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AUGUST 2009 $5.00

Dr. Richard Suk

Ohio University’s Marching 110

The Most Exciting Band in the Land UpFront Q&A: CMEA’s Jeff Jenkins Guest Editorial: The First Day of Rehearsal

Contents 17



August 2009

Features 12

UPFRONT Q&A: CMEA’S JOHN JENKINS John Jenkins, the band director at Hilltop High School and current president of the California Music Educators Association, answers some tough questions about the status of music ed in the financially challenged West Coast state.




COMMENTARY: WORKING WITH BEGINNERS Educator Deborah Way gives advice on working with novice music students.


UPCLOSE: RICHARD SUK Dr. Richard Suk is the longest tenured director in the history of Ohio University’s Marching 110. In this recent SBO interview, Ricky talks about building on the legacy of a marching band already nicknamed, “The Most Exciting Band in the Land.”




ROUNDTABLE: FUNDRAISING Five music educators from some of the states hit hardest by the recession share their thoughts on fundraising in these difficult times.


GUEST EDITORIAL: THE FIRST DAY OF REHEARSAL Rob Stein, a marching band consultant and founder of Marching O Concepts, presents a primer on what to look out for during the first rehearsal of the year.


PERFORMANCE: ARRANGING MELODIES Illinois State University professor David Snyder opines on the construction of a high quality horn section.



Columns 4 6 56

Perspective Headlines New Products

61 62 64

Playing Tip Classifieds Ad Index

Cover photo by Luke Potter of Luke Potter Photography, Athens, Ohio. SB&O School Band and Orchestra® (ISSN 1098-3694) is published monthly by Symphony Publishing, LLC, 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310, publisher of Musical Merchandise Review, Choral Director, Music Parents America and JAZZed. All titles are federally registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Symphony Publishing, LLC. Subscription Rates: one year $24; two years $40. Rates outside U.S.A. available upon request. Single issues $5 each. February Resource Guide $15. Periodical-Rate Postage Paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER/ SUBSCRIBERS: Send address change to School Band and Orchestra, P.O. Box 8548, Lowell, MA 01853. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The publishers of this magazine do not accept responsibility for statements made by their advertisers in business competition. Copyright © 2009 by Symphony Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in USA.

2 School Band and Orchestra August 2009


Texas Gets It


August 2009 Volume 12, Number 8



exas gets it. When you add up the facts, the results point to the fact that Texas most likely has the most support for music education of any state in the nation. The state boasts the largest independent music educators association, the TMEA, as well as the largest bandmasters group, the Texas Bandmasters. We regularly receive subscription cards from Texas schools indicating enormous numbers of music students compared to other states across the country. However, there are some numbers that don’t seem to add up. For example, “Texas’ investment in the arts is approximately $0.18 per citizen placing it near the bottom of all 56 U.S. states and territories. The national average is $1.44 per citizen.” (Department of Education, The Texas Cultural Trust). Texas also ranks 29th in the country in teacher pay according to the American Federation of Teachers 2007-08 survey. So the question everyone is asking is why and how does this state have such strong support for music, especially with the low level of spending per student? There is no clear answer, but only some hypothetical explanations that have been tossed around in recent years. One suggestion is that Texas has such a strong culture of football that, rural communities, if you are not on the football team, you “These groups… want to support the team by being involved in the marching make Texas a band. Others suggest that folks in Texas think “big,” and that tremendous power the large marching band sizes reflect this. However, the more in the field of music likely explanation is the strong cooperative support from wellrun organizations such as TMEA, TBA, Texas Coalition for education.” Quality Arts Education, the Texas Commission for the Arts, The Texas Music Project, The Association of Texas Small School Bands, and many others. These groups, along with a culture of strong parent organizations and potent college music programs, make Texas a tremendous power in the field of music education. At the recent Texas Bandmasters show, I met with Ross Boothman; the VP of the band division of the TMEA. He indicated that Texas is one of the few states that has a viable set of standards and competitions from the University Interscholastic League. Per the UIL Web site, the “UIL is designed to support and enrich the teaching of music as an integral component of the public school curriculum in the state of Texas.” Additionally, TMEA has moved their offices to Austin in order to have greater access to the state legislature, so they can be proactive in promoting and lobbying for arts programs to be maintained as a part of the core curriculum in the schools. Although many of the state music education organizations have their own sets of goals, Boothman did indeed highlight the fact that there have been many joint efforts to further the greater good of music education. It would certainly be beneficial to do an in-depth study of the multifaceted efforts going on in Texas, both at the local and state levels, so that this exceptional model for music education could be adapted to other regions of the country. This could potentially provide the necessary roadmap needed to bring music programs greater strength to music education nationwide…

PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel Editorial Staff

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GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew P. Ross GRAPHIC DESIGNER Laurie Chesna Advertising Staff


CLASSIFIED SALES Maureen Johan Business Staff


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he Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana from November 11-14, 2009. For the second time in the event’s history, Indianapolis will play host to more than 6,500 drummers and percussionists from around the world at the Indiana Convention Center and Westin Hotel. PASIC is the world’s largest and most prestigious drum and percussion gathering that features more than 130 events on 13 stages with the leading artists from around the world in the percussion community. Session topics span a variety of areas including drumset, symphonic, marching, recreational, world and keyboard percussion. Evening showcase concerts include a variety of performances and styles of music. Wednesday evening features Filipino trip-hop duo Electric Kulintang (Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez), keyboard master Julie Spencer and percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson. Thursday evening brings Taiwanese percussion ensemble Ju Percussion Group to the stage. Israeli powerhouse percussion duo PercaDu will perform on Friday evening, and Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band featuring guest percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos will close the convention on Saturday evening. The convention’s International Drum and Percussion Expo will highlight industry exhibitors showcasing the latest in drum and percussion instruments, publications, and services. The Expo will be open to convention attendees November 12-14 and available to the public for a daily fee of $15; children under 12 are admitted free. The annual PAS Marching Percussion Festival will take place on November 12 and 13. The festival features a competition of high school and collegiate individuals, ensembles, and drum lines vying for top honors in this nationally recognized contest. Scheduling changes and the addition of new competitive and non-competitive categories makes this year’s festival more accessible to marching programs. Tickets for the Marching Percussion Festival are available to the general public for $15 and includes access to the International Drum and Percussion Expo; children 12 and under are admitted free. Grand opening celebration events for Rhythm! Discovery Center will coincide with PASIC, allowing convention attendees to have access to both functions for the first time in the organization’s history. A creative vision of the Percussive Arts Society, Rhythm! evolved from the Percussive Arts Museum that closed in Lawton, Okla. in March 2007. Rhythm! builds on the many successes the museum experienced and will maintain the most extensive and unique display of rare percussion instruments and artifacts from around the world. Now, with significantly more exhibit space and convenient pedestrian access, Rhythm! will interpret the role of rhythm and percussion in music and culture through dynamic educational experiences. New interactive exhibits, participatory learning opportunities and a hands-on area will illustrate rhythm, its role in society, and its connections to daily life. More information is available at

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HeadLines Music for All Adds Key Staff


usic for All has added three key professionals to its Indianapolis headquarters staff. Beth DeHoff joins Music for All as community relations manager. She brings more than a decade of experience as a freelance writer and communications consultant, as well as public relations and marketing staff experience with Community Health Network and Eli Lilly and Company. Kayla Murphy will take the position of development coordinator. Prior to joining Music for All, Kayla worked in development with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and event coordination with the Arts Council of Indianapolis. She also has served on board committees for the Greater Indianapolis Flute Festival and Indiana Wind Symphony. Kristin Riccardo Conrad joins Music for All as marketing coordinator. She attended Indiana University and holds a bachelor of music degree in horn performance as well as a Master of Arts degree in journalism. Kristin is presently a member of the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble. Learn more at

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HeadLines Guitars In The Classroom Debuts Programs In California


ontinuing its 10-year effort to bring the enjoyment and benefits of music participation to all children, Jessica Baron, executive director of Guitars In The Classroom, has announced the successful completion of the organization’s innovative music integration programs for the 2008-2009 school year. Ms. Baron thanked the NAMM Foundation for their generous support and made special note of GITC’s ongoing and newly created projects within the organization’s home state of California where the recently concluded school year saw the expansion of GITC programs in 21 locations statewide. GITC programs complement traditional music education by expanding what students learn from their school music specialist and applying it in general

10 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

classroom situations. In schools where music programs have been compromised or cut, GITC provides a vital connection to the value of developing musicality and creativity while supporting full music education for every child. During the 2008-09 academic year, GITC faculty in 19 cities in the Golden State participated in the initial phase of GITC’s new AMIGO (Achievement through Music Integration with Guitars) Project. AMIGO is designed to give teachers of Spanish speaking Eng-

lish Language Learners (ELLs) the tools they need to boost their students’ language and literacy skills in English and help close the “achievement gap” through integrated, songbased instruction. Pilot AMIGO sites included Atascadero, Benicia, Encinitas, Los Angeles, Napa, Oakland, Oakley, Oceanside, Petaluma, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Sonoma, Victorville and Watsonville- bringing a new level of music integration to more than 1100 teachers and approximately 113,000 students. As the number of ELLs in American schools rises by as much as 200 percent in many cities across the nation, GITC’s AMIGO Program follows the concept behind classic education-through-music programs like Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock but goes further-applying Guitars In The Classroom’s “Strum & Sing” teacher training model while adapting the lyrics of traditional American folk songs and familiar Spanish language favorites such as “La Bamba” and “Mi Gallo” to reinforce learning in academic subjects such as math, science, social studies and language arts. Integrated learning through music provides deeper meaning and also helps reduce anxiety for students who find they can memorize, practice and express phrases and sentences more easily in a creative and socially motivating setting. Sponsored by GITC and the NAMM Foundation, AMIGO has the potential to benefit millions of “at risk” students by training classroom teachers to provide daily musical opportunities that help them succeed at school. With an enthusiastic team of talented and dedicated teachers and volunteers, plus the steady support of the NAMM Foundation, and leading music products industry corporations, plans are currently underway to significantly expand the number of GITC programs and locations in the coming months. Parents, educators and community members are encouraged to contact GITC about upcoming activities and events. For more information, visit

