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AUGUST 2010 $5.00

Craig Kirchhoff: Preparing the Next Generation

Upfront Q&A:

MMEA’s Cindy Shirk




Transcription Tools


August 2010




UPFRONT: COLLABORATION Thomas Bough, director of bands at Northern Illinois University, uses his school’s recent partnership with the Phantom Regiment as an example of the many benefits that can come through collaboration.


UPFRONT Q&A: MMEA’S CINDY SHIRK Cindy Shirk, middle school band director and current president of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, sheds some light on the status of music education in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.


REPORT: BEST TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS SBO reveals the top products for music education from the 2010 Summer NAMM show in Nashville, Tenn., as selected by attending music teachers.


UPCLOSE: CRAIG KIRCHHOFF Craig Kirchhoff, director of bands at the University of Minnesota, discusses the keys to preparing the next generation of music educators in this recent SBO interview.


SURVEY: FUNDRAISING As far too many schools continue to struggle with financial issues, this reader survey seeks out the newest trends in fundraising from band and orchestra directors around the country.


COMMENTARY: INTERVIEW WITH COMPOSER JOHN MACKEY SBO contributor Joe Allison speaks with noted composer John Mackey about the ins and outs of selecting repertoire for school bands and orchestras.


PERFORMANCE: FRENCH HORN MAINTENANCE Jeff Smith of J.L. Smith & Co. provides a step-by-step guide to rotor maintenance on the French horn.


TECHNOLOGY: TRANSCRIPTION TOOLS John Kuzmich takes at hardware and software tools that can aid the transcription process.


Columns 4 6 58

Perspective Headlines New Products

62 63 64

Playing Tip Classifieds Ad Index

Cover photo by Joyful Girl Photography: www.joyfulgirlphotography.com. 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 © 2010 by Symphony Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in USA.

2 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

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SBO Essay Contest: 10 Years Later


hen we originally set out to create the SBO essay contest, we didn’t anticipate that ten years later we would have given out some $200,000 in scholarships, musical instruments, and equipment to schools and students around the country. However, one decade in, it has become clear that the benefits of this competition extend far beyond just the prizes: over 100,000 music students have been encouraged to improve their writing skills by participating in a creative writing contest focused on a variety of music-oriented subjects, ranging from “My Favorite Instrument is…” to more topical issues such as, “I believe Music Must Remain a Part of the School Curriculum Because…” We often receive packages of essays from band directors who have partnered with their English department teachers in order to make the essay a part of their curriculum. Addition“It has become ally, music directors have utilized the essays in order to reinclear that the ben- force to their administration that music education is a critical component of a well-rounded education. efits of this contest Many of this program’s charter sponsors have been treextend far beyond mendously supportive with their funding, time, and energy, just the prizes.” including NAMM, Alfred Publishing, Yamaha, and now, for the first time, the Woodwind & Brasswind and Sabian, Inc. Reviewing the thousands of essays that we receive each year to determine the ten winners is an enormous undertaking, and often very difficult, due to the fact that so many of the essays are beautifully crafted and feature extraordinary ideas and creativity. Our past judges have had the very difficult task of helping to select the winners from among the best entries that we receive. We send our gratitude to: Andrew Surmani of Alfred Publishing; Michael Skinner of DANSR; Joe Lamond and Sandra Jordan of NAMM; Earl Hurrey of MENC, and Roger Eaton and Jay Schreiber of Yamaha Corporation. This year, we have added some new names to this list, including Jenna Grisham of Woodwind & Brasswind, Nick Petrella of Sabian, and the venerable Boston Symphony timpanist, educator, and businessman, Vic Firth. You will find within this issue a copy of our new 2011 essay contest poster, which we hope you will post on your bulletin board. Our theme this year is “How My Music Teacher Has Influenced Me and My Goals in School.” This topic is certain to generate some tremendously valuable ideas that can be used for supporting music education in the future. You may also find a wealth of information about the essay contest on our Web site, www.sbomagazine.com, including past winners, entry rules, eligibility, and much more. Once the new contest is launched, you may also have your students submit their essays via our online form.


August 2010 Volume 13, Number 8

GROUP PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis sdavis@symphonypublishing.com PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel rkessel@symphonypublishing.com Editorial Staff

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Christian Wissmuller


EDITOR Eliahu Sussman esussman@symphonypublishing.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Denyce Neilson dneilson@symphonypublishing.com Art Staff



GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew P. Ross aross@symphonypublishing.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Laurie Chesna lchesna@symphonypublishing.com Advertising Staff



CLASSIFIED SALES Maureen Johan mjohan@symphonypublishing.com Business Staff

CIRCULATION MANAGER Melanie A. Prescott mprescott@symphonypublishing.com

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Popi Galileos pgalileos@symphonypublishing.com WEBMASTER Julie Gibson julie@peepscreative.com Symphony Publishing, LLC

CHAIRMAN Xen Zapis PRESIDENT Lee Zapis lzapis@symphonypublishing.com CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Rich Bongorno rbongorno@symphonypublishing.com Corporate Headquarters 26202 Detroit Road, Suite 300 Westlake, Ohio 44145 (440) 871-1300 www.symphonypublishing.com Publishing, Sales, & Editorial Office 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1 Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310 FAX (781) 453-9389 1-800-964-5150


