Well, here we are. Another great season of marching - my 25th - is in the books, my 10th as the lucky person who gets to lead the Bayfield High School Marching Wolverines.
Bayfield High School, reclassified as a 1A school because of our small student population, qualified for State Finals competition on Monday. We went into finals in 4th place, down a couple from where we started.
Unfortunately, before we could redeem ourselves and earn back our placement, the Colorado weather turned very ... Colorado weather-y. Finals were called off as we were in the middle of a focused and driven warm up, so our final result was fourth.
Not bad for a band that I was not sure about back in June and July. I had convinced myself that too much talent had graduated, that we would be too young to be a serious contender while we "re-built." I backed off on good ideas, and treated them with kid gloves as musicians.
Turns out I was wrong there. I had badly underestimated their potential! This band has as many talented and skilled individuals as any I have ever had the honor to lead. These kids stuck it out, playing a decidedly silly show to a high level, and made their statement every time they performed.
But most importantly, this: they showed me more focus and discipline than any group I have ever had, and they have been a pleasure to teach out on the marching field.
I would like to acknowledge and thank several people who have helped make this season possible for our Marching Wolverines:
Our sponsors, the Harris Fund, AmeriGas, the BP Fabric of America Fund, and especially BAAM, the Bayfield Association for the Advancement of Music.
Thank you to all of the band parents who helped us on these recent trips, most especially to BAAM officers Jenna Stumpf, Jennifer Hollingsworth, Brooke Smith, and the dads who drove our equipment truck, Tim Stumpf and Steve Theobald. All the parents of all these kids sacrificed time and money to let these kids march.
Other parents who helped included Karin Rhodes, Gretchen Fitzgerald, Tiffany Weinmister, Colleen Theobald, Starla Gettman, Brenda Marshall, Chrissy Koerner. We couldn't do all this alone!
We appreciate our administrators, Leon Hanhardt and Rob Dean, for their support of this program, and my fellow educators at Bayfield High School for their patience. I have a tremendous amount of respect and owe a huge debt to my assistant directors, John Patton and Rachel Phelps, and our colorguard instructor, Sharon Hunter.
Finally, thank you to my wife Kristi and my kids, whom I have seen very little of for the past few months.
Marching band is a labor of love, but sometimes it is our loved ones who end up paying the biggest price. I'll be home for dinner soon!
Derek Smith, music director
Bayfield High School