High Notes 2013 Week 1

Another year, another round of high notes recognition!

Now in its fourth year, High Notes is a recurring theme (nearly) every weekend of football season. When it began, it was simply to acknowledge a college marching band who had a particularly notable performance that week. While an inexact, subjective science, I attempted to explain it a bit in the first year. Last year, fearing the series may get a bit stale, I opened up the playbook to include other gameday joys such as pageantry, food, beer, and tailgating. As you know from the previous post, I've got all of the above in spades, so this week, I'll stick to the marching.

While mostly positive, I do have a bit of a mixed reaction to the Mighty Sound of the Southeast, though I think it is at least partially location based. I did have trouble hearing them at times, but I will acknowledge that I was in the biggest, loudest stadium that I've been in, was seated as far from the band as I've ever been, and did not have the instrument bells pointed in my direction, at least while I was in the stands. I was also easily able to see flaws in the drill, but again, I had a bird's eye view of the first show of the season. During halftime, I could've used a bit more dancing in their pop tunes. It's possible they were, but if it didn't sell to the cheap seats, you weren't doing enough.

Despite all of the criticism - and granted, it's fairly nitpicky - I generally enjoyed the Carolina Band. But I came to a new appreciation late in the game. After a lightning delay cleared the stands a good deal in the 4th quarter, I made my way down to the band and was able to experience their full power. At least one of their downs tunes felt a bit like home, and it's worth noting that their current director is a fellow USF alum:

I was advised that a tradition worth sticking around for was their Amazing Grace closer, and I certainly was not disappointed.

Honorable mention for this weekend goes to the UNC Charlotte drumline. While football did not begin for them with a marching band, their drumline certainly fills the void and pleases the crowd. At 25 pieces, they provide the power to rock Charlotte's brand new stadium, and their beats are long on groove, making them easy for the fans to get into.