George played trumpet with his high school marching band tonight at the state finals. Dan, Cora, and I made it into the stadium just in time to catch the set. (Seriously. If we had been 30 seconds later we would have been shut out by the “no entry during performance” rule.) I haven’t made it to many of George’s band events this year and I’m glad I didn’t let the cold, wet weather keep me home. I’m generally not so brave.
The show was smooth and, as always, brought tears to my eyes. It’s amazing to see all that work come together. Mostly I just drive the minivan and get the 3-5 word report on how things are going, but tonight I got to see what George has been up to every afternoon and weekend since August.
Cora and I did intentionally showed up early for pick-up one day this week and got to watch a practice. Sitting in the stands, I watched and listened to the band directors critique – through their on-field microphone and amongst themselves. Training a group of 160 kids to perform a musical arrangement is so far removed from any teaching experience I’ve ever known. I could feel the pressure to make all the parts flow together.
Tonight, halfway through the performance, Dan poked me and told me to check out the band director, Mr. Maynard, rocking out on the sideline just in front of us. He didn’t just sway back and forth on his heels. He strutted around, proud as a peacock.
Maynard is retiring at the end of the year so this was, in effect, his curtain call. Tonight he was off-duty. His role as a teacher was over and the kids were on their own, on the field. There was nothing left for him to do but sit back and enjoy the show. It was an honor to witness.