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From The 13th Chair Trombone Player

Humorous and inspiring author DJ Corchin offers his unique observations about life in the world of marching bands.

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Home > From The 13th Chair Trombone Player > Seen and Heard at BOA 2011

From The 13th Chair Trombone Player:
Seen and Heard at BOA 2011

Tens of thousands of band people coming together from all over the country under one roof? Nachos, pretzels, ginormous Cokes, and pulled pork sandwiches aplenty? Band moms and dads all with matching t-shirts? OMG! Columnist DJ Corchin (The 13th Chair) shares his annual Top 20 Most Hilarious Things Seen or Overheard at the 2011 Bands Of America Grand National Championships! He puts the funny, band....type, um stuff.

By DJ Corchin
Posted November 13, 2011

Once again Music for All's Bands of America Grand Nationals was a ton of fun...and of course HILARIOUS! I saw some really inspiring things that I'll share in my full column, but it's time for the now ANNUAL (super sweet) Top 20 Most Hilarious Things Seen or Overheard at Grand Nats!

I know, I know. You've been waiting all year just to read this. I've gotten thousands of e-mails just screaming for this year's edition (in my own head) and I've answered every one (in my own head). Well, I won't keep you waiting. Also check out my new Band Nerds blog called I started it to keep you entertained in between columns here on ENJOY these observations through the eyes of The 13th Chair!

In no particular order except for how I particularly wanted to write it:
  1. Standing in line for food, Girl 1: "I'm gonna get my nose pierced." Girl 2: "Yeah me too. Do you think it rattles when you play?" Girl 1: "Probably." Girl 2: "That's cool."
  2. Gigantic fluorescent green hands in the stands. It was like a whole section of nuclear Kermits waving at the band. Me: "Wow cool, what are they doing?" Robbie, 6-year-old sitting next to me: "That's Double Dream Hands!" - Duh.
  3. A band literally had music attached to their heads. I guess it could be attached to worse places.
  4. Um can you say snowflakes made of LASERS!
  5. From The 13th Chair Trombone Player Saw the fishing trip that I never took with my father re-enacted on the field. What? Hey, we all have our issues.
  6. Color guard members with their own bar codes taped to their faces. If that's not a sign of the times I don't know what is. I wonder if you scan them, if it will take you right to their individual twitter feed?
  7. 26 timpani - Why not?
  8. Classical melodic sousaphone solo standing on a drum - Why not?
  9. A retractable, portable spirit sign with the school's name. There is some serious R&D happening in parent groups today.
  10. Saw the Marching Warriors with candy color balloons attached to their wrists. I thought, "Those are really adorable Warriors."
  11. "Empty Your Water!" the director yells while waiting in the tunnel. 60 brass players empty their spit right in front of me. That was a memorable Grand Nats moment.
  12. Joked with the concession lady at Lucas Oil Stadium that the marching band crowd can't be as bad as the Monday night football crowd. She replied, "I don't know about that. I've heard those stories about band camp." Touché. Point Concession Lady.
  13. They're back! Huge dancing menorahs! Bigger and Funkier than last year!
  14. A band turn themselves into skyscraper windows. Don't ask me how, but they did it.
  15. Dr. Tim decked out in a purple sweater, purple shirt, AND matching purple shoes. Holla!!!
  16. Saxes angrily popping balloons in the front. Why are you so angry? You picked sax, not me. Calm down.
  17. Two butterfly shows in a row. When does that ever happen? Good thing I don't get easily distrac...I like ducks.
  18. A lady with "Band Mom Gone Wild" shirt on. I laughed and felt uncomfortable all at the same time.
  19. A drum major tossing a rifle on the podium! What sort of sorcery is this?! Next we'll see percussionists being responsible.
  20. 80 year old couple: "This is our first Grand was on our Bucket List!" ;)

About the Author: DJ Corchin is author of the celebrated humorously inspiring book, Band Nerds Poetry From The 13th Chair Trombone Player ( He was a featured performer in the first national Broadway tour of the Tony and Emmy award winning show, BLAST! where he was best known as the "unicycling trombonist." His other children's books including Sam & The Jungle Band, You Got A Boogie, and the I Feel... series were published to rave reviews. A pop recording artist out of Chicago and former high school band director, he continues to be involved in marching bands and music education through speaking events, competitions, and organizations such as Music for All. Mr. Corchin welcomes your comments via email. For more of his work please visit Mr. Corchin is an independent contributor so his views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of

Text by DJ Corchin. Trombone illustration by Dan Dougherty.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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