Sunday, April 6, 2014

Brandon's big week

Brandon had two big events this week. I'm so proud of him for the good things he's doing right now.

*All-county Band*

Brandon has a dilemma when it comes to band. He is good at music. And likes it. Sort of. But he can't stand his music teacher. Dang. That makes it hard to enjoy band much. But his band teacher "forced" him to try out for All County band this year. B was ticked. But he takes pride in his GPA and his teacher threatened to give him (and a few other talented students) bad grades if they didn't audition. So Brandon begrudgingly tried out. And he made it!

We were excited to receive the news...but Brandon decided he didn't want to participate. After a pep talk (or bribe) from us, he changed his mind and decided to give it a try. And he liked it!

He got two days off of school to rehearse and then they performed on the evening of the second day. They were awesome!

Running through his music at home. 
He plays the baritone.
Or at least that what he calls it.
In the program, they listed him as a euphonium player.

 On the night of the performance

With a slew of other musically inclined middle-schoolers 

Can you see him on the back row? 

They played such fun songs. I was glad he could have the experience of playing with other kids who play well. And with a conductor that he got along with. Here's one of their songs. I'm pretty sure it was called "Dune Buggy."

I love the part where the trumpet players clap to the beat. :)

*Odyssey of the Mind--State Competition*

Since his team won the regional competition, we got to travel down to Wingate University this past weekend to participate in the State OM competition. We had such a great time! Andrew had some vacation days that he needed to use, so he took the day off. He and I had a fun morning date, picked the kids up early from school, and headed down to Charlotte.

We played at a fun Chuck E. Cheese's

And let the kids do Magiquest at the Great Wolf Lodge.

We also shopped for a while at the giant mall there and then headed to Matthews, NC (which I had never heard of) to meet up with B's team at our hotel. They had a quick little pep-talk/practice before heading off to bed.

On Saturday morning, we drove to Wingate University. 
It is a beautiful, small campus that seems to be in the middle of nowhere. 

Our kids had the spontaneous part of their competition first. 
They explored campus while waiting for their turn.

Their cute coaches: Miss Cheryl, Miss Karen, and Miss Jenny 

Last-minute strategizing 

Getting out some of their nervous energy

They are not allowed to talk about the spontaneous problem when they come out, but I could tell from Brandon's face that he didn't feel good about how it went. Uh oh.

Then it was off to lunch. After that, they had some time to kill before performing their skit.

They played duck, duck, goose 

Humored me for photo ops
(or at least some of them did!) 

and built human pyraminds.
Such a fun bunch of kids.

Then it was show time!
They did a GREAT job on their performance.
Unfortunately, it was in a big, beautiful auditorium 
and their voices didn't carry to my camera very well.
So, here is a video from their regional competition last month.
The narrator is still kind of hard to hear in this one.
Hopefully you'll get the gist of it.

After the performance, it was time to head over to the arena for the awards ceremony.

It was a long wait.
To help pass the time, they had a dance contest.
Apparently, our team members are not into dancing much.
They just mostly stood around laughing.

They also had a crazy hat contest.
We had not heard about this before we went.
But some of the kids went ALL OUT.
They had three categories: funniest, most outrageous, and most creative (?)
Even though Brandon had not prepared anything, 
he wanted to be in the contest.
Here's what he came up with:
He duct taped his shoe to his head.
And then his friend put his pop bottle inside of the shoe.
I am laughing so hard right now looking at these pictures.

The funniest part is that Brandon made it to the finals 
in two of the three categories!! 
Look at the kids he was up against!
Too funny.

Then it was time to hand out the awards.
Drum roll.....
They took third place!
I was so proud of them and happy for them.
Some of the team members have participated before
and made it to the World competition, so they were
kind of disappointed. I thought they did awesome, though.
Brandon had a great time and hopes they compete again next year.


  1. It's great to see Brandon involved in so many different activities.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I had a band teacher I didn't like for awhile and that definitely makes it hard. Mine even gave me an A- in jazz band in 9th grade and kept me from a 4.0 that term (and then gave me outstanding jazz artist award!). I feel for ya, Brandon. Does he ever play the trumpet anymore?
    The shoe hat cracked me up. And he made it into the finals. (-:

  3. Amy--he still has his trumpet here at home and will occasionally play it, but not often here and never at school.

  4. Oh what fun! Congrats, B! (Big Tom's good friend here plays the euphonium. It's a totally underrepresented and under-appreciated instrument!)

  5. That was a weekend to remember! Who knew Odyssey of the Mind was such a big deal - and they rocked it! Congratulations B! Loved the band experience too - made me laugh that his is the ONLY face I can't see in the video (darn big euphonium!).
    Grandma S

  6. The band sounded so good! Congrats to B on his big week. I would have given him an award for the shoe hat too. :-)