Saturday, October 2nd started just like any other "contest Saturday" for the DCHS Fighting Tiger Band. They were set to perform at the Blue Devil Marching Invitational band contest at Lebanon High School.
The Band gathered at DeKalb County High School at noon for a rehearsal in preparation for their 5:30 performance in Lebanon. The students were on the practice field, cleaning and perfecting small trouble spots in their marching show titled, "Big Top Catastrophe."
The Parents and Boosters were buzzing around the band room working on the new back drop for the show. The new set is designed to look like a "Big Top Circus Tent" and it is a full ten yards long. This is, by far, the biggest prop that the band has ever used in a marching show.
At the end of the rehearsal, the Band packed up and boarded their buses and made their way to Lebanon. Upon arrival, one thing had changed…the weather, more specifically, THE WIND. The National Weather Service reported winds at the Nashville International Airport, the closest reporting location to Lebanon, at 18mph with wind gusts as high as 25mph. This made for some interesting moments for the Parents and Boosters who had taken on the task of moving around the new set piece.
The 30ft long, 8ft high prop acted as a sail in the wind. Six parents gave everything they had to move the set into place for the band's performance. Just as the band stepped on the field, the wind gave one final gust that snapped the set in half. Director Jonathan Wright made the quick call to get the prop off the field for the safety of the students.
With the "wind sail" removed from the field, "The Show Must go On." The Contest announcer said, "Now entering the field, The DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band from Smithville, Tennessee. Their show is entitled, ‘Big Top Catastrophe.'" Assistant Director, Mr. Joey Wilburn, jokingly said, "Well, we've already taken care of the ‘catastrophe' part."
At awards time, the Big Top Catastrophe (the prop, not the show), was the last thing on anyone's mind. The DeKalb County Band finished in 1st place in Class 2A. DCHS Field Commander, Katie Merriman, also won 1st place in Class 2A. The score sheets indicated that the band scored 2nd highest in the Small Division, which is the combination of the three smallest classes, 3A, 2A, & 1A. Katie Merriman also scored highest in the Small Division. Percussion and Color Guard received 2nd highest scores in Class 2A.
"I would like to thank all of the parents that help our band operate, but I would like to say a special thank you to the parents that were fighting our gigantic prop," said Mr. Wright. "Our band doesn't operate without the dedication of our students and parents. As our band continues to improve, I'm very excited about completing the show for our football and contest audience. I'm very proud of our band this year, they are working very hard and I think you'll really enjoy what we have in store."
The band has a few weeks to prepare for their next contest, but will continue to perform during half-time of the DCHS Tiger Football games.
· 10/8 – Macon County Home Game (Senior Night)
· 10/15 – Upperman High School Away Game
· 10/29 – Livingston Academy Away Game
· 10/30 – Mid-South Marching Invitational Contest at Austin Peay State University
· 11/6 – Division II State Contest at Independence High School
You are also invited to come out and support the DCHS Band during the Tiger Football Bye Week at their Chili Supper on Friday, October 22nd at Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church on 201 South College Street. Tickets are just $5 each and include a bowl of chili, crackers, a desert, and drink. Tickets can be purchased from any DCHS Band Student or Booster or at the door. Your help and support would be greatly appreciated.
You can learn more about the Band on Facebook or log onto www.DekalbBand.com.