HeadLines NAACP Honors Rep. Conyers & Supports Civil Rights for Musicians


he National Association for the Advancement of Colored People overwhelmingly passed a resolution honoring Representative John Conyers (D-MI) for his decades of public service. The NAACP also passed an amendment to the resolution supporting Rep. Conyers’ Civil Rights for Musicians Act (HR 848), which would end big radio’s exploitation of musicians for billions in annual profits and protect performers’ rights to fair wages. As the longest serving African-American in Congress and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Conyers has worked tirelessly to protect and promote the civil liberties and civil rights of people of all colors and creeds. Rep. Conyers has been a driving force behind bills to protect voting rights and civil liberties. Most recently, Rep. Conyers sponsored the Civil Rights for Musicians Act (HR 848), which would protect the labor rights of performers by ensuring that they get paid a fair wage when their music is played on the radio. The way things stand now, big radio conglomerates make billions in advertising profits every year by playing hit music, but they don’t compensate the musicians who recorded those songs. As a result, many performers have to continue going out on the road well into their 70s and 80s just to get by. The NAACP’s resolution was a strong rebuke to big radio conglomerates that, in recent months, have attacked Rep. Conyers and members of the Congressional Black Caucus through a misinformation campaign claiming the Civil Rights for Musicians Act would hurt African American radio stations. For more information, visit

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2009 Summer NAMM: Smaller, But Upbeat


AMM announced final registration and exhibitor numbers for 2009 Summer NAMM. At show close, NAMM reported a 26 percent decrease in registration from last year’s event, with 12,967 total registrants for the three-day event. Exhibitor numbers were also down at the Nashville Convention Center during this turbulent economic year, with 383 companies displaying and demonstrating products. Many exhibitors chose NAMM’s Club option, bringing in products and literature, and hosting meetings without the cost of a full exhibit space on the show floor. During the show, the NAMM University education sessions were packed full of dealers serious about their success as the economy rebounds. Despite the fact that it was a smaller gathering due to the challenging economic conditions, both exhibitors and retailers reported having a good show. The 2010 NAMM Show will take place January 14-17, 2010, in Anaheim, Calif. For more information about 2009 Summer NAMM, interested parties can log on to


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SBOUpfrontQ&A: CMEA’s Jeff Jenkins

California: A State in Crisis C

alifornia is facing a tremendous fiscal crisis. With over 72 billion dollars in debt and a budget shortfall of more than 25 billion dollars, lawmakers have been scrambling to find ways to balance the state’s troubled finan-

cial books. Unfortunately, any conceivable solution will undoubtedly take its toll on schools and other educational programs. Recent estimates have stated that as much as nine billion dollars may be slashed from the state’s education budget, leaving teachers in all disciplines struggling to cope. Against that dire and depressing backdrop, SBO recently caught up with Jeff Jenkins, a high school band director and president of the California Music Educators Association, who is one of the people leading the charge to protect California’s music programs from the financial storm. School Band & Orchestra: What is really happening with school music programs in California?

Jeff Jenkins

12 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

Jeff Jenkins: Music education in California has been in jeopardy for several years now. The first onslaught came from the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind. Now, because of California’s huge budget deficit and our struggling economy, schools are experiencing more cuts in available revenues to local school districts. These cuts have the potential to impact music education for years to come. The following is an excerpt from my column in our association newsletter, The CMEA Magazine. It explains the impact of No Child Left Behind on music education:

When our political leaders speak about educational issues, there are implications for music and equitable access, for all students, to a quality music education. Clearly the pursuit of test scores under No Child Left Behind has had a detrimental effect on music education. We have seen all arts classes become marginalized as administrators are pressured to get every student up to the state level of proficiency, particularly in English and mathematics. As a result, many students, especially in lower socio-economic schools, are slotted into additional hours of English and mathematics. Policy makers and the media proclaim that the 3 R’s must be mastered, and if that needs to happen, at the expense of the arts, so be it. In secondary school, students who are low-performing on standardized tests are given additional English and math classes, many of which are taught by inexperienced teachers. These support classes sometimes do not count toward high school graduation. These same students have no room in their schedule for an elective. Since many of these students are English language learners and ethnic minorities, these large groups are denied access to the arts.

However, even strong programs know that they are in for some lean years in the near future. For example, in Poway, a district north of San Diego that has pockets of higher socio-economic areas, the elementary program that used to include instrumental music lessons for all fourthgrade students is gone and the fifth-grade program is largely funded by donations. Even with schools that have strong music programs, under-performing students are often not allowed to participate since, as noted before, they are given additional math and English classes rather than electives. SBO: Are things really that bad across the board? JJ: In most school districts, administrators and school boards have attempted to show restraint when dealing with arts programs. The truth is that California’s budget cuts are deep and far-reaching. Given the current fiscal situation, most districts have little choice but to make cuts and the arts are seeing a large portion of these cuts. To quote D. L. Johnson, past president of CMEA and current director

of North Monterey County High School Band, “The damage to school music programs in the Monterey Bay area is so bad the even such institutions as the Monterey Jazz Festival Education Program, one of the top jazz education programs in the country, will have to cut back its clinician program, not due to lack of funds, but lack of formally participating schools. Several school jazz programs have been cut for next year.” SBO: What is CMEA’s role in all of this? JJ: The purpose of CMEA is to provide leadership for music educators. We do this with advocacy through lobbying work with CAAE (California Alliance of Arts Educators). CMEA provides professional development by organizing an outstanding Annual Conference that brings all music disciplines and grades together to learn, grow, and share ideas about teaching. Sharing these ideas about teaching helps us pass on our love of music to our students. CMEA brings national services to the local level. CMEA speaks for music education in this state.

Now, with budget cuts, we are seeing a further erosion of music classes. We are seeing many districts using one music teacher to cover multiple school sites. Secondary music teachers are teaching other subjects, with mixed results in terms of student achievement and negative results in terms of energy left to devote to growing the music program. SBO: How are your state’s premier band and orchestra programs holding up? JJ: It is difficult to find a band or orchestra program that has not been affected. However, the affluent schools continue to have a larger pool of students to draw into the arts and thus many are able to offer a strong music program. These same schools are not seeing the severe cutbacks in music funding since affluent programs can generate their own funds to cover transportation, equipment, and additional staff. School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 13

CMEA works with other music associations for the mutual benefit of our music students. There are many music professional organizations in California. The important thing is that we must work together to provide a quality music experience for every student in California. SBO: So what is CMEA doing to keep music programs afloat? Are there any new initiatives you are hoping to put into place?

In terms of specific actions, CMEA has written letters in support of music education to numerous school boards across the state. In these letters we cite current research detailing the benefits of music education. In a few cases we have been able to save a music program from the chopping block. Regrettably, we have not always been successful. In addition, we have published lists of national advocacy resources and encouraged our members to become involved in local, state, and national initiatives to improve access to the arts. CMEA is aware of the fact that, in education, trends change like the swinging of a pendulum. We are working on positioning ourselves to rebuild music when the pendulum swings back. By surveying our current membership, we are learning more about how we can meet their needs. We hope to be able to offer conference sessions that provide practical strategies for building a music program along with innovative suggestions for using technology to enhance our programs and class offerings. SBO: What lessons have you learned as CMEA president that might be relevant to music educators across the country? JJ: No Child Left Behind has had dire consequences for music education. Access to the arts is no longer equitable. Music organizations such as CMEA and MENC can no longer sit on the sidelines and remain neutral where politics are concerned. We must become advocates for equitable arts education by meeting with our local, state, and national representatives. We need to speak with a unified voice throughout our state, and indeed, throughout the nation. Two key points must be discussed as we engage in the current national dialogue around national standards: 1) the 14 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

arts must be treated as a core subject, not just labeled as such; and 2) the bar for state testing cannot be set so high that only a select few students are able to participate in elective classes. We need the national spotlight on the difficulties music education is facing. California teachers cannot fight this battle alone. We need national voices to join us in raising the alarm about the negative effect of No Child Left Behind. Right now, in California,

our state leaders are so focused on budget woes that there is very little room or motivation for them to consider the plight of music. Because we seek this national voice, we are deeply grateful to MENC for their campaign to bring a quality arts education to all students through their National Petition for Music Education. We look forward to joining other campaigns that seek to bring a quality music program back to all public schools.


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SBOCommentary: Working with Beginners

You can tune a piano, but… BY DEBORAH WAY can’t tuna fish. So goes that stale, old joke that is nevertheless ever new in my world. I work with beginning band students, and for most of them, it’s fresh and still quite funny. But while working with beginners carries with it the opportunity to incessantly recycle old jokes and instructional anecdotes to ageless success; localizing one’s career to beginner band jobs does have its drawbacks as well. “Sending them on” to their blue horizons can touch a director’s soul in curious ways.

For instance, one of my clarinet students is moving on to study with a new private lesson teacher, one who is recommended by the high school she’ll be attending. Its elite and competitive music program offers very little advancement opportunity to a student who does not follow prescribed channels, and this instructor is one of those channels. Cassandra feels somewhat guilty for leaving her more rudimentary lessons with me and going to a more accomplished instructor, but I encouraged her to go wholeheartedly into this new era of study. How do I convince her to not feel bad about this change? Right now the music halls of her future are still just bare stages. She doesn’t know much yet about the parade of personalities she’ll meet as she begins to “swim” in that world. Speaking very generally, she and her mother drew some conclusions after her first lesson, stating briefly the impressions made by the woman who is Cassandra’s new instructor. Their comments offered the following information: this new teacher is arrogant; however, she’s arrogant because she has a legitimately weighty resume. That resume details her studies at the best music schools, followed by a lifetime of performance work, and not just on clarinet, but on other instruments as well. I learned that she likes to use the idea of teaching clarinet from the same perspective that prompts that metaphor about teaching a man to fish so he’ll eat for a lifetime, rather than simply giving him a fish so he can eat for a day. As best I understood it, this metaphor explained her rationale for extracting technical instruction and making it the sole material for private lesson work, removing all foSchool Band and Orchestra, August 2009 17

cus from the study of clarinet literature. She considers her job to be best defined as teaching the nuances of physical skills, no matter that they are isolated from specific musical application. With good technique, any piece can be played well. I confess I learned all this second-hand, so I may be misinterpreting her priorities in pedagogy. And my young student may only be receiving what will be but a first stage of many in this teacher’s instructional method, but my reflections on this teacher’s initial approach sent my thoughts back to my own days of being “taught” to play the flute, long before I became the band director for scores of beginners over the years. When I was Cassandra’s same age, my own junior high band director referred me on to a “higher level” instructor, too. Amy, another girl who was a year ahead of me in the same band program, had been referred to higher level instruction the prior year, so I expected to be sent to the same teacher who was teaching her, but Mr. Church referred me to a different teacher. Why? I wondered. Mr. Church

sent me to Brinkman, a teacher of whom I’d never heard and who lived farther away than Evans, the man who taught my friend. Why not send me, like Amy, to study with Evans? He had certainly impressed me as I could hear Amy’s great facility when she played. Did I not show