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HeadLines Dr. Harry Begian, Beloved Band Director, Dies at 89


minent band director, Dr. Harry Begian, began his career in 1943 when he joined the music faculty at McKenzie High School in Detroit. Shortly afterward, he was drafted into the United States Army. When he returned he was called upon by Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, where he served as director of bands. It was his Dr. Harry Begian work at Cass from 1947 to 1964 that led to Begian’s national recognition as a band director. Recently, some 25 recordings of the Cass Band were placed in the National Archives of the Library of Congress as part of the “Harry Begian Collection.” In 1963, Begian began his first university level position as director of bands at Wayne State University – his alma mater. In 1966, he was asked to join the Michigan State University faculty as director of bands. In 1969, Begian was offered and accepted the position of director of bands at the University of Illinois, where he remained for the rest of his professional teaching career, retiring in 1984. Following his official retirement, Begian became a faculty member at the Interlochen and Blue Lake Fine Arts Music Camp and was a guest conductor for bands at all levels, in all parts of the world. Throughout his career, he garnered numerous awards from organizations such as the National Band Association, ASBDA, and the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts. In 1994 he was entered into in the Band Conductors Hall of Fame in Troy, Alabama. Mr. Begian died on July 26 of pneumonia at an assisted-living community in Alpena, Mich. He was 89.

Bands of America Grand National Winner to Appear in Rose Parade


usic for All and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses have announced a partnership granting the winner of the Bands of America Grand National Championship an invitation to appear in the Tournament of Roses Parade, starting with the 2010 champion for the 2012 parade. Beginning with the 2010 Grand National Championship and continuing through at least the 2012 Championship, the winner will receive a one-year automatic invitation to the 2012 parade and continuing through the 2014 Rose Parade. The Bands of America Grand National Championship is held each November in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. More than 90 bands from across the country compete for the title of national champion. The 2010 championship will be held November 10-13. The 2012 president of the Tournament of Roses, along with the mu-

6 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

sic committee chair, will be on hand to present the winning band with the invitation to the 2012 Rose Parade. For more information, visit www.musicforall.org.

PRISM Saxophone Quartet Joins Conn-Selmer Artist Roster


RISM Saxophone Quartet is a new addition to SelmerParis’ Artist Endorsement Roster. Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. Two members of the PRISM Quartet have been on the Conn-Selmer Artist Roster for many years, and now they welcome all four members of the group: Matthew Levy, Timothy McAllister, Zachary Shemon, and Taimur Sullivan. For more information, visit www.conn-selmer.com.

International Songwriting Competition


he International Songwriting Competition (ISC) offers songwriters and artists the opportunity to have their music heard by some of the world’s most iconic and successful recording artists, as well as many major and indie record label presidents. Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories to enter, representing all genres of popular music. Past winners have included artists at all levels, from Grammy winners to hobbyist songwriters and everyone in between. To better level the playing field for unsigned artists, ISC has added this year the “Unsigned Only” category which is open to songwriters and artists not signed to a major label record deal, publishing company, or distribution deal. This category provides an opportunity for unknown artists to compete against others on a similar level. Now accepting entries for the 2010 competition, ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among the 66 winners) including an overall grand prize consisting of $25,000 cash and $20,000 in prizes. To enter, go to www.songwritingcompetition.com.

The Benefits of the Study of Music


he Benefits of the Study of Music: Why We Need Music Education in Our Schools features research indicating that the study of music helps students achieve success in society, success in school and learning, success in developing intelligence and success in life. This new brochure from The National Association for Music Education (MENC) captures the latest facets and viewpoints from science and industry regarding music education’s impact on student growth and achievement. To find out more, visit www.menc.org.

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HeadLines Local Students Join the Detroit International Jazz Festival


he Detroit International Jazz Festival has announced the names the of high school and college jazz groups set to perform on the Meijer Education Stage at this year’s festival, September 3-6, in downtown Detroit. In July, the Detroit Jazz Festival teamed up with Wayne State University for Jazz Week & Wayne, five days of intensive music study for 40 area high school students. The student musicians wrapped up the week by performing at

Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. To find out more, visit www.detroitjazzfest.com.

From the Top Seeks Talented Students


rom the Top, a showcase for young musicians, has announced its 2010-2011 National Public Radio (NPR) radio taping tour, hosted by acclaimed concert pianist Christopher O’Riley. The tour will include concert events at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Mass., along with performances in Athens, Ga. and Yountville, Calif. From the Top is seeking young classical musicians to feature on their radio and television programs. To be eligible, students must be a United States resident (or significant training connection to the U.S.), not yet enrolled fulltime in college or conservatory, and be between the ages of 8-18. Soloists (instrumental or vocal), composers, and small and large ensembles are welcome. For more information, visit www.fromthetop.org.

World’s Most Expensive Musical Instrument for Sale

Vienna Art Orchestra Performs Last Concert


fter 33 years, the Vienna Art Orchestra performed their last concert on July 9, in Viktring, Austria. According to the orchestra’s founder and artistic director, Mathias Rüegg, the lack of financial support and a decrease in demand in the orchestra’s core countries, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as the economic problems in countries such as Italy, Spain, and France were the reasons behind the decision. The VAO’s main sponsor had cut its funding by 200,000 Euros three years ago, and the city of Vienna declined increasing its funding in response. There has been a call to action in political circles to preserve the orchestra, which is considered one of Europe’s leading big jazz ensembles. To find out more, visit www.vao.at.

