long.

It was a cloudy day, with the forecast predicting scattered showers. Of course, since this is North Dakota, this means that we WILL get rain. This became evident as we were leaving the Hughes Art Center (the band's headquarters, if you will) to get to the end of the road where we would start marching for the Homecoming Parade, which happened to start at 10:30. We were in uniform, with instruments, when it started raining outside.

While we were getting situated, this group of Air Force ROTC people marched by, singing cadences. As soon as they passed us to get to their designated spot, they started singing one about us! It went something like "Here is the marching band [echo], here is the marching band [echo], best band in all the land [echo], I want to play saxophone [echo]!" Pretty nice of them.

Once the parade actually started, we basically marched down University Avenue (the main road for the college) in a block of four people across, alternating between three fight songs, while it was raining. It was pretty cool marching through hordes of people cheering us on.

Our part of the parade was pretty short, and we were done at 11:00 at the latest. The buses at the Hughes to go to the Alerus for the Homecoming game were supposed to leave at 1:15, which gave us some time to do stuff. Myself, I got a ride back to the Hughes, completely changed out of uniform, and walked over to the nearby Wilkerson Hall to get a huge lunch (one bowl cereal will tide me over if I'm just sitting in classes, but if I'm marching, forget it). Two slices of pizza, a chocolate chip pancake (they were serving brunch food), scrambled eggs, two little sausages, a salad, three slices of banana-nut bread, three cups of water, one cup of iced tea. I was STARVING.

After getting back, I still had at least an hour left, so I took my sweet time getting into uniform. When 1:15 rolled around, we were back in full uniform and grabbed our stuff so we could get on the bus. I had to stand and hold onto a rail (the buses used were the same ones used for the shuttles all over campus), since there were so many people.

We had SEVERAL performances to do at the Alerus. First, we played for the arriving football team - we marched over to the tailgating area, playing fight songs as we went, to where the football team's bus eventually stopped. While waiting, we played a few stand tunes that were thankfully already memorized. When the team came walking through, we played the fight song. Then, we marched back to our normal gate.

We were served lunch (or, rather, they had a line for serving lunch) after we got back to the still-empty stands and took off our jackets (the main reason why we'd be frying in our uniforms), but I didn't eat anything because I was still full from my actual lunch. I did have a cup of water, though, and I went to the bathroom. Yes, were allowed to eat in uniform.

Afterwards, we put our jackets back on, grabbed our instruments, and went back out the same gate so we could play for the tailgaters, which was pretty much the same procedure as playing for the team.

Right after that, we went back for pregame. Here's what happens in pregame: we high-run onto the field in straight lines, in step, so we can get into our box formation. Then we play the opening fanfare, with accompanying movements. Then we march forward (meaning "to the left" if you're in the press box, since we're facing that way), eventually spelling out something along the lines of N and D (since we're only about 120 people and the field isn't large enough, we can't do a really large "UND"). Then we mark time till the end of the song. Then we march forward for a little bit, then we get into a formation spelling "SIOUX". We start the fanfare for the next fight song while marking time for eight counts, then take sixteen steps as we play it, then mark time as we finish it. After that, we turn around and make another formation (no clue what this one says) as we play yet ANOTHER fight song, in the middle of which we turn around from back field and then STAND (NO MARK TIME!!!) as we finish it. Then, we'd play the main fight song twice for the football players coming onto the field.

After that, we're SUPPOSED to play the National Anthem, but the stupid South Dakota band (that's who we were up against, the South Dakota Coyotes) decided to go into their long-ass fight song, resulting in my band director standing up on the podium for a while; the announcer DID say to stand up and remove your hats, but the band kept going anyway, with pretty much everyone in the stands staring at them like they were a bunch of morons. Once that was over, we finally got to play our anthem, then, shortly afterwards, played the fight song off of the field (meaning, part of the way through we turn back field, then part of the way through we turn left field, then march off as we finish it), followed by us jogging along the sidelines, high-fiving hands both large and small that were reaching down to us because we're so goddamn awesome. I had to jump to reach some of the smaller ones, haha. Too short.

We got to go in the stands after that. Since I was wearing a black Pride shirt, I got to take off my hat and jacket, which allowed my overheating body to cool down after a while. Our band is on the backfield side, right behind the opposing football team. Of course, our drumline was at the bottom, which could only mean one thing: insults. The same goateed tenor player that was the ringleader for the insults at the Texas Tech game was hurling them again, primarily at the coach, who had apparently never learned that you shouldn't be ON THE ACTUAL FIELD during the game; "GET OFF THE FIELD, COACH!" was one hurled often, as well as "QUIT WHINING, COACH!" when he'd start protesting something that happened.

