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November/December 2009

Volume 3, Issue 6 $4.95

Q&A With Lawrence Central Bands Give Back How to Boost Morale $4.95 U.S.

$5.95 Canada

ISSN 1939-6171

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Volume 3, Issue 6 November/December 2009 ISSN 1939-6171 ®

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Christine Ngeo Katzman

Advertising Account Executive Erich Steinert (310) 577-6104

Art Director Jana Rade, impact studios

COVER PHOTO Ken Martinson/

Assistant Editors Catina Anderson and Gregory M. Kuzma

Editorial Assistant Elizabeth Geli

Editorial Intern Sabrina Lochner

Accounting/Admin Assistant Guido Jimenez

Contributing Writers Catina Anderson, Dennis DeLucia, Haley Greenwald-Gonella, Matt Jones, Morris Kim, Chase Sanborn, Jim Snyder

Contributing Photographers Catina Anderson, Kevin Dunder, Gopher Photo, Gerard Hugel, Eric Jahelka, Ken Martinson/, Jon Robichaud and Slingshot Photography

Web Developers Mike McCullen and Jeff Grant Integrated Communications

Advisory Board Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, University of Southern California “Spirit of Troy” Trojan Marching Band Tony Fox, University of Southern California “Spirit of Troy” Trojan Marching Band Anthony L. White, Los Angeles Unified School District Charles F. Whitaker, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism Peter G. Riherd, Entertainment Weekly Steve Goldberg, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

Chief Technology Officer Joshua Katzman

Logo Designer Timothy Watters, Teruo Artistry Halftime Magazine is published by Muse Media, LLC, P.O. Box 661355, Los Angeles, CA 90066 Phone: 310-594-0050 Fax: 310-390-5351 Website:

Subscriptions: Halftime Magazine is published six times per year. In the United States, individual subscription price is $14.95 per year, and group subscription price is $9.95 with a minimum of 10 copies. Cover price is $4.95. Printed by Royle Printing Company in Sun Prairie, Wisc. 4


hen it’s freezing cold outside, and your ears have become icicles. When your team is losing 0-21. When you’ve dropped a piece of equipment during your performance. Or when you’ve had a particularly difficult practice. There are many times throughout the marching season when situations are not ideal, and you feel down. Especially during these moments—but even during good times—you could use a pick-me-up. This issue of Halftime Magazine is dedicated to boosters—band boosters, morale boosters and character boosters. Our parents are probably the greatest influence in our lives. Ideally, they make sure we have food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads and a few dollars in our pockets. For marching bands, the parents association serves much the same role—serving food to the students at football games and competiAn Official Media Partner of

A Grand Nationals Media Partner of

tions; hemming, sorting and cleaning uniforms; building props; and fundraising. Most of all, parents give their time, money and love unselfishly as does the parent board—without whom many bands would not have the ability to run their programs effectively. “The Role of Band Boosters,” page 20, highlights all of the important contributions that parent associations make to the band. Of course, our parents can’t be with us every minute of the day, especially when we’re on the field rehearsing or performing. At those times, we rely on our friends, our band directors and even unspoken traditions to keep us going. Read “How to Boost Morale,” page 24, to find out how bands use cheers, chants, songs and pep talks to keep their motivation strong. In the end, we must look inward to build our own character. As many individuals have said, marching band isn’t just about music education. It’s about teamwork, leadership and personal growth. And some students and directors have found that marching band just might be the avenue to help make the world a better place, too. “Bands Give Back,” page 16, features marching bands and individuals who have participated in various philanthropic activities, such as raising funds to benefit cancer research or teaching music to underprivileged kids. As you read through this issue, we hope you take the time to think about all of those who have helped you along the way. Show your appreciation and also pay it forward. Keep on Marching, Christine Ngeo Katzman Publisher and Editor-in-Chief An Official Media Partner of

An Official Media Partner of

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Halftime Magazine ® enhances marching students’ love of music and performance by providing education, entertainment and inspiration in a bimonthly printed magazine. This glossy lifestyle magazine highlights the “sights, sounds and spirit of the marching arts” and connects high school and college musician-athletes through shared experiences about competitions, school spirit and band traditions.

www . h al f t i m e mag . c o m

Halftime Magazine exists to serve you, and we look forward to more of your comments. Send your letters to christine@

Readers’ Letters

AFrom True Legend September/October 2009 issue Photo by Ken Martinson/

I think some of the best leaders are those who didn’t set out for a leadership position. Sounds like Kelly [Koch] is a perfect fit for the job. I enjoyed seeing Legends [Drum and Bugle Corps] on the field this season and look forward to many more great seasons from Kalamazoo! Great article! —Ian McNabb

Seeking Advice Note from the Editor: Halftime Magazine often receives letters from band directors, students, parents and marching fans seeking information and advice. While we have responded directly to these inquiries , we would also like to open up the floor to you, our readers. Email your thoughts to, and we will be sure to share your comments with the inquirer and possibly post them online. Thank you! I am looking for some ideas on middle school recruiting for our high school band. We are losing a lot of seniors even though we are one of the most successful organizations at our school. I think that price might have something to do with it, but I think even at that, we are reasonable ... is there any advice or articles that could be discussed? —Mary Springer, Irondale Band Boosters Are there resources out there to help bands design and build halftime props? Surely there are some transferable principles and techniques that could be shared

from band to band. It seems that each year our band parents have to “redesign the wheel” and start over when quite possibly other bands have designed and built similar props that are sturdy and easily transported. Thanks for your help. —Monty Briley I’m looking for instructional materials of any type that cover techniques for improving marching fundamentals like alignment, step length, step style, posture, etc. Can you direct me to such materials and/or people who can help me? —Stanley N Cornett

Congratulations on a terrifiC 2009 season!

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Features Bands Give Back............................................................16 Students and marching bands as a group donate their talent and time to support charitable organizations. By helping others, they have found that they can improve themselves as well. By Elizabeth Geli Photo courtesy of Colorado State University (CSU) Marching Band.

The Role of Band Boosters...............................20 From chefs and seamstresses to event planners and cheerleaders, band parents play many roles to support marching programs throughout the country. By Sabrina Lochner

How to Boost Morale....................................................24 Marching bands use songs, cheers and pep talks to keep students excited about performing and competing. By Sabrina Lochner Members of the Garden City (N.Y.) High School Marching Band Parents Association. Photo by Gerard Hugel.

20 16 Departments Publisher’s Letter........................................................4 Readers’ Letters.............................................................6 Noteworthy........................................................................8 Honda Scales Back; Minnesota Marching Band Gets New Home; USSBA Creates March 4 Music; Stamps Feature Thanksgiving Parade; PAS Museum Grand Opening

Sectionals...........................................................................10 You Run the Show; Stand Still; Q&A With Ed Argenziano; Ready for Rifle

Gear Up....................................................................................12 DrillBook Application; SmartMusic Software Regionals. .............................................................................14 Calendar of events organized by region Direct From....................................................................... 26 Lawrence Central High School Behind the Baton........................................................28 Oh, Brother Fitness to the Max................................................... 30 Stretches on the Bus For Fun.................................................................................. 32 Crossword: It’s Part of the Uniform

Web Exclusives • NAMM Launches Wanna Play Fund • Music for All Wins Pinnacle Awards • And More ... Read these stories and more exclusively at Also, check out Halftime Magazine’s Digital Edition, a web-based interactive version of the magazine!

Next Issue • Bands in the BCS Bowls • Profiles of Military Musicians • The Role of Music Retailers • And More ...