Conn-Selmer Launches Yanagisawa Web Site Conn-Selmer has launced a Web site for Yanagisawa Wind Instrument, a Japanese saxophone manufacturer known for their professional grade saxophones. The new Web site provides information about all of the different saxophones, necks, and mouthpieces Yanagisawa manufactures, as well as information about Yanagisawa artists in North America. Visit www.yanagisawasaxophones.com to learn more.

SBO’s 2010 Essay Contest Winner Christa Ray was one of 10 students to win SBO’s 2010 Essay Contest. Christa is a student at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Ala. Along with the other essay winners, Christa received a $1,000 scholarship, and her school music program received musical products from co-sponsors, Alfred Publishing and Yamaha Corporation of America. Christa was presented with her scholarship by the staff at her local music shop, Art’s Music.


ne of the last violins to be created by Italian master craftsman Guarneri del Gesù has been put up for sale by violin dealer and restorer, Bein & Fushi of Chicago, Ill., at an asking price of $18 million. Dubbed the “Mona Lisa of violins,” the Vieuxtemps was made in 1741 by Guarneri del Gesù (1698-1744), said to be the finest violin maker of the Amati line. If the Vieuxtemps Guarneri achieves its reserve, it will become the most expensive musical instrument in the world, with the previous record price being just over half of that. Only about 140 of Guarneri del Gesù’s violins survive compared to 640 made by Antonio Stradivari. The violin is being sold by retired British financier and music philanthropist, Ian Stoutzker, who bought it from Sir Isaac Wolfson, founder of Wolfson College, Oxford, England. For more information, visit www.beinfushi.com. 8 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

Jessica Freehling-Kazzie, manager, Art’s Music Shop; Christa Ray, recipient of the scholarship; Dane Lawley, Chelsea High School band director; Dick Turner, Art’s school service representative.

SBOUpfront: Collaboration

Accomplish More Through

Collaboration: NIU Marching Band & Phantom Regiment BY THOMAS BOUGH


ollaboration between band programs and other musical organizations is one of the best ways to enhance learning opportunities for your students. Whether performing joint concerts with other schools, inviting military

ensembles onto your campus to perform, or creating new partnerships, we can accomplish more working together than we can as individuals.

10 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

As you consider forming partnerships to support your program, consider your local options first. Are there other schools nearby that might consider sharing a concert, or hosting a small solo and ensemble festival? Are there colleges or universities that might be willing to collaborate with you for masterclasses, lessons, or instrument repair clinics? Are there nursing homes or hospitals that might be willing to host chamber music performances? Since most of the support for your program is going to come from local sources, it makes sense to invest in local relationships first. Military bands and the chamber ensembles, jazz bands or even rock combos drawn from them are often able to accommodate requests for performances and clinics, especially for schools located near the base. After many discussions with Rick Valenzuela, the executive director of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, The Northern Illinois University Huskie Marching Band and the Phantom Regiment have decided to join together to host a high school marching band competition called the “Red and Black Fall Classic� (in recognition of the color scheme shared by both organizations). Many elements of this partnership can be applied to school

music programs across the country, including the benefits of having clear, specific goals, the value of planning ahead, and the potential gains that can be had through collaboration with organizations in your geographic area. The Red and Black Fall Classic will take place on September 25, 2010 at Huskie Stadium, on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. Both NIU and the Phantom Regiment bring equally significant contributions to the partnership. The university is able to offer academic credentials, skilled faculty, and a remarkable performance venue. Phantom Regiment brings their world-class instructors, expertise in hosting such events, and a strong base of alumni support. Valenzuela and I are equally committed to providing educational opportunities to the bands that attend, as well as an exciting event for the community. Thus, the marching band competition that will offer additional educational opportunities beyond the scope of most field shows: Bands will have the opportunity to rehearse in the performance venue before the show, to receive comments and suggestions from the judges in a clinic format before the competition, and to meet with the judges for face-toface feedback with the students after their performance. Since the goals for the show were determined over a year before the date of the event, there was plenty of time to determine the best way to meet those goals. For the NIU/ Phantom Regiment show, the primary aim is to provide a meaningful educational event for the students. This central theme guides all other aspects of planning the show. Every detail – from parking to concessions to planning the route from the warm-up area to the stadium – was considered with the needs of the students in mind. Regardless of the size of the event being planned, a clear sense of the end result will guide the planning process and energize those involved in helping to make it a reality.

Resolving our goals this early also allowed us time to plan ahead. We were able to secure dates in Huskie Stadium, arrange to fly in some of the best judges from around the country, and to start distributing publicity materials 10 months in advance. Thanks to support from the NIU Convocation Center, we were able to distribute promotional flyers at the Midwest Clinic in December 2009, at the Northern Illinois University booth. Likewise, the Phantom Regiment promoted the event at their annual reception at Midwest to alumni and friends of the corps. NIU was able to follow up the Midwest announcement with more publicity at the Illinois Music Educators Convention in January of 2010. Both organizations continued to reach out to alumni and friends throughout the spring, resulting in 20 bands that had registered for the show by the end of May. Long term planning is really one of the keys to putting together an event like this. It is much easier to resolve schedule conflicts and reserve facilities months ahead of time, rather than weeks or days ahead of time. Also, planning ahead allows time to refine and improve plans, to seek input from both participants and outside experts, and to make sure that the plans will match the predetermined goals. In our preparations, we sought input from a variety of local high school band directors, as well as the professionals from the NIU event staff. At each meeting, we made sure that our goal of providing a meaningful educational experience to the students who attend remained at the center of the discussion. Thomas Bough is director of bands at Northern Illinois University, in Dekalb, Illinois. He can be reached at by e-mail at tbough@ niu.edu. The Red and Black Fall Classic will take place on September 25th at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium. For more information, visit www.regiment.org or www.niu.edu/band.


