It seems like it happened almost overnight but the bright green leaves of summer have now been replaced by warm reds, oranges and yellows. There is no greater display of fall beauty than that which is occurring in southern Indiana right now. As we begin to see these changes and the brisk fall air rolls in from the west, I am reminded of why fall is one of my favorite times of year.
On fall Saturdays, you can usually find our family at a local band contest. Our youngest son is a senior this year, making this the 12th year in a row that we’ve had a child in the Jasper High School (JHS) Band. Most of those 12 years, I have been part of the Pit Crew that transports and sets up the side line instruments that are part of the marching band show.
This coming weekend will be a big test as we travel to the Regional Band contest being held at Evansville Central High School. There are also three other regional contests being held across the state with schools split-up by class, depending on their size. The top 10 from the two regional competition sites in each class will go on to compete in the semi-state on October 26th. Out of those 20 bands, the top ten in each class go on to compete at the state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Jasper is the defending State Champion in Class B and is doing very well again this year. Forest Park High School, of Ferdinand, is the defending State Champion in Class D as well. That’s two bands from Dubois County that won in the state finals last year! Both schools have a strong, consistent history of musical excellence and I hope they can do it again!
Although we will not have a child in the band next year, following the high school band will continue to be a part of our family tradition. My wife and I met in high school in the JHS band and we were both part of the band staff through our college years, with me being a brass instrument instructor and my wife working with the color guard. We have continued to attend contests through all of our 28 years of marriage, even when we did not have a child involved.
This is a tradition my children have carried on as well. In fact, we currently have a daughter at Marian University who is a member of their marching band. Once the high school competition season is over, we plan to go watch her perform at one of Marian's home football games. It always gives me a great deal of pride every time I see our children carrying on this family tradition.
As you can see, fall brings back a lot of great memories for my family. As we continue to make new memories, I’d like to hear from you too! What are some of your favorite things to do this time of year? If you’re like me, life can prove to be pretty hectic sometimes but I hope that we’ll all take a little extra time this year to appreciate the beauty of southern Indiana and enjoy it with those we love.