Our first BYBA Band Competition – by Barnsley Sea Cadets
Uniforms pressed, webbing whitened and boots polished. The final preparations made to Barnsley Sea Cadet Band before our first BYBA competition.
On the morning we arrived at the cadet unit on a damp and drizzly day – British Summer at its finest! As we loaded instruments and uniforms onto the minibus the air was full of chatter. The cadets are curious and asking lots of questions about the other bands. ‘Do they wear uniform? Do they march like us? Do they play the same type of tunes? How will they react when we march on?’ The nerves were showing but the short journey to Featherstone gave us time on the bus to boost morale and top up the positive attitudes.
On arriving we pulled into the car park where the other bands were getting ready for their performances. Getting off the minibus the cadets were quieter than usual and a glance around shows me why, they are watching and fascinated by the costumes and instruments of the other bands. The quiet quickly dissipates and turns into nervous chatter again. Instruments ready, band ready, Drum Major ready. Time to perform………………………………
Over in a flash we have done our best and await results, however, the cadets are not concerned they are rushing to get instruments off and see the other bands. The cadets sat in the stands and watched the other bands perform and then again in the afternoon watching the DCUK bands. Each cadet was quiet, watching fascinated and only stopping to talk at the end of each band performance. Never seen the cadets so quiet, why? They are in awe of the tricks, sounds and way instruments are played, the displays and stories performed with music.
Lots of questions about different instruments and the costumes are a big talking point! The cadets love the different styles and recognise that although we stand out as different it didn’t matter as everyone there has one common theme – a love of music.
Overall our day was brilliant. We picked up best turnout and best drum major, not bad for our first competition. The cadets enjoyed the day and the welcome from BYBA officials and other bands was so friendly that we all felt privileged to have been part of the day. A big thank you to BYBA for a fantastic chance to enter the Traditional Class, we look forward to other competitions with you and thank your members / officials and other bands for the warm welcome.
So time to go home and the chatter and noise from cadets on the bus begins. The main talking point is are we going again next year? A resounding yes was the answer shouted by the cadets!