“The one thing I will remember from the Sullivan Band competition is the deadly heat we faced on the field, the streets, and in the stands,” said Cody Bruckerhoff (12), an alto saxophone player in the Bearcat Brigade. “It affected the way I felt and played and my focus. The uniforms didn’t help with that since they’re basically seventeen-year-old winter coats.”
The band started off their marching season with a successful first competition at the Sullivan Marching Festival. The temperature reached an intense ninety-eight degrees, creating a challenging performance environment for all of the bands competing that day.
Mr. Ben Sachs, the band director, said, “I was excited for this year’s version of the Bearcat Brigade to get out there and compete after working for weeks and weeks at band camp.”
Soon after they arrived, the Brigade stepped off on their first parade route, weaving through the Sullivan streets, playing for judges and hundreds of bystanders.
“It was awful. It was really warm, everyone was tired, I wanted to go home, and we didn’t even get to take off our uniforms after,” said Tom Hagedorn (11).
There was only a short snack break before the band had to put their uniforms back on and prepare for their field performance. They were the very first competitors of the day, performing just half an hour after they finished the parade.
“I was feeling kind of excited for it, and I was also slightly nervous, as it was the first competition,” said Zackery Mckinnon (11). “It was very hot out there.”
Coincidentally, that same day, district choir auditions were also scheduled, so many of the band members had to change after their field show and drive to School of the Osage. With the cooperation of Mr. Dell, Mr. Sachs, and parents, students were able to participate in both competitions.
“Everything felt very rushed, and I didn’t have much time to really stop and think,” said Daniel Berliner (12).
“It was confusing and complicated,” Mr. Dell said, “and I’m very fortunate that the parents helped out like they did. Without the parents, it wouldn’t have happened.”
The band ended up taking second place in parade and in field, starting off their season with a bang. Even though the weather was less than ideal, the Bearcat Brigade persevered, pushing through the heat of their first competition.