Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Place Award, Superior Band

by NK

Did you know that there are awards you can receive for your talents? One of the best awards that I received for one of my many talents was at Claremont Middle School with the Claremont Symphonic Band. The year 2009 was the best year for the band.

On April 23, 2009, the Claremont band was rehearsing three songs to participate in a bay area school-wide competition. The three songs that we were rehearsing were: “May River March,” “Serengeti Dreams,” and “Glen Canyon Overture.” I played second trumpet and I was fourth chair. After we finished rehearsing, the period ended. I wanted to talk with other students to see if they were excited, so when I left the band room I saw Jack. Jack is a trumpet player as well, but he is better than me. When I saw him walking to second period I beckoned for him to come over and I started a conversation. “Hey, Jack! Do you really care about this competition?” I asked. “No, not really,” he responded, “but I want to go to Great America.” “Well, I have to make it to second period, so I won’t have to deal with Ms. Martin,” I said. “All right then, Noah,” Jack said. “Bye.”

It was the day before the competition, and the class was feeling good about the songs we had rehearsed. We felt prepared to win the competition until Ms. Briggs screamed out loud in class, saying, “There are many schools from Oakland that are participating in the competition! So we need to be on top of our game!" Before class was over, I prayed to myself and asked God to help us through the competition. After I finished praying, class ended and we went our separate ways to finish school for the day.

It was the day of the competition, and we all had to meet at Claremont School to take the charter bus. Everyone was on time and prepared and we soon left the school for Deer High School in Antioch, California. When we made it to Deer High School I saw a lot of people walking around the school wearing their different band uniforms and we were all excited because we were wearing Claremont Band uniforms. After we ate lunch we went to the practice room to rehearse some more before we would go before the judges.

When we walked into the practice room I was prepared to play the three songs until… I realized I’d left my trumpet at the school! As soon as Ms. Briggs noticed that I left my trumpet, she was furious. “Noah, I can’t believe that you left your trumpet at school. I am very disappointed in you because we worked very hard to be prepared for the competition and out of all the people in the band, you decided to leave your trumpet!” She said. “Ms. Briggs, I am sorry for letting the band the down, but could you please do your best to help me find a trumpet to use?” After the conversation ended, Ms. Briggs asked one of the students to help me find a trumpet. When the student found me a trumpet, Ms. Briggs helped me tune up in time for rehearsal.

It was our turn to go into the auditorium to play before the three judges who were seated in the back row, and they were looking very bored. I assumed they were tired of listening to thousands of songs that had probably been played badly. When we played our songs the judges seemed to perk up and were amazed by the way we played them. Their reviews of us were very superior.

After we played for the judges it was time to board the chartered bus and leave Deer High to go to Great America to receive our awards. At Great America we were separated into groups of five. I rode the Demon, the Flight Zone, the Orbit, the Vortex and the Grizzly. Then we went to the theatre at Great America and we saw the other schools from Oakland: Edna Brewer, Roosevelt, Bret Harte and Castlemont High School. There was an announcer who gave away awards for the best bands at Deer High. The bands that won an award with a rating of "excellent" were Edna Brewer and Roosevelt. The band that won an award with a rating of “good” was Castlemont. The best band overall at Deer High School, with a rating of "superior" was Claremont Middle School! After the announcer gave away the awards, everyone who went to Claremont was surprised, happy and excited. Ever since winning the award, the Claremont Band has been unbeatable!

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