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SBOUpfrontQ&A: MMEA’s Cindy Shirk

Minnesota Music Educators Association president Cindy Shirk


usic education in Minnesota faces a host of rather daunting challenges, some unique and others all-toocommon in this day and age. While the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is middle of the pack in terms of state

population and size, nearly 60 percent of Minnesotans live in and around the Twin Cities, meaning that state legislatures must balance the needs of a dense urban population with those of residents living in sparsely inhabited rural areas. As the consequences of high unemployment and budget shortfalls continue to hit schools nationwide, SBO recently got in touch with Cindy Shirk, band direcCindy Shirk

tor at Dakota Meadows Middle

School in Mankato, Minn. and president of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, who shed some light on the well-being of music education in her state and shared a few of the current initiatives being undertaken by the MMEA.

12 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

School Band & Orchestra: How would you describe the current atmosphere for school music programs in the state of Minnesota? Cindy Shirk: At our MMEA spring board meeting a year ago (May, 2009), we asked each board member present (about 25) to give an update about the current status of his or her school music program. At that time, at least half of the board indicated cuts or reductions to their programs. During the current year, it seems that the problem has increased. While I don’t have exact figures, I think nearly all schools in our state have been affected in some way by the current economy. That being said, Minnesota educators are notoriously proactive and optimistic; our educators are striving to continue to offer the highest quality music instruction possible in their situations. This is evident by the high number of music educators who continue their membership in our MMEA organization, and who continue to attend our conferences and participate in our festivals and all-state activities. SBO: What are some of the direct threats music programs in your state are facing, and how do you and your colleagues (both educators and the MMEA) plan to meet those threats? CS: We are seeing cuts across the board in all areas of music. In my own school, for instance, music contact time was proportionately cut along with the other core subject areas. This has resulted in music teachers with

heavier loads, teaching more students with less preparation time, and teaching more content areas, such as band and orchestra teachers being given additional general music assignments. Along with many other schools, we have also seen teachers being assigned to areas outside of their major emphasis, for example, choral teachers assigned to teach strings or high school teachers assigned to teach middle level. Unfortunately, in many cases, administrators look at numbers and dollars, instead of looking at what works best, or what is best for students. To help counter these problems, MMEA decided to focus a recent issue of our state music journal, Interval, on helpful articles to help deal with these concerns. Some of the articles included topics such as “Frank Talk in Tough Times,” “Teaching Outside Your Expertise,” “Creative Ways to Get Students Excited About Your Program,” and “Increasing Support for Elementary Band and Orchestra Through Data.”

MMEA also has provided workshops at our annual Midwinter Clinic to help teachers deal with stressful issues during the current downturn. SBO: Where is the main focus of efforts by the MMEA these days? CS: Along with efforts listed above, we are also focusing our attention on communication, so that members

cations, and they are confident they will soon have additional resource outlets ready for teachers. We also partnered with a couple of organizations this past year to help schools. One partnership paired us with Minnesota Public Radio for a used instrument drive to help schools provide instruments to students who can’t afford them. The program was


educators are notoriously proactive and optimistic; our educators are striving to continue to offer the highest quality music instruction pos-

sible in their situations.”

throughout the state have current upto-date information. We already have a well-functioning Web site, but we are finding our members to be so busy that they aren’t always able to access the site or seek help in areas pertinent to them. We have a task force currently exploring ways to increase communi-

highly successful, and several hundred instruments were donated throughout the state. MPR was instrumental in getting the word out through their public service announcements. Another project with a Minnesota recording company involved the making of Minnesota Beatles Songs, a CD of

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 13

Beatles music performed by Minnesota artists. The proceeds from this project will go towards grants that schools can apply for to help augment their music programs. Both of these partnerships are expected to continue into this next year, and hopefully beyond. SBO: Is there anything different that you’d like to see from music programs in your state over the next few years? CS: We definitely hope to see funding increased so that what has been cut recently can be restored. So much of it is political, which is disappointing, because students end up become pawns in the money game of taxes and spending, both at the state and federal level. A concern that needs to be addressed is ensuring that all students have equal access to music education. More than half of Minnesota’s residents reside within the Twin Cities metro area. We need to be sure that smaller rural schools receive adequate funding to keep their programs alive and active. There is a state study (funded through a grant utilizing Legacy resources from a sales tax initiative) being done to help determine the “state of arts education,” and it will be interesting to see the results of that survey in this coming year. Our state legislature recently approved the revised Minnesota Standards for Arts, which will begin to be implemented this current school year (2010-2011). Already, our music