“What those teachers want for you is not fame, but that you learn to bring the music alive for its own sake.” as much potential as Amy? Did I not deserve as “good” an instructor? So I screwed up my courage, and I asked Mr. Church about it. He had a rather strange look in his eyes as he gave his answer. “I sent her to Evans and you to Brinkman because Amy plays from her body, while you play from your soul.” He considered that to be answer enough. It took a long time for it to be answer enough, but eventually his wisdom shone

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sun-bright into my playing, because I did study with Brinkman. She taught me whatever degree of musical facility I had in the context of experiencing the heart of some of the greatest historical works available for my instrument. Mr. Church was right: if I hadn’t had the music itself as the underlying driving force, I would not have cared two cents about the development of physical skills. Those skills had to become necessary to me because I needed them if I was to perform the music – because doing the piece justice was the greatest desire of my heart. With that context of application ever before me, any effort required of me felt worthwhile. Now, if I were to give any parting words to my own young student, just in case those words could apply – because I believe she, too, may be a player from the soul – the words would be to offer her this follow-up to her new teacher’s metaphor: “Cassandra, if the ‘fish’ are your skills, then don’t forget to consider why you’re going after them in the first place. Are you learning fly-casting or hiring that deep sea fishing guide because you want something exotic to mount on the wall for all to see? Or, do you simply love the taste of fish, and long to eat and serve your catch to others who also have a taste for fish? How much does it really have to do with you, the fisherman – with you, the performer? “But I believe it can go a little deeper even than simply learning fishing (or performing) skills. Mr. Church left performing behind him years before he taught me, but I’m incredibly grateful for the wisdom of old music teachers like him. They are people often hidden and hard to find, so if you find such teachers, Cassandra, count them as gifts, because what those teachers want for you, as a performer, is not fame for yourself, but that you learn to bring the music alive for its own sake. They know that you as a performer can take great joy in a technically perfect performance, but they also know that your greatest joy is not found in technical perfection alone. Your greatest joy as a performer is the swell of tears that form in the eyes of your listeners – tears that spring not from awe at your magnificence, but rather from awe at the beauty of the moment you have just giv-

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en them, a moment of magic. Only then have you presented the soul of a piece of music with purity, and nothing parallels the glory of such a moment for either the listener or the performer! These rare ones in the world of pedagogy will remind you that the fish and the fisherman must first be one in their love of the sea, as are the student and the teacher in their love of the music. “So just remember, Cassandra, that every type of fisherman has his or her place. The important thing is discovering which type you are going to be and staying true to your nature. Mr. Church always said to our band, ‘The piece isn’t ready until you give me goose bumps when you play it.’ If we never moved him to experience those goose bumps, then he assessed that we hadn’t learned the soul of the piece, and so we wouldn’t perform it. We hadn’t earned the privilege of public performance. With him, it was always about the music. As long as the music stays larger than your technique, Cassandra, you’ll never be bored with your study, and you’ll never be satisfied with anything less than what it demands. It wants more than glib metaphors; it deserves more.”

Deborah Way has taught as a band director in beginning and intermediate band programs for the past 20 years, working with elementary- through junior high-aged students. For the past four years, she has built a band program at the Horizon Christian School, where there was none prior to her employment. The band at this private school in Indianapolis, Ind. now consists of 45 students in grades four through eight, out of a student population of 350, K-12. Prior to that, she taught at a public school in Southern Illinois. Deborah has also directed handbell choirs for both youth and adults in various churches over the years.

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The Name You Know


Dr. Richard Suk

The Most Band in

22 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

Dr. Richard “Ricky” Suk (rhymes with “book”) is the director of Ohio University’s Marching 110, an illustrious marching band that may fly under the radar because the school’s football program isn’t exactly among the nation’s elite. In fact, the Ohio University Bobcats have only made it to one bowl game in the 13 years in which Ricky has been leading the marching band. Yet, the lack of national exposure doesn’t stop the Marching 110 from putting on dazzling and electrifying field shows, with a high-intensity, athletic marching style

Exciting the Land

that often includes elaborate dance routines. In fact, one could argue that the band’s halftime shows are the highlights of the Bobcat football games, as Suk’s ensemble routinely keeps the crowds ooh-ing, aah-ing, and cheering ecstatically throughout their performances – hence the nickname, the “Most Exciting Band in the Land.”


School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 23

After cutting his teeth at several high schools in Mississippi and Tennessee, Ricky followed his ambitions to the University of Illinois, where he earned a doctorate while studying under the Fighting Illini’s distinguished director, Gary E. Smith. From there, Ricky packed his bags for Athens, Ohio, where he’s been since. In a recent SBO interview, the Alabama native details his progression through the teaching ranks while stressing the importance of forging bonds between universities and local high school bands. School Band and Orchestra: Thinking back to when you were a student, how did the idea of getting into music education first enter your mind? Richard Suk: I don’t think that came along until high school. I always liked the band stuff and I was always talking about the band pieces we were playing. One day, one of my class-

mates told me I should be a band director when I grew up, and I thought to myself, “Oh, wow! You can do this for a living?!” From that point on, I just focused on being a band director and that was that. SBO: So you went to the University of Southern Mississippi to study Music Education and later started teaching band at a high school. Tell me about some of those early experiences? RS: I taught in Mississippi for four years, and then I moved to Alabama, where I taught for another six years. In my first job in Mississippi, I was an assistant director at a small rural school, but I quickly realized that I really wanted my own program. So I moved to another small school outside of Hattiesburg. I had some really good groups there, and we were able to take advantage to the proximity of my Alma Mater, which meant

that we were able to have some university students from there come out and teach sectionals and give lessons. We had a really good core of kids in the band and it was a great community. I also had help from some mentors in the area who showed me the ropes and basically told me what to listen for. I felt like sometimes I was listening to what I thought the music should sound like, rather than to what was actually coming out of the kids’ instruments. Once I realized that, I started getting a much better grasp on how to fix the sounds the students were making. After a few years, I moved back to my old high school, which was a catholic school in Mobile, Alabama, and I taught there for two years. When they opened up a new school just outside of Mobile, I switched over and taught there for four years. I had always wanted to teach in a college or uni-

“We have a motto, and that is to be ‘better than the best ever.’”

24 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

versity setting, I just didn’t know how to do it. A buddy of mine was in grad school at the University of Illinois and he recommended that I join him up there. The only obstacle was getting my finances in order to make that leap and undertake a doctorate program. SBO: It sounds like you had a fair degree of variety in your early teaching experiences. RS: You’re right, it was a good mix of situations. I went from a rural school in Mississippi to a Catholic school, to a larger suburban school in a more metropolitan setting. SBO: Was moving from one teaching situation to another like night and day, or did you have a consistent method that you implemented regardless of the school’s particular details? RS: To a certain extent, a lot of the kids are the same, regardless of the setting, and they’re motivated by the same things. However, economics plays a big role in whether or not a student can afford that upper-line, high quality instrument, or whether a parent is willing to invest in some private lessons; that does play a factor in the program. I will say that even though, for example, that first school I was teaching at in Mississippi wasn’t in a very affluent community, the students there worked even harder to make music happen. SBO: And that compensated for the financial disadvantage that some were facing? RS: Definitely. I think you can find frustrating elements in any situation – you wish these students had the work ethic or those students had the money. It’s just a matter of finding a program’s strengths, and then you build on that. SBO: So what was it like making the leap into the college ranks? RS: I’m glad I had the experience that I did at the University of Illinois because I couldn’t have made that jump straight from teaching in a high school without that. I needed those three years of learning about teaching at a higher level, and my mentor, Gary Smith, who was the marching band director there, really taught me a lot. Even just watching him work and seeing the differences between high school and college kids was really helpful. And then when I arrived here, I basically used a lot of the same systems that they used at the University of Illinois to teach drill and other components of the system. As far as the students go, I still think they’re motivated by some of the same things as the kids I taught in high schools. They like to be successful. They like to hear applause. They like for the music to be good. I’m very fortunate here that I was able to step into a program where the students already had a great work ethic. These kids really want to excel, and we have a great tradition here. SBO: What kind of things do you do to keep that work ethic and that motivation up? RS: I’m not really a cheerleader. However, I think it’s important to enable the students to be cheerleaders. They want to work for you, but they also don’t want to disappoint their peers and their alumni. Allowing the student leadership to blossom is important in any teaching situation. School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 25

SBO: By student leadership, you’re referring to section leaders? RS: We have leaders for each section and then we have a field commander. I allow the section leaders to do sectionals. Very rarely, I’ll have a faculty member come in and work with a section, but I don’t assign TAs to a particular section; I let the students take care of that. That hones their leadership. And if a group is having trouble on a particular area, I’ll counsel them on the

specific area that needs work, whether that’s pitch, intonation, completing phrases or something else. I simply try to provide guidance. SBO: I suppose that also might instill that sense of ownership in the program for the students. RS: It absolutely does. You know,

it’s a big deal when someone is selected to be the section leader, and a lot of students are very disappointed if they

aren’t chosen. Not everyone can wear the chief ’s hat. SBO: I imagine there’s a good deal of competition for those positions. Speaking of, what’s your take on the role of competition in music? RS: We like to preach that we want to be better than the best we’ve ever given. We have a motto, and that is to be “better than the best ever.” We aim to better ourselves. However, I can’t deny that when another band takes the field, our students want to be better than them. We want to have a better field show, want to have better musical and visual execution. In that sense, competition is a good motivator. That said, I try to just concentrate on our band and what we have to do. We played the University of Illinois a few years ago and the only thing I told my kids was, “Hey, you’re facing a really great Big Ten band, so you have to be ready.” It wasn’t a matter of us having to be better than them, it was a matter of us having to be ready to turn in a great performance because we knew that the other band was going to be ready to play. SBO: Do you have any game-day tips? Do you believe in those big motivational speeches right before a performance? RS: Some days it’s not needed because you can just feel the energy in the band, but other days you really have to kick them in the tail. At that point, I talk about our responsibility to our fans, about how much work and sweat we’ve put in on the practice field, and all the time we’ve spent memorizing and preparing the music. The performance is our opportunity to reap the fruits of our labors. The other thing I talk about is pacing. The college football game day is such a long day. It starts with a morning practice, then pre-game warm-ups and a parade to the stadium, the tailgate concert, then the pre-game, then we play after every play or so, and that’s in addition to the highlight of the day, which is the half-time show. It’s really important for the students to pace themselves so they don’t run out of energy.

