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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 2012

From The 13th Chair Trombone Player:
Seen and Heard at BOA 2012

The smell of marching band was in the air once again. It was a mix of hard work and processed cheese. The band puns were plentiful and the matching band t-shirts were bright with neon and awkward fonts. Truly magical. It's time for The 13th Chair's ANNUAL Top 20 Hilarious Things Seen or Heard at Grand Nationals!

By DJ Corchin
Posted November 12, 2012

Grand Nationals is something very special. So special I want to wrap it up and give it as a Valentine's gift. But that would be weird. And it wouldn't fit in a box. And it's an event not a thing. This year was kind enough to sponsor me at their booth where I got to sign books and talk with so many different people. Most of them were not imaginary. It was a great time to watch the creativity in the art being performed on the field. I'll be sharing deeper thoughts in an upcoming article (so brace yourself). Here's some of the fun from this year observed through the eyes of The 13th Chair. Enjoy!

In no particular order except when in a particular order:
  1. "It's not a mustache, it's a mouthpiece cleaner."
  2. A band brought an entire organ on the field. You know how hard it is to march with an organ?
  3. Costumes that grow fruit. It's healthy AND convenient.
  4. The 13th Chair An entire band took out handkerchiefs. That would be one huge booger.
  5. The PopeMobile brought out pit equipment.
  6. Mirror Mirror on the wall...there's a guard inside you.
  7. I am now legally married to an entire marching band. It all just happened so fast and I'm not sure I'm ready for such a commitment.
  8. Mirrored Bass Drum drumheads! Totally awesome until I realized they were beating my face.
  9. The biggest spider dress I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot of them. This year it was like all the bands got together and said, "Got go with me on this...picture it...spider show. Yes."
  10. Animals dressed like color guard members.
  11. One parent telling another parent "I will use my teacher voice on you if you don't calm down."
  12. Proof that there is life in outer space...and they have a marching band.
  13. A band playing all sorts of games. Tag, Capture the Flag, Musical Chairs, Hide & Seek. It was like camp, but for band...wait...
  14. As part of a show a clarinet player yelling, "You cheater! I hate this!" Seems like a clarinet thing to do. Ba-zing!
  15. A grandma in the audience was reading Green Eggs & Ham to a young boy while the song "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan was playing. Not sure what was going on, but I suddenly felt selfish and wanted to go save a puppy.
  16. An entire band being shocked back to life. I thought it was an appropriate metaphor for a budget cut being cancelled. Clear!
  17. "I think all band directors walk the same, like they've all had the same life."
  18. Lots of parents wearing buttons with pictures of their children on them. No children were wearing buttons with pictures of their parents on them.
  19. It was weird if something in your show DIDN'T light up.
  20. One word... JUDGECAM!

BONUS Top 5 most used Band Director Moves during performances.

WARNING: Years of education and experience are required for such precision. These moves are strategically done by trained professionals and should not be attempted at home.
  1. The loud clap when no one else is clapping.
  2. The silent pouty stand w/arms crossed and eyes closed.
  3. Yelling instructions out during the show.
  4. The double ear cup.
  5. Headbob conducting on the accented notes. ;)

About the Author: DJ Corchin is author of the celebrated humorously inspiring Band Nerds book series including Band Nerds Poetry From The 13th Chair Trombone Player and The Marching Band Nerds Handbook. You can follow his blog to catch his thoughts in real time. 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." Now living and working in Chicago as a children's author, his other publications are available world wide and include Sam & The Jungle Band, You Got A Boogie, I Feel... Children's Book Series, and the upcoming ThunderFeet. A 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 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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