14 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

educators are ahead of the game, and are proactively implementing the standards in their curriculums well ahead of other subject areas. That speaks highly for our state’s music teachers. SBO: What can teachers or the MMEA do to help ensure that all schools receive funding for music, even the rural ones? CS: Our rural, outstate schools have continued to have strong music programs, despite decreased funding, and I think the reason is because their communities highly value music and do what they can, through booster organizations and parent-teacher associations, to help keep those programs strong. Often times, parents are the ones who can make the difference if a program is threatened with a cut, and I’ve seen that happen in a number of cases, both outstate and metro. Music teachers are sometimes hesitant to advocate at the local level because they are simply too busy, or are possibly concerned about repercussions from administrators in power when reductions are made. Music teachers are very much overworked in our schools throughout the country these days, and many are isolated – sometimes the only music educator in their district – and they don’t have support systems at the local level. MMEA has helped with advocacy at the state level in many ways. Mary Schaefle, our executive director, is very knowledgeable about all the school

districts in our state, and she has often been consulted by teachers and parents who need advice with advocating during an impending program cut. This has helped save programs. We also provide advocacy resources on our Web site, through articles in our Interval journal, and we also have a board member who is an advocacy chair. SBO: Does the MMEA network with other state or national music ed organizations to coordinate initiatives? CS: Recently, two members of our executive committee (our executive director and president-elect) traveled to Washington D.C. for MENC’s National Leadership Assembly, and while there they visited the offices of our state’s congressmen as part of MENC’s advocacy campaign. I participated in that event last year as well. It helps to set an awareness of the importance of music, and keep it visible. A past MMEA president was also an integral part of advocating our state legislature for implementing music assessment standards. While legislation was introduced and pushed through the process, it never became law. Nevertheless, I think it was worth the effort as it again made music education more visible. MMEA also works closely with our North Central Division leaders (north central states) to help provide input to MENC’s national leaders to advocate more at the national level.

Attn: Band & Orchestra Directors Your students are eligible for $10,000 in music scholarships and $10,000 in music products for your school music program

Please post the attached poster within your school and encourage participation in SBO’s 11th annual music students scholarship program. Winning school programs will receive merchandise prizes contributed by Alfred Publishing, Sabian, Ltd., Woodwind & Brasswind and Yamaha Corporation of America! Additional posters available. E-mail mprescott@symphonypublishing.com Check our Web site, www.sbomagazine.com for further details and a list of past winners.

Finish This Essay: How my music teacher has influenced me and my goals in school‌ Sponsored By:

16 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

SBOReport SBOReport

Best Tools for Schools


he 2010 Summer NAMM show, which took place this past June, featured countless innovative musical products covering the entire spectrum of music making. SBO enlisted educators attending the Nashville trade show to seek out the best tools for use in music classrooms. In a presentation on the last day of the music products convention, Joe Allison of

Eastern Kentucky University, Jeremy Greenwood of Tupelo (Miss.) High School, Steven Nendza of Hille Middle School in Oak Forest, Ill., and Laura Verdone, a music teacher in the Nashville (Tenn.) Public School System, introduced the following products in 12 widely varying categories, declaring them SBO’s 2010 Summer NAMM Show Best Tools for Schools.

Best Elementary Tool

Best Beginning Tool

Best Intermediate Tool

Jumbie Jam Panyard, Inc. www.panyard.com/jumbiejam

The Chord Buddy www.chordbuddy.com

FT-88 Mini-clip Tuner Shenzehn FZone Technology www.fzonetechnology.com

The Jumbie Jam is a colorful steel drum pan for young and beginning music students that comes with a height-adjustable, collapsible stand, mallets, a play-along CD, and educational materials.

The Chord Buddy is a capo that is configured to play the primary chords in the key of G on the guitar. Simply press one of the four colored buttons on the top of the Chord Buddy to change the chord while strumming.

The FT-88 mini-clip chromatic tuner from FZone is a colorful, fun-shaped clip-on tuner that uses vibration to determine pitch and is designed to work on both stringed and brass instruments.

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 17

Best Advanced Tool

Best Percussion Tool

Best Small Ensemble Tool

The Drum Wallet www.thedrumwallet.com

Power Wrist Builders www.powerwristbuilders.com

JamHub www.jamhub.com

The Drum Wallet is a small, simple, bean-bag-like device that can be attached to the lugs of a snare drum and then easily flipped onto the batter head in order to quickly muffle the drum, and just as quickly flipped back down when additional muffling is no longer wanted.

Designed to build strength, agility and endurance in the wrists and forearms, Power Wrist Builders are solid aluminum and solid brass drumsticks weighted between two and 28 ounces.

JamHub is a portable device with multiple segments that each have their own input and output jacks, each controlling its own mix. This tool enables a small ensemble to play electronic instruments together in relative silence.

Best Stringed/Fretted Instrument Tool

Best Marching Band Tool

Best Recording Tool

TunerGuard www.tunerguard.com

BBS-1 Wireless Pulsating Metronome Peterson Strobe Tuners www.petersontuners.com

PCM-D50 Sony www.pro.sony.com

Building on the original BodyBeat metronomes, the BBS-1 Wireless Pulsating Metronome allows an unlimited number of performers to feel or hear the same beat by wirelessly connecting and syncing pulsating metronomes.

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Currently only for guitar but in the process of being adapted for other stringed instruments, the Tunerguard is a sturdy plastic sleeve that slides over tuning pegs to prevent them from moving if something should bump or brush against the headstock.

18 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

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The University of Minnesota’s

Craig Kirchhoff

Preparing the Next Generation BY ELIAHU SUSSMAN

Like many lifelong educators, Craig Kirchhoff, director of bands at the University of Minnesota, became a music lover at an early age. Kirchhoff credits his high school music teacher, Michael Yindra, as being tremendously influential in motivating him, and helping to plant a seed that would blossom into a career running first-rate collegiate music programs.

