Marching band takes grand prize at Festival at Mount Si Grand Parade
August 15, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
The parade was over, the band had disbanded and the musical instruments lay piled up near a tree.
And Sophie Hulet still kept marking time, tapping her foot on the ground as if she were a marching band of one.
Her mother Alex chuckled and advised her daughter that it was OK to stop marching. Then she changed her mind, sort of.
“Maybe I can use that to my advantage at home,” Alex quipped. “With chores.”
Sophie can be excused if she struggled to get out of “band mode.” After all, this was not just any day.
“I have been looking forward to this all summer,” she said.
Sophie and the rest of the Snoqualmie Valley Youth Marching Band won the grand prize at the Festival at Mount Si Grand Parade on Aug. 11.
In preparation for the event, the children had attended a weeklong marching band camp at Mount Si High School, practicing in the sun.
“They worked so hard all week,” Alex said of the camp that preceded the parade.
Band member Molly Mulligan agreed, saying the parade was shorter and easier than the camp drills.
“Yesterday,” said sixth-grader Teah Good, referring to the last day of camp, “we did double the routine we did today.”
The marching band had students ranging from incoming sixth-graders to high schoolers. They performed songs like Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme song from the 1982 movie “Rocky III.”
“‘Smoke on the Water,’ the best I’ve ever played it was today, in front of the judges,’” band member Audrey May said.
The bandmates acknowledged feeling a bit jittery at first, but after they started playing and marching, they felt and performed OK.
More than OK, according to the experts.
“You guys did a fantastic job,” camp and band director Adam Rupert told his charges. “Some of you reached beyond what you thought you were able to do.”
With the parade done, the party continued in North Bend, with Si View Park and the nearby community center filling with people eating, getting tattoos, listening to music or simply visiting with friends.
The event lasted three days, from Aug. 10-12.
While music blared and crowds gabbed outside, Jeff Griswold was inside the center, surrounded by silence.
Adults and children stared almost hypnotized by Griswold’s tools: a lump of clay, a pottery wheel and his hands.
As the clay took on many shapes — bowls, vases, cups — the grownups clapped and the children asked for more.
“It’s just fun,” said Griswold, a North Bend resident. “You get to sit down, relax, focus and create something.”
For a crowd, Griswold said, he slows down the creative process, so people can sit and watch it. If he worked at full speed, he added, he would use a lot of clay.
So he slows down, sometimes enough to chat with visitors or to smile for a camera.
Most of the time, though, his eyes, and hands, are on the clay, much to the delight of children, who notice his muddied hands as much as the spinning wheel.
“It’s probably harder than it looks,” said Griswold, who started pottery in high school, quit for a while and resumed about 10 years ago. “It’s clay, it’s soft, it wants to fall over.”