By Elizabeth Geli

Honda Scales Back

The 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase will feature eight of the top HBCU (Historically Black College and University) marching bands as opposed to the usual 10. As in years past, the bands are selected in two rounds. In the first, one band from each HBCU conference and one independent program will be chosen based on three polls weighted equally: online fan vote, band directors and school presidents. In the second round, three more bands are selected at large based on the online poll. In years past an American Honda representative traveled to each school to present a plaque at a halftime show; however, this aspect of the program has also been cut due to economic reasons. “This is the first time that they’ve had to scale back due to the state of the economy and how direly it’s affected the automotive industry,” says Ronald E. Childs, vice president of media relations for Flowers Communications Group, a public relations firm that works with the HBOB. “That’s not lost on American Honda, and, to their credit, they continue to keep the program alive. The participating HBCUs are very grateful that it still exists.” According to Childs, the participants and fans have been receptive to and understanding of the changes. “I think the prevailing opinion is that this will permit more marquee bands to participate and will result in a better show,” Childs says. “The show was quite lengthy, beyond three hours in some cases. This year we’ll have a tighter and more representative show.” The event will take place on Jan. 30 in Atlanta. For more information, visit 8

Minnesota Marching Band Gets New Home The Golden Gophers Marching Band Photo by Gopher Photo. from the University of Minnesota loves its new digs, the state-of-the-art TCF Bank Stadium, located right on campus. Since 1982 Minnesota football has been played at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. Minnesota’s fans are ecstatic to have the tailgating game day atmosphere back and just take a short walk to the stadium. For the marching band, the new facility is a monumental improvement compared to its old space in Northrop Auditorium, shared with many other organizations. “The old facility was originally put together for the band about 80 years ago when the band was 125 people; now we have 315 people,” says director Tim Diem. “We went from a hallway with lockers on a 45-degree slant to a real locker room with space and showers. We have ensemble rooms, storage rooms, and we have offices for everybody now to get their work done.” Also the students can walk down a hallway and straight onto the stadium field. In the past they practiced on lined asphalt that was six to eight blocks away from the band room. “In the old days we’d be out on an asphalt field pounding down on the tar which was very hard on the students with the high step that we do,” Diem says. “Now we’re practicing on our performance site, so we feel what it’s going to feel like and hear what it’s supposed to sound like. We also have a room to do inside rehearsals; before if it were raining or snowing, we had no place to go.” The rehearsal space is equipped with built-in recording technology. “We can flip a switch and record and play back, so the students can hear,” Diem says. “It’s changed the world for us quite a bit.” According to Diem, the new facility has been a long time coming. “The athletic director here treats us very well, and the president of the university is a trumpet player, so the two of them combined really appreciated what this band does, and they knew in the new stadium the band could have room to do what they need, so they made it happen,” Diem says. Overall, the new facility has provided a homelike atmosphere for the students. “Now they have a home; they can sit on the couches and do homework, they can hang out with each other; we can put up some of our historical artifacts. It’s given them a lot of ownership and even deepened their level of commitment to the program.”

USSBA Creates March 4 Music Following a similar format as the popular Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and other charity walks, the US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) has announced the launch of March 4 Music, a cooperative fundraising effort being held in 12 communities across the northeastern United States on March 28, 2010. Culminating National Music in the Schools Month, the 5K walk or “Marchathon” events will raise funds and awareness about the benefits of music education. Each charter host location will bring together students, educators and community members from several neighboring and local music programs for “a day of dynamic and profitable fundraising and to celebrate their common dedication to the performing arts in schools,” according to the USSBA website. Participating bands will receive 70 percent of money raised by their schools while the USSBA will retain the remaining 30 percent to cover administrative costs of operating the event. For more information, visit—CNK

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PAS Museum Grand opening

Thanksgiving Parade The United States Postal Service has issued a commemorative set of stamps celebrating Thanksgiving Day parades and prominently featuring a marching band. Four stamp designs—which create a continuous scene when viewed in a strip side-by-side—illustrate the elements commonly found in a Thanksgiving Day parade, including marching bands, colorful floats, large balloons and crowds of delighted onlookers. Paul Rogers of Pasadena, Calif., designed the artwork. The stamp dedication ceremony was held Sept. 9 at Macy’s Herald Square in New York.—Excerpted from

The former Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Museum in Lawton, Okla., has moved and upgraded to become Rhythm! Discovery Center in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The 15,000-square-foot space contains three galleries, a hands-on area including two Wenger practice rooms and a gift shop. “We’re hoping to give people a unique experience that really helps them to interpret what rhythm is and recognize it in their daily lives,” says Jon Feustel, director of marketing and communications for PAS. “We want to show them how rhythm came to be and also allow them to grab an instrument and start playing.” The grand opening on Nov. 21 will include free admission, door prizes, drum making activities, and clinics and autograph signings with Jason McGerr, drummer for Death Cab For Cutie. The adjacent Indianapolis Artsgarden will host a community drum circle with the Bongo Boy Music School and performances by the interactive storytelling Griot Drum Ensemble and the Indiana School for the Deaf’s Vibrations Visual Performing Arts Troupe. For more information, visit November/December 2009 9

You Run the Show By Jim Snyder

I’m a self-taught clarinet player. You are, too. We’ve all heard the tale of the self-taught virtuoso/ star/genius, but the story is about you, too. I think your band director and your clarinet instructor would agree with me. Put Wisdom to Use. As your teachers, we can assign you four pages in the book for next week, but we don’t practice ’em for you. We can show you five fingerings for Bb above the staff, but you have to decide which to use and when. We can recommend artists and recordings, but you have to critically listen to them. You have to maintain your instrument, map out your practice time and blow the air through the horn. We share our pearls of wisdom, but you have to put them into use. You are the most important part of this process. Without your curiosity and initiative and exploration, there’s no progress. Initiative to Explore. Two weeks ago, one of my students arrived for her third clarinet lesson ever. Though I had only taught her four notes, she began the half-hour session by assembling her clarinet and ripping off a boisterous run from open G to the bottom E and back up again. “Eeew, I don’t like this reed!,” she said calmly in response to my obvious look of shock and awe (eyebrows up, jaw on floor). Third lesson!!! While I had only shown her four notes, she sat with the thing and figured out seven more. She had discovered that all reeds play a bit differently and that changing it might produce better results. She had obviously studied the embouchures of her more experienced band mates because her sound was big and open and beautiful. Here was a student who was curious and took the initiative to explore. By the fourth lesson, she was proudly playing for me an exercise that was several pages beyond what I had assigned, but that she had figured out. This is what it takes to succeed. And it is your curiosity and initiative and exploration that advance the art of the clarinet.

About the Author Jim Snyder has been the busiest jazz clarinetist of the last 30 years, performing in clubs, concert halls and jazz festivals in the United States and abroad. Jim played for many years in New Orleans, where he was also a member of trumpet virtuoso Al Hirt’s band. He is regularly featured as a guest artist in concerts and recordings and is a staff musician for the Walt Disney Company. His solo CD, “Coliseum Square,” was released on the Apple Jazz label. For more information about Jim, visit




Leading instructors provide practical tips for each section of the band.

Stand Still By Chase Sanborn

It might seem odd to read a column about standing still in a magazine devoted to the marching arts. But it is good advice: You should strive to reduce or eliminate extraneous body movement when playing your instrument. No Wasted Energy. Ralph Bowen, jazz saxophonist extraordinaire and professor at Rutgers University, demonstrated this vividly at a recent clinic for the University of Toronto jazz students. When Bowen plays, he stands incredibly still. Yet what comes out of his horn is spectacular: fantastic time, harmonic fluidity and technical virtuosity. He is fully in command of every aspect of the music and of his horn, yet he looks as if he is doing nothing at all! Ralph describes the process of playing the saxophone as nothing more than breathing into the instrument and moving the fingers. The music resides within him, and he transfers it to the horn with no wasted motion or energy. As I observe students, I notice all sorts of body movement unrelated to playing the instrument: lifting one foot off the floor; swaying to and fro or side to side; scrunching the shoulders; clenching the elbows tight against the body; pointing the horn toward the floor or the ceiling. While these may be a reflection of focused creative energy, it does them no favors when it comes to actually producing sound on the instrument, which is job number one. Mirror, Mirror. Like all physical activity, when you play your horn, certain muscles are involved; others are not. Tensing or activating muscles that are not needed for the task diminishes the end result. As you practice, stand in front of a full-length mirror and observe your body critically. Adopt the most correct posture you can muster and try to play in that position for a while. Feel that you are fully supporting your air yet still maintaining a feeling of relaxation; a relaxed body produces a more resonant sound. In the practice room, ingrain proper playing habits, so that when it comes time to play, the mind is free to concentrate on the music rather than on the horn. Unless you are marching, stand still and play!

