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Despite Band Room fire - Bad Axe Band has prevailed taking first for Class D bands at Alma College

George G. Smith IV Director of bands and Choirs at Bad Axe Schools

Wed, 09 Oct 2019 09:48:59 EDT

 


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    For the last two weeks, the Bad Axe Marching Hatchets have had to deal with the loss of their band room. On Monday, September 23, the high school was evacuated after the discovery of a fire that had begun in the band room. Emily Bucholtz, senior, when she heard about the fire, said "I was sitting in my Spanish class on a Monday and all of sudden I heard someone yell, 'Why are there fire trucks outside?' My class all gathered at the window to see the fire trucks until the fire alarm went off and we headed outside. I met up with some other band students and none of us had any idea what was going on. We were all worried about our instruments since we had a competition on Saturday, but more curious about what had caused the fire and if everyone was okay."
    Fortunately for the students, no instruments were lost. Unfortunately, all instruments had to be removed and cleaned of smoke damage. For almost an entire week, the students were unable to practice anything, and they had a competition on the coming Saturday. "As usual in the beginning of the year we have fake fire alarms to 'prepare' us for those situations," Jolie Brown, a freshman member of the drumline said about the fire. "When I realized it was real, I was scared. I didn't want to lose my bass drum. After I found out it wasn't big it calmed a lot of band kids down. Everything ended up getting cleaned and replaced anyway."
    By Friday of that week all instruments were returned, and the band was able to get in one practice before heading for the Troy Athens High School for the first marching competition of the year. Not playing for an entire week did not deter the band, and they performed anyway, unfortunately leaving the competition with a low score. The group held everything in perspective and moved on.
    The next week they were able to put in full practices, working hard to overcome the missed week of rehearsal and get back on their feet. Friday, the band performed in the homecoming parade and then for the football game before loading the busses Saturday morning and heading to Alma College for the second competition of the year. This time, they were ready. The previous week they had scored in the 60s, but this time they would make a dramatic turnaround and walk away with a score of 77, taking first place among the class D bands. Avery Budzisz is a sophomore and captain of the color guard this year, and like the rest of the band, was proud of their Alma score. "I left the competition early but I was so happy when I heard we got first place! I wasn't expecting it just because of the crazy few weeks we have had. But I am so proud of the band and my color guard section, we really 'lit' up the competition!" Ben Shuart, senior and Drum Major of the group, was also pleased with the Alma results. "After receiving our score at Alma, I was relieved and also very proud of the group. Not often do you have fire damage in a classroom to which you cannot practice for a competition the upcoming weekend. I knew that the group we have here is definitely an 80 point band and after how much work they had put in, to go from a 69.5 to a 77 over the course of one week is very impressive."
   


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