22 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 23

“I can’t remember a lightning bolt coming down and hitting me with the idea that music was going to be it for me,” Kirchhoff confides in a recent interview. “I ended up going into music because that’s the only thing I really loved and wanted to do.” Craig studied music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and began teaching in area high schools upon graduation. “Being in Milwaukee, I was also able to do a lot of playing, so I really had the best of both worlds, playing professionally and teaching,” he says. After running a high school band program for four years, Kirchhoff was invited to perform in a demonstration band at a conducting symposium, which would turn out to be the scene of one of the great epiphanies of his life. Frederick Fennell was the teacher at this symposium, and Craig describes him as “unbelievably inspiring.” Kirchhoff elaborates, “His ability to conduct and get people to play for him was just astounding. It was at that point I realized that I really didn’t know much about conducting at all. It was then that I decided to go back to school to learn more about this art.” Since that fateful symposium in the mid 1970s, Craig Kirchhoff has gone on to be a major force in music education, running music programs at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside,

24 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

Washington State University, and The Ohio State University before taking over as the director of bands at the University of Minnesota. SBO recently caught up with the educator, musician, and conductor to talk about his own teaching career, but also about some of the more pressing issues facing music education, including preparing the next generation of music educators for the dramatically changing musical – and economic – landscape. School Band & Orchestra: What brought you to the University of Minnesota? Craig Kirchhoff: I was director of bands at The Ohio State University for 14 years and, toward the end of my tenure there, I found myself looking for new challenges. I’m originally from Wisconsin, so the opportunity to move closer to my family was important to me. I’ve also always loved the Twin Cities; this is a very vital arts community, and, of course, the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra are world-renowned ensembles. In addition, the new music environment in the Twin Cities was also a great attraction. I knew that by accepting the position at the University of Minnesota I’d have to be a much different musician and a much different conductor

because many of our faculty – in the wind area, at least – serve as principal players with both orchestras. I’m a person who enjoys building a program. The band program at Minnesota, which has always been a great program, was in that period of time when my predecessor, Frank Bencriscutto, was ending his career and the program needed some new initiative and a different direction. It was a unique challenge to be able to come here; not only to be able to maintain the excellence of the past, but to gently guide the program in a different direction. The Marching Band here has always been a great band. In fact, Frank Bencriscutto conducted the Marching Band for the majority of his career and wrote and arranged many of the school songs that have become an important part of the Big Ten culture at the University of Minnesota. SBO: When you step into a program like that, which has such a storied history and high standard of excellence, what is your initial approach? CK: My initial goals were to continue those things that were in place and do those as well as I could. It’s

difficult to come in and make immediate changes. You have to evaluate what you might want to tweak, what you might want to change, and what should stay the same. It’s a long evolution of slow, but calculated, change. The present band program is strong

strong concert program and one of the reasons that the athletic bands and marching band are so strong is that almost all of those students are involved in music making throughout the entire year, whether in the other athletic bands or in the concert

CK: We’re coming to this issue probably later than we should have, but the School of Music is now becoming very concerned with what could be called entrepreneurial guidance for our students. It used to be, when I first started going to school, that there were two

“Communal music making opportunities connect people in very important emotional ways.” from top to bottom, including the wind ensemble, which is made up entirely of music majors, and probably 40 percent of those are graduate students. The symphonic band is all music majors, and then our university band is a combination of both nonmajors and music majors. We have two other campus bands. We have a

bands. We see the program as being closely linked between the indoor and outdoor ensembles. The University of Minnesota Band Alumni have been extremely gracious and supportive in helping to fund new initiatives, guest artists and guest composers, and commissioning programs. For example, we have a professional woodwind quintet, the Bergen Woodwind Quintet from Bergen, Norway, which is in residence here for one week every year. The Band Alumni make significant contributions towards those efforts, and those are the things that help to make the band program quite distinctive. SBO: With the understanding that orchestral and professional playing opportunities are increasingly hard to come by in this tough economy, how are you adjusting your methods of preparing these future professionals for the ever-evolving landscape?

Fund Raising

primary professional pathways for music majors: to play professionally or to teach. Because of the economy, there are fewer opportunities in both of those fields, especially in the professional world. Having said that, there are many other opportunities for students to make a living with a career in music, but they have to know how to market themselves, how to develop audiences, how to communicate with those audiences, and how to raise funds. The question that we’re seriously discussing is how we are going to help music students be better prepared for the 21st century because traditional pathways are closing quickly. We don’t have anything formalized at the moment, but we’re becoming increasingly involved with the concept of entrepreneurship and reality of what students will do professionally following their graduation. SBO: Is this something you consider when recruiting students to the program? CK: We have student and parent orientation days and our professional

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for their life after the academy, primarily in non-traditional ways.

“This is a time to look creatively at how we can deliver the curriculum in more efficient ways.” staff are very good at answering parents’ questions, and of course, many parents are extremely concerned about how their passionate son or daughter is actually going to make a living in music. We’re increasingly aware that there are more professional oppor-

tunities available than the traditional avenues of performance and teaching. It’s a matter of sensitivity to the issue. I suspect that in the future, the School of Music or the Arts Quarter may have a Center of Entrepreneurship, which will be devoted to preparing students

SBO: Of course, there are a whole host of alternative careers for musicians, from TV and radio work to music therapy… CK: That’s right. One example of that is our composers, who traditionally have been composing for chamber music ensembles, orchestras, and opera, are now sometimes finding themselves writing music for radio or video games. It’s a completely different world out there, and the challenge of universities and


Special Events Summer 2010




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conservatories is to be increasingly sensitive to that. SBO: In terms of the larger view of music education, what are some of the current trends you’re noticing? CK: I think the biggest impact of the economy has been the reduction of instrumental lesson programs in schools, which goes hand in hand with the reduction of staff dedicated to music, especially at the elementary

and middle school levels. If students aren’t taking lessons, how are they going to learn how to play their instruments? That’s the biggest single impact on music programs, and it all comes down to staffing formulas. I continually receive messages and e-mails from people throughout the country who are concerned that lesson programs within the curriculum are going to become a thing of the past.

