It was an emotional weekend as the Plymouth-Canton Marching Band ended their season at the Bands of America (BOA) Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. And what a way to end! This fabulous group of hard-working kids was named one of 12 national finalists and was the only Michigan band named to this elite group! It was emotional and exciting for the kids and for us parents, too.
They’ve worked so hard since July to perfect their performance, The Last Dance, and they did. Their nine-minutes on the field is an elegant spectacle to watch as the Color Guard enter the field on the arms of band members, enjoying life and dancing to “What a Wonderful World” by iconic Louis Armstrong.
But alas life happens and a giant grey shroud, which depicts a dark cloud, is pulled over the entire band and across the stadium field. It’s amazing to watch this huge silky shroud billow like smoke, engulfing the field and kids. The kids “die” on the field only to be awakened by the Color Guard. The kids, stunned by this sudden turn in life, wish they could go back to their previous wonderful world and play the perfectly selected “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce.
Driven by hope and determination, renewal occurs. Life comes full circle back to a full-band rendition of “What a Wonderful World” that draws the crowd to its feet and sends chills down your spine. I was one of the many parents who had tears in their eyes. The emotion in this performance is incredible. And to know your kid is one of the 172 to create this wonderful performance is cause for a few more tears!
PCMB’s performance of The Last Dance has resulted in this: First Place, Huron Valley Invitational; BOA Pontiac Regional Champion; Flight 1 State Champions; and 12th in the nation at the granddaddy of all championships: Grand Nationals.
Twelfth in the nation! It’s incredible to think about. I learned that this year, there were 500 bands that participated in BOA competitions leading up the Grand Nationals – 500! To think that PCMB is now ranked 12th out of 500 is amazing.
I am so grateful to live in the Plymouth-Canton Community and to have this program available to my child. When I wrote my first blog, I shared my reservation about Kayla being a part of the band. After experiencing an entire season, I can truly say, this has been the best experience of her young life so far.
As parents, we do our best to teach our children values that will serve them well as adults. Even though we do our best, we know our frequent words and warnings can fall on deaf ears. And if we’re honest, we know we often sound like Charley Brown’s teacher: wa, wa, wa, wa!
This experience teaches these kids the value of hard work, to keep calm and march on through the rough times, to work in tandem as a team, and to always reach for the moon and the stars.
As parents, we often have to sit back and let our child’s life unfold. We need to let them make mistakes so they learn and don’t make more costly mistakes as adults. And we need to support them in their dreams and endeavors. I am so glad I made the choice to support Kayla in her dream to be in PCMB. It’s been a wonderful world for her this season. Can a parent ask for anything more?