It’s back-to-school time! Many of you are already back in the classroom while other teachers are gearing up for the first day. That means it’s time to gather the supplies you need to be ready to start making music.
For some, the end of the school year means it’s time to prepare for final exams and start planning summer vacations. But for high school and college band directors, the end of the school year means it’s time to start finding music for the fall sports season.
In all areas of the country, marching band is a vital part of the high school fall experience. While the type of band your school enjoys varies from performing at football games and pep rallies to high-level competition, marching band is a traditional key to a successful spirit-filled fall.
Summer in the United States offers many unique opportunities for music lovers to enjoy the weather while seeing a favorite group or hearing an entirely new genre. One such genre is a lesser-known but inarguably entertaining tradition. It is a gathering of musicians, dancers, and other performers, all between the ages of 14 and 21.
The process of planning and executing a marching band field show can take an incredibly long time, but since 1994, marching band directors have had Pyware to help them. Pyware is an advanced tool for constructing and visualizing both formations and movements for field shows, drum line competitions, and color guard productions.
Trying to keep a rehearsal running smoothly with a collection of musicians is difficult enough as it is. Add to that the unpredictable outdoors, a plethora of competitions, and a hundred or so jittery teenagers and you might as well be herding cats.
With limited resources for many music programs these days, proper instrument upkeep has never been more important. While you need to handle major repairs with a complete instrument repair kit, many smaller issues can be solved with regular maintenance.
For some, band camp has concluded and the school year is underway; for others, camp is in full swing, complete with marching and maneuvering basics, sectional rehearsals, and color guard catches. The tail end of summer is an intense time for marching ensembles, a time that sometimes finds parents and new marching students a bit surprised by the level of commitment asked of them. There are compelling reasons, however, to put aside other activities until November (or so) and make room for the full-time commitment marching band requires.
Over the past few posts, we have been discussing the qualities that define an excellent student leader. The first two traits this three-part series has explored are a student’s attitude of service and his or her commitment to excellence. A third pivotal trait in a leader’s effectiveness is the student’s ability to communicate information in a live, face-to-face setting, as well as “read” his effectiveness in his followers.
In Part I, we explored the undeniable tie between a student leader’s attitude of service and the ensemble’s willingness to follow a leader who exhibits this indispensible trait. While foundational, attitude only goes so far, however. The desire to serve must also be backed up by true ability in the core competencies of musical and marching skills.