This post was created in connection with my appointment as a YesVideo Story Teller. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It was another typical chilly October Saturday night in Maine for high school marching band members. As the Westbrook Marching Band marched in formation to the cadence of the percussion line, their heads were head high with pride. They marched through to the large parking lot filled with nothing but yellow school buses and high school marching band equipment trucks. The band members had sweat pouring down their backs, from executing the 12 minute show, which required grace, attention to detail and pride. When they finally arrived back to their buses and fell out of formation they started chanting.
“BBKRRA, BBKRRA, BBKRA”
The band members cheered louder and louder, as they huddled into a large group together, jumping up and down in excitement. The chants were so loud you could hardly hear yourself cough let alone think. The energy in the air was electrifying. Eventually their band director signaled his members to calm down and the group fell quiet. He paused for a moment before grinning a huge smirk,
“You blew me away! That was the best performance of this season and if we don’t’ walk away with first place, then I will be shocked. Now go get changed!”
The band erupted with more chants and yelling. It was the state championship. The last competition of the season. For some band members, their last competition of their high school band experience. The show you throw it all on the line for. The show that you are determined to crush your long-lived rivals, the South Portland Red Riots.
Yes, just like sport rivals there are rivals among marching bands. See band geeks like a good competition too! Ever since I can remember the Westbrook High School Blue Blazes and South Portland Red Riots have been marching band rivals. When I was in band, both schools were in the same division. Each school had its strengths and weaknesses. South Portland always took first place in percussion, except for the few times when we squeaked ahead of them. Westbrook always took first place in colorguard. We flip-flopped back and forth with best music.
BBKRRA was a chant that has been passed down through the years and it means big blazes kick red riots a*@*&, I have no idea where it came from or how it started. It just felt so darn good to chant after every competition, especially those we won. I was reminded of this fierce rival between the bands while watching the videos I had transferred into digital format through YesVideo. Isn’t it funny how something so small can bring back such vivid memories?