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What do the top bands do to be successful?


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#1 Tailgate88

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:06 PM

Greetings all,

 

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post.  I'm thrilled to find this site and realize I'm not the only crazy marching band fanatic around!  My high school band was 4th at State in Texas 4A many moons ago when I was a Senior and I've been a marching band and DCI fanatic since.  Now I have a Freshman daughter and 7th grade son so I'll be a band dad for the next six years or so at least!

 

Our high school has only been around a handful of years, and last year was the first year that our band had Seniors. I have been really impressed with our band director and program, and they have improved every year, but naturally we are a young program so are not as well equipped or experienced as some of the other bands in our area.  Nonetheless, they have earned a 1 at Region every year and advanced to Area.

 

Obviously, I am very impressed with the top bands in Area D.  My eyes were opened to exactly how stiff the competition is.  I came into the day fairly confident that we would do well enough to advance to finals at least but wow - those Leander ISD schools are all crazy good.  I guess that district just really invests in their marching band program.  Great for them!  Those kids are lucky to have such great school and parent support.

 

That said, it can't just be about money. There must be a lot that goes into getting that quality of a show on the field.  They get the same eight hours a week that we do, but their marching is pretty advanced.  Do they have spring marching, or clinicians come in?  Or staff with those skills?

 

As I said, props to those bands - but it is frustrating to have a band that is good enough to advance in other regions that will likely not be as good as one of the top bands in this region for years to come. Basically, as a parent, I wonder how we can help our band be better?  All insite and suggestions are welcome!

 

Thanks!



#2 vincentlee1220

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:40 PM

Hey! Alumni from Vista Ridge here. I'll throw out some mess of my thoughts.

 

I'd say one of the major reasons is that our feeder middle schools all have INSANE programs (like add em all up and the middle schools together all have several of each of Midwest, TMEA Honor Band, or WIBC victories). Incoming players from the top bands of those middle schools are already very strong.

 

Having not attended any other school except my own, I can't really attest to the impact of financial support on our program. To me it just feels like extra money just goes to getting us another "oh cool we have this" prop. Much of the money is probably used in a way that I'm unaware of in the background (for our private lesson programs, better equipment, better show designers (!!!!) etc.).

 

I can also say for all four of us that we have insanely dedicated and passionate directors, it's ridiculous. They love us and the program and can and will give nearly everything to help us improve.

 

As for early marching training, we have a week of that for incoming freshmen in the spring, but it's more like a "teaser" than full on visual camp - they learn maybe forward and backward 8 and some preps (maybe box drill if it's a good group). Real band camp starts at the end of July and runs until the school year starts.

 

I really can't name specific things that get you a "successful program" (4-5 years ago, I would not have called Vista Ridge extremely successful :P). I think one big part of it is the very fact that we're surrounded by behemoths like CP and Leander and Vandegrift, the thirst for friendly competition between is pretty intense.


Class of 2015 - Vista Ridge HS, Leander ISD, Cedar Park, TX


#3 Samuel Culper

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:46 PM

Most of what you are seeking has to come from the directors.  It is clear that some directors/staffs are more ambitious than others.  You say you are at a school with a brief history and that will be a factor, but what about the other high school(s) in the district?  If there is a record of success there it will be an indicator of the commitment within the district to marching band and to hiring directors with the kind of ambition you seek.

 

As an example of what I am talking about:  Our staff has the field show picked by early Spring each year.  They work with outside drill writers and consultants on developing the show ($).  Each April the 8th graders zoned to the school come in for a week of after school practices on marching fundamentals, working with the directors and drum majors.  Then they have a week of music practices with the veterans where they all work on the show music for the fall field show.  During the summer all students are required to get the show music memorized and submit videos to the directors of themselves playing the music from memory.  The passoffs are required to secure a spot on the field once summer band starts.

 

This is just one example of the kind of stuff that has to come from the directors.

 

As parents, or booster, there are really two major things you can do to help make it happen:

 

1 - Raise $.  As much as possible.  It's hard, we struggle with it each year, but money means drillwriters, clinicians, props, etc.

