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Perspective of a Freshman Clarinet Mom

Proud Band Mom shares her perspective on the award-winning Plymouth-Canton Marching Band during her daughter's first year as a member.

The Weather Was Cold but PCMB Was Hot!

The Plymouth-Canton Marching Band had yet another competition this past weekend – the Huron Valley Invitational in which they won!  In addition to first place with a score of 91.65, the band captured awards in three major categories, which are called “captions” in band-speak:  Best Music, Best Visual and Best General Effect – wow!  Though the temperature was in the low 40s, the band was hot.  

As a Freshman Clarinet Mom, I am impressed at how well this band has performed and how truly great they are.  Kayla and I had no idea the depth and strength of the organization we were joining.  Even though she’s doing all the hard work, I say that we both joined because part of this organization’s continued success is the amazing group of adults in the background.  From the long list of dedicated and talented staff led by Directors Dave Armbruster and Jon Thomann, to the tireless group of band parents that make up the Plymouth-Canton Music Booster organization. 

And I have to give a special shout out to all the Freshmen in the band.  This year, there is a record 54 Freshmen, which is one-third of the band. I think it speaks to the work ethic of those kids and the talent and dedication of the band staff that they’ve accomplished so much this season. 

I extend my personal thanks to the band staff for allowing Kayla and the rest of the Freshmen to participate in PCMB.  I say this because when we traveled to Indianapolis last weekend for the Band’s of America Super Regional Championship, I learned that some of the bands only allow Juniors and Seniors to participate.  Winning is always wonderful, but the experience is what builds character and life lessons. 

As I’m writing this at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Kayla is still sleeping, as I imagine are many of the PCMB kids.  There has been a competition every weekend since the end of September, and the long day for the kids begins the same way each time:  Practice begins at the school first thing, either at 8 or 9 a.m.  They have an hour-long lunch break at noon, then back to practice.  Dinner break is at 4 or 5 p.m., and then they get dressed in their uniforms, load the busses, arrive at the destination and practice again. 

Last night, PCMB performed at 8:45 p.m.  By the time awards were given, the equipment was loaded in the semi and the kids loaded in the buses, they didn’t return to Plymouth High School until 10:45 p.m.   That’s a long day by anyone’s standards.  Keep sleeping kids, you deserve the rest!

Next stop for PCMB:  The State Championships on Saturday, November 3, at Ford Field in Detroit.  Go PCMB!

Photo Credits:  Helen Rebandt

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Mike October 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM
The Plymouth Canton Marching Band is one of the Best Activities your child can join at the park. When my daughter was a freshman (now a senior), She was greeted by at least 3 friends in each of her classes, a nice bonus on a campus with over 6000 students. These kids make lifelong friendships and form a strong support network while enduring the rigors of a Nationally Recognized Team. Please if your child has any interest in music encourage them, this is a high school experience no one should miss. See you at Ford Field. Tickets available at the ticket booth, $16 adult $12 Student and senior, Cash only, Flight 1 steps off at 7:30 PM visit www.themcba.org for more information.
Lorraine Hallinen October 29, 2012 at 04:57 PM
My daughter's freshmen year (she graduated in 08) there were 83 freshmen!! It speaks volumes that the band is doing so well this year... it is a difficult feat with so many "newbies." Band is a great experience for students who are dedicated enough to continue. My daughter ended up marching with U of M band for four years and loved it all!
Kim Ward October 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Lorraine and Mike -- Thank you so much for the great comments. When my daughter first mentioned joining Marching Band as an 8th grader, I had my reservations. Now, I can't believe I ever had qualms about her joining. It's a wonderful experience for her and for me! Kim Ward
John McKay October 31, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Great blog, Kim! Glad to have you writing on here!

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