This past Saturday was Brandon High School's first marching band contest. I spent my whole Saturday with the band. We had about an hour rehearsal before leaving for the contest site, and it truly amazed me how many students arrived early. Let me tell ya, this was the first time it happened all season.

Kristin Kray
During the day, I spent the majority of my time sitting, talking and watching other bands with one student, Tyler, who seriously wants to march in a corps. He asked questions about different corps and listened to the finals CDs I had brought with me. He's excited about auditioning. About midway through the season, Tyler had came up to me and told me he was interested in marching. I told him if he was serious, we needed to start running, doing abdominal workouts, and practicing on his own. Now, after each practice, Tyler and I take a few laps around the field and take some time to do an ab workout. Other students have asked us why we take the laps and do the workouts. The answer is this: We want to be physically and mentally ready for corps. Now, one of the drum majors, Josh, is also now hyping auditioning for a corps. He has joined in our running and ab adventures. The rest of the band just looks at us like we have lost our minds, but it really doesn't matter. The band director, Jim Lindroth, who marched in a championship corps, has been overly supportive of our choice to go audition for corps. He has given us great advice and many words of encouragement. Having someone that has marched in a championship and has won, and is supporting you 100 percent, takes a lot of stress and worry off of the people having to go through the audition process. Marching band season is now coming to an end here in Brandon. Their last contest is on November 1. It is a good thing auditions will come shortly after the end of the band season. By the way, in case you're curious, Brandon High School took third in their class and tenth overall at the contest on Saturday!
Kristin Kray is an 18-year-old freshman at the University of South Florida in Tampa, majoring in special education. She marched soprano for Pioneer in 2001-2002, and hopes to march trumpet for Carolina Crown next summer.