About the Author Chase Sanborn is a jazz trumpet player based in Canada and the author of “Brass Tactics,” “Jazz Tactics,” “Tuning Tactics” and “Music Business Tactics.” He teaches at the University of Toronto and is a Yamaha Artist. Chase has just released his fifth CD, titled “Double Double.” Visit him on the web at

By Dennis DeLucia

Ed Argenziano received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from William Paterson University and his Master’s in Performance from Montclair State University. He is director of bands at Morris Knolls High School and has served as president of the North Jersey Honors Band and coordinator of New Jersey Allstate percussion. He marched in the Hawthorne Muchachos; has judged for Drum Corps International, Bands of America and WGI Sport of the Arts; and composes music for Row-Loff Productions. DeLucia: When did you start to play drums? Argenziano: Age 5. My brother was a drummer, so he began teaching me. DeLucia: Major influences? Argenziano: The members of the Muchachos and Bridgemen, George Tuthill, Ray DesRoches and Dave Samuels. DeLucia: What attracted you to marching percussion? Argenziano: There were so many corps in New Jersey when I was a kid, so I joined drum corps as a way to explore new things and to perform. DeLucia: Any memorable experiences? Argenziano: All of my drum corps experiences—performing, teaching and judging. I cannot imagine not having had those moments in my life. Also, it’s a rush to hear one of my compositions played! DeLucia: What are the benefits of marching? Argenziano: The unparalleled camaraderie—friends for life! Plus, it provides the highest level of training and commitment for the participants. I feel that all students have a desire for competition, so this is the “arts” version of athletic sporting events. The marching arts teach the value of a good work ethic and instill the feeling and knowledge of “success” and goal-oriented achievement. DeLucia: How much marching percussion is too much? Argenziano: It is important to be as well-rounded as possible, but marching percussion provides many opportunities beyond the rudiments, so if the student can manage his/her time well … go for it!

About the Author Dennis DeLucia is a percussion teacher, arranger, clinician and judge. A former member of the West Point Band, he is best known for his successes with championship corps and bands. He has been inducted into three of the major Halls of Fame: Drum Corps International, WGI Sport of the Arts and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.



Q&A With Ed Argenziano

Ready for Rifle By Catina Anderson

Without proper taping, your rifle can go from “shiny and new” to “split in two” with just one bad toss. As you head into winter season, make sure your equipment is as prepared as you are. Materials. Gather strapping tape, electrical tape, cotton batting and a screwdriver. Strapping tape is a semi-clear tape that is reinforced with threads. It can be found in most home improvement stores or those that carry postal supplies. I prefer the two-inch version. Taping. Apply a strip of strapping tape around the rifle at both the nose and the butt to help avoid chipping when the rifle hits the ground. Next, remove the bolt and wrap tape around the rifle from just above the bolt to just past the thin part of the neck. Try to avoid too much overlap of the tape in order to prevent adding excess weight. Then use your electrical tape to neatly cover all the areas of strapping tape and reattach the bolt. Padding. The staples that attach the end pads to the rifle may work their way loose over time, especially as the wood at each end chips away or becomes soft from repeated drops. Simply enhance or replace the pads with a thick piece of cotton batting and tape over it with electrical tape to match the style/ color of the original pads. Additional Tips. Tape over the metal part of the swivel that attaches to the rifle as well as the strap screws. This will protect your hands and rehearsal floor, and it will keep the strap screws in place in case they come loose during performance. If the bolt or swivel screws come loose over time, try adding wood putty to the holes for reinforcement. Remove old tape and reapply rather than layering tape to avoid adding weight. For a step-by-step worksheet with photos and instructions, visit the Halftime Magazine website in the “Web Exclusives” section at

About the Author Catina Anderson has been involved in the color guard activity, first as a performer and then instructor, for the past 20 years. She is a consultant at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va. She is also the founder/editor of, a website for color guard coaches. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Towson University and a master’s degree in education from Marymount University.

November/December 2009 11

By Sabrina Lochner

S SmartMusic Software

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tudents and music instructors are turning to technology to improve music education. SmartMusic 2010, a computer program, allows musicians to play along with digitalized accompaniment while tracking note and rhythm accuracy. To use the program, students play into a microphone adapter attached to their computers. The computer highlights wrong notes that were played and then links users to a fingering chart. Grade assessments are calculated after a student plays a piece. The program aims to make practicing more engaging. Students can play rhythm and scale exercises or with a recorded piece to understand how their parts blend into the texture. The repertoire boasts more than 30,000 solo and full-ensemble

DrillBook Application


songs. New songs are always added; the 2010 version offers 300 new titles. If a piece is not in SmartMusic’s library, you can write the music in Finale and add it. At some schools, band directors are doling out music assignments to be completed with SmartMusic. Upon completing an assignment, students e-mail the file to the director, so he/she can listen to it. Teachers can then send comments back to students. SmartMusic 2010, created by MakeMusic, costs $30 a year for students and $130 a year for music educators.

orget about folded drill charts, bulky binders and easy-to-lose dot charts; now there’s an app for that. The DrillBook application, released for iPhone and iPod touch this past August, offers a 21st century method to drill setting. DrillBook allows users to enter dot-placement instructions to an unlimited number of songs. The screen outlines set numbers, counts, corresponding measure numbers and field placement. Users can rename their sidelines, sides and hashes. Otherwise, as seen on the iTunes store example, instructions read, “1.50 inside S2 45 yard line and 6.50 behind front hash.” “DrillBook keeps you prepared and efficient in rehearsal, making you a better marcher,” according to the iTunes website. Feedback is generally positive; the product is rated 4+ out of 5 from iTunes store customers. But there are also suggestions for improvement. Some users want the application to show corresponding sheet music. Others have suggested a way to see how the dot fits into the overall form. “There have been a lot of suggestions that are great ideas and are on the list for future improvements,” says Scott Rundell, developer of the program. Rundell has been teaching marching band for more than 15 years and continues to teach. He says he was inspired to create this program to improve bands through technology. “With all the iPhones and iPods around, I thought marchers could use them to speed up entering and looking up sets,” he says. DrillBook is available on the iTunes store for $2.99.

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Major Events by Region West Bands of America Nov 7—St. George, UT—Dixie State College

Tradeshows Jan 6-9—Albuquerque, NM—New Mexico Music Educators Association Jan 7-9—Phoenix, AZ—Arizona Music Educators Association Jan 14-17—Anaheim, CA—NAMM, the International Music Products Association Jan 15-17—Eugene, OR—Oregon Music Educators Association Jan 27-30—Colorado Springs, CO—Colorado Music Educators Association

Miscellaneous Nov 21—San Bernardino, CA—California State Band Championships Nov 22—Clovis, CA—Western Band Association Grand Championships Nov 27—Honolulu, HI—Waikiki Holiday Parade

Midwest Bands of America Nov 7—Indianapolis, IN—Lucas Oil Stadium Nov 11-14—Indianapolis, IN—Grand National Championships, Lucas Oil Stadium

Tradeshows Nov 11-14—Indianapolis, IN—Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) Dec 15-19—Chicago, IL—Midwest Clinic Jan 21-23—Indianapolis, IN—Indiana Music Educators Association Jan 27-30—Peoria, IL—Illinois Music Educators Association Jan 27-30—Osage Beach, MO—Missouri Music Educators Association

Miscellaneous Nov 7—Detroit, MI—Michigan Competing Band Association Championship Contests Nov 7—Beavercreek and Kings Mill, OH—

Mid-States Band Association Championships

Northeast Tradeshows Dec 3-6—Rochester, NY—New York State School Music Association

Miscellaneous Nov 1—Bridgewater, MA—The New England Marching Band Championships Nov 1 and 8—Hershey, PA—Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championship Nov 14-15—Hershey, PA—Cavalcade of Bands Championships Nov 14—Bridgeport, CT—Musical Arts Conference Championships Nov 26—New York, NY—Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

