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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 2017

Top 20 Hilarious Things Seen and Heard at BOA Grand Nationals 2017

By DJ Corchin
Posted November 14, 2017

Yes! It's November. It's cold. Everyone's tired. No one has showered in days. Weekends have been non-existent for three months. All pairs of socks and underwear have large cavernous holes in them. And's the best time of year! It's time for Bands of America Grand National Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana!

Ah yes, Indianapolis where the world comes to celebrate the marching arts on their way to Chicago to celebrate everything else. Indianapolis however is well prepared for the rush of band families that overrun their beautiful city as they've increased the number of Starbucks by 50 and passed laws allowing food trucks to only serve soda and chicken fingers. Well played Indy. Well played.

I was thrilled to once again be sponsored by debuting my new omnibus of Band Nerds books, "Band = Life" as I got to meet some fantastic families. All of them with their own stories. Their own hilarious stories.

That being said, in true 13th Chair tradition, here is the annual Top 20 Hilarious Things Seen and Heard at Grand Nationals 2017 Edition!

In no particular order except for the particular order in my head:
  1. Mad scientists capturing lightning in a bottle. That is also how to describe band directors.
  2. Ice skating on the field. Ice. Skating. On. The. Field.
  3. An entire guard that bedazzled their faces.
  4. The 13th Chair Saw a mom with a kid's face on a stick. When I asked her about it she said, "I have no idea who this is."
  5. A tarp as big as a football field. No really.
  6. A bunny conducting. Tempos seemed to be on the upper end and they had massive downbeats.
  7. A dead tree turn into a marimba and make a friend with a clarinet. See there's still hope for us people.
  9. A director yell, "Yeeeaaah Boyeeee!" after someone played a solo. It was a ballad section.
  10. An entire guard dressed as if Kesha and Rufio from Hook had a baby.
  11. Cymbal line ninjas who were also sorceresses mixed with fire. I mean who wants to be Batman when you could be these ladies?!
  12. A real live Zen Garden iPhone App. I so wanted to write my name in the sand.
  13. An entire band with different color hors d'oeuvre trays on their head.
  14. Eyeballs everywhere. I felt like I was the one being watched.
  15. An infestation of props people. I see you props people. You are seen.
  16. f-holes everywhere!
  17. Baritones riding on top of Mad Max vehicles driven one-handed by trumpets playing. No exaggeration there. That was a thing.
  18. Mannequins coming to life. I peed a little.
  19. An entire band in second position plié for about a minute. I am so sorry bari saxes.
  20. "Texas isn't really known for marching band."

There it is folks. Love it. Live it. Share it. And then do it all over again next year! See you then ;)

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 2017 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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