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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Band Geek Dad

I am the father of a member of the Brien McMahon High School Marching Senators. Sure, Ian's attending the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School, where he's learning to speak Mandarin, but it is the marching band that is filling up every waking hour these days.

Band camp started two weeks before school did, with daily rehearsals that went from 9:00am to 8:00pm, with break for the kids to eat their lunch and a two-hour "dinner" break from 3:00-5:00. Since school started, practice has been Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5:00-8:00. It has been easy to see that summer is ending, as the sun sets earlier on the band practice each week. The long hours have really paid off with a show that, though I've only seen it in rehearsals, looks like it should be very good.

Kimberly and I have done our part to be good band parents. For Kimberly, it is because she is a good person, as she was never in the marching band. For that matter, she's never even been to a football game. For me, it is pay-back time as I think back to all of the hard work that the band parents put in to make my own experience in Patrick Henry High School's marching band such a success. That plus, if I'm honest, a chance to relive my "glory days" vicariously through my son.

During the Norwalk Oyster Festival two weeks ago, Kimberly and I supported the band by working security and making sure that nobody with alcohol entered the alcohol-free zone where the rides were. This Saturday, we're going to be working at the Celebration of Sound, the band festival hosted by Brien McMahon. Kimberly will be working the stands and I'll be the understudy for the guy who has been the festival's announcer for the last many years. Next year, I'll be all alone in the press box as the "Voice of the Senators" or something like that. I can imagine greeting the crowd, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Celebration of Sound. This is Ian Bryant-Smith's father. Ian is the clarinet player who is turning beet red from embarrassment...."

First, though, is tomorrow night's football game: the first of the season, the first of Ian's marching band carreer. I'm excited and so is Kimberly. I've promised to explain the rules to her and I think that she's planning to play her vuvuzela every time one of McMahon's players gets a home run. I bet that she'll play extra-loud if they do it from outside of the three-point line.

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