Originally Posted by reds1869
Wow, well done taking out PCEP--that is very impressive! Good for Mason.
Someone knows marching band!!!
All right, I'll post my story sent to a good friend...
Mason winning was one of the coolest moments of the last 15-20 years of my life.
Our main competitor was Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (PCEP). The reason for that long handle is that it is actually 3 large high schools (Plymouth, Canton, Salem) that are on one campus. They have over 6000 kids and the marching band is a try-out kind of thing and difficult to make. They are very talented, well-taught, great kids, great staff, and a perennial grand national finalist and they've won grand nationals 3 times. Probably one of the top 10 bands in the country and a formidable opponent. We just hope to come close.
The way these competitions run is that there are about 30+ bands that play during the day. They are divided into 4 classes, A, AA, AAA, and AAAA (depends on school size). After the 30 bands play in the afternoon, they award class champions for each of the 4 classes plus best music, best visual, and best overall effect for all 4 classes. After that, they name the top 10 bands that play again that night to determine overall grand champion.
So, all the bands play, PCEP plays and they look great and Mason plays and we look great. Its a long day and it comes to class champion awards at 4:15. PCEP wins both music and visual for AAAA, but shockingly, Mason and PCEP tie for general effect. We were ecstatic this happened because it means we're very close (GE is a combination of music and vusal). Then they award AAAA class champions and its PCEP and we're second. But that's great because we are very close so we're very happy with this.
So, we come back to the dome that night and the 10 finals bands play. PCEP plays 8th and we play 9th. PCEP puts on a great show and we come out and play a great show. All of us Mason fans are happy because we are at least in the conversation as to who is best. But we really think PCEP will win just because of reputation.
You also have to understand that there are about 2000-3000 PCEP fans there (plymouth-canton is about 10 miles away) and maybe 50-75 Mason fans. A hardy few. The crowd is overwhelmingly PCEP plus most of the other bands are from Michigan as well so needless to say, an Ohio band is not a favorite.
So, they announce caption winners. Best visual is PCEP. The place goes crazy with all the PCEP fans. Best music is awarded. its Mason. waaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!! Our hardy little bunch goes bananas. We won a caption outright!!!! That alone made the evening. And then overall effect gets awarded and its PCEP but that's ok, we got one of the three captions and that is a huge deal.
So, then they announce the results starting at #10 and counting down to #1 the winner. I figure we are at least in the top 3 so Im not really worried for places #10-#5. So they get down the last 3. They announce #3 and its West Bloomfield (another excellent band) and I'm like phew, we're in the top 2 so I'm happy no matter what happens.
At this point, I fully expect PCEP to win. I can't say we played better than they did but I can darn sure say we played as well. And PCEP is a big national band and Mason is still trying to make a name for ourselves. So its time for #2 and I steel myself to hear "and second places goes to William Mason marching band" and the PCEP fans to go bonkers and I'm mentally practicing my speech to my daughter about how this is a great step forward.
So the PA guy says "and, with a score of 78.60, second places goes to <....... eternal pause .......> Plymouth-Canton Educational Park!".
For about 2 seconds, you could hear a pin drop. The PCEP fans are stunned. We look at each other and go "what? WHAT??? oh my god, oh my god, OH MY GOD, WE WON!!!!! HOLY <expletive> WE WON!!! WE WON!!!!". Us little band of Mason fans go berserk. The rest of the whole freakin' dome is sitting on their hands in silence and we're leaping around hugging and high-fiving and going totally ape.
And then we realize we've broken a cardinal rule of marching band which is "respect thy opponent". So I have to tell everyone to shut up and sit down. Plymouth-Canton gets their 2nd trophy and we all clap.
And then PA announcer says "and, with a score of 78.65 ..." <and a groan comes from the PCEP fans because they realize they lost by an eyelash of .05> William Mason marching band!!!". We erupt again and the kids on the field go bananas and the PCEP fans (to their credit) warmly applaud.
So the fans all file out and we are standing there still stunned. Again, to PCEP's credit, many of their fans stopped by us and told us "great show" and congratulations and shook hands with us and patted us on the back. I've only got nice things to say about them. All marching band parents know the amount of time and effort that goes into these shows. We mostly just babble away because we really don't know how to act after winning something like that and frankly we're just shocked.
So they dismiss all the other bands from the field and turn the field over to Mason to celebrate. The dome is empty except for us. Lots and lots of pictures are taken, daughter Lizzy is half crying/half laughing and is pretty overwhelmed by emotion. Most of the other kids are that same way. They take formation and play the music from their show again (without marching). Pretty impressive to hear from 20 feet away with gorgeous playing with much emotion. Then Mr. Bass (head director) tells the seniors to dismiss their band. So they do the same cheer they dismiss each practice with only this time the roar is so loud, it fills the stadium. Just awesome. I still get choked up just thinking about it.
There isn't enough money in the world to pay for moments like these. Just all very cool and I've never been so proud of a bunch of kids (and my kid) in my life.