South U.S. Scholastic Band Association Nov 6-8—Annapolis, MD—National Championship, US Naval Academy

Tradeshows Nov 7-10—Winston-Salem, NC—North Carolina Music Educators Association Nov 5-6—Conway, AR—Arkansas Music Educators Association Nov 19-23—Baton Rouge, LA—Louisiana Music Educators Association Jan 6-9—Tampa, FL—Florida Music Educators’ Association Jan 21-23—Tuscaloosa, AL—Alabama Music Educators Association Jan 28-30—Savannah, GA—Georgia Music Educators Association

Miscellaneous Nov 7—Louisville, KY—Kentucky State Marching Band Championships Nov 21—St. Petersburg, FL—Florida Marching Band Coalition State Finals Jan 30—Honda Battle of the Bands

To list your event, email 14

Bowl Games & Events Dec 19—Albuquerque, NM—New Mexico Bowl Dec 19—St. Petersburg, FL—St. Petersburg Bowl Dec 20—New Orleans, LA—R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Dec 22—Las Vegas, NV—MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Dec 23—San Diego, CA—San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Dec 24—Honolulu, HI—Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Dec 26—San Francisco, CA—Emerald Bowl Dec 26—Charlotte, NC—Meineke Car Care Bowl Dec 26—Detroit, MI—Motor City Bowl Dec 27—Nashville, TN—Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Dec 28—Shreveport, LA—Independence Bowl Dec 29—Orlando, FL—Champs Sports Bowl Dec 29—Washington, DC—EagleBank Bowl Dec 29-30—Pasadena, CA—Tournament of Roses Bandfest Dec 30—San Diego, CA—Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Dec 30—Boise, ID—Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl Dec 31—Houston, TX—Texas Bowl Dec 31—Fort Worth, TX—Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Dec 31—El Paso, TX—Brut Sun Bowl Dec 31—Tempe, AZ—Insight Bowl Dec 31—Atlanta, GA—Chick-fil-A Bowl Jan 1—Glendale, AZ—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship Jan 1—Tampa, FL—Outback Bowl Jan 1—Orlando, FL—Capital One Bowl Jan 1—Jacksonville, FL—Konica Minolta Gator Bowl Jan 1—Pasadena, CA—Rose Bowl presented by Citi Jan 1—New Orleans, LA—Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan 2—Arlington, TX—AT&T Cotton Bowl Jan 2—Memphis, TN—AutoZone Liberty Bowl Jan 2—Toronto, Canada—International Bowl Jan 2—Birmingham, AL— Bowl Jan 2—San Antonio, TX—Valero Alamo Bowl Jan 4—Glendale, AZ—Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Jan 5—Miami, FL—FedEx Orange Bowl Jan 6—Mobile, AL—GMAC Bowl Jan 7—Pasadena, CA—Citi BCS National Championship Game Jan 9—San Antonio, TX—U.S. Army All-American Bowl


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ven though the marching arts depend so much on fundraising to survive, many bands are taking the time to raise money for helping others. Bands and marching organizations are coming up with creative new ways to participate in philanthropic activities— from participating in existing events as a group, to dedicating a halftime show, playing a benefit concert, or hitting the streets and volunteering.

A Halftime Helping Hand University marching bands are using their most basic function—a halftime show—as a vehicle for philanthropy. At Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, the band raised money to rebuild a home that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Students and marching bands as a group donate their talent and time to support charitable organizations. By helping others, they have found that they can improve themselves as well. Dr. Christopher Nicholas, who is in his first year as director at CSU, wanted to get the band involved in some kind of charity. He partnered with the St. Bernard Project, an organization that rebuilds homes for Katrina survivors, and the Fort Collins Musicians Association to bring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to

By the Dozen: The Colorado State University (CSU) Marching Band raised money for Hurricane Katrina survivors by bringing the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to perform at a halftime show and nighttime concert. Photo courtesy of the CSU Marching Band.


St Bernard P R O J E C T perform at halftime and at a nighttime concert. “I’m really interested in how groups like a marching band can affect change by using their resources to help people,” Nicholas says. “It was months of planning.” Nicholas and his students sought out corporate and private donors for the project and to help bring the Dirty Dozen. “We also had students volunteer to sell jambalaya as a fundraiser,” Nicholas says. “It was great; they sold tickets for the concert at the student center, and the band bought over 200 tickets themselves. They sold out the show, and that was what we had hoped to do.” In addition, fans at the football game could donate through text messaging as the marching band played with the Dirty Dozen on the field. “It was the biggest roar I’ve heard at a college stadium for a band,” Nicholas says. “It was off the hook. At the concert itself, it was just amazing; people were coming up to us and saying they had never seen or heard anything like it before.”

By Elizabeth Geli

KU vs. ALS: The University of Kansas Marching Band has dedicated a halftime show to raise money to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease as part of the Marching for Hope project. Photos by Jon Robichaud.

Marching For Hope

The students especially enjoyed the opportunity to perform alongside the Dirty Dozen. “Because we had the collaboration with the professionals, I thought that was one of the most rewarding things,” Nicholas says. “Seeing the students get the chance to interact with people who are legends and having an awareness of helping people that are less fortunate— that collaboration was really special.”

In other parts of the country, marching bands are taking on very broad causes. At the University of Houston and the University of Kansas (KU) in Lawrence, students are collecting sponsorships via the Marching for Hope program to benefit the ALS Association—a not-for-profit organization that fights against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” “I do not have personal connections to this cause, but one day, I might,” says Kyle Martin, trombone section leader for the KU Marching Jayhawks. “I am going to take away a sense of pride, knowing I made a difference.” Students collect pledges from friends and family through personalized web pages for a certain halftime show, and fans in the stadium can text in donations during the game as well.

“We are young adults with large social networks, and we should be able to make a huge contribution to the ALS Association when it is all said and done,” Martin says. “I honestly have never done a fundraiser that was as easy as this. The computer has been my best friend in raising $245 so far. I have not initially contacted any potential donor in person or over the phone.” The KU band, in general, has raised more than $12,000. The concept of dedicating a performance could be applied for any charity. “I think it could become a nationwide program for marching bands to support charities,” says Cheryl DeLeonardis, president and CEO of Ocean 2 Ocean Productions, the charitable event organizer that established Marching for Hope. “If it grows big enough, maybe there could be three or four charities they could help.” November/December 2009 17

Personal Programs Philanthropy doesn’t necessarily need to be a full band activity to make a difference. At the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., students participate in about a dozen different charity programs through the band. “The local projects are helping schools in towns that don’t really have music programs and families that can’t afford music lessons,” says Dr. Ken Dye, director of bands at Notre Dame. “We have about 60 students that teach music lessons and run small elementary school bands.” Notre Dame also collects, repairs and donates old instruments to young students through a program called Horns Reborn. Some of the instruments from this project go to yet another one of their charities, the Jamaica Band project. The Notre Dame band sponsors community marching bands in Kingston, Jamaica, by sending old instruments, used high school uniforms and instructional staff. “It’s for kids that are easily involved in gang activity—Kingston is a very destitute place; there are all kinds of urban problems,” Dye says. “It is so rewarding seeing the look on the little kids’ faces and their families’; hearing from their parents that they’ve never had this opportunity before, and it’s made them do well in school and get really excited about being a part of something.”

Working Within Marching groups can also give back by participating in already well-established charity events and organizations. Color guard members are putting their own spin on the Susan G. Komen Race for the

More Than Luck: University of Notre Dame students participate in various service projects, including teaching music lessons, donating instruments and sponsoring bands in Kingston, Jamaica. Photo courtesy of the University of Notre Dame.

