On November 3, Gull Lake Marching Band traveled to Ford Field for the first time as a part of the MCBA competition. Prior to the competition, Gull Lake held their own in ninth place out of all flight three bands in Michigan, and they ended the season in ninth place as well.
The competition at Ford Field occurs in November every year after a long season of competitive state-wide marching. Each season lasts approximately four months, starting in early August and ending in November.
There is no guarantee that any single band will make the cut to perform at Ford Field. In fact, it is almost impossible for a band to perform at the stadium for their first year of MCBA level competition. Upon joining the MCBA competition league, Gull Lake was told that they would not make it to Ford Field that year or even the next, but the Gull Lake band achieved this anyway.
Each band is placed in a “flight” depending on the school’s size. If a school has over 1,686 students, it is eligible for flight one, no matter the size of the band itself. With around 1000 students, Gull Lake participates in flight three. More MCBA flight information can be found here.
Gull Lake’s show this year is titled The Rings and has five movements featuring “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral,” “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Entrance of the Gladiators,” “May it Be,” “Olympic Fanfare,” “Rocky” theme, and more.
Gull Lake flaunts around 100 marchers this year, not including pit or drum majors. The band has taken a large hit in participants this year, dropping from 156 marchers last year, but still managed to defy expectations.
On competition day, last Saturday, marchers reported at the school at 11:30 for their final rehearsal before packing up and heading out at 2:45.
Some students traveled up to the competition separately, which led to some interesting incidents. One set of students drove with the trailers containing the props and frontline instruments; after driving for two and a half hours, the truck entered Detroit, only to meet obstacle after obstacle, closed highways, high traffic, blocked streets, and finally got stuck in a dead end. In order to get moving again, MCBA officials were contacted in order to get permission to move through the restricted section, all twenty feet of it.
Once the whole band had arrived, Color Guard and Drumline split off from the band to rehearse separately. The entire group only reunited as they were walking onto the field.
The performance itself was a success, and Gull Lake held its standing of ninth place. Senior Allison Eldridge was overjoyed with the performance.
“I’ve never performed on such a big scale before and absolutely loved it,” Eldridge says. “There had to be over 500 people watching us.”
The band was overjoyed to receive such a high ranking, as shown in the interview with Allison Eldridge. Eldridge is the Senior Color Guard Caption who participated in the interview down below.