 

2 - Get as many parents involved as possible so as to take as much "nonsense" off the plates of the directors as you can.  For example, directors should never have to worry about feeding kids, uniform cleaning, getting tshirts printed and distributed, maintaining student accounts, coordinating chaperones, collecting and organizing medical forms, first aid, etc., etc., etc.  You need to have parents involved to cover all of this stuff so that the directors can concentrate on the music and the kids and the show.

 

If you don't have a directorial staff that is interested in putting in the insane hours necessary to compete at a high level, there's not much you can do.  I am constantly amazed at our staff's stamina.  They get the absolute most out of those 8 hours they are allotted each week (and, btw, they never miss an opportunity to get more time on performance days) because of all of the other hours they put in.

 

Good luck!



#4 natertater21000

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:48 PM

These guys up here have covered pretty much everything but as a very recent Leander alumni I will say this,it is very important for every single person in the program to have a goal of great success and for everyone to believe that it is possible. To be completely honest coming from someone who was in that program at the time, our (Leander's) jump to huge success last year was in large part thanks to a very committed and enthusiastic leader team and band student body. Believing you can do it, and having every person putting forth that effort goes a long long way. It only takes a couple apathetic people to make what would be a fantastic rehearsal an inefficient one

#5 natertater21000

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:48 PM

These guys up here have covered pretty much everything but as a very recent Leander alumni I will say this,it is very important for every single person in the program to have a goal of great success and for everyone to believe that it is possible. To be completely honest coming from someone who was in that program at the time, our (Leander's) jump to huge success last year was in large part thanks to a very committed and enthusiastic leader team and band student body. Believing you can do it, and having every person putting forth that effort goes a long long way. It only takes a couple apathetic people to make what would be a fantastic rehearsal an inefficient one

#6 takigan

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 03:04 AM

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What makes Leander ISD so universally successful?

1. Strong administrative support.  This is a given.  Having all the instruments you need, the staff you need, the facilities you need....this comes in handy to streamlining instruction and increasing teaching effectiveness.

1. Strong elementary fine arts programs.  LISD involves their kids in music but also in theatre (which not a lot of elementary schools have) as well as after school children's choirs and other programs. And the kids aren't just singing songs...they're being taught music theory from a very young age.  By the time they go into band most kids can read a staff, subdivide rhythms and have a basic understanding of solfege.  This allows for beginner band classes to move faster which leads to...

2. Strong middle school band programs.  LISD has arguably the strongest middle school band in the country right now (Artie Henry MS), and 2 others have been Honor Band finalists in the last 5 years (Four Points and Stiles).  Most of the varsity groups at these schools are capable of reading Grade 4 literature (which is the minimum standard for a 6A top band).  When the majority of 9th graders at each High School are already playing at the minimum standard for bands made up of 11th and 12th graders, then there's no where else to go for the next 3 years but  above and beyond...and this capability is exponentially multiplied by having....

3. Visionary band directors...and lots of them.  Everyone wants to work in Leander because of how well supported their programs are, which means they're able to hire the best teachers.  And if everyone has the best teachers, someone ends up becoming the best band.

4. When the best band comes from a large district and every band has the desire to beat the best band, the best band inspires all the other bands to become even better.  As a result, everyone becomes insanely good.


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#7 NTXBandFan

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 04:00 AM

I second what was said above.  It takes everyone to be in sync from the top down.  The "other" LISD, Lewisville ISD (home to Marcus, Hebron, & Flower Mound) has a huge commitment to the fine arts.  That bleeds down all the middle school bands.  The directors at the high schools actually go to all their feeder schools every week to work with the kids.  I even saw the middle school band shirts that feed into Flower Mound, had the FloMo Band logo on the sleeve.  That breeds dedication and desire to be a part of the program.

They follow the example of successful high school football programs in that the coaches at all levels use follow the same offensive philosophies, and such, that makes it all the easier for them at the next level.

 

Aside from that, it takes a dedicated group of volunteers.  Everything the volunteers do, means less the directors have to worry about and the less money they have to spend on someone to do things like build or paint props, transport equipment and so on.  Which means all the money they raise can have a larger effect on the program.

