Music Fundamentals for High School Marching Band Survey

After adjudicating music and music effect in several festivals this year, I am curious about practices in teaching music fundamentals in marching band. The marching band season is winding down and directors are focusing on polishing shows for the final performances. Hours and hours of rehearsals are culminating into one last run through. Still, marching …

Ensemble Director: More focus on fundamentals brings higher performance levels

While the focus for ensemble directors is often a long-term goal, regular focus on the fundamentals of playing bring higher levels of performance. The struggle is real. As ensemble directors, we get focused on what pieces to perform for our next concert and want to put together a great program. We try to mix some …

View from the Judge’s Box, Part 1: Music

Over the past several years, I have served as an adjudicator of marching festivals throughout the southern part of the nation. Through this experience, I have watched hundreds of ensembles and found common concerns in a vast majority of their performances. This series, entitled “View from the Judge’s Box,” is designed to share those common …

6 Things You Learn in Music Class

For years the debate has raged on regarding the need for schools to focus on academics areas, such as math and science, over classes in the arts. While I do understand the need to improve in areas of deficiency (and am not diminishing their importance), the lessons learned in band and choir (I was never …

Practicing your way to a successful season…..and year

How many times have you attended a marching band performance (whether it was a contest or a football game) then said “I wonder why they are always so good?” Or maybe it was something similar to that, but you were awestruck and wished your group performed that way. We often justify it by the amount …