Cure, a walk benefiting breast cancer research and awareness, by starting a team “Colorguard Spin for the Cure.” Catina Anderson began the project based on a Race for the Cure themed winter guard show performed by students from Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va., and Heritage High School in Leesburg, Va., in 2006. The group fundraised throughout the season. When she founded the website,, she continued her efforts by reaching out to the general color guard community. “Throughout the season we set up fundraising tables at our competitions, collected money, passed out literature about prevention and tried to raise awareness in our local community in order to allow our performers to experience how they could use their art and passion,” Anderson says. “It was really powerful. They learned that they had the power to affect people and to make positive change.”

Anderson’s Colorguard Spin for the Cure team still participates in the walk each year and has raised more than $23,000. Greta Patterson, a member of Assembly Line Winter Guard in Cary, N.C., had heard about Anderson, and soon the two were talking about Patterson starting another team in her area. “The coordination was a new challenge for me,” Patterson says. “The easiest part was sending out the Facebook group and inviting friends and family members to join us on there, and then it was about getting people to actually sign up.”

Charitable Conflicts With the marching arts in great need of funding, conflicts of interest may arise between fundraising for your group and fundraising for a charity. “There were a couple parents who were resistant to the idea of adding more fundraisers and who made it clear that they didn’t want any money diverted

Curing Cancer: Team “Colorguard Spin for the Cure”, which began as a fundraising project at two Virginia high schools, has raised more than $23,000 for Susan G. Komen in just four years. Photos courtesy of Catina Anderson.


from our general funding,” Anderson says. “That’s understandable. Fundraising is the least favorite part of our activity for most participants. So for us, we planned a couple extra events specifically for our project that were separate from the band booster fundraisers.” At the university level, every school and athletic department wants more money, so there may be roadblocks in raising money through halftime shows. Nicholas and the Colorado State University Marching Band had to be very creative with wording and methods. “We had to phrase it such that you could text this number if you’d like to lend your support; we couldn’t say donate,” Nicholas says. “They didn’t want to necessarily show the logo of the nonprofit we were supporting either. It wasn’t like a problem, and they didn’t make it difficult, but we had to be a little creative. They have a job to do, too, and if there’s fundraising going on, they want to be the principal entity, but they were very supportive and receptive every step of the way.” Time commitments for students are always an issue, but in most cases, students have proven to be incredibly enthusiastic and supportive of charity projects. “We have more student volunteers than we can handle at any given moment; it’s just a question of utilizing their time and keeping it in balance with their academic requirements,” Dye says. “It has really built a balance into the band program that the students appreciate everything more when they work with people who are in need. They are more respectful, and it really brings out the best in college students.” Martin at KU has been pleasantly surprised with the personal support and donations he has received, but as section leader he has had some difficulty getting the whole section to participate. “Personally, I don’t understand how members in my section have not even registered, given the overall ease of this project,” Martin says. “Ultimately it is

optional, so the pressure has to be positive. Sometimes I want to shake them and tell them to give it a shot, but I can just keep asking and hope they come around.”

Marching With a Purpose The experience of giving back stays with students and participants far beyond their marching band days. “I think it’s important for every one of us as a human being; it’s our duty to help those who are less fortunate,” Nicholas says. “If students can learn that they can change the world for the better right now, I think that they become lifelong philanthropists and people that are concerned with making the world a better place because we have the power to do that.” Dye expressed a similar sentiment. “When they can help others, it makes them grow and become more appreciative members of society. It’s not that you’re philanthropic for a year or two, but you carry those ideals into your later years.” In addition, helping the community is a way to thank them for all they’ve given to the marching arts. “It’s good advertisement for color guard or other marching groups to show that they care,” Patterson says. “I’ve lost my mother and two other family members to breast cancer, and I lost several friends as well, so I figured it’s the least I can do.” Many believe that marching bands participating in outside philanthropies is a trend that will continue to grow. “It doesn’t have to be about fundraising,” Anderson says. “They can perform, lead programs or participate in local service projects. It doesn’t matter so much what they do as long as the kids get that experience of how a small group of people can make a big difference. Yes, it’s one more thing for coaches to have to plan, but in the end, the experience will pay it forward with rewards that cannot be measured.”

About the Author Elizabeth Geli is an editorial assistant at Halftime Magazine. She began playing the flute 13 years ago in Placentia, Calif., and marched in the Valencia High School Tiger Regiment. She earned a degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California (USC) and marched in the Trojan Marching Band (TMB) for four consecutive Rose Bowls and Parades. Now she is working on a Master’s in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) at USC and is a graduate teaching assistant and band librarian for the TMB.

Ways to


There are many different ways that marching groups can make a difference in their communities and in the world. Here are some ideas: • Dedicate a performance to a cause and either raise money before or during the show. Money can be collected online, through text messages or by recruiting volunteers to “pass the can” through the stadium. • Participate as a group in an already existing event such as Race for the Cure, Relay For Life, AIDS Walk or other charities. You might be able to add to the fun by bringing instruments, drums or flags with you. If participating isn’t an option, try performing for the participants at one of the aforementioned events. Encouragement on the route is greatly appreciated by the walkers. • Donate old instruments and uniforms to needy bands in your area or even in another country. • Volunteer your time to teach music lessons or assist the junior high and high school groups in your area. • Take a small group to perform at a senior citizen’s center or hospital. • Gather a group to volunteer at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food bank, clothing drive, toy drive, beach or park cleanup, or other charity event. • Adopt needy children in other countries through services such as the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. Each member just donates a few dollars each month, and the organization sends a bio and photo of the specific sponsored child.

November/December 2009 19

From chefs and seamstresses to event planners and cheerleaders, band parents play many roles to support marching programs throughout the country.


fter you march a show, a bottle of water is often the first thing you want to remedy a dry throat. And somehow after every performance, there’s a cooler full of water bottles sitting in the stands ready to quench your thirst. As you guzzle the revitalizing liquid, you don’t consider how the water bottles got there in the first place. It’s like the water appeared by magic. But busy parents, many times operating behind the scenes, work hard to support the band. They give time, money, water bottles and love without expecting anything in return.

Football Game Duties During home football games, the Garden City (N.Y.) High School Marching Band Parents Association has multiple responsibilities. Not only do members cheer in the stands and put out bottled water for thirsty band members, but they also move pit equipment on and off the field. Parents also take on fundraising activities. At the games, parents sell musicrelated trinkets and items like seat cushions to raise money for the band, says parent Jutta Hugel. They hope to use their funds to purchase new uniforms for the 75-member band, she says. The Nazareth (Pa.) Area Blue Eagle Marching Band Parents Association fundraises for its 100-member marching band, the 2007 and 2008 US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) champions, through its football game refreshment stand. 20

And this is no small operation: Parents prep on Thursday nights, and on Friday nights 40 to 45 parents work the booth, says Bob Meyers, president of the parents association. Even the absence of three or four people would be quite noticeable since everyone has an important job, according to Meyers. One parent who is a professional chef always makes homemade soups in large quantities to sell at the stand. “Some people tell us that they actually come to the football games for our soup selections,” Meyers says. The money raised helps pay for trips, instruments, equipment, banners and other things that the school district can’t or won’t pay for. Likewise, on Friday football nights, Mike Scrimsher, the co-president of the Broken Arrow (Okla.) Band Parents Association, mans his band’s concession stand. On any given Friday, 40 to 50 parents volunteer their time cooking up to 500 hamburgers, he says.

Mass Catering Band students must eat, too, of course, and band parents often step up to feed them. Working with local restaurants, the band parents at Broken Arrow assure that the 220-member marching band as well as the 225-member “tradition band”— which performs only in the stands—has pizza, pasta, chicken, burgers or some other food to scarf down before a night

By Sabrina Lochner

Photo courtesy of the North Penn Music Aides.

of performing. One parent owns a local pizza company that sometimes gives food to the band. Other restaurants donate as well. In return, the parents association encourages people to dine out at these restaurants to support the local community. The group has even worked out a deal with Charlie’s Chicken, a local restaurant, where a percentage of the bills by in-house diners eating on certain nights will be donated to the Broken Arrow Marching Band.