Finally, never underestimate the power of the student leaders & upperclassmen.  They set the tone from day one, and are the ones that the younger kids look up too.  I've been a part of teams and groups who struggled in early years, only to have massive turn arounds due to the dedicated upperclassmen.  If kids see an all-state senior put in extra work to keep getting better, they will learn to do the same thing.  It will really sink in if they see all the seniors doing it.
Just because they don't have a title, it doesn't mean they can't be a leader

 



#8 Tailgate88

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 01:34 PM

Wow, thanks for all the replies!  I have been doing more research and am discovering the crazy awesome world of High School Marching Band.  I did not know BOA even existed!  I'm going to try to organize trips to take some of our kids to the Regionals/Super Regionals next year so they know what they are shooting for.  Interesting to see some familiar names in the HornRank top 30!

 

I really appreciate all the input.  I do feel like our district is doing a lot of good things.  Our band directors all work as a team from Intermediate to high school, so the high school directors do know and influence the kids from their first day in band.  Our district has been a big supporter of the music programs.  For example, when they moved the Area contest to Tuesday, we did not have enough school busses to do the regular school day and transport two high school bands, so they ponied up for travel busses at the last minute.  I was impressed.

 

Last year both my kids went to band camp at WTAMU and loved it.  This year my daughter wants to take the marching band classes there.  Both of my kids came back raving about the camp and ready to sign up for next year.  Hopefully we can get a bunch more kids going this summer.  And I am going to jump feet first into the booster program and help as much as I possibly can!  (I didn't participate much this year due to scheduling conflicts with my son's  Scout troop, but I am going to definitely make the commitment going forward.)

 

Again, thanks for the input and I hope others will continue to comment.  I am sure I am not the only band parent that is benefitting from the information you are sharing on this thread.



#9 LKendrick

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 02:19 PM

Wow, thanks for all the replies! I have been doing more research and am discovering the crazy awesome world of High School Marching Band. I did not know BOA even existed! I'm going to try to organize trips to take some of our kids to the Regionals/Super Regionals next year so they know what they are shooting for. Interesting to see some familiar names in the HornRank top 30!

I really appreciate all the input. I do feel like our district is doing a lot of good things. Our band directors all work as a team from Intermediate to high school, so the high school directors do know and influence the kids from their first day in band. Our district has been a big supporter of the music programs. For example, when they moved the Area contest to Tuesday, we did not have enough school busses to do the regular school day and transport two high school bands, so they ponied up for travel busses at the last minute. I was impressed.

Last year both my kids went to band camp at WTAMU and loved it. This year my daughter wants to take the marching band classes there. Both of my kids came back raving about the camp and ready to sign up for next year. Hopefully we can get a bunch more kids going this summer. And I am going to jump feet first into the booster program and help as much as I possibly can! (I didn't participate much this year due to scheduling conflicts with my son's Scout troop, but I am going to definitely make the commitment going forward.)

Again, thanks for the input and I hope others will continue to comment. I am sure I am not the only band parent that is benefitting from the information you are sharing on this thread.


I'm happy your kids enjoyed the camp! :)

#10 FloMoParent

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 03:40 PM

I want to echo many of the points already listed.  Our journey is with Flower Mound band.  Fiver years ago, my daughter's freshman year, was the first year FMHS made a move into the BOA world.  They had been marching UIL programs but the director's main focus was concert bands and developing musicians -- and had many highly talented musicians. After that year the director of marching band was promoted to be the lead band director.  The rest of the directors and staff had a goal to being the best all around band that they could be.  (I think they are doing an amazing job as they will have BOA Grand National Finalist and invited performers at Midwest Clinic in the season)

 

What I have learned is that it is a process.  Each year builds from the previous years.  A band isn't going to make the jump from just doing UIL to a regular BOA finalist in just one season.  As the program builds you will see more and more leaders from within the ranks, to ones who understand what is needed to be done and brings others to get it accomplished.  It does take a little while before each performer realizes and understands that it is their individual responsibility to ensure the success of the whole.  It is easy for some to think "I'm just a little part of the big thing."  It is when all the "little things" work together as one big thing that is when they understand what it takes.

