I've tried to think of how I am going to sum up this trip and I just can't do it. There were so many things that happened along the way, you, the reader, would be here for hours. But I will try. I met one of my roommates at the airport, she flew in from Dallas where she plays with another LGBA band. We headed to the hotel where we met our other roommate who had arrived earlier from New York City. We spent several hours getting aquainted with each other and responding to friends and others who wanted to know more about how everything was going. We hadn't even done anything yet. We stayed up much later than we should have with rehearsals starting in the morning, but we were not phased at all. Saturday morning, the entire group gathered in a large hotel ballroom where we were greeted by the leadership and got underway. The morning session began with sectionals. I met the rest of the 2o-something trumpets, we then formed our parade block and started to rehearse the music together, as a group, for the first time. We had time to get through the music once before coming together with the rest of the brass section to rehearse with the larger group. The sound of 25 trumpets in a ballroom is one thing, but the sound of the entire brass section, of a 200+ member marching band is something entirely different. It was fantastically loud. The group just seemed to fit together, though most of us had never played together until that moment. We immediately jumped in and got to work on logistics like how to carry our horns when we weren't playing and how and when to transition them to playing position. After sectionals, it was lunch time, everyone grabbed a box lunch and retreated to some corner of the hotel to eat. When we came together after lunch, it was time to head outside and get to the marching. Last minute changes had us practicing in a paid parking lot next to the hotel. This was a Saturday and there was some sort of family themed sports event (not the Ravens game). This events had lots of Baltimore locals walking around the area near the hotel and provided us with our first audience of the trip. We were not in uniform that afternoon, but our new drum heads had been installed and people could tell who we were. It didn't seem to dissuade anyone from enjoying our rehearsal. Especially the children. A few people who parked in the lot were surprised when they returned to find their car surrounded by a 214 piece marching band. We rehearsed all afternoon and into near darkness. The group came together quickly and it seemed as though we had been rehearsing for much longer than a few hours. Our first day of rehearsal was a beautiful day in Baltimore, the sun was out and the temperature was perfect.
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