University of Minnesota Ensembles at a Glance

Location: 2106 Fourth Street South, Minneapolis, Minn. On the Web: www.music.umn.edu Director of Bands: Craig Kirchhoff Students in Program: 550 Ensembles • Wind Ensemble 55-60 music majors Craig Kirchhoff, Conductor • Symphonic Band 70 music majors Jerry Luckhardt, Conductor

• University Band 80 music majors and non-majors Timothy Diem, Alicia Neal, Conductors • North Star Campus Band 90 non-majors • Maroon and Gold Campus Band 90 non-majors • University of Minnesota Marching Band 350 members • University of Minnesota Athletic Bands 120 members

SBO: Do you have any ideas that might help keep early-level lesson programs from disappearing? CK: As much as the economy is having a hugely negative impact on schools, this is a time to examine what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Music programs, by and large, tend to be pretty traditional. So what’s been happening in the last year or two isn’t that different from what’s been happening in the last 10 or 20 years. This is a time to look creatively at how we can deliver the curriculum in more efficient ways. These kinds of issues are forcing us to think more creatively. SBO: With so much change in the music world – from digital downloads to major funding crises to simplistic music making through computer programs and video games – where do you see all music education heading in the near future? CK: There is a broader question that is being asked my many in the music profession; how will we be able to increase access to music experiences for more of the general population in 28 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

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our schools? This question is being asked because orchestras and bands and choruses are often serving a relatively small population of students in most schools. Despite these kinds of philosophical questions and the undeniable pressures of the economy, I still believe that wind bands, orchestras, and choirs, will continue to remain in the curriculum because making music – and specifically accomplishing something as a community under an inspir-

ing conductor – still has the capacity to move people in very special ways. Those kinds of communal music making opportunities connect people in very important emotional ways. Bands and orchestras and choirs are going to continue to exist, but there is going to have to be creative problem solving along the way regarding issues such as staffing, lesson programs, and over-all funding for the arts to make that possible.


Despite the fact that music is more accessible than at any other time in our history, there is still an emotional void that will keep our students making music with other people. SBO: Is helping to fill that “emotional void� one of your underlying motivations as an educator? CK: What’s most fulfilling to me is knowing that my students have had deep musical experiences that, in some cases, have changed their lives and, in some ways, have helped them to think very differently about the art form. When I was a high school band director, I wanted my students to leave my rehearsals and my concerts loving music. That was important to me then and it is important to me now. I‘ve come to believe certain things over the years, and one of those is that students of all ages have the capacity to be moved by music. Fourth and fifth graders don’t usually join the band or orchestra for an aesthetic experience. They join it because it’s fun, they like to be with their friends, and they like to play the instruments. But somewhere along the way, it’s our responsibility as teachers to move them from the love of the activity of being in band or orchestra to actually loving music. And that’s where the teacher comes in; that’s where the inspired teacher plays a huge part in this process. Its not just going into band or orchestra class every day, it’s having contact with a teacher who is genuinely inspired by great music and beauty and is passionate about sharing that with others. SBO: Is that something that you feel can happen at any age or skill level, or is it something that needs a while to develop?



30 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

CK: It’s a continuum. That’s why you have to have great teachers at the elementary school, the middle school, and the high school levels. It’s a little bit like a musical relay race. If those first teachers don’t provide the foundation and an opportunity to make music in a positive environment, the students won’t go much further. In a sense, that love of music is something that takes time,

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but I’ve seen fifth and sixth graders at concerts and I’ve read what they’ve written about the concerts, and how they feel about the music. I’ve also read pieces by juniors and seniors in high school talking about what music means to them, and, obviously, those students have been on a journey, where music has suddenly taken on a very important role in their life and is deeply meaningful to them. SBO: Obviously, having great teachers is critical to the experience. Considering the rate of attrition among music teachers – the tremendous learning curve for young educators, and all of the challenges of the profession – what steps are you taking to help ensure the success of your students who are headings into education? CK: It’s a huge concern. People like my high school band director and my wife’s high school band di-

rector spent their entire career in the same place. Teachers like that are becoming increasingly rare in today’s educational world. There are so many pressures on band directors today to produce, and to produce in situations where it is becoming more difficult to simply do their job. I do think that universities have some responsibility in all of this, and that is to somehow maintain an active mentorship program where we stay in touch with our graduates. Where we lose them is in that second, third, fourth, and fifth year. One of the things that we’ve done at the University of Minnesota is to offer a one-week summer symposium called the Art of Wind Band Teaching. It’s a unique opportunity for people to come together. We’ve had teachers from the elementary and middle school level, the high school level, and the college level attend. Symposiums like this hope-

fully help people to rediscover that they aren’t alone, that this is a noble profession, and that teaching music is still worth doing. The profession needs to provide more opportunities for teachers to gather together because there is strength in numbers. When students leave the familiar and comforting environment of the university and are suddenly thrust out into the real world of teaching, the experience that they encounter often has little resemblance to anything that they learned about or even thought about when they were in school. The key to the future of the profession is mentorship and creating opportunities for teachers to continue learning. The key to success as a band or orchestra director is maintaining and expanding a love of music, a love of teaching, and a love of people, while making a life-long investment in personal and musical growth.


