Pacing Your Marching Band Show

One of my favorite things about marching band shows is the emotional impact they can create. The highs and lows in the performance pull me in and make each performance unique. However, there are several ways these impacts are impeded during the show. Whether it is how the ensemble builds to the impact or the monotony of sounds generated, the overall emotional content is lacking. Pacing matters. The way an ensemble builds to a moment of emotional tension matters. Condiseration for pacing must occur during your show design process.

Today in Corey’s Commentary, we discuss a few ways to help improve the ensemble’s performance to create better moments of tension and release.

View from the press box of a marching band festival, Lewisburg HS in Mississippi.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Be sure to build to the moment of impact and not peak early.
  • Make silences musical.
  • While there are several different musical impacts, they should not feel the same.
  • Articulations matter.
  • Pauses between movements of your show should not be longer than 4 seconds.

Creating a more efficient marching band rehearsal Corey's Commentary

As band directors, we are constantly on the go and working behind the scenes. Sometimes, we do not plan appropriately for the next rehearsal. This often leads to a more chaotic practice and frustration. Having a regular rehearsal routine helps set the standard and expectations every day, allowing students to feel comfortable and ready. In this episode, I present a few things that helped me manage rehearsal expectation and build to a successful day and season.
  1. Creating a more efficient marching band rehearsal
  2. Center of your music education wheel
  3. Considerations when writing for color guard
  4. Emotional Pacing of your Marching Band Show
  5. Should I join marching band in college?

What do you think? There are several ways to help improve the musical effect of the performance. These are just a few. While most groups fight the battle of notes and rhythms early in the season, focus on articulation, articulation, and dynamics is just as crucial. For me, we must teach these ideas from the very beginning. How we start the first note matters. The standard is set. The tone of the first note is important; however, the articulation, sustain in volume, and release should be addressed.

As an adjudicator and audience member, I want to be moved by your performance. Attention to how you travel to moments of impact matters. Consider the emotional pacing of the show.

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