26 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

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Marching 110 At A Glance

SBO: Energy is one thing your band exudes in spades. As for overarching goals beyond simply solid musical performances, what is it that you’re hoping your students can take away from your program? RS: For the music majors, which make up about 20 percent of the band, I hope they take away with them a system of running a marching band. Even if they don’t choose to use the same style we have here, that they still do fundamentals everyday and they still concentrate on the details, and still hopefully have a band that will work as hard as they worked when they were here. For the non-music majors, I hope they gain from the social contacts and networking opportunities presented by being in this ensemble, but also the work ethic and sense of accomplishment that they can then apply to whatever field they go into. For team leaders and section leaders, there are all kinds of lessons they will take with them about motivating their sections and other leadership skills that they will be able to apply to their own fields.

Location: Athens, Ohio On the Web: Founded: 1923, with current style incorporated in 1967 Trivia: The name “Marching 110” refers to the original number of band numbers. Current Number of Students: 210 Directors: • Gene Thrailkill (1967-1970) • Thomas Lee (1971-1972) • Ronald P. Socciarelli (1973-1989) • Sylvester Young (1990-1995) • Richard Suk (1996-present)

School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 29

SBO: Is it challenging to work with both music majors and non-music majors? Is that a distinction that is noticeable in the ensemble? RS: Well, the music majors are generally better players, but there are a lot of non-music majors in leadership positions. The non-music majors take it just as seriously, they just don’t have the private lesson once a week, so they don’t tend to improve on their instrument as much. Music majors are not required to take marching band, so the ensemble is made up of entirely volunteer members. In some respects that’s good because it means that everyone who is here wants to be here. On the other hand, it doesn’t give me that 50member music major core. SBO: Sure. How does the marching band fit into the overall scope of the Ohio University music department? RS: We’re part of the University Bands department. We try to be supportive of each other and inform the kids of the various band concerts and

encourage participation in other ensembles. We have band members who play in our university concert band, which is open to non-majors, and I encourage that so that the non-majors can keep up their chops in the winter and spring, when the marching band isn’t active. The marching band is one part of the large comprehensive music program that we have here. Is that too cliché? [laughs] SBO: Not at all, many times the marching band is in the domain of the athletic department. RS: Right, well we’re not. We support athletic events but we’re funded through the College of Fine Arts and the School of Music, not through the athletic department. SBO: So is it extra-curricular? RS: Yes, in that it doesn’t count towards the credits of any major. It’s an elective. The students do get two hours of credits, though, as a reward for the time and effort that put into it every day. SBO: Earlier, you mentioned how beneficial it was as a high school band director to be situated near a university. Now that you’re teaching at the college level, do you or any of your staff or students work with area high school bands? RS: Yes. The CMENC (the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference) has an outreach program and through

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that we will offer sectionals and work with area high school groups. We’re in an area of the state known as Appalachia, and the schools around here could really use the mentorship. We have lot of conscientious band directors in the area who want to have good programs and so they tap some of our students to come in and work with their kids. We have some alumni, too, who are teaching in these schools, and they’ve retained their contacts with us. Our students and staff might lead sectionals or work on particular elements that the high school director is looking for help with. Sometimes we get a little bit of compensation for this kind of work, but often it’s purely on a volunteer basis. SBO: What do you hope to accomplish with the Ohio Marching 110 in the next five or 10 years? RS: One of the things about teaching at the college level is that the marching band often only goes as far as the football team. I’ve been here for 13 years, and we’ve only been to one bowl game – which happened to be in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama, so that was a great experience – but I try to do other things that keep the students interested. Our kids look up the road and see Ohio State, which is going to the Fiesta Bowl every other year and all kinds of other big-time football events. We’ve done a few Macy’s Day Parades and this January we’ll be in the Tournament of Roses Parade. I see us hopefully doing more of these types of events where we can get some national exposure for the university and the band. SBO: Do you have any advice for band directors out there who are trying to keep their heads above water in these difficult financial times? RS: Try to tap into area resources – especially universities. There are a ton of students at the college and university level that want to whet their chops teaching in the local schools. Band directors can take advantage of this to get some extra instruction in their classrooms, but also to help out these students who are going to be the future teachers that carry on the profession.

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started playing cornet in third grade and switched to a professional trumpet my second year – not due to any great improvement on my part, but because my older brother who was going to high school switched from trumpet to French horn and I inherited his trumpet. I thought that I sounded a lot better on the trumpet, but at that time in my life I was also convinced that a new pair of sneakers would enable me to run faster and jump higher. Even though I switched to a professional trumpet at an early age, generally the ideal time to purchase a step-up instrument occurs at the transition from junior high/middle school to high school. I spoke with several successful junior high band directors about this and they all agreed on this timetable but also pointed out that exceptions can be made in the case of an advanced and noticeably dedicated student. Students entering high school are also often inspired by the level of “older” players around them as well as exposure to more challenging and sophisticated music. When buying a step-up instrument, parents must consider whether their child is mature enough to appreciate and care for the instrument. I remember teaching a seventh-grader several years ago with well-to-do parents. They wanted the best for their child so, against my advice, they purchased the most expensive trumpet on the market. Within months, this beautiful instrument looked like it had been through a war zone. By purchasing a professional trumpet for their kids, parents are showing their commitment in support of their child and their musical pursuits. Although it is next to impossible for kids at this age to really commit to anything, a new horn is, in essence, the child’s commitment to continue playing throughout high school and hopefully college and beyond.

Editor’s Note: “How to Buy a Step-Up Trumpet” continues our intermittant series of instructional guides on purchasing the principal band and orchestral instruments. SBO grants permission to photocopy and distribute the article to both students and parents. Other articles from this series are available online at www.sbomagazine.

33 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

THE NEXT STEP Many schools recommend that students start on cornets so, when students move to a step-up instrument, they will also be changing from cornet to trumpet. Though the change from cornet to trumpet will not really change students’ abilities one way or another, it can and oftentimes does inspire them to practice with renewed enthusiasm. At this stage of a student’s development, a step-up horn might not produce any immediate noticeable differences in tone quality, range, flexibility, etc., but the quality of sound and ease of playing (characteristics of higherquality instruments) will become apparent in the long run. During my junior year of college, at one of our first concert band rehearsals, a new student pinged the bell of my trumpet and proclaimed that it was not a professional trumpet because it did not make the same sound hers did – which her high school band director “assured her” was the sign of a professional trumpet. I don’t even recall what horn she played, but at the time I played a Bach Mt. Vernon Stradivarius trumpet, which is a handmade and highly sought-after professional trumpet. There is no universal “ping” sound on professional trumpets and it is amazing the number of myths like this floating around about what differentiates a professional instrument from a student/intermediate one. School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 33

THREE LEVELS OF TRUMPETS For many years, trumpets were divided into two categories: beginning and professional models. Now there is an emergence of a third category, intermediate/mid-level. These trumpets contain features of both pro-line and student-line instruments. Recently, a parent contacted me about buying a step-up horn for their son, who was entering high school. They told me that he was not really that interested in music and wanted to stay in band throughout high school mostly for the social aspect, so the parents did not want to invest in a professional trumpet. They were able to purchase a lower-priced intermediate trumpet that will probably suit his needs. If he becomes more interested in playing and possibly wants to continue in college, I would encourage them to move up to a professional-level trumpet. There have never been iron-clad rules governing what constitutes a professional trumpet, and it is even more difficult to define these days since many features previously used exclusively on professional horns can now be found on virtually all levels of horns. An example of this is first and permanent third valve saddles/triggers, which for years were not usually found on student-line horns. The third valve saddles/triggers were also never universally found on all professional horns. For years, I heard some band directors proclaiming that all beginning trumpets had removable third valve rings, but the Martin Committee, Selmer pro models (Radial II’s and K Modified) and Olds pro line trumpets all had removable rings. While trying out professional trumpets, there will probably be two aspects immediately apparent to young players. The first is that on student line horns the action on the valves tends to be a little stiffer whereas professional trumpets are much smoother. Most professional trumpets are made with monel valves and most beginning trumpets are made with nickel-plated valves. There are some professional trumpets with nickel-plated valves – especially older models – which is fine, but generally the quality of the valves on studentlevel instruments is not as high, so the valves tend to be a little sluggish. The second noticeable difference is that student-line trumpets tend to have smaller lead pipes and bells, which offer some resistance. Professional trumpets are made with larger lead pipes and bells and, because of this, are a little more open and free blowing. You have to reach a certain skill level before you even notice that beginning horns tend to offer more resistance. I recommend that, when the time comes for students to purchase a step-up horn, whenever possible, ask a professional/teacher to try the instrument out first. Even though professional players will sound great on virtually any horn, they will quickly notice any weaknesses with the instrument.

SILVER-PLATE VS. LACQUER One common misconception is that all professional trumpets are silver-plated. I worked at a music store while

34 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

in graduate school and remember a parent coming in to purchase a new silver-plated “professional” trumpet for his child and refusing to even look at lacquered horns – even though, at the time, the lacquered horns the store had in stock were superior. I tried to convince the parent that the lacquered horns were better and they thought I was some kind of used car salesman trying to pawn off junk horns. Although it is true that the majority of professional trumpets today are silver-plated, you can purchase beginning and intermediate silver-plated trumpets as well as professional lacquered ones. Silver-plated horns are supposed to be brighter, and the theory is that silver plate is relatively thin and harder so it vibrates with the brass, while lacquer is thicker and soft, producing less vibration. From my experience, most silver-plated horns are brighter, but I have also played many dark sounding silver-plated ones as well as bright-sounding lacquer trumpets, so it really depends on the individual instrument. I still own both silver and lacquer trumpets and bought all my instruments based on how they played – not on what kind of finish they had.

MOUTHPIECES When students move to a step-up horn, it is also common practice to change mouthpieces. Everyone has unique lip and teeth structure so there is not a “one size fits all” mouthpiece. Changing mouthpieces can have a big impact on a student’s playing, an issue too in-depth to address here and one that warrants a separate discussion. Recently, a new student trumpet came on the market and several area professional/teachers were at a local music store testing them as possible new horns for their students. The professionals all sounded great on the horn, which was more of a testament to their abilities than the quality of the trumpet. I recall one of my teachers telling me that he never knew a trumpet player who got a lot better or a lot worse with a new horn. It is important for students to know this and to keep it in mind when looking to purchase a step-up instrument.

