All Things Best Band in the Land.

So last night we got a wonderful treat. The Grambling State University band came to Reno and the night before their game against UNR, they played the Peppermill Hotel Casino in their new Tuscany Ballroom. To watch a 300 hundred piece band perform is one thing. To watch them perform like they did last night is to be left in a permanent state of awe. Here's a link to one of the many You Tube videos. They've been showcased in countless places - the Superbowl, TV shows and yes, they even did a Coke commercial (that one was for our Kuma Alisa...who used to work there!).

You can't define the word "incredible" until you've been serenaded by 16 tubas playing the Temptations, "Just My Imagination." Simply put, I got weepy. I'm a mommy, I'm allowed to weep in public from time to time.

We were lucky, with years of experience wading through concerts under my belt, I made our way to the very center front of their performance. We were seated (granted on the floor) but in front of the dignitaries, i.e. UNR's president and coaching staff.

Of course, it wouldn't be us unless there was at least one in our crowd who is unhappy. And last night it was none other than Bella. She didn't like the drums. Funny kid.

The band's formations, sheer size and perfectly executed maneuvers boggled the mind.

The cymbals were my favorite. These guys swung them around like they were dancing the paso doble and they were the toreadors.

We loved the little guy in the drum line...see him in the center front on the right? He was awesome!

Dr. Pannell, the musical director was a sight to behold. Pure dictator and perfectionist - I loved him. He spoke between the performances, letting us know a little bit about their history and his expectations. Let's put it this way, the man expects for every 4 minutes of half time performance a full 12 hours of rehearsal.

And if they don't perform up to his expectations, he's been known to wake them up at 2 a.m. to rehearse. Yikes. While I was in college, 2 a.m. was pretty much my bedtime. And yes, true to his word, he had them rehearsing in the parking lot up until they marched in for their performance.

Alex was exhausted from soccer practice an hour before. But he couldn't fall asleep due to the lovely sounds before him.

They performed pretty much every genre of music you could think of - Sousa marches, rock and roll, gospel and blues.

Kata liked the singing and of course, the dancers.

And then the Best Band in the Land, was told by Dr. Pannell to "cut a rug." And cut, they did. Holy Moly.

Dr. Pannell wanted the kids to get up and perform...so our kids, for once, weren't shy about it.

Then Dr. Pannell let all the kids march behind the band. And yes, he directed the kids as well. We would need hours more, alright years of rehearsal to get it right.

If they ever come to your town, please, go see them. Also, there was a movie called "Drum Line" that was loosely based on the band. We're going to put it on our Netflix list.

Wishing you a moment were you are mesmerized. We're still reeling from this and enjoying the precise drum beats in our heads.

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