Competition Chaperones and Coordinators When the band travels to competitions, parents chaperone to make sure the kids stay safe. At Broken Arrow, the Bands of America Grand National champions in 2006 and a finalist in 2007 and 2008, a crew leader on each bus carries a binder and checks off the names of the students on that bus to make sure everyone is accounted for.

Natalie Scrimsher, co-president of the parents association with her husband, says she usually follows the color guard members while carrying big tubs for them to throw their jackets into before competing. It’s like you become a mom to the whole group, she says. Not only do parents assist the band while traveling to competitions, but band boosters manage most details entailed in hosting competitions. For the past 20 years, the North Penn Music Aides, the band booster for the North Penn High School marching band in Landsdale, Pa., has hosted the Knight of Sound competition. Planning for the event begins as far back as May or June, and on the day of the competition, it is not unusual for parents to volunteer from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., says Alane Corrado, co-president of the North Penn Music Aides. In addition to guiding the 15 to 19 competing bands around campus, parents

help with parking, security, trophies and concession stands, she says. The parents also create a program book to distribute at the competition. The money raised by the North Penn Music Aides supports the 129-member marching band, which has won competitions such as the 2008 USSBA Group 5 Open Class. The group pays the salaries of 17 to 18 staff members that it could not otherwise afford, Corrado says. And money is given directly to graduating students in the form of five scholarships. The Nazareth Area Blue Eagle Marching Band also hosts a competition, called Soundfest, as a fundraiser. Primarily run by the band booster, the contest is a tradition that has been going Photo courtesy of the Nazareth (Pa.) Area Blue Eagle Marching Band Parents Association.

November/December 2009 21

on for 27 years. And in order for the event to be a success, there must be involvement from at least 90 different families, Meyers says. Parents set up tables and make the program before the event, then run the refreshment stands and sell things like air grams, candy grams and buttons. Nazareth parents have even helped coach parents from other band boosters to show them how to host a competition. Meyers suggests that new boosters interested in hosting competitions seek out a parents group that already puts one on and ask to sit in on meetings and to observe the event.

Members of the Garden City (N.Y.) High School Marching Band Parents Association. Photo by Gerard Hugel.

Dexterous Hands Not only do parents raise funds, but they also save their bands a lot of money throughout the season. At Broken Arrow, the color guard forgoes buying flags; instead, band parents sew the beautiful designs for the 55-member section. About 15 band parents gather at the school and work while the marching band rehearses. Some parents iron; some sew; some cut, says Natalie Scrimsher, mother of a color guard member. And after three-and-a-half hours of handiwork, the parents will migrate outside to see the students perform a final run-through of their halftime show, she says. Scrimsher says that the flag sewing parties were how she first got involved with the group. Parents also spend countless hours crafting other color guard equipment. This year, the halftime show requires a 60-foot circular tarp for the color guard, and band parents willingly made it from scratch, Scrimsher adds. The Broken Arrow Band Parent Association also takes care of the marching band uniforms. If the uniforms don’t fit, about 10 parents will help iron, pin and hem, says Mike Scrimsher. And before games, parents will wheel out garment racks, divided by instrument section, into the band room. After games, the band parents also coordinate uniform washing.

Information Buffs and Cheerleaders In addition to their hands-on duties, parent association members lend a lot of moral support to the students, director and other parents.


The North Penn Music Aides assign a parent to a specific instrument section, so students have a certain person they can call if they have questions about a trip or something else related to band, Corrado says. And Mike Scrimsher sends out weekly e-news messages to the parents. Also, the Broken Arrow band parents started a mentor program where experienced band parents adopt a rookie band parent to teach them the ropes. These match-ups give new parents someone to ask questions on a more personal level, Natalie Scrimsher says. Not only do band parents take care of logistics, but they are also often the biggest cheerleaders. “The kids know we’re there all the time, and I think it means a lot to them,” Meyers says. After competitions, Nazareth Area Blue Eagle Marching Band parents gather around the school’s flag pole with banners to applaud the buses driving into the school. Cheering happens regardless of how well the band placed. After the band returned from Bands of America Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, there were

about 200 to 300 people going crazy for the band, Meyers says. When the band does extremely well, the parents group coordinates a town welcoming with the fire and police department. The school buses will be escorted by fire trucks and police cars. “We wake up some of the neighbors, but they get over it,” he says. Overall, band parents help keep the band afloat while students focus on music and drill. “Bryan Clayton, who is the director, has said multiple times that he would never be able to do it without the support he has from the parents,” Corrado says. “It takes a village.” Corrado does not mind giving back to the North Penn Marching Knights because she thinks her children benefit from the program. “They are learning discipline, time management skills; they are playing difficult technical marching music; and they are learning leadership skills,” she says. “It’s not just being out on the field.” While band parent volunteers may get satisfaction just by seeing their students succeed, don’t forget that they too deserve thanks for their support.

About the Author Sabrina Lochner, a senior at Syracuse University, is an editorial intern for Halftime Magazine. She is majoring in magazine journalism and political science and minoring in architecture. She currently serves the Syracuse University Marching Band as head drum major and has served as the band’s associate drum major for two years. She has played the clarinet since fifth grade and is a sister of Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority.


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Photo courtesy of the Sabino High School Marching Band from Tucson.

By Sabrina Lochner 24


uggling band with homework and a social life is hard and can sometimes have an adverse effect on the band. Students’ minds may begin to wander during rehearsals, or there is little focus before competitions. Halftime Magazine has compiled a list of several traditions that bands throughout the country use to inspire their members and keep them engaged.

Break Into Song Lean on me, when you’re not strong And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on … The classic Bill Withers’ song sends a powerful message of unity when sung in the appropriate context. The Sabino High School Marching Band from Tucson, sings this song after the director has addressed the band and before the students take the field in competition. With arms wrapped around one another, they sing while swaying back and forth in a circle. At first, none of the underclassmen know the song, but eventually everyone does, says Matt Rockefeller, drum major. The tradition brings people together and allows everyone to focus before competing.

Bus Traditions

Bus rides with the band are often as memorable as the football games and competitions. For some bands, the buses become more than vehicles to transport people from point A to point B; they become spirit headquarters. When Sabino High School band members are riding home and get to the mile mark from their school, they stop talking. The buses are dead silent. “Lots of people take that time really seriously and actually think back to either their freshman or sophomore year and what they’ve done in the program,” Rockefeller says. “Victory Lane,” the name of the tradition, is a time for reflection. But the bus only stays silent until it reaches a stop sign and turns before the school. “Right when the bus driver puts the gas on the turn, the whole bus breaks out cheering as loud as they can,” Rockefeller says.

Call and Response It feels good to be appreciated. And the parents of Nazareth (Pa.) Area Blue Eagle Marching Band know how to share the love. After the band lines up and is ready

Marching bands use songs, cheers and pep talks to keep students excited about performing and competing. to march onto the field to compete, a single parent stands up and shouts, “Nazareth on three … ‘One, two, three!” All the parents then scream, “Wahoo!” It is a way for the parents to wish the band luck and show their support. Upon hearing the cheer, the band members then yell, “Wahoo,” back to the parents. The tradition, which began in 1981, shows how a strong connection with the parents can boost spirits.

Parent Cheer Band parents at North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pa., also have an organized cheer to support their kids. As the band is coming onto the field for competition, a parent will stand up and yell, “Give me an N,” and all the parents will repeat until they have spelled out North Penn, says Alane Corrado, co-president of the North Penn Music Aides. The students are appreciative of the gesture. “They love it,” Corrado says. “They like the fact that the parents are there to support them. We aren’t the largest band, but we have a large parent commitment.”

Switch Places The Thursday night practice before a championship, the marching band students at North Penn High School switch roles with their parents. The parents attempt to march the halftime show while the students watch from the football stands. “We get dressed up as best as we can, whether it’s a makeshift uniform or makeshift instrument, and we practice in the parking lot,” Corrado says. “We get a recording of the music, and we try to do what they do.” The director introduces the parent group as “The Kightmares,” a spin on the

high school’s knight mascot. And then the parents will perform their child’s part, using things like garden flags or quad drums made out of laundry detergent tubs, Corrado says. After the performance, the students take the field and show the parents how it is really done.

