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10/24/2019

Indy - Here We Come!

As we journey off to Lucas Oil Stadium, I want to take a moment to explain what it is we are about to do and why.
 
What is Bands of America?
Bands of America is a national circuit that puts on 20 marching band contests throughout the US every year and they average 2,000 students at each event.  This organization gives a world class experience to roughly 40,000 students each year.  
 
Who attends these BOA events?  
Bands of America attracts the best bands in the nation because of the quality of judges and the experience of a Prelims and Finals format where you get to perform twice if you make finals.  We have participated in BOA events since 2007 when we made our first trip to Ypsilanti, MI.  We made finals in our first show and the only problem was getting our parents used to the 2am arrival back to DCHS.  Since 2007, we've performed in Canton, Akron, Dayton, Toledo and Indianapolis.  This year was the first time we've ever arrived home before 1am because the Regional was held in Obetz.
 
Why do we go to BOA events?  
Simply put, these are the bands that are like us.  We could attend competitions only in Ohio and make the logistics and the days much easier.  However, our kids enjoy living up to the highest standards in our field and enjoy being placed next to the Centerville's and the Mason's (two of the best in the United States).  Don't get me wrong, our local events serve a tremendous purpose as they did this last Saturday when almost every student marched on the performance field.  But BOA is what our kids want to strive for as voted on in our first Squad Leader meeting every year.
 
Why go to Indianapolis? 
Lucas Oil Stadium is the "Carnegie Hall" of music halls.  This is the place where we will sound the best and spin the best due to the temperature being 70 degrees and no wind.  For us to perform for a national panel, receive amazing feedback and to perform our show without the distractions of late October weather in Ohio is priceless.
 
Who goes to the Indianapolis Super-Regional? 
Everyone (Insert sad face emoji). Of the 20 regionals, this will be the most competitive regional behind the Houston regional.  There are 80 bands performing and roughly 25 bands that we have never placed higher than are attending.  Only 14 make Finals....
 
Why go to Lucas Oil Stadium?  
This answer is simple as well.  (The students begged us.)  Our last performance was in 2015 when last year's graduating class were freshman.  It was in 2015 that I made a decision not to return to Lucas Oil and chase the dream of making Semi-Finals like we did in 2013.  So for the past three years, our current seniors have heard how amazing this experience was.  It was through the seniors (and a few juniors) who asked, begged and pleaded that they get the same opportunity that every DCHS band has done since 2011.  So, in the probability of making Finals being extremely low, we are excited to watch 14 of the best bands in the nation perform.  They kids will be amazed at the level of professionalism that they will see on the field which will only make our band program even stronger for the upcoming years.
 
Why do we get back so late? 
I blame the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals and The Ohio State University for not building a domed stadium in Ohio!  This event is only held in Indianapolis and it is 3 hours away.  In the past, we've stayed overnight in a hotel when we've participated in Grand Nationals.  I decided that the extra $100 it would have taken to book the hotels, finding chaperones for more volunteer work, and be gone even longer was not worth the night in a hotel.  Unfortunately, this means we will get back at 2am. The staff believes this is the best decision for the students and their families - to have a wonderful experience and remain fiscally responsible.
 
Why don't we go to Grand Nationals in Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 14-16?  
We tried this many times and right now we are not ready to compete at that level.  This would extend the season for 3 more weeks makes the season even longer.  If in the future we achieve a level of musicianship that warrants a return trip, I might consider this trip again.  But currently, we are excited to try the Indy Regional and give our students a performance in the greatest marching band stadium in the world.
 
Why did we go to two contests last week?
(See Bradstreet Notes from the last Band Email.)  A large majority of bands perform in double contests.  Historically, the DCMB hasn't done many OMEA doubles in the past.  However, BOA Regionals are in a sense "doubles" because you hope to perform twice.  Here in Dublin City Schools, Scioto did two contests on Oct. 5 and Jerome is doing a double contest this Saturday.  Each of these schools attends a "double" every year.  We wish them the best! 
 
My Two Cents:
Our goal is to provide a world class experience through music.  We try doing this through performances on the field, through our trips to Disney World and NYC, and through the process of each and every rehearsal.  Our kids spend enough time on their devices.  Never once have I had a life-changing experience while staring at my phone, gaming system, or computer.  Our band hopes to provide a place where each student can showcase the values learned at home and then put on display for everyone to see as a part of the DCMB.  
 
To All Our Parents: 
Thank you for all that you do to allow your child to thrive in an environment designed to teach them discipline, provide leadership opportunities and experience the value of teamwork through our band program.
 
We hope to see you in Indy!
 
Jeremy
 
Jeremy Bradstreet
Director of Bands
Dublin Coffman High School
Performing Arts Lead Teacher 9-12, Dublin City Schools
Grammy® Finalist, Music Educator of the Year, 2019

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