JC has joined our high school marching band (I think I've mentioned that). This is a serious band - they've been state champions in 5 out of the last 7 years, and are accustomed to winning. But they have moved up to a more competitive division by adding a LOT of new people to the band.
They're not winning.
They're almost winning, which almost feels worse. I was just on the phone with John, who is down in Maryland watching them compete in a regional competition. I happened to call just as they were announcing the winners - we came in 2nd overall in our division. Apparently we won Best Visual Display, but not Best Music. Last weekend we came in 4th overall - and only .7 points behind the winner, so that was a tight grouping.
I just worry that the directors are going to be disappointed and take it out on the kids (not physically, but mentally). JC is working harder at this than I've ever seen him work before. He is trying to be organized, and it's hard for him. For example, he forgot/missed the announcement that they were supposed to show up this morning (6:45am) in uniform - I went by the paper that came home, which said "change after rehearsal". And he forgot his student ID, so he won't be allowed to wander around the National Mall in Washington, DC on his own. (Fortunately, his father and sister are there, but he'll have to go around with them (which isn't horrible, but still).) But he's really trying hard, and taking this seriously, and appears to be keeping up with his classes. And he appears to be at least as good as the other new tuba players, and possibley better - he's done his homework, he knows his music, and he knows where and when he's supposed to be.
And if they don't win one of these major competitions? I hope he doesn't feel like the hard work isn't worth it. If they don't win, well, they're in a more competitive division with a LOT of new people - it's not an excuse, it's true. And they've come a long way since the middle of August. I hope they can be proud of that, because they should be. I hope the directors can recognize that - I assume they must, since they've been at this a long time. I hope they tell the kids that.
And I'm really really hoping they do well at State Championships in two weeks.