Get Creative On the last day of band camp, the seniors of Warren Hills Regional High School Marching Band in Washington, N.J., foster unity through a senior prank, says Doug Foley, drum major. The seniors have secret meetings and plan how they want to decorate the field. This year, all the seniors signed banners that represented each of the shows they marched during their four years at the school. In past years, students have toilet-papered the press box and have spray painted their names on the grass, he says. “Everything we do, whether it’s pranks or anything like that, it’s all in good fun and the band directors love to see our camaraderie through it,” Foley says.

Pep Talks Before any football game or festival, Foley also pumps up his band with pep talks. He uses humor to keep the band going when people start to tire. “I like to think that I’m kind of a coach in a movie, you know, in the locker room, in a huddle giving a pep talk, but at the same time, being very frank about how we can be a better band,” Foley says. Not only does the drum major address the band, but the director is known for telling the band, “‘You’re only as good as you want to be,’” Foley says. In the end, all of these pep talks and special traditions certainly do help the bands succeed.

About the Author Sabrina Lochner, a senior at Syracuse University, is an editorial intern for Halftime Magazine. She is majoring in magazine journalism and political science and minoring in architecture. She currently serves the Syracuse University Marching Band as head drum major and has served as the band’s associate drum major for two years. She has played the clarinet since fifth grade and is a sister of Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority. November/December 2009 25

By Sabrina Lochner

Photo by Slingshot Photography

Long a contender in its state competition and at Bands of America, the Lawrence Central Marching Band also won last year’s Fiesta Bowl National Band Championships.


awrence Central High School’s marching band has national acclaim and is often crowned “winner” in major competitions. Last year, the “Spirit of Central” from Indianapolis won the Indiana State School Music Association State Marching Band Field Show, placed third in the Bands of America Grand National Championships and won the Fiesta Bowl National Band Championships—a high school field competition held as part of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl festivities. Halftime Magazine interviewed Matthew James, director of performing arts and marching band director, to get the inside scoop.


Halftime: What is your musical background? James: I have a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in music education. I have a master’s in conducting from Butler University. I’ve done high school marching band, college marching band, drum corps and all other sorts of other all-state concert experiences while I was in high school. I played the euphonium. Halftime: Why did you decide to enter the Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship last year? James: Well we’ve been doing a lot of traveling, and we work together as a staff to determine which events we’d like to go to. So we’ve been to the Rose Parade; we’ve been to the Macy’s Parade; we’ve done the Philadelphia parade; we’ve done Disney World, Disneyland; we’ve done all those things. And the Fiesta Bowl was—I guess you could call it—the third of the Triple Crown that we hadn’t done yet, and we really wanted to try to do it.

Halftime: What did it feel like to win the Fiesta Bowl band championships? James: It’s a great honor to be named a champion in any particular venue. Our kids are always coached to perform really well, and that’s kind of the thing that we’re after. Winning championships when you’re being judged is always a thing that you really can’t control; the thing you can control, though, is having great performances. And the kids had two wonderful performances at the Fiesta Bowl, so it was really a lot of fun. It’s hard to prepare for the Fiesta Bowl because, of course, it’s very, very cold here in December and the end of November. Last year was extremely brutal and going down there and trying to prepare in the warm weather was a very short window of preparation time. It made it that much more exciting because the kids were able to struggle through the cold weather rehearsals here and really get things done in Phoenix. Halftime: What show did you perform last year? James: The halftime show we did last year was called “Echo Sphere.” When we travel, we like to have something that is

thematically connected to the place that we’re going. When we went to the Rose Parade, we did a show called “The Rosa” ... So we did tangos and made pictures of roses on the field. So when we went to the Fiesta Bowl, we did a thing called “Echo Sphere.” It was kind of the idea that you’re traveling through a canyon. It was a tribute to the Grand Canyon. Halftime: Was the marching culture in Arizona different than in Indiana? James: Well it wasn’t really because the groups that go there are from all over the place and when you compete in Bands of America, like we do, we see groups from all over the place that are some of the bigger competitors … It was just kind of a different place to meet old friends. Halftime: What do you think makes your

band so successful at the Fiesta Bowl and other competitions? James: We just have a really good staff. Our staff is made up of some very dedicated people that work really hard. And we have wonderful students that understand that just because you show up doesn’t mean you’re going to do well. There’s a required amount of work and a required amount of investment they have to make time-wise and work-wise in order to be successful, pretty much at anything. And I think you put those two things together, and you have a very successful combination. Halftime: Do you have a message for the marching band world? James: Our philosophy is: Always make it about the music.

About the Author Sabrina Lochner, a senior at Syracuse University, is an editorial intern for Halftime Magazine. She is majoring in magazine journalism and political science and minoring in architecture. She currently serves the Syracuse University Marching Band as head drum major and has served as the band’s associate drum major for two years. She has played the clarinet since fifth grade and is a sister of Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority.

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Behind the Baton By Morris Kim

Photo by Kevin Dunder

One drum major learns the ropes by following in his brother’s footsteps. But this season, he must lead without him.


here do I start? I’m the middle child of three boys. I have an older brother, Graham, who is two years older than me, and a younger brother who trails me by five years. Growing up, I always saw my older brother as a rival and a competitor, the person I needed to beat and surpass. I followed in his footsteps through elementary and middle school. Even in high school, I was still replicating his every move. Although we were involved in various activities together, band was the strongest connection we had. I started playing the flute in sixth grade for concert band. I wasn’t new to music since I’ve now been playing piano for 12 years, but being a part of something bigger than myself, excited me. After middle school, I signed up for the Sunset Apollo Marching Band and


Auxiliary (SAMBA) in Beaverton, Ore. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into; the fact that my brother was involved was the only incentive I needed.

Just Waving His Arms? On the first day of band camp, my brother introduced himself to the whole band as the new junior drum major. I had no idea what his job was; it looked to me like he just stood in front of the band and waved his arms around. As the marching band season progressed, I started to get curious about what a drum major was. Whenever I asked Graham, he would happily explain. As my freshman year came to a close, I decided that I was going to audition for the opening drum major spot. My brother reminded me that auditioning this year was for the experience and not necessarily

for the spot because it’s very rare that a sophomore would become drum major. With this thought in mind, I gave my best and had fun at the audition. A couple weeks before school ended, I saw a note on the band room door. It read, “Congratulations 2008 Drum Majors: Graham Kim and Morris Kim.” I was overjoyed and terrified at the same time. It was hard for me to imagine myself being a drum major, let alone a sophomore drum major, with my brother!

In the Backfield The following band season, I started my role as the backfield drum major under my brother’s guidance. At first, it wasn’t as fun and exciting as I expected. The amount of work “behind the scenes” was overwhelming and surprising. I soon realized it wasn’t just about “standing in the

front of the band and waving my arms around.” The metronome and PA system became my new best friends. I was in charge of playing the metronome to keep the band in time. My brother and I were also responsible for painting yard lines and hash marks on open grass areas for every practice. Although I started enjoying my job more as I got settled, I wasn’t completely satisfied. The biggest complaint I had was how my brother was always so demanding and picky about things I believed to be “unimportant details,” little things like having extra batteries and bringing rain gear for the electronics. My brother said that being prepared was a big part of a drum major’s job. In the course of those 10 weeks of marching band, I learned about being a leader. It wasn’t always easy, especially trying to earn the respect of kids older than me. But eventually, I learned how to deal with the weight on my shoulders and how to act before the scrutinizing eyes of every band member. Respect merely came as a side effect of my hard work. Success also resulted from the hard work.

Sunset was named the Class A Champion and placed third overall at the 2008 Northwest Association for Performing Arts Championships. This was an incredible accomplishment because we were a band of less than 80 members competing against bands two or three times our size. Before I knew it, 2009 rolled around, and I took the place of my brother as the head drum major. I imagined it would be a lot better because I would finally be liberated from my brother’s ruthless criticisms and comments. Man, was I wrong.