Keith Winking is a professor at Texas State University, where he teaches trumpet and directs the Texas State Jazz Orchestra, and is a member of the SouthWest BrassWorks. He received his undergraduate degree in music education from Quincy University, his M.M. in trumpet performance from Texas State, and his D.M.A. in trumpet performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Winking has presented solo and ensemble concerts and clinics throughout the United States, Canada, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, and Russia. He is a freelance trumpet player performing with many local and national groups, including the Austin Symphony, the Austin Jazz Orchestra, James Brown, the Manhattan Transfer and the Austin Sinfonietta. Winking is a voting member of the National Association of the Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys) and a clinician for the Selmer Company.

School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 34

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SBORoundtable: Fundraising

The State of Fundraising in a Fickle Economy


undraising can be challenging for any schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music program. How does a music educator convince his or her school district to pump money into the music department? How does a band director motivate students

and parents to organize a car wash or a fruit sale? How does one convince a community to fund a high school bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trip to China? In the best of times, this can be laborious work for any band director. And, as we all know, the past year has not been the best of times economically. With staggering unemployment rates, crippling budget cuts, and consumer fear, how are school music programs going to secure the funds they need in the coming year? SBO recently contacted band directors who are not only facing this challenge, but are doing so in states that have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Vince Clayton: Due to the economic crisis, I believe most families in our area are watching their budgets more closely and are being very selective when spending money on the various fundraisers that are offered. Although our school district is in good shape, I do have parents who have lost their jobs. There are other schools and organizations close to us with worthwhile causes. We have to plan carefully and know our target groups. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to make adjustments to our fundraising efforts. We look for the less expensive ticket items. 36 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

Instead of the $18 cheesecake, we look for slightly smaller and less expensive items. We use a local fundraiser company. Our booster club raises about 40 percent of the entire budget. Families pay about 36 percent in camp fees, and the school and district budgets make up the remaining 24 percent. We have been fortunate to find a local fundraiser who understands the needs of our program and the community that we are in. We have been loyal to them, and they have been loyal to us. We also have an active booster club with

Vince Clayton Director of Bands Ridge View High School Columbia, S.C. Vince Clayton is the director of bands at Ridge View High School and has been a music educator for 27 years. The Ridge View Symphonic Band has performed at the BOA National Concert Festival, two SCMEA State Conventions, and two USC Band Clinics.

Michael D. Stone Coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts Bakersfield City School District Bakersfield, Calif. Michael D. Stone has been the coordinator of visual and performing arts for the Bakersfield City School District since 2004. As the arts administrator for the district, he oversees arts programs at 31 elementary schools, six middle schools, and two junior high schools. Instruction in the arts is offered at all schools in the district.

Scott Rush Director of Bands Wando High School Mount Pleasant, S.C. Scott Rush is director of bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Mr. Rush is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. He was a co-presenter at the 2002 MENC National In-Service Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and has done workshops at several universities. He is currently working on a book for Focus On Excellence Publishing and is writing an instrumental curriculum guide for the South Carolina Department of Education.

38 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

parents who find new ways to meet our needs. Much of our money is spent on equipment, supplies, and staff. None of these expenses have decreased. We have to find ways to raise money without turning the students into weekend door-to-door salespeople. We ask the students to fundraise three times a year. Typically, we have a cheesecake sale beginning at summer band camp, a fruit sale just before Christmas, and a consumable product in late winter, early spring. In addition, the booster club runs a marching band competition, concessions at University of South Carolina, and sponsors dinners and other events throughout the year. Students also pay a reasonable fee for summer marching band camp and a two-day winter symphonic band camp. Surprisingly, our program has not suffered any budget cuts. I am very fortunate to work in a school district which has a reserve plan in place. But it cannot work forever. I just hope that the country can rebound soon. I support having some sort of a music specialist on the national government level. It would certainly be nice if money were allocated for music education. Michael D. Stone: Two years ago, California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed into law two block grants designed to support the purchase of new art and music supplies and equipment for California schools, and to hire credentialed music teachers. The Bakersfield City School District has purchased close to $2,000,000 worth of new musical instruments and equipment for its schools, and provided additional instructional support. Today, however, we know that California is in a budget crisis. Music teacher positions are threatened throughout the state. Yet, the Bakersfield City School district has not laid off any certified teachers this budget cycle. Some district teacher positions have been left unfilled due to the state’s budget crisis, including one music position. The district’s music program will continue as it has during the upcoming

2009-2010 school year. The district is the largest K-8 school district in California. Due in part to many years of strong fiscal control and planning, the district has been able to keep most cuts to its general fund budget away from the classroom. Our music program is structured with a built-in budget for music supplies, musical instrument repair/purchase, and transportation to district-approved educational field trips. All teacher positions, as well as the coordinator position, are funded by the district. Fundraising is limited to providing extra support for out-of-town field trips, performances, et cetera. I have encouraged the music faculty to focus on fundraisers where 100 percent of proceeds come back to the music program. Candy sales and catalog sales make money for the person/company coordinating the fundraiser, with only a portion of proceeds coming back to the organization conducting it. I encourage teachers to create their own fundraisers: spaghetti or enchilada dinners where food items are donated by local businesses; music program sponsorships where benefactors are listed in concert programs; and car washes where pre-sold tickets provide donations to the school’s music program. These fundraisers are definitely successful if each student is encouraged to sell a certain number of tickets, ensuring a large profit for the music group. These fundraisers work especially well for music programs with lots of students. I would imagine that we will find many music educators in California going back to fundraising in order to sustain programs. A new obstacle will be that folks have less to give to the schools due to a down economy. I just hope that the economy will allow folks to continue to supplement music programs in my community through charitable giving. In the long run, I would prefer a school-funding approach that involves little if any federal funding. This way, local and state tax revenue would fund schools directly, without taxes being siphoned off by the federal government, and then re-allocated to states with little funding flexibility.

David Leach Performing Arts Chairman, Director of Bands Pioneer High School Ann Arbor, Mich. David Leach has been director of bands at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School since 2002. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education at Eastern Michigan University, where he studied conducting. He was appointed Chair of the Pioneer High School Music Department in 2006-07.

Howard C. Parnell, Jr. Director of Bands Fairfield Central High School Winnsboro, S.C. Howard C. Parnell was selected as one of the National Honor Roll’s “Outstanding American Teachers” for 2005-2006. His professional affiliations include National Education Association, South Carolina Education Association, Music Educators National Conference, South Carolina Music Educators Association, South Carolina Band Directors Association, and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Scott Rush: We’ve experienced several issues due to the current economic crisis, but the most critical has been the number of parents who have financial hardships due to being laid off from work. We have a financial hardship clause in our by-laws which states that “no student will be denied participation in the band program due to financial hardship.” We will need to assign more hardship funds to allow these students to participate. These hardship funds come from everyone else’s fundraising efforts. Our booster organization raises 97 percent of the total program budget. The other three percent comes from the school district. Because of this, the small budget cut handed down by the district did not make a severe impact on the program. We were able to make up the difference in other ways. Most of the booster contributions are generated through fundraising. However, some parents choose to pay their “fair share” amount, instead of raising the money. One of the pluses of using this system 40 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

is that everyone is responsible for an equal amount (as opposed to 10 percent of the parents fundraising for the entire program). The other source of revenue comes from generous donations to the program. We’ve adjusted both the budget and the fundraising. We’ve cut about $20,000 from the total budget to keep the “fair share” amount the same as it has been for the past 10 years. This was significant because this is a travel year for us. We’ve also streamlined our fundraising efforts and have focused on the traditional ones that have been profitable. We’ve cut the ones that weren’t to our benefit and added news ones that we think will work. We also held a meeting at the end of last school year for parents to share new ideas about fundraising. We felt that we needed to be creative in our approach, and the synergy worked for us. The most profitable fundraiser for our program has been selling advertisement signs to local businesses, which are hung around the football stadium. For each sign that is sold, a certain amount of money goes toward a student’s “fair share” account. A student can sell four signs and that amount takes care of their expenses within the program for the entire year. The student then has first-rights to sell those signs each year they are in the program. We encourage all of our students to fundraise because it promotes a sense of ownership. It has been interesting to see how fundraising itself has changed over time. We’ve had to take a much more creative approach to raising funds. Going door-todoor seems to be a thing of the past because of societal issues. I’m concerned about the coming year. We rely heavily on businesses and individuals within our community. My feeling is that many non-profit organizations will be soliciting funds and there simply won’t enough to go around. Everyone is feeling the pinch. I would like to see the federal government continue to fund national, regional, and state arts organizations, such as the National Endowment for the Arts. I would also like to see a cabinetlevel position created for the arts to oversee financial matters and advocacy issues. Having a voice at this level of government may be the best way to ensure that no school arts program is cut due to tough economic times. We have seen no direct financial benefits from the stimulus package. However, the stimulus funds did allow several folks in our district to keep their jobs. Based on this premise, instruction and programs would have been severely affected had it not been for the stimulus funds. David Leach: Michigan has been particularly hard hit by this economic crisis. Most of our program’s funding comes from student family members, followed by fundraising, and the district. By far our most successful fundraising event is our auction. Most items are donated; bidders are aware that they are helping the program. Items and/or services are auctioned off at an evening gala. In terms of budgeting, we try to stay one cycle ahead - not year to year, but two years in the future. Our music program has yet to see any budget cuts, but last month our governor informed us that the per-pupil “adjustments” would be made this fiscal year. In other words, we are bracing. We are planning on traveling to China and with the downturn in the Michigan job market, we are bracing for added requests for financial assistance. I am certain that if this crisis

continues or worsens we will need to reevaluate music program fundraising efforts state-wide. There are so many educational concerns that are ravaging this country. Fiscal responsibility and integrity from our government, state officials, and school districts would make it much easier, but I am afraid that the greed of Wall Street isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t confined to that sector. I would be remiss if I did not point out that under-funded, or not funded at all, government initiatives are the most grievous concern we have as a nation. It is our responsibility to teach our children well.

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Howard C. Parnell: The school district has allocated most of the band program funds. Our band booster club has also worked very hard in providing additional funds for the band program. However, the newest complication (but a good one) is that we have tripled the size of the band in two years. So we have to be a bit more creative with the types of fundraising we do in the coming year. My main concern for this year is the time we will have to spend fundraising because of the economic crisis. Due to the loss of about $5,000 dollars from our budget this year, I will have to reconsider the number of trips the band will take. We are going to be hitting the ground running with a donut sale, car washes, raffles, and a fruit sale. Our annual fruit sale is the most profitable fundraiser. We kick it off in October and finish it just before the Thanksgiving holidays. The fruit sale has been very successful and profitable for the band program. Every band member will be participating in these efforts. I would like to see funding set aside every year for music programs according to the size and grade level of the schools throughout the United States. For example, if a high school has marching, concert, and jazz bands, along with gospel and show choirs, the funding should be significant.

