Thursday, July 20, 2023

Really Random Thursday, 7/20/23

 Nearly two weeks ago, we attended the most amazing concert, although it was a competition actually. Think marching bands on steroids. It was the Midcal Champions Showcase, and we were guests of good friends, Tim and Tracy Neufeld. It was held in the stadium at Fresno State, and the weather was absolutely perfect (unlike tonight where it is 8 p.m. and still 98 degrees.

Their son, Daniel, was a drummer in one of the groups, the Mandarins. 

I'm not sure how to even describe the event. There were eight groups competing. Each group had brass, drums, marimbas, color guard... It was an amazing spectacle. 

We first went to the practice field and watched Daniel and the rest of the drummers warm up. That was an event in itself.

Daniel is on the far right. I wish you could hear the precision. 
The trumpets were nearby as well.
Then we went into the stadium to watch the competition. 

The Mandarins were in the second half of the competition. I can't even describe it. There was so much going on down on the field! The music, the choreography, so much happening at once. To quote Mark, "It was like a three-ring circus!"
The team to beat is the Blue Devils from Arroyo Grande, shown below. They are top notch. And so are the Mandarins, who came in second place to the Blue Devils that night, which meant they did an excellent job. 
Close-up of Daniel

This competition, lasting most of the summer, is rigorous. Just that weekend alone, they were in Fresno on Friday, the Rose Bowl on Saturday night, and then up north Sunday and Monday. The finals will be in August in the Midwest. I would love to attend that.

Both Tim's and Tracy's parents were there, as well as their other son, Michael, an amazing musician who was in the Disneyland All American Band last summer, where we followed him around for a couple of days. So I guess Mark and I are Neufeld music groupies. :) Both of these guys are destined for musical super greatness, of that I'm sure! So we feel like we are fortunate to be watching them before they hit the Big Time! Thanks, Tim and Tracy, for such a memorable evening!

Other than that, last week we had dinner with our friend, Javier. He is a physician who normally works in several other places in California. But he was fairly local for a few days so we made plans to meet. He brought his girlfriend, Kim, whom we had not met yet. The funny back story was that Mark had made dinner reservations at 8 p.m. for four. We went ahead and got our table. And waited. And waited. We thought it was kind of weird that Javier (who was working until 7 p.m.) had not texted us that he might be late. On the other hand, we didn't text him that we already had a table. So finally at 8:30 Mark texted Javier, only to find out that they were seated on the other side of the restaurant and had been there since 7:45! Lack of communication. But it was a great evening. Kim owns a bed and breakfast in a lovely Victorian house in Sonora, gold country, and we will be booking a couple of nights there soon!
And that's it for now. 


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Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said... #

Thank you for this wonderful story. My grandson is in the high school band and is playing one of those large instruments on the sidelines. They competed all over northern Nevada last year (he was a freshman) and did so well. They were in So. California in the spring for a competition and a chance to play at Disneyland...a celebration for all their hard work all year.