It also takes a strong and active booster club.  Music costs a lot of money.  Uniforms are expensive.  As are electronics, transportation, food, oh and yeah the big and/or special musical instruments.  Booster clubs can take over many of the tasks from the directors or at least make it easier for the directors.  One thing that our booster club does so very well (and is a feature to get more people in the BC) is communications.  For our program, if you want to KNOW what is going on, be in the BC.


We ARE Flower Mound!
#FloMoBringTheMoJo

 

 


#11 NTXBandFan

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 04:28 AM

I want to echo many of the points already listed.  Our journey is with Flower Mound band.  Fiver years ago, my daughter's freshman year, was the first year FMHS made a move into the BOA world.  They had been marching UIL programs but the director's main focus was concert bands and developing musicians -- and had many highly talented musicians. After that year the director of marching band was promoted to be the lead band director.  The rest of the directors and staff had a goal to being the best all around band that they could be.  (I think they are doing an amazing job as they will have BOA Grand National Finalist and invited performers at Midwest Clinic in the season)

 

What I have learned is that it is a process.  Each year builds from the previous years.  A band isn't going to make the jump from just doing UIL to a regular BOA finalist in just one season.  As the program builds you will see more and more leaders from within the ranks, to ones who understand what is needed to be done and brings others to get it accomplished.  It does take a little while before each performer realizes and understands that it is their individual responsibility to ensure the success of the whole.  It is easy for some to think "I'm just a little part of the big thing."  It is when all the "little things" work together as one big thing that is when they understand what it takes.

It also takes a strong and active booster club.  Music costs a lot of money.  Uniforms are expensive.  As are electronics, transportation, food, oh and yeah the big and/or special musical instruments.  Booster clubs can take over many of the tasks from the directors or at least make it easier for the directors.  One thing that our booster club does so very well (and is a feature to get more people in the BC) is communications.  For our program, if you want to KNOW what is going on, be in the BC.

What's ironic is that the former FloMo director you mentioned is married to the Marcus director.  Also, Flower Mound landed a ton of kids on the All-State list (2nd most in the state at 6A I think).
You mention money.  Bands starting up will have more upfront costs as they have to purchase equipment and base materials for props.  After that, they start saving some money by reusing props, and parts of props (see Flower Mound's columns from 2013 & 2014, then their box from 2014 & 2015).  I'm sure the metal frames many bands use for their props and the graphics at the front of the field are reused for many years.



#12 blazinghandles

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 12:55 AM

Hey, does anyone know the music list for Leander's show? I just watched Choral Works and I really want to go back and listen to the masterpieces they played. Thanks



#13 azn

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 01:18 AM

Another factor is Strong Student Leadership at all levels, specifically Instructional, Logistical, and by extension Seniors. and by strong I mean there shouldn't be power hungry students in leadership or should be kept to a minimum because that could reduce productivity when you are receiving constant complaints about a certain leader.


Name: Grayson

Instruments: Soprano Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Oboe in Training

Twitter: aznclairnetkid, aznclarinetkid, graysontong

Major: Audio Engineering, Something in Music, and Electronic Engineering.

 

L.V. Berkner High School Mighty Ram Band - Class of 2016

*Favorite* 2010 - The Web We Weave My Sister was on Front Ensemble! 3rd in BOA Arlington Regionals, 5th in BOA Super Regionals San Antonio, 8th in UIL 5A State Finals Marching Band Contest

2012 - H2O: A Water Journey First Generation Tech Crew Members aka. People on the Light Boards! Only Year ever used a full blown cloth named "big blue" My Sister was on Front Ensemble and a Senior! 9th in UIL 5A State Finals Marching Band Contest

2013 - The Colours of Sound 5th in BOA Allen Regionals, 1st place champions in finals with Percussion, Music, G.E., and Best In Class Award in prelims at the Centennial Marching Festival.

