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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 2014

From The 13th Chair Trombone Player:
Seen and Heard at BOA 2014

The air was frigid causing your fingers to tighten up, drool to seep out from your numb lips, and snot to make a regular appearance on the many faces waiting outside for one glimpse of the glory that was taking place inside Lucas Oil Stadium. It was truly majestic. The booming voice over the P.A. made your knees buckle as it described that there was no outside food or drink allowed into this battle arena for the day's finest musical warriors. And as the doors opened, the rush of excitement overtook everyone's natural desire to run to the pulled barbecue pork but instead run right to their seats, knowing they would have time for concessions later. It was time for Bands of America Grand Nationals. I present the 2014 TOP 20 HILARIOUS THINGS SEEN & OVERHEARD AT GRAND NATIONALS! FOR GLORY!!!!

By DJ Corchin
Posted November 17, 2014

Yes! and The 13th Chair teamed up again to bring you the best Grand Nats has to offer. Well, actually brought you the best, I caused mischief and ate a lot of small pizzas. I packed up my Subaru Forester beyond the recommended weight limit, picked up Dan Dougherty (illustrator of the Band Nerds Books series) and proceed to intravenously insert coffee into my arm. It was Dan's first marching band competition and it was an honor to be able to run to buy him a new set of underwear after he experienced his first band. I was truly moved by the amount of heart all the bands had this year. But I know you don't want to hear the sappy stuff. I don't get paid (in punch and pie) to be serious. Plus, I'm really bad at it. (I tend to speak very loud and awkwardly when I say the words I Love You.) Band is hilarious. I spend a lot of time watching bands and hanging in the concourse just listening. I got an all access pass (Moohahahaha) to be able to sneak around and collect the funniest things.

Here's my Top 20 for this year in no particular order except in the order I want them to be in. I'm pretty particular about it:
  1. A flute soloist sitting on an intimidatingly large dark throne. Yeah sounds about right.
  2. Gigantic Cages. Finally someone who knows what to do with percussionists.
  3. We got introduced to our new cyborg overlords. They seem nice. At least they're into music.
  4. The 13th Chair An angel singing with 4 large rolls of toilet paper stuck to her shoe.
  5. Giant pieces of rolling avocado. They are a superfood you know.
  6. A bunch of faces throwing up guard members.
  7. An entire band of neon ninjas working out. Not sure how they did it, but I put down my nachos and did a lap.
  8. There was a lot of Janet Jackson moth worshipping.
  9. Green Mohawks! That's so in right now.
  10. Trombones under a giant mushroom. Yes, that feels right. Yes.
  11. Mimes! Glad it wasn't 12 minutes of silence. That would be awkward.
  12. Overheard before someone's first show. "I don't get it. How is it a competition? Do they march at each other or something?"
  14. Qbert's home made an appearance.
  15. An entire band read my palm and told me my future. How did they know? I've never told that stuff to anyone!
  16. There was a significant amount of plumbing on the field. What ever you do, don't flush.
  17. A band who had almost as many dragon humps as sousaphones.
  18. Little innocent grandma sits down next to me and says to her daughter, "Here, take this." "What is it?" "It's the food I smuggled in." "What?!" "Oh what do I care I'm 78."
  19. A flying band member! Yes finally shows in 3D!
  20. A marching band gave birth to 10 bassoons. Do you know how rare that is?

BONUS: 12 minutes straight on a globe treadmill. Bam. ;)

About the Author: DJ Corchin is a music education advocate and author of the celebrated humorously inspiring Band Nerds book series including Band Nerds Poetry From The 13th Chair Trombone Player, The Marching Band Nerds Handbook, and Band Nerds Confessions & Confusion. 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 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 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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