SBOGuest Editorial: Rehearsal

What to Do on the First Day of Rehearsal BY ROBERT STEIN


he first day of rehearsal can be the most stressful day of the year for directors and instructors. There are the new students who have to get acquainted, paperwork that needs to be handed in, drill to be handed out, music to

be memorized, and so much more. The first day is also one of the most important days of the year, as it sets a standard for the rest of the season and lets the band members know what to expect. There are many considerations to evaluate when planning the first day of rehearsal, including:

• How late into the summer should we start? • How many returning members will be there? How many new members? • How long have the students had the music to work on – if any time at all? (Music should always be handed out by the end of the previous school year!) • How much time is there before the first performance of the season? • What level of performance will the students be at? These are the five main things I consider when planning a first rehearsal. My main rule of thumb is that earlier in the season, more time should be spent on basics and fundamentals of technique (visual or musical). Later in the season, spend more time on show aspects – drill, show music, et cetera. Of course, foundations of technique must be applied and reviewed all season long. To further examine our considerations, let’s go over the details and corresponding results for each one. How late into the summer is it?

The later it is in the summer, the more pressure there is to get moving with the show. The first football game could be in as little as three weeks! At this point, teach your students everything they need to know to execute drill, and start teaching drill as soon as possible.

44 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

How many returning (and new) members will be there?

This factor is important, in that it will dictate how much time needs to be spent teaching foundational concepts, such as mark time, attention position, forward marching, backward marching, and so on. I have found that the more experienced performers there are, and the fewer new members there are, the less time I need to spend on these new concepts each year; the newer students watch the older members and catch on quickly. How long have the students had the music to work on, if any time at all?

If the students have had their music for a significant amount of time, or enough time to learn the material and begin the memorization process, more time can be spent on basic technique, such as proper breathing or tuning. If it is mid-August and the students are reading the music for the first time, you might need to jump right into the music and catch up on basic technique studies at a later time. How soon is the first performance of the season?

That first football game always seems to come upon us too soon! And, realistically, you need to hit the halftime field with something presentable. If the first performance is sooner than later, it might be necessary to concentrate on more show-oriented tasks, such as learning drill and memorizing the show music. While most of us would rather have a really clean opener than a mildly dirty half of the show, we know the school administration will come knocking on the door if the halftime show is only three minutes long.

they will be rehearsing well by themselves and executing proper technique already, allowing more rehearsal time to be spent on show-oriented tasks. Here a few examples of possible first rehearsal scenarios: • It is the first week of July, the band members have had the music for a month and a half, and we have two months until the first football game. We have not received any drill yet. We have a three-hour rehearsal scheduled. In this case, I would be-

“No matter what the situation is, there must always be some time spent on foundational techniques.” gin with the usual stretch and brief run, and then hit the basics block for an hour or so. I would cover parade rest and attention positions, mark time, and give a brief introduction to forward marching. Following that, I would break off into

woodwind and brass sectionals and work on warm-up exercises and basic technique. Towards the end, I’d briefly go over the show music. • It is the third week of July, the members are just getting the music, and we have a month and a half until the first football game. It is a three-hour rehearsal. We have drill for the opener. Here, I would begin the rehearsal with the usual stretch and brief run, then a fast paced basics block to explain standing positions and forward and backward marching. I would then go to music block, which would include a semibrief warm up, and jumping right into show music. We would start learning drill at the next rehearsal, after basics block. • It is the middle of August, the members have had the music for three weeks, and we have three weeks until the first football game. We have drill for the entire show. It is a nine-hour day, and the first day of band camp. At this point, I would

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What is your students’ level of performance?

Hopefully, this level grows each year. If you’re in the situation where you are a new band director building a program, or it is the program’s first few years in existence, more time should be spent on foundations of a good program, such as rehearsal etiquette, musical and visual technique, and so on. If your students are at a higher level,

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begin with the usual stretch and brief run, and a two-hour basics block to introduce standing posi-

tions and marching in all directions. Although we go through this much more quickly than we should, we

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must perform at the football game. I would then teach everyone how to read a drill chart, and begin drill rehearsal. After lunch, I would continue with drill, followed by two hours of music rehearsal at the end. For the rest of the week, I would continue with the same schedule. After we finish a part of the show drill wise, I would put music to it, then move on to learn more drill. Obviously, the later in the season the first rehearsal is, the less time there is to spend on the necessary foundations of visual and musical technique. While in a perfect world summer rehearsals would begin the week after school is over, and we would have numerous hours of basics and warm-up time to instill great technique in our students, reality does not always work with us. The school may not want to pay custodial staff to have the school open for your summer rehearsals; students go on vacation and miss all of the basics; the music arranger you thought you had bailed out and now you need a show fast! These are all scenarios that lead to a late start to a season, and can even ruin a program if not handled correctly. It is important to remember that no matter what the situation is, there must always be some time spent on foundational techniques, and never allow a rehearsal to feel rushed or out of control. Even with a late start to the season, it is still possible to instill great foundations of technique in your students. It will take a little bit longer, but with careful planning and proper teaching techniques, it is certainly achievable. Rob Stein is the owner of “Standing ‘O’ Marching” ( He currently lives in Lake Geneva, Wis. and is also the brass/percussion product manager for Dynasty. He has worked directly with over 20 high school music programs across the country. Prior to his current position, Rob was the assistant band director at Sterling High School in Summerdale, N.J.

SBOPerformance: Arranging Melodies

Arranging Fundamentals: Reinventing Melodies BY DAVID W. SNYDER


ome of the greatest experiences an arranger can have are

Selection and Approach

the opportunities to lovingly “mess with” someone else’s

When picking a melody I want to reformat, I always try to select a tune I feel a strong personal connection with. But even when working with lesser material, it is important to find something to love about the given tune and to deeply understand the song’s structure and history. This will keep you inspired and informed, helping creative ideas come more easily. If the selected tune is one the average listener is generally familiar with, then the way an arranger treats it can act as a window into his or her creative thinking

melody. I’ve found that it is also the one aspect of arranging which less experienced musicians are the most

intimidated by. However, altering aspects of a song’s melody shouldn’t be looked upon as something that is taboo. Rather, the process can be thought of as actually paying tribute to what makes a work great in the first place.

“The idea here is to convince the listener that your new arrangement of the tune could, in fact, be the originally intended version – very tricky to pull off!” and personal style. Whenever possible, it helps to start by listening to a recording of the original version of the song, or at least a version done in the traditional manner. This will help make clear the tune’s original intention as a composition. Assuming there exists plenty of freedom to alter various aspects of the song (melody, harmony, style, meter, et cetera), the most crucial choice the arranger first makes is with respect to the new overall “feel” of the composition. This decision should be allowed to evolve very generally, by choosing basic things like tempo, overall level of

48 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

tension, and so on. Then, the arranger should pick a rhythmic style that best addresses those overall ideas. For example, if I want to turn a standard-sounding ballad into something “fast” and more “tense” in mood, I might select a samba for the groove, with a heavily syncopated treatment of the melody, perhaps adding some unusual re-harmonizations as well. Maybe I would also incorporate some kind of underlying rhythmic vamp figure, which could possibly enhance the feeling of tension. Not every change of groove or tempo is going to work for the arranger, personally. He or she must sit with the tune for a while and play around until something feels right. It’s really a matter of taste. The idea here is to convince the listener that your new arrangement of the tune could, in fact, be the originally intended version – very tricky to pull off! But, if the arranger is familiar enough with the rhythmic and stylistic language of many styles of music (underlying drum patterns, bass lines/ comping patterns, traditional rhythmic treatment of melodies), he or she will have more options, and the music will sound authentic. Personally, I find this to be one of the most fun parts of the arranging process. I suggest trying lots of approaches out. You may find that you can hear the tune in more than one new context, so you should give yourself time to find the “right” one. Most importantly, pick one in which you can hear the melody work within the rhythmic style. Remember, it is generally the melody that is the most important aspect of any song, so deal with it first. You can worry about re-harmonization, orchestration, and everything else later. They are the icing on the cake in comparison (the exception being a more conservative alteration of the melody in favor of other changes, such as more heavy reharmonization, much counterpoint/ rhythmic vamps, et cetera). Regardless of the style chosen, let it be one that is familiar to you. I often start by listening to classic recordings, typical of the genre I’ve chosen for my chart, in order to get my head into the specifics of the style. Then, I’ll think about the structure of the melody I’m arranging in relation to this chosen groove.

In some situations, this may seem like putting a square peg into a round hole, but if you think about the original rhythmic design of the tune’s pitches, and compare that to traditional melodies in the chosen style, you may see rhythmic possibilities leap out at you. Trust your ear and your knowledge of the style. Remember, there is some reason you first chose this approach for the tune (or more likely, it chose you). Start by experimenting with the layout of the pitches. If the song has lyrics, even if the arrangement is to be an instrumental, try to hear the lyrics of the song as you restructure the pitches. Do the words still seem to have a grammatical flow and logic? Melodic structures working with lyrics are often composed with this in mind. How about rhythmic sequences in the original’s phrases? Where’s the tune’s climax (usually the highest note somewhere towards the end)? The ar-

ranger must thoroughly understand the important features of the tune’s original melodic structure, and use technique to “comment” on them.

