Last year was a critical time in the 45 year history of Lutheran Vanguard. After 2 years off it was a make-or-break year for us, and the band came through with flying colors!
In some respects, this season was just as important. A solid foundation had been laid, and we needed to start putting a strong structure in place. The leadership was there, the kids were there, and it turned out to be one of our best—and most fun seasons—ever!
Here are a few numbers to give you some idea of what our year was like:
46 Band 68
2 Color Guard 9
48 Total Kids 77
4 Banner/Detail 8
5 Parades 9
2 Seniors 16
The number of kids and the number of performances this year seemed so right! We were big enough, with the right instrumentation, to look and sound really impressive in parades, yet small enough that everyone got to know each other…it really felt like a family.
Here are a few more numbers that really point up what it takes to make a Vanguard season possible:
Number of days together: 14
Number of director and staff hours put in: 1,708
Total number of volunteers: 60+
Total volunteer hours served: 1,134
Number of watermelons eaten: 36
Pounds of grapes eaten: 142
Pounds of bananas: 125
Eggs consumed: 39 dozen
Gallons of chocolate milk: 70
Total hours slept: Not enough!!!
On the “fun” side, I think it’s safe to say that Lutheran Vanguard was one of the most entertaining elements of every parade we were in. The crowds simply love this band! We saw military veterans rise to attention when the band played the Battle Hymn Chorale; the normally exuberant parade attendees listened in solemn silence to the Doxology; and you should have seen their faces when the band turned up the volume on Big Noise from Winnetka! People were literally dancing in the streets with our Color Guard leading the way!
But most importantly, as has happened every day of every year for the entire history of Lutheran Vanguard, this band Let Its Light Shine. Whether in a parade with the Cross of Christ proudly displayed on their uniforms, or in the quiet moments during evening devotions or the nightly singing of the Doxology, these young men and women represented their Savior in everything they did. I can’t tell you how many times during a parade people stopped us to ask, “Who are you?” and comment that they’ve never seen a group quite like ours.
It truly is a special organization, and it takes a large family to make it a reality. The kids, the directors and staff, the volunteers, and the parents and friends of LVW…we’ve been blessed beyond measure to be a part of this.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement this season. We couldn’t do it without you!
Have a great summer, and we look forward to seeing all of you next year!