2014 - You are Here! P.S. I am the Soundmixer guy. #ElectronicCrewThugLyfe 10th in BOA Denton Regionals, UIL 6A State Marching Band contest

2015 - From the Roots  I marched the Bass Clarinet The demise of the Berkner Band continuing off from last year... One day! The Legacy left behind by all of these alumni will pull some sense through! We were supposed to compete at the 2015 Duncanville Marching Invitationals but it got threatened with severe weather that never happened. xD

 

Richland College - Class of 2018 or 2019 or 2020

Member of the Wind Symphony.

Instruments: Soprano Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Oboe in Training

 

Future Member of the Texas State Guard


#14 takigan

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 07:39 AM

Finally, never underestimate the power of the student leaders & upperclassmen.  They set the tone from day one, and are the ones that the younger kids look up too.  I've been a part of teams and groups who struggled in early years, only to have massive turn arounds due to the dedicated upperclassmen.  If kids see an all-state senior put in extra work to keep getting better, they will learn to do the same thing.  It will really sink in if they see all the seniors doing it.


Missed this but.....This.   This is actually the sole reason the Japanese bands are so incredible.  In Japan you have one band director (who may or may not be a music teacher....he/she may be a math teacher).  No assistant directors. But it doesn't matter.  The band director won't even be in rehearsal half the time anyway, because band in Japan is essentially student led sectionals.  Band is after school only. There are no fundraisers. 

Not sure how many people would be interested in something like this but here's a nearly 2 hour long documentary of a Japanese HS marching band.  Yes....in Japan it is not uncommon for a tv studio to do specials on local school bands. https://youtu.be/UJpPFBpru9w?t=25m56s

I've highlighted a 2 minute segment from 25:56 - 27:59.  The segment's entirely in Japanese, but basically what you're looking at is a summer Flute sectional from 2011 at the famous Japanese HS band called Tachibana Senior High from Kyoto.  Tachibana is a parade and dance band with an extremely complex dance element to their shows.  The incoming freshman usually don't have any knowledge of how to do this visual stuff and must be taught by the upperclassmen from 9am-6pm all summer long....the school also turns off the AC in the summer.  My Japanese isn't super great, but this freshman (Mayuko) is being taught side-by-side by her section leader (Higashimono-senpai) while the drum major is making the rounds

She's not up to standards.  The drum major keeps telling/asking her "Can you really do this?  We MUST do this...if you don't we'll all be failures etc. etc.".  Mayuko keeps responding "Hai! Yes I can, I can do it....don't give up on me!".  At 27:00 we learn that the drum major has assigned 350 REPS of this short segment to make sure she gets it right.  At 27:11 we see the culmination of this.....the drum major is completely pissed off that she can't do it and leaves in a huff like "Are you even trying?! Don't waste my f***ing time!".  And of course this makes her start crying. The narrator says something along the lines of "She will keep trying, her spirit is broken, but she presses on". In the final part of the segment at 27:56  the interviewer asks her "So how was practice?".   She responds "Suparuta sugimasu", which literally means "Beyond Sparta".  Yeah...no kidding.


Brandon Quam - TxB Staff Writer

#15 azn

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 08:42 PM


Missed this but.....This.   This is actually the sole reason the Japanese bands are so incredible.  In Japan you have one band director (who may or may not be a music teacher....he/she may be a math teacher).  No assistant directors. But it doesn't matter.  The band director won't even be in rehearsal half the time anyway, because band in Japan is essentially student led sectionals.  Band is after school only. There are no fundraisers. 

Not sure how many people would be interested in something like this but here's a nearly 2 hour long documentary of a Japanese HS marching band.  Yes....in Japan it is not uncommon for a tv studio to do specials on local school bands. https://youtu.be/UJpPFBpru9w?t=25m56s

I've highlighted a 2 minute segment from 25:56 - 27:59.  The segment's entirely in Japanese, but basically what you're looking at is a summer Flute sectional from 2011 at the famous Japanese HS band called Tachibana Senior High from Kyoto.  Tachibana is a parade and dance band with an extremely complex dance element to their shows.  The incoming freshman usually don't have any knowledge of how to do this visual stuff and must be taught by the upperclassmen from 9am-6pm all summer long....the school also turns off the AC in the summer.  My Japanese isn't super great, but this freshman (Mayuko) is being taught side-by-side by her section leader (Higashimono-senpai) while the drum major is making the rounds