Interpreting a Smile

If you look at the notation examples I’ve prepared, you’ll see various re-working of a song near and dear to my heart, “Smile,” by Charlie Chaplin for the soundtrack to his film “Modern Times” (1936). My first exposure to this song was the classic ballad recording done by Nat King Cole in the 1950s. Both Cole’s version and the original from the Chaplin film are very ballad-oriented and romantic. It is a very simple song, almost like a lullaby, so there’s lots of room for alterations. A word of caution at this point – there is a fine like between being clever and interesting as arranger, and just “doing stuff ” to show off musical knowledge for its own sake. Try to

School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 49


UĂ&#x160;nationally and internationally Ă&#x20AC;iÂ&#x2DC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2DC;i`Ă&#x160;v>VĂ&#x2022;Â?Ă&#x152;Ă&#x17E;

UĂ&#x160;ÂŁnĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;`iĂ&#x20AC;}Ă&#x20AC;>`Ă&#x2022;>Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x160;Â&#x201C;>Â?Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160; and iÂ&#x201C;ÂŤÂ&#x2026;>Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x192;

UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x20AC;iiĂ&#x160;}Ă&#x20AC;>`Ă&#x2022;>Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x160;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;`i}Ă&#x20AC;iiĂ&#x192;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;theĂ&#x160;vÂ&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;i`Ă&#x2022;V>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160; attainable in Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x20AC;iiĂ&#x160;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x201C;Â&#x201C;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;]Ă&#x160; Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;coupled with a Ă&#x160; including the Â&#x201C;>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;Â&#x153;vĂ&#x160;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160; Â?Â&#x2C6;LiĂ&#x20AC;>Â?Â&#x2021;>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160;i`Ă&#x2022;V>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC; taught in Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;i`Ă&#x2022;V>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC; with a caring environment Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x201C;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;>Â?Ă&#x160;iÂ&#x201C;ÂŤÂ&#x2026;>Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192; For more information about CapitalĘźs Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;`iĂ&#x20AC;}Ă&#x20AC;>`Ă&#x2022;>Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x160;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;ÂŤĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x153;}Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x201C;Ă&#x192;] contact Heather Massey (toll free) at (866) 544-6175 or For an application or for more information on the }Ă&#x20AC;>`Ă&#x2022;>Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x160;ÂŤĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x153;}Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x201C;Ă&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;i`, contact James Swearingen at (614) 236-6261 or


50 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

Quality Instruments

listener know what song they are hearremember the original spirit of the tune ing. If you clearly establish what the tune and the overall intent of the new conis early on, you will have more liberty to text, while tastefully trying to keep the stray further from the tune later on. It listenerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest. is also important to strive for a balance In the examples on the previous page, of the expected, such as sticking close Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve tried to come up with several posto aspects of the original tune, and the sible contexts in which â&#x20AC;&#x153;Smileâ&#x20AC;? might unexpected, such as perhaps altering/obappear, while trying to retain as much of scuring the melody more, even inserting the tunes original character as possible. original composed material (carefully! Example 1 is simply the straightforward, â&#x20AC;&#x201C; remember, this unaltered presentation is an arrangement of the songâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first four â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a fine line between you are working bars (for reference). being clever and interesting as on). Great arNotice that the first arranger, and just â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;doing stuffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rangers have the note is a longer time to show off musical knowledge ability to stray value (half note) than from the tune to the notes that follow. for its own sake.â&#x20AC;? the point where This may have it almost sounds like a different melody. to do with the lyrics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Smile, (pause) Case-in-point: Bill Holmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treatment though your heart is breakingâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? The of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stompinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; At The Savoy,â&#x20AC;? arranged for melody makes sense rhythmically with Stan Kenton in 1955 (found on The Best the flow and grammar of the words here. Of Stan Kenton â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Capitol Records). But So one way I tried to maintain a sense of even in this chart, you somehow always the tune was to remember this point, at hear â&#x20AC;&#x153;Savoyâ&#x20AC;? in the presentation of the least in the first two bars of each example melody. Arrangers like Bill Holman are (Ex. 4 being the only exception for vatrue masters of this technique. However, riety), in order to more directly let the

I strongly advise less experienced arrangers to master the art of arranging/altering melodies et cetera with subtlety first before experimenting with more abstract concepts. If you return to the notation examples, notice the various grooves and styles that have been chosen, and how the melody has been made to fit rhythmically. In examples 2 through 6, only the original pitches were used, nothing extra. This is a particular challenge, as the arranger must deal with only the number of notes as in the original. This is where knowledge of many tunes done in each particular style comes in handy. For instance, in example 2, the rhythmic figures are very typical of swing phrasing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; lots of eighth-note anticipations, a mix of short/long notes,. Whereas in example 4, I employ common samba-like rhythmic patterns, such as consecutive syncopated up-beats, and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;surpriseâ&#x20AC;? anticipation on beat 4 in the second and fourth bar of the phrase (the beats here are represented by eighth-notes in double time feel). Example 6 is a jazz waltz, with one less

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beat per bar – an additional challenge. Example 7 is the only one where I use extra pitches besides the originals. Notice that in this case the locations of the original pitches within the line (each indicated with a “*”) are fairly close to their locations in the original version (ex. 1). This helps keep the feeling for the tune, in spite of the fact that there are many embellishing pitches in the line. Of course, there are many, many more others styles and ways of phrasing that could have been chosen for this example. In fact, arranging melodies can get much more complicated – longer note and/or phrase lengths (augmentation), turning intervals upside down (inversion), mixed meters, not to mention all the things that can be done with reharmonization. All of these techniques are available, if the arranger has the technique, a background in listening to lots of styles of music, and most importantly, good taste! It should always be remembered that a good arrangement is mostly a clever commentary of a song, using technique to serve that end not for it’s own sake. So don’t try to do everything in one arrangement – that’s just plain overkill.

Pete McGuinness is an active New York City based jazz composer-arranger, trombonist, vocalist, and leader of his own big band, The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, whose debut CD First Flight was released nation-wide on Summit Records in 2007. He has written arrangements for many other groups including the Dave Liebman Big Band and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Pete is a member of the jazz studies faculty at New Jersey City University (Jersey City, N.J.). Visit Pete at

In Closing One last thing – remember to reuse a few ideas in the course of your arrangement. You want the listener to walk away remembering something specific about your arrangement. It could be a certain phrase from the rearranged melody, an underlying repeated vamp figure, a specific harmonic progression, a voicing type. Find a few things you can bring back from time to time in the arrangement to give it some specific sense of character. If you are clever about it, you may only need one or two elements to reuse. The key is to have enough of both reused and varied material to keep things interesting. This is part of the game of arranging – the fun of pulling the listener along, giving them something to guide their ears through the chart, such as reuse of material, as well as offering surprises along the way. Good luck. I hope you will feel more confident that it is okay to “mess with” other people’s music, even famous tunes. If your arrangement is done well, you may find that the composer will be very flattered! School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 51

SBOTechnology: CBPAs Revisited

Revisiting the Arts Classroom-Based Performance Assessments in Washington


wo years ago, we reported here about the Class-


room-Based Performance Assessments (CBPA) program being implemented in the state of Washington (SBO August, 2007). Many readers were interest-

ed enough in this news that they accepted the invitation to take a closer look. Now, educators from 15 states and seven countries have contacted Ms. AnnRene Joseph, Arts Program supervisor, for permission to cite and use the Washington CBPAs as a model for their own state, district, and school Dr. John Kuzmich Jr. is a veteran music educator, jazz educator and music technologist with more than 41 years of public school teaching experience. He is a TI:ME-certified training instructor and has a Ph.D. in comprehensive musicianship. As a freelance author, Dr. Kuzmich has more than 400 articles and five textbooks published. As a clinician, Dr. Kuzmich frequently participates in workshops throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and South America. For more information, visit

52 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

arts assessment programs. Since that time, we can report that excellent progress has been made. Washington has completed its second phase of this important fine-arts classroom-based performance and assessment project involving 295 school districts and is the only state in the nation conducting a large-scale reporting of performance-based assessments at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels, in all four fine arts disciplines: music, art, dance and drama. The positive impact of the CBPAs ensures that arts instruction is occurring in the state of Washington and validates the need for highly qualified and certified instructors in the arts to meet and exceed the expectations of the state for its one million students. Teachers are reporting that the CBPAs and the statewide reporting process “saved the arts programs in their districts” during the past year of financial issues across the nation. Rob Lindfors teaches music at Newport High School, as well as guitar, piano and 5th-grade orchestra in the Bellevue School District. He uses technology extensively in two classes: Composing Music with Technology and Guitar. “All of my instruction,” Rob says, “is guided by a desire to help students recognize and appreciate their own musical and creative potential, and to help them gain confidence in their own abilities. The greater the success in this, the more captivated they will be by music, and the more relevant music will be to their lives.”

For Guitar class, Rob has created a variety of materials that make effective use of Sibelius’ Scorch software for home practice and study. He uses the same material in class with Scorch, rather than with Sibelius, so that students become familiar with using Scorch interactively. “Scorch allows students to change the tempo to suit their needs and to begin playback from any point in the song,” Rob says. “This allows them to focus on the sections that most need work. It even allows students to transpose the music to a different key: great for those who need the additional challenge. When a play-along track includes both melody and accompaniment, I mix it so that the melody comes out of one speaker and the accompaniment comes out of the other, allowing students to turn off the melody and play along with just the accompaniment if desired.” This material is intended to help students learn how to become “their own best teacher,” by improving their own practice strategies, which is a focus of Rob’s instruction. He continues, “I provide scaffolding for a number of pieces through special ‘learning versions,’ which isolate key elements to facilitate practice and increase understanding. These help students better grasp how to tackle a difficult piece.” No prior music experience is required for the Composing, Music Technology class. Rob notes that his teaching is guided by a concern for leveling the playing field for students with little experience. “Nevertheless,” he states, “it is

essential that they learn about notation, melody, harmony, rhythm, form, phrasing, dynamics, texture, timbre, et cetera. That’s a lot for beginners to absorb, while simultaneously learning how to use the technology, and then having to put it all together into composing. To help students develop confidence, I provide a great deal of scaffolding.”

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One way technology helps Rob do this is through something he calls “Music Minus One” assignments: composition exercises that are missing one part – melody, harmony, bass, or counter melody, et cetera – which the student needs to add to complete the piece. Rob has found that this is an effective way to help every student succeed. These exercises were designed primarily to provide scaffolding for creating pieces with clearly defined harmonic progressions, allowing stu-

Links to information on arts education in Washington:

1. Designing the Arts Learning Community: A Handbook for K-12 Professional Development Planners: Washington’s CBPAs are featured as an effective and successful process in the professional development of educators. 2. Complete Worksheet with Instructions, FAQs, Links, Elementary, Middle, and High School Arts CBPAs in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, Optional Survey, and Arts Courses: arts/pubdocs/ArtsReportingFormTeacherWorksheet12-2008.doc 3. Arts Assessment Article, “The Journey in Progress”: strategies/assess/joseph.htm

greater the success in this, the more captivated the students will be by music, and the more relevant music will be to their lives.” “The

dents to focus on writing melodies that more creatively respond to the harmonic structure and to the form the harmonic progression provides, which also helps with phrasing. The teacher emphasizes that nearly every student’s work improves markedly if greater attention is paid to these cru-

