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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 2015

Students and parents alike loaded buses from all over the country. They got up at the crack of dawn, hair not done, "showered the night before," chewed gum instead of brushing their teeth because it was faster. Yes, Grand Nationals was upon us once again. This year was a little different. There were bands from Alaska and Hawaii. Both equally confused by the midwest's weather. There were more vendors than ever before selling t-shirts with band sayings they saw on Facebook (definitely not Instagram) that a sophomore in high school made up. I was trying to eat healthy in a pro-nacho environment. Despite these differences, two things remained the same: Grand Nats is still where many parents learn to use their smartphones for the first time and Band is hilarious. Here it is, THE 2015 TOP 20 HILARIOUS THINGS SEEN AND HEARD AT GRAND NATIONALS! Don't forget to record in landscape mode.

By DJ Corchin
Posted November 18, 2015

Here's my Top 20 for this year in the order of which I cut and paste them from my notes app:
  1. There were bass drums being worshiped in a temple on a sacrificial altar with built-in barbecue.
  2. Math. There was math on the field.
  3. Clearly the year of giant columns and pillars. They broke the 1st rule of marching band; never have more pillars than tubas.
  4. Director yells "I love you" to a band before they begin their performance. Person behind me adds, "But I'm not IN love with you."
  5. I now hear in my sleep an entire band forcefully yelling at me to not go gently into the night. I'm just saying it's hard to go gently into the night with an entire band forcefully yelling at me to not go gently into the night.
  6. Everyone praying to a flugelhorn. That was a thing. It will not occur for another 200 years.
  7. A tornado caused by a single quad player. Go figure a percussionist is responsible for that type of destruction.
  8. Drum Majors mind controlled by TV. So, in this case you CAN blame TV.
  9. I was hypnotized by a band. Afterwards, I walked six blocks to the grocery store. Bought cottage cheese and Apple Jacks. Sat down in the grass outside yelling, "Watch me Nae Nae" while eating both in a bowl with a spatula.
  10. A band that gave me the pin drop locations of every Starbucks in Indiana.
  11. An entire ecological disaster covered a band. We had to hand scrub every little baritone player to clean it up.
  12. I finally had the white-picket fence relationship with a band I always hoped for.
  13. Cat trust fall.
  14. The band was literally a puppet. Not that whole metaphorical "the director pulls the strings" thing.
  15. An entire band laid eggs. So that's where freshmen come from.
  16. The Time Portals from Austin Powers made an appearance.
  17. An entire band with no faces. How, how do you eat?
  18. A woman in the audience wearing a witch hat demanding I give her an R. I don't mess with witches. I gave her the R.
  19. The severed head of Medusa. In a bag. On the 50.
  20. A full blown circus on the field. I mean, more than usual.

  21. Overheard a gentleman having a 45-second argument with himself on whether the guard was wearing primary colors or fluorescent.
  22. Broken glass everywhere on the field and players. If my mom was watching she would have stopped everything and made us wait until she was done sweeping.
  23. Solo sabre toss from the top of a glacier and no net. Extreme spinning is the new sport of the future.
  24. Most of the time I was either in a dark forest or space.
  25. They said it was a giant yarn ball, but I'm pretty sure it was a hairball that came out of a tuba. It has that certain "aroma."

So there it is in all its glory. Bask in it. Marinate in it. Let it get in your bones. Then prepare for another year of amazing music ;)

About the Author: DJ Corchin is an international award-winning author and illustrator and a music education advocate. His alter ego, The 13th Chair has written the celebrated humorously inspiring Band Nerds book series including Band Nerds Poetry From The 13th Chair Trombone Player, The Marching Band Nerds Handbook, Band Nerds Confessions & Confusion, and The Marching Band Nerds Awards. 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 the award-winning I Feel...Children's Series and Mystical Rules For My Magical Daughter. He has published more than 15 additional children's books celebrated for their witty socially conscious messages. 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 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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