Marching Band Competition – the Brentwood Approach
Competition is a wonderful thing when approached correctly. There are many lessons to learn from the process regardless of the outcome.
Competitions are important features of the Brentwood Marching Band program. We get valuable feedback about our progress as individuals and as a program, but we never "live or die" by any one judge's or any panel's opinion of our performance.
We learn how important it is to give maximum effort every time we perform, and to be able to stand by our performance as our best possible effort that day. Give all you’ve got, because that’s all you’ve got to give.
Competitive performances are packed with emotion. A lot of time, work and discipline is required to produce award-winning performances; we share hardship, discomfort, fatigue, oppressive heat, chilling cold, long bus rides, disappointment, tears, success and joy.
Along with these emotions go high levels of tension, which often causes students to react immaturely. We must avoid these normal pitfalls and instead channel our energy and attention toward the goal of performance excellence and the ultimate success that will follow.
At the end of a contest, all members of the Brentwood Band stand with silent pride as scores are announced. Many people think we are somehow punishing the band, but nothing could be further from the truth. Regardless of how well or poorly we may think we performed, we learn the important lesson of graciously accepting our results, regardless of outcome. It is all about presenting the best possible image and learning how to face life with self-control, grace and style.
We don't celebrate in the face of bands who place lower than we do, and we ABSOLUTELY don't rush the field when we win a show. In the same way, we don't cry and trudge dejectedly back to the bus when the results are less than we want.
We show our appreciation and respect for those who have earned the right to score ahead of us and gracefully accept any success we have. We never gloat. That is an embarrassment to our band and demeans the value of competing. We never cry "Foul!" regardless of how we may feel about the quality of our performance. We ask our supporters to uphold this same high standard of behavior - at the competition and afterwards as well.
Many of our competitors will not understand that we are able to congratulate those who are ahead of us and appreciate their performance. Those are the people that will not ever know the true reason for participating in competition, but will mistakenly equate winning with coming in first.
We rise and fall together based on our efforts; we will come in first when we deserve it, based on our performance. "Winning" is the state of every individual having endured the hardships, taken the chance of competing, and done their personal best in the pursuit of excellence. We can “WIN” every time we perform, regardless of the placements announced.
Our public reputation is based on our appearance, our actions, and our projection of pride and organization. It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that we ALWAYS present the best possible image. The band's image is based on each individual: students, staff, and fans included.