54 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

cial elements: form and phrasing. “To do this,” he says, “I teach students enough about chord construction and chord progressions for them to grasp how harmony provides the underlying structure to most music. Even just a basic knowledge of how harmonic progressions function helps students

better understand form and phrasing, and how repetition figures strongly in the harmonic structure, which also aids in melodic phrasing. Students are provided with numerous sample progressions (some from popular songs), and emphasis is placed on learning how tempo, texture, and style affect the feel and sound of a progression.” It is important that students grasp how the harmonic basis of music influences the melody. They learn about the use of stepwise motion versus ar-

peggios in creating melodies, and the benefit of understanding what the underlying harmony is in their compositions, and of knowing what the chord tones are. “Music Minus One” exercises allow students to put these concepts into practice when writing melodies, focusing on how the melody intertwines with the harmony through a combination of arpeggios and stepwise motion. Alternately, students may be asked to write a supporting harmony to a given melody. Other exercises ask students to reorchestrate and re-arrange the rhythm parts (chords and bass) to a given melody, to get them to think more deeply about style and timbre. Examples of the missing parts are provided for every exercise, so that students can study them individually or for class discussion. AnnRene Joseph is happy to announce that the CBPAs have been utilized in K-12 classes and developed for courses that include and are not limited to traditional arts classes. Technology classes are using Sibelius, Finale, Garage Band, and other programs. Teachers in all areas of music study, including technology in music, orchestra, band, guitar, and more have contributed to development, designing, piloting and refining the first menu of 60 Arts CBPAs into a new menu that can be found online by going to www., clicking on “WASL,” under the “assessment” tab, and then scroll down to find the link for CBPAs on the left-hand side. These new CBPAs are scheduled for final approval six month from now. Washington currently has a onecredit requirement in the arts at the high school level for all learners. Beginning in 2013, provided that full funding is given, two credits in the arts will be required for graduation, taught at the high school level. Washington will be the first state in the nation to have such a requirement. AnnRene Joseph, whose full title is “program supervisor for the Arts for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction,” is credited as leading the decision making and development that resulted in the cre-

ation of the CBPAs for dance, music, theatre, and visual arts at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She has nurtured this innovative program from 2002 to the present with the unyielding support and participation of her state’s arts educators and leaders. One of her mantras is this: “Our lives, and all aspects of our lives – personal and professional – are an artwork in progress.” Ms. Joseph can be contacted at annrene.joseph@k12. or at In his statement in support for arts education, Mr. Randy I. Dorn, Washington’s superintendent of Public Education notes, “We know that arts education allows students to learn and practice skills and behaviors that foster ‘out of the box’ thinking and creative problem solving. Those skills will be crucial to innovation in the 21st century.”

School Band and Orchestra, August 2009 55


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NewProducts Vandoren’s B50 Mouthpiece & Java Reeds

Vandoren’s B50 bass clarinet mouthpiece was designed to create a compact, focused sound, and to generate a big, rich, colorful sound with minimal effort, even with harder reeds. The V12 and Java Red reeds from Vandoren have set sales records in new reed introductions, nearly doubling the normal growth curve of new products. The V12 line will be expanded to include soprano in August of 2009 and tenor in 2010.

Yamaha’s AvantGrand N2

Yamaha’s AvantGrand N2 is an upright piano crafted to feature the sound, touch, and action of a grand piano. Priced at a fraction of the cost of a concert grand, and measuring less than 21” wide, the N2 features the sound of the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano. The N2 is the follow up to the AvantGrand N3 hybrid piano. While the N3 offers a grand piano style cabinet, the N2 offers a stylized, upright cabinet with a glossy ebony finish. The N2 features the same advanced sound reproduction and sampling technology as the AvantGrand N3 without the tuning, cost, or footprint of a comparable stringed instrument. The AvantGrand Series’ Tactile Response System transmits “string” vibrations through the keys to player’s hands, while the four-channel, three-way Spatial Acoustic Speaker System reproduces the original grand piano samples. In addition to the grand piano sound sample, the N2 also features electronic piano and harpsichord voices. The AvantGrand N2 is slated to ship in September 2009. Both the N2 and N3 models include a matching padded bench.

Avid’s Sibelius 6 Music Notation Software

Avid’s version 6 of Sibelius music notation software includes a toolset designed to provide musicians with a more efficient approach to music composition. Designed by musicians, Sibelius 6 offers a number of new features including a unique Magnetic Layout tool that cuts score preparation time in half. Previously, aligning individual score objects required time-consuming manual adjustments which now

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NewProducts occur transparently to the user. Students, educators, academic institution, and composers can also take advantage of Sibelius 6 workflow improvements that are said to facilitate greater collaboration, classroom management, and creative control, through the ability to track progress during review cycles and deliver smooth integration with Digidesign Pro Tools systems and other Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Sibelius 6 enables educators to track student progress, spot plagiarism, and promote collaboration. Students can record progress and submit creative commentary with their final coursework. Professionals can track changes or collaborations with copyists, orchestrators, and publishers by saving, manipulating, and comparing revisions of a work piece within a single file. Keyboard and fretboard windows

Get 8% cash back with Easy Rebates for Music Teachers! Free program exclusively for music teachers • Earn cash rebates on all purchases you and your students make, including sale items • Join today at Sheet Music Plus offers: • World’s largest selection of sheet music • Low $2.99 flat rate budget shipping in the US • Save an extra 10% off when you buy 2+ copies of the same item • Invoicing available for US schools and libraries 10% off your first purchase with coupon code “SBO” Easy Online Ordering Questions? Call us toll free 1-800-SHEETMUSIC Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6.p.m. PST 58 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

provide a visual approach to the music education process, allowing musicians and composers to follow lighted key and finger positions as a score plays back, reinforcing the relationship between staff and tab notation with real instruments. These windows also create a new way for users to input music directly from an on-screen piano keyboard or guitar fretboard, as opposed to using conventional methods such as clicking on the staff of the note or typing the note names on the computer keyboards via a separate MIDI keyboard.

Theodore Presser’s New Trumpet Method: Lips of Steel

Trumpet pedagogue David Baldwin, a member of the International

Xylosynth from Wernick

Xylosynth is a MIDI mallet controller that has no internal sounds. The bars are made from real wood, which allows for the use of traditional playing techniques to create any sound desired. There are no nodal areas on the note bars, which is designed to give even sensitivity across the whole area. Birch style (either in a natural blond or stained) is more suitable than the African rosewood (Bubinga) for outside playing, as the bars will not warp or twist. The Xylosynth comes in two, three, and four octave versions.The four octave model folds in half for easy transport to home and back to band practice without any logistical issues. Wernick Musical Instruments have just signed a sponsorship agreement with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, who are using a two octave birch laminate Xylosynth in their program at the DCI finals.

Trumpet Guild, has created Lips of Steel, a book of exercises for building stamina and strengthening the embouchure. Baldwin appropriated existing compositions for practice use, with the idea that students would be more willing to practice etudes that are equally tuneful and functional. The book includes Baldwin’s “Seven Secrets of Endurance” as well as his ten-part warm-up and embouchure conditioner exercises.

Sheet Music on-a-Stick

Sheet Music on-a-Stick is a USB drive that uses the patented Solero Viewer, and is bundled with 25 or more titles that can be played at any tempo. Individual tracks can be muted, there-by turning each piece into a play-along. Piano Vocals titles can be transposed one staff at a time for the instrument of your choice. Solero allows musicians the opportunity to see the music, hear it, transpose it, and print it as needed. There is no installation required; the USB drive will

NewProducts Alfred Releases Music from Harry Gator’s Wood Laminate Speaker Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Stands With the film release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Alfred debuts seven new arrangements of select songs from the film for concert

Gator has released a new line of furniture grade wood laminate speaker stands. The stands are sold in a pair with rubber trim edges for protection coupled with rounded corners for a stylish design. The GE-SPKR-ST Series is available in 36” and 42” sizes with 12” square platform and base pieces.

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band, jazz band, marching band, and orchestra. Full titles from the new film include “Wizard Wheezes,” “Farewell Aragog,” “The Weasley Stomp,” and titles featured in medleys include “The Story Begins,” “The Slug Party,” and “Journey to the Cave.” Alfred’s catalog includes more than two hundred Harry Potter publications, including play-alongs and arrangements of the award-winning music from the first five films.

Bari Woodwind Supplies’ Hybrid, is a saxophone mouthpiece designed with a metal inner chamber enclosed by hard rubber. The weight of the metal chamber is said to add clear, audible mass to Hybrid’s projection and versatility to the traditional hard rubber sound. Metal mouthpiece players will discover a mouthpiece tone that’s bite is made more controllable by the outer hard rubber shell and hard rubber players will discover a mouthpiece that delivers a crisper projection. Both the Hybrid tenor and alto models are available in a hand polished or a vintage matte finish.

Compact Discs – New Releases Meisel Accessories has recently added the new MST-10 chromatic clip-on tuner to their product line. The tuner is small enough to fit in most instrument cases, and offers the option of built-in microphone or clip tuning. Using the clip, no background noises are picked up, only the instrument. The microphone can be used for acoustic instruments. It’s calibrated for guitar, bass, and chromatic. It will tune low-B and high C bass notes.

CD301: Mitchell Lurie, Clarinet: BRAHMS Two Sonatas. Richard Lesser, Clarinet: Kessner, Dances. Lurie, formerly Chicago Sym. & teacher at U.S.C. for 50 years. Lesser, principal Israel Phil. over 35 years. CD710: Flute & Bassoon: Danilo Lozano & David Muller. Duos by Villa-Lobos, Bozza, Gabaye, Piazzolla, Jan Bach, & Bozza. Lozano is a founding mbr. of Hollywood Bowl Orch. Muller was princ. Mexico City Philharmonic.


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The Jensen Jet 10” Tornado

Jensen Musical Instrument Speakers’ latest addition to the Jensen Jet series is the 10” Tornado, sister to the 12” Tornado, a modern speaker offering defined tone. The 10” Tornado features a tight, warm low end response topped with highs and is said to exhibit a bright and well-defined bite when presented with overdrive distortion. The 10” Jensen Tornado generates 100-watts of power using a neodymium magnet. The advantage of neodymium is its light weight (half the weight of ceramic speaker magnets).

ToneGear’s String Cleaner for Bass

ToneGear’s String Cleaner for bass guitar utilizes a 360-degree cleaning process to preserve and maintain the tone and integrity of guitar strings. This year’s introduction features an advanced design that additionally and simultaneously cleans the fret board. The String Cleaner for bass guitar is said to extend the life and preserve the tone of bass strings by up to four times more than untreated strings while cleaning and protecting the fret board. Created with specially designed microfiber pads that remove and hold debris without cleaning solution, The String Cleaner for bass guitar was created for long-term, low- maintenance usage. Users simply open the tool, slide it underneath the strings, close and secure the latches, and then slide the device back and forth along the full length of the strings and fret board. The String Cleaner should be used after each play to ensure optimum performance; to clean the device, simply hand-wash with warm water and a drop of liquid soap. The String Cleaner has one US patent, two patents pending and is distributed in 45 countries; The String Cleaner for bass guitar has one patent pending and will be available where The String Cleaner is sold with a list price of $19.99. 60 School Band and Orchestra, August 2009

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