Band Gone Wild: Spring Break in Nebraska?

omahaI didn’t go to Florida, but I did get to be on National Television.  You win some, you lose some.

Spring break has been over for a week now, but I still miss it desperately.  We’re in that home stretch now where there are no more breaks left to look forward to and you are SO CLOSE to the end, but still so far away.  6 weeks now.  But who’s counting?

Anyway, spring break.  As a member of the Big Red Basketball Band (colloquially, BRBB), I get to do a lot of cool stuff.  Being a band geek does have its perks.  Last week I had the opportunity to travel with a small group of band members to represent the BRBB and cheer on the Hoosiers in Omaha, Nebraska for the first round of the NCAA tournament.  Honestly, we didn’t even know if we were going to make the tournament this year, so that alone was exciting.

I should mention that the fact that I got to go at all was a fluke.  When picking small tournament bands, woodwind players are perpetually neglected.  You can’t hear a saxophone across the court very well while thousands of fans are screaming.  You can hear a trumpet, though.  So normally 1 alto sax gets picked for a travel band like this.  Normally that person is a senior.  And that happened, but a few people who were initially picked changed their minds and didn’t end up going, which somehow miraculously meant that I got fill their spot.  GO TEAM ALTO.

So, were were scheduled to play on Friday.  Which meant that we hopped on a charter plane with the team and the cheerleaders to fly out to Nebraska on Tuesday night.  Yes, Tuesday.  Did you know that Indiana has a shortage of charter planes and that the drive to Omaha from Bloomington is 10+ hours?  So Tuesday it was.  Which gave us TWO WHOLE DAYS to kill in Nebraska.  What even is there to do in a hotel in the middle of suburban Omaha?

Not much.

We visited a trampoline gym and played trampoline dodgeball against the cheerleaders – which, while a fun and entertaining activity, left me sore for a solid week.  (BTW yes, the cheerleaders won.  What did you expect?  ALTHOUGH LET IT BE KNOWN that we put up a really good fight.)


“Quick, pretend we’re in a warm place and not just the zoo aquarium.”

We visited the Omaha zoo!  Which was largely under construction (of course), but still pretty cool.  (Although walking around the zoo for 7 hours when you are extremely sore from a fierce game of trampoline dodgeball was perhaps not our best idea.)

We wandered around a mall!  A lot.  It was sort of our only food option, being as options besides the food court were very limited.  Suffice to say I had a real salad craving by the end of this trip.

We swam in the hotel pool!  They also had a hot tub.  Cheerleaders tried to to stunts in the pool and I had a heart attack watching them.  (They make me so nervous.)

We joked A LOT about how we were spending our precious spring break week in Nebraska.  No offense to Nebraska.  It was really not a bad city, Omaha.  It’s just, you know, not the most exciting.  I would say the same about Indianapolis, and I like living near the 11th largest city in the country (#tfios).

And then we went to a basketball game.  That had to happen eventually, I suppose.  I almost forgot it was why we were there, to be honest. (It felt like we were in Nebraska for a really long time…)  Now normally I struggle to pay attention at basketball games – I’m a horrid fan, I know.  But let’s be honest, I’m in it for the band, and the sports are just a perk I rub in people’s faces.  But I was riveted for once.  Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, it didn’t turn out the way we hoped, but dang was it close.  Plus it was a miracle we made the tournament with a 10 seed anyway.


And then we flew home.  How do you explain this whole ordeal to people who came back from spring break 3 shades darker and still a little tipsy?  You don’t, really.  You say, “I went to Nebraska for the basketball game.  It was alright.”

But honestly, it was a very fun trip.  I was hesitant in the beginning because I would be spending a lot of time with people who I hadn’t necessarily spent a lot of close personal time with before.  But I really enjoyed he intersection bonding and time to talk with people who I had not had the chance to talk to before.  Because the best part about band people is that they’re band people.  They are kind and welcoming and fun.  We were all there for the same reason, and we all got to complain about staying in a hotel with an alarming number of bear decorations together.  That’s true bonding.

So how was my spring break?  I loved it, even though it sounds really lame.  And I don’t care that it sounds really lame, because I know that I’ll always look back to this tournament fondly.



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