She's not up to standards.  The drum major keeps telling/asking her "Can you really do this?  We MUST do this...if you don't we'll all be failures etc. etc.".  Mayuko keeps responding "Hai! Yes I can, I can do it....don't give up on me!".  At 27:00 we learn that the drum major has assigned 350 REPS of this short segment to make sure she gets it right.  At 27:11 we see the culmination of this.....the drum major is completely pissed off that she can't do it and leaves in a huff like "Are you even trying?! Don't waste my f***ing time!".  And of course this makes her start crying. The narrator says something along the lines of "She will keep trying, her spirit is broken, but she presses on". In the final part of the segment at 27:56  the interviewer asks her "So how was practice?".   She responds "Suparuta sugimasu", which literally means "Beyond Sparta".  Yeah...no kidding.

It is ironic that my band directors have strongly emphasized this both in marching band and concert band because there is only so much that the band director can do to help outside of the student's personal responsibilities. Which is why, if you have a question you need to climb the ladder of student leadership. Seniors -> Logistical Leadership -> Section Leader -> Section Captain -> Drill Instructor -> Band Captain -> Drum Majors -> then last resort a Band Director even then depending on the questions it might either be a specific band director question or a head band director question. Also, some specific questions might require you preempt the ladder to jump directly  and ask the band director.


Name: Grayson

Instruments: Soprano Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Oboe in Training

Twitter: aznclairnetkid, aznclarinetkid, graysontong

Major: Audio Engineering, Something in Music, and Electronic Engineering.

 

L.V. Berkner High School Mighty Ram Band - Class of 2016

*Favorite* 2010 - The Web We Weave My Sister was on Front Ensemble! 3rd in BOA Arlington Regionals, 5th in BOA Super Regionals San Antonio, 8th in UIL 5A State Finals Marching Band Contest

2012 - H2O: A Water Journey First Generation Tech Crew Members aka. People on the Light Boards! Only Year ever used a full blown cloth named "big blue" My Sister was on Front Ensemble and a Senior! 9th in UIL 5A State Finals Marching Band Contest

2013 - The Colours of Sound 5th in BOA Allen Regionals, 1st place champions in finals with Percussion, Music, G.E., and Best In Class Award in prelims at the Centennial Marching Festival.

2014 - You are Here! P.S. I am the Soundmixer guy. #ElectronicCrewThugLyfe 10th in BOA Denton Regionals, UIL 6A State Marching Band contest

2015 - From the Roots  I marched the Bass Clarinet The demise of the Berkner Band continuing off from last year... One day! The Legacy left behind by all of these alumni will pull some sense through! We were supposed to compete at the 2015 Duncanville Marching Invitationals but it got threatened with severe weather that never happened. xD

 

Richland College - Class of 2018 or 2019 or 2020

Member of the Wind Symphony.

Instruments: Soprano Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Oboe in Training

 

Future Member of the Texas State Guard


#16 Lizwilson

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:32 PM

Parental support is key. Parents making props, seving on load crew, handling plumes, chaperoning, doing fruit breaks, doing fundraising, bringing snacks, keeping uniforms cleaned, distributing uniforms, polishing shoes, feeding kids, covering shakos, etc. There also needs to be an attitude of "trusting the directors" and not trying to second guess aspects of the program. The more parents who can be involved in the program and taking the load off the directors, the better. Making sure your kid leaves early for rehearsal so they are out there ready to go when it starts. Using resources wisely, reusing what can be reused or repurposed. Supporting the bsnd financially, paying fees on time, buying show shirts and other spirit wear, etc. Attending parent previews and competitions. Good booster and parent communication. If everybody works their hardest toward a common goal. That's all you can do. The kids don't control the show design or what they wear or the music selections, and neither do the parents.

#17 DRbandDAD

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:20 PM

I do agree that parental and community support is key. I believe that every year each band is successful in their own way as band directors and students strive to accomplish goals they set at the beginning of the year.