A New Season It’s true that my brother is off at college, and I am now “free,” but it didn’t take me long to realize how much harder freedom is. There is nobody I can ask

for assistance or look up to when something goes wrong. The spotlight is now on me, and I face more pressure than ever before. But I confidently believe that I am well prepared, thanks to a certain brother. His harsh criticisms and the ceaseless attention to the “unimportant details” equipped me for my job. Whenever the metronome or the microphone runs out of batteries, I am ready with extras. Whenever it starts to rain, I am prepared with proper gear. Most importantly, my brother taught me that everyone will be looking up to me for support, and that it is my job to help them. As the head drum major of SAMBA, I feel like I am fully ready to use my experiences to lead the band. At every band practice and every competition, I never forget who has helped me get where I am today.

About the Author Morris Kim is a junior at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Ore. He has been drum major of the Sunset Apollo Marching Band and Auxiliary (SAMBA) for two years, co-leading with his older brother in the 2008 season. Morris has played flute and piano for several years.

Fitness to the MAx

By Haley Greenwald-Gonella

Stretches on the Bus Bus rides can be a great time to begin warm-up stretches to keep your muscles loose and ready for your next big show. After dancing since the age of 3, Haley Greenwald-Gonella thought it was time to try a new art. In elementary school, she began playing the flute and was in the marching band in middle school and for the first two years of high school. She also played the bassoon during concert season. Dance drew Haley back while in high school. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with degrees in dance and English. She is now attending the University of Southern California and is getting her master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts). Haley is also a certified registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She draws upon her dance and yoga training when it comes to all things fitness and the arts.



nstead of just sleeping or chatting with your friends while on all those long bus trips this marching season, here are a few stretches to keep you busy and put a spring in your march. Neck. Sit up nice and tall. Take your right hand over to just above your left ear. Using the weight of your right hand, gently tilt your head to the right, making sure to maintain space between your right ear and right shoulder. You should feel a good, deep stretch on the left side of the neck. Hold for three breaths. Repeat on the other side. Shoulders. Interlace both hands behind your neck. Squeeze your elbows toward each other, toward your face. Let the weight of your hands bring your chin down to your chest. Slightly tuck the chin, making the skin on the back of the neck long. Breathe into the front of your throat. Hold this feel-good posture for four to five breaths. Arms. Lift your right arm up. Keeping your elbow pointing up, take your right hand just above your left shoulder. Left hand takes a light hold of your right elbow. You should feel a nice stretch along the back of your right arm. Hold for three breaths. Repeat on the other side. Back. With your feet planted flat on the floor, feet hip distance apart and the toes pointed forward, sit up with a straight spine. Tighten your abdominal

muscles. Place your hands lightly on top of your knees. Inhale. As you exhale, curl your spine toward the back of your seat. Inhale and pass through neutral spine and press your chest toward the seat in front of you. Move with the breath. Breathe into your upper chest and deep belly. Do 10 repetitions. Legs. Keep your left foot firmly planted on the floor. Take your right ankle on top of your left knee, so that your right foot hangs to the left of your left leg. Flex the right foot. Place your left hand just above your right ankle. Place your right hand above your right knee. Your legs should look like a figure 4. Apply a slight amount of pressure with your right hand. Breathe into your hips and across your lower back. Take three to four breaths. You should feel the stretch in the outside of the right hip. Repeat on the other side. If you’d really like to challenge yourself, sit on the aisle side of the bus seat. Swing your feet into the aisle and face the people sitting across from you. Clasp your hands around the front of your right knee. Bring your knee up into your chest. Flex the right foot. Make sure to sit up tall—your spine will naturally try to compensate and curl back toward your seat partner. Breathe into the space between your shoulders. Hold for three to five breaths. Repeat on the other side.

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Across 1. Word after glide or roll, in marching 5. “Mindfreak” magician Angel 10. Structure on a farm 14. Fruit in some fruit cocktail 15. “That’s what it’s all ___” (line from “The Hokey Pokey”) 16. Group of troops 17. Saxophone variety 18. Frame where a pane of glass is set (2 words) 20. General college degrees (abbrev.) 22. “Soup,” in South America 23. One joint positioned to play the snare drum 26. Tacky souvenirs, for example 30. Go through a big ordeal (3 words) 32




























34. Vote that’s not “nay” 35. ___ little time as possible (2 words) 36. Singer Green and Nobel winner Gore, for two 37. How close, fitting relationships work (3 words) 42. ___ rally 43. Kazakhstan “Sea” that’s really a lake 44. Judge on the football field, for short 47. Headland at the southern tip of South Africa (4 words) 52. Slow on the ___ 53. ___-weensy (really tiny) 54. Seasoning in a shaker 56. “It’s c-c-c-cold out!” 57. Fancy French way of saying “pseudonym,” for authors (3 words) 62. Curve-shaped formations

66. Current U.S. Attorney General Holder 67. Ancient Greek region that gives its name to the mode also called major 68. “Star Wars” princess 69. Sandwich shop 70. It may be broken while marching in the heat 71. June 6, 1944, in history (hyph.) Down 1. Place to get pampered 2. Number on a business card (abbrev.)

3. Have some breakfast 4. “Survivor” host Jeff 5. Crow noises 6. Baseball batter’s stat, for short 7. Particles with a charge 8. Number puzzle usually set in a 9x9 grid 9. Drop by for a visit (2 words) 10. Vehicle for band tours 11. Santa ___ winds 12. “___ for Ricochet” (Kinsey Millhone mystery novel) (2 words) 13. To the ___ degree 19. Light bulb unit 21. “There’s ___ line between ...” (2 words) 23. Twisted out of shape 24. Regret 25. Piled up without much thought (3 words) 27. Belgrade resident 28. Intel processor brand since 1998 29. Elevations (abbrev.) 31. Finish 32. Moo goo ___ pan (Chinese dish) 33. Hit ___ (get to an unexpected difficulty) (2 words) 38. It’s made for a doctor’s visit (abbrev.) 39. Miracle-___ (plant food brand) 40. Resident of a neighbor of Thailand 41. Like seniors, in relation to sophomores

42. 1994 Jeremy Piven/David Spade college movie 45. Short albums released before the main album (abbrev.) 46. “30 Rock” star Tina 48. Effortlessness 49. Giraffe-like mammals that have stripes resembling zebras 50. “For he’s a jolly good ___ ...” 51. “Hark! The ___ Angels Sing” 55. Adjust to the correct pitch 56. Hit a bass drum 57. “The Simpsons” neighbor Flanders 58. Raw metal source 59. 60. Organization whose World Class corps competition was held in Indianapolis in August 2009 (abbrev.) 61. “Mamma ___!” (hit musical) 63. Color of Alabama’s Crimson Tide 64. Stan’s employer, on “American Dad!” (abbrev.) 65. Utter out loud Solution For the solution go to Halftime Magazine’s website at Click on “Current Issue,” then “For Fun.”

About the Author Matt Jones is a 1998 graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Ore., where he majored in music education. Since 1994, he has also written crosswords for venues such as The New York Times, Games Magazine and Stagebill. He currently writes a syndicated weekly puzzle for more than 50 alternative newspapers across the country.

color palette and design by: Michael J. Cesario. carefully constructed with state of the art craftsmanship exclusively by: FJM. inspired by: You.

Let’s talk shop. We are worn by more “champions of today” than any other brand in our industry. But the inside truth is that we treat all our customers like champions! Michael J. Cesario takes great pride in designing unique statements especially for your band, ones that perfectly capture the heart of the band, your identity. We create inspiring looks for every size and style group. Call a sales representative at FJM today and get started on an image, designed with you in mind. 1.800.444.3524 FJM


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Halftime Magazine, Vol. 3, Issue 6, November/December 2009  

Halftime Magazine presents the sights, sounds & spirit of the marching arts. In this issue: philanthropic activities undertaken by various b...

Halftime Magazine, Vol. 3, Issue 6, November/December 2009  

Halftime Magazine presents the sights, sounds & spirit of the marching arts. In this issue: philanthropic activities undertaken by various b...