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SBOSurvey: Fundraising

Raising Funds in Hard Times “F undraising is wrong,”

states Julie Oliver of West Millbrook Middle

School in Raleigh, N.C.

“Education for our children should be fully supported by the community on

a local, state, and national level. Arts programs, music or otherwise, should not be funded on the backs of the students and their families.”

33 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 33

While most teachers would agree with Ms. Oliver’s assertion that in an ideal world, all aspects of education should be fully funded – making fundraising unnecessary – the reality is that the costs of the activities that many music programs deem essential are often more than ailing school budgets can handle. Between the resources needed for performance tours, festival dues, uniforms, instrument purchases and repairs, music purchases, hardware, software, and so on, many music directors must find their own means of supplementing whatever figure school administrators allocate for their programs. In this latest SBO reader survey, 87 percent of the responding educators have indicated that they will be doing at least some fundraising this upcoming school year, with 43 percent professing that fundraising will account for more than half of their program’s budget. Read on for tips

for raising money in this still-turbulent economy, as well as a general overview of the most recent fundraising trends.

for anything outside of music and instruments.” Brian Toney Grovetown High School Grovetown, Ga.

For the 2010-11 school year, how much of your budget will depend on fundraising?

“Due to state and school board policies, our students are not allowed to participate in fundraisers. Most of our money comes from the school budget, with our Band Booster organization providing many of the ‘extras’: pizza for trips, paying from some of the 7thgrade trip, providing some funds for director travel, conferences, et cetera. Emily Evans East Hills Middle School Greenwood, Ark.


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“The school supplies instructional funds, but boosters must raise money

“Our school budget has been cut by almost 90 percent, so fundraising is a necessity.” Jennifer Ginther Thompson K-8 International School Southfield, Mich.

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“Between the middle school and high school band program, we run a $50,000 annual budget. We receive $8,000 from our county between the two programs. The remaining $42,000 must be raised by the band booster club.” Rich Stichler Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe High School Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga.

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“We end up using the fundraised monies to basically fund our program. We are very fortunate to have supportive district level administration, but it simply costs more to run our program


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Have your fundraising methods changed over the years?



“We have found success in finding a niche in our community (Christmas wreaths), which we have provided over a long period of time (approximately 25 years). Now, the community comes to expect our fundraiser each year, and many people contact us in the fall if they think they’ve missed it.” Salvatore Terrasi Shorewood High School Shorewood, Wis.

“I use a ‘discount card’: I solicit the business on the card for a ‘free’ something in exchange for advertising their business at no cost on the card. I have 18 businesses on the card. It is a win-win situation: we get all proceeds from selling the card and the business gets free advertisement.” Carolyn Herrington DeRidder High School DeRidder, La.



“We are constantly trying to find new ways that do not count on the same family members’ money. It seems many of the things that the students can sell are focused on the same people all of the time. Finding fundraisers that focus on the general population of the town is very important. This keeps the burden off of the parents and family members.” Dean DellaVecchia Lyman Hall High School Wallingford, Conn.

Do you have any suggestions for fundraising in difficult economic times? “Be practical in the product you sell. People will support your group if your product has worth and is not overpriced. Keep it simple, annual and high quality. For the past 30+ years, our group has annually sold near 160,000 pounds of fresh citrus, with a profit of nearly $60,000. The school and community both know when our sale(s) are coming up and the quality of our product nets us huge results annually.” Earl McConnell East Fairmont High School Fairmont, W.V. School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 37

“Participate in as many community events as possible to generate a positive public presence and show willingness to support your school and community. Then when you go to local businesses, they will recognize you and be more willing to support ‘their’ band.” George Edwin Smith Gustine High School Gustine, Calif.

Is there anything directors (and booster groups) should be wary of when planning fundraising campaigns? “Make sure that the project will be supported by the community. Don’t overtax your community’s resources by having too many fundraisers at the same time. Beware of companies that charge upfront fees or don’t have

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escape clauses for unsuccessful projects. Remember that loyalty and longterm relationships work both ways with fundraising companies. Make friends!” Thomas Cremer Hampton Middle School Hampton, Ga. “Obtain the dates of other fund raising activities in your school and feeder schools. Don’t kill your population by scheduling a fundraiser at the same time as they do. Also, check the calendars of the other schools in your immediate school system (elementary, middle, high) to not overlap dates. Enlist the assistance of parents who will help in double checking orders to prevent a mix-up or shortage of items. Have a group to assist in unloading and filling orders. Feed them pizza from a local place that will give you a discount. You’ll need lots of help. Alda Wilmoth Harlem Middle School Harlem, Ga. “We are just very careful to find fundraisers that only the band is doing. We do not want to duplicate what other school groups are using as fundraisers. We also, as often as possible, tie a fundraiser to a public performance or service the band is involved with.” Patrick Dorn Monona Grove High School Monona, Wis.

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SBOCommentary: Repertoire

AwarenessAn Interview is Key: with Composer John Mackey John Mackey



eacefully coexisting with musical literature for band and orchestra is a topic that is typically at the core of most directors’ thoughts in both philosophy and planning. After taking a look at two of the more contentious as