This game was a flag-happy one; later on, in the third quarter, I commented to one of the saxophone players in the row behind me that the player got flagged for breathing at the wrong time. Every five plays or so, there was some sort of flag being thrown on the field; they were usually personal offenses, but it was still damn annoying.

Speaking of the row behind me, since it was homecoming, we had some alumni with us, who played with us at the stands and during halftime.

In the middle of one of the earlier quarters of the game, some high-accomplishing alumni were recognized on the field to be given the Sioux Award, including KAREN FREAKING NYBERG. Do you know who she is? DO YOU KNOW WHO SHE IS?! She's an ASTRONAUT at NASA WHO WAS ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY. While in zero-G, she unfurled a UND banner; I think I've seen this picture twenty gazillion times now. I WAS IN THE SAME ROOM AS HER! OMFG!

At halftime, the South Dakota band got on the field to do their pregame show. Frankly...I don't think they were that good. Despite being as large or larger than us, they weren't that loud. Also, according to one of the colorguard members later on, their flag team's work wasn't as elaborate as ours. Also, they had a baton twirler. It seems that everyone except us has a baton twirler.

After that, we got on the field and promptly blew them away. We did the same show we did at Texas Tech, with a few differences. The first song, We're an American Band, went normally, but after that, we had the alumni join us to play "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles (hate hate HATE that song!!!) and the song that normally goes in that slot, I Don't Care (NOT the Apocalyptica song). Followed after that by The Pretender, in which we'd actually march. In the third quarter, my band director said that, at the time, he apparently was thinking along the lines of "Holy shit!" when he heard the first note for American Band.

The last half of the game was more eventful than the first; South Dakota has three yards from a touchdown with a first down, but they never got to score on us. Throughout the game, every punt of theirs was blocked by our team, our offense always ran for a bit longer than theirs, etc.. In the end, the score was 27 - 12, with us winning. The attendance for this game was the highest attendance for the opening game on record.

After the game officially ended, we went back on the field AGAIN and played, while standing in an arc, We're an American Band, When I'm Sixty Four, and I Don't Care, followed by Alma Mater, which we apparently play after every game. Afterwards, my band director did our normal endgame talk with us, from which I found out that we're supposed to have SNOW in a few days (which my forecast on Google confirms - Tuesday night, chance of snow, Wednesday, chance of light snow). It begins. GAAAAH.

After THAT, a handful of us had NO clue where to go to find the bus. We went back to our normal gate, but to no avail. Eventually, we figured out that we had to go to one of the gates in the front to catch our bus. I finally got to sit.

I got a ride home from one of the trumpet players. Since I got back at 8, I thought that I'd might head on over to Wilkerson to eat dinner, but after the shower, I decided to brush my teeth and go to bed. Needless to say, I was out like a light.

Here are some miscellaneous photos I got to take from my cell during the game (my normal pants were in my hat box, which was with me; my cell was in one of the pant pockets):


Look at all of those people!


There's people there, too!


Band members in the stands. My band director's in there, too.


I got to watch this game live for FREE!

Good luck finding videos of us on YouTube - I sure as hell couldn't. I e-mailed my band director about it, so maybe I might get to show you exactly what I do.

Speaking of YouTube, here's your random video. This is a glitch in the N64 game Goldeneye (yes, a James Bond game), widely considered to be THE game that made multiplayer in the First Person Shooter genre popular on home consoles. Halo can thank this game for laying down the groundwork to its success.

The N64 used cartridges inserted on the top of the console (a decision that led to its downfall in the face of the disc-based PS1); if Goldeneye was only partially inserted in the console, this results:



Two weeks after this was posted to the Japanese video hosting site Nico Nico Douga, a user named Chomimen re-edited the footage and set it to the J-pop song Promise, which then spawned the "get down" meme, prompting videos of animations and anime characters "getting down" the world over.

4 comments:

Buck said...

I WAS IN THE SAME ROOM AS HER! OMFG!

There's very little better in life than being in the presence of one's own heroes. Inspirational, and all that. Srsly.

I only just became aware of your blog, Silver. I should be paying better attention, no? Good stuff, this.

Alan said...

You're giving Kevin competition for longest posts.

Christina LMT said...

Silver, I am in awe of your posting abilities. I very much appreciate reading your blog, and I'm glad as a parent that I'm informed of what's going on in your life!

LOVE the pictures of the stadium and the band. I'm so glad you're having fun!

Silver the Evil Chao said...

Buck: It was really awesome even getting to see her from afar. A real-life astronaut...

Naaah, my stuff's not that good, just boring. That's why I procrastinate on posting sometimes - I bore myself typing them.

Alan: Mom wants me to go into detail, so I will, haha. xD;;

Mom: I'm glad you like reading them, considering that you're the reason why I started doing this to begin with. :P