 

However, funding does make a difference in the outcome of top bands in the state of Texas. 100% my opinion.



#18 Jeffrey L. Gorman

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 08:53 PM

I do agree that parental and community support is key. I believe that every year each band is successful in their own way as band directors and students strive to accomplish goals they set at the beginning of the year.

 

However, funding does make a difference in the outcome of top bands in the state of Texas. 100% my opinion.

I have to agree in total to this comment about funding. Many of my peers are retiring from Band Directing in CA. I know these directors and they are outstanding in getting the most out of their kids. However with a few exceptions IE Arcadia, Diamond Bar, and Chino areas, these Bands have to scratch for every cent they can get. Even with great Parental Support, having to fund your own travel, uniforms  and even music makes it near impossible to be competitive against powerhouse Bands.  Most Directors in TX are far better paid than any other state. Our Bands are great, but look at this, name me many great Bands in States that Border Us,  LA, Lafayette and no one else, NM Clovis and no one else, OK, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Jenks, Union, Mustang and who else.  Funding makes the difference between being good and Great with all other things being equal.



#19 LostChoirGuy

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:16 PM

Its not exactly fair to compare the number of good bands in Texas to Oklahoma and New Mexico where there arent enough large schools to really compare. You just named like half of Oklahoma's large division schools haha.

#20 takigan

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 05:57 AM

Its not exactly fair to compare the number of good bands in Texas to Oklahoma and New Mexico where there arent enough large schools to really compare. You just named like half of Oklahoma's large division schools haha.


You can draw a more fair comparison by looking at it this way: Take the Greater Tulsa, OK area which has 1.2 million people within 6,000 square miles and cross-reference it with Travis county, which also has 1.2 million people, though within a denser 1,000 square miles. Take a tally of the top 10 schools that fall within the reach of Greater Tulsa, then take the top 10 schools in the Austin area, but again only the ones that reside within Travis county, since the entire Greater Austin metro has closer to 2 million people, which makes the comparison unfair.

It's a pretty interesting comparison since several of the Travis County bands competed against Tulsa bands on the national stage this year. Here's who you get:

Tulsa:

1. Broken Arrow (HR #4)
2. Union (HR #19)
3. Owasso (HR #Next10)
4. Jenks (Beat Anderson @ BOA STL. Made Finals.)
5. Bixby (Beat Anderson @ BOA STL. Made Finals.)
6. Coweta (Beat Collinsville @ OBA State Finals
7. Collinsville (Lost to Coweta @ OBA State Finals. Placed 29th @ STL, lost to Anderson)
8. Skiatook
9. Berryhill
10. Bartlesville (Placed 50th @ STL)


Travis/Austin:

1. Vandegrift (HR #6)
2. Hendrickson ( HR #15)
3. James Bowie (HR #20)
4. Westwood (Beat Owasso in STL Prelims, lost to Owasso in Finals, but beat Bixby and Jenks)
5. Westlake (#prev ranked, Placed 31st @ SA)
6. Pflugerville (32nd @ SA)
7. Anderson (26th @ STL, lost to Bixby and Jenks)
8. Lake Travis (42nd @ SA)
9. McCallum (22nd @ 5A State)
10. Austin (27th @ 5A State)

Conclusion: It's still not an entirely fair comparison since even though we've taken a major city like Tulsa, it's still nowhere near as densely populated as Austin. The tax-base of Austin is also greater (more money floating around and more of it going to band programs). Comparing just the Top 5, the 2 areas are pretty comparable, but Oklahoma's skill level drops pretty quick in the 2nd half.

I should say I did a similar comparison on the MFA forums several years back between Greater Austin (including Leander/Round Rock etc.) and Greater Indianapolis, whose populations are both in the 2 million range. Similar top-heavy stats for Indy, though Texas still ran deeper. Though, again, that was 5 or 6 years ago. With how good the Round Rock and Leander schools have gotten nowadays, I'd say Austin would win out entirely.


Brandon Quam - TxB Staff Writer




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