August 13, 2017 – BAC Annual Banquet
I am sitting in the balcony at the Prospect Theatre located in a well-restored neighborhood in Indianapolis. It is Sunday, the day after the DCI World Championships. Everyone has just enjoyed a delicious brunch buffet. This historic theatre is a perfect place for the gathering of members, parents, staff and volunteers – the BAC family to celebrate the culmination of a successful summer and say good bye. How fun it was to see the kids go through a food line in this majestic setting, dressed and pressed, rather than a hot asphalt parking lot in the back of a high school, hot and sweaty, hunkering in the shade. I have a heightened feeling of that indomitable positive BAC vibe that I have been feeling and writing about all summer.
The members from Japan are dressed in kimonos. I instantly began to tear up when I saw them. These members are absolutely handsome and beautiful! They are sun-bronzed icons of the human specimen. This reminded me of the bicyclist I met a few days ago at Grand Park. He stopped to listen to the pit rehearsing in the lot. The guard was rehearsing in the field next to the lot. The gentleman asked, “Who are these kids? They are like sun goddesses.” I begin to think about the thousands of kids from all of drum corps who are now in the best shape of their lives. Body by drum corps.
Chris, the Executive Director of Inspire Arts, the BAC non-profit organization is giving a presentation. He is joined by members of the board of directors in thanking everyone and announcing important plans for the future to raise more funding and apply more resources to the Corps, so that it can continue to compete at the top level and move up in the ranks. Many applause moments acknowledge the hard work by all and the welcome news that portends and promising future for BAC. I have those goose bumps again. Rise.
As I look around the theatre at the tables, I see the congregations of the various sections of the corps. There is a strong common bond among all 150+ BAC members who toiled en mass throughout the season. There are even stronger bonds between the various sections of brass, battery, pit and guard. Special handshakes, shouts, and tee shirts identify their particular tribe within the nation of BAC. This is a very happy/sad moment for the 35+ members who are moving on. Aging-out is tough. However, you can tell the older kids are ready to take on the world and make their own magic happen along their future paths. Many of the kids will return. Auditions begin in October. One can only assume that there will be a lot of kids who will want to be part of this corps. The talent of BAC will rise as a result of this year’s success and the attraction of the high caliber instruction staff.
“I have miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost.
I have taken a peek at the potential routes home. There are 780 miles between Indy and my humble home on the Mill Brook. I am sure there will many things that come to mind as I travel home. Most people in this theatre will be going to the airport and will be home before I reach Cleveland. I understand that the Indianapolis airport is another happy/sad place as members from all corps comingle at the gates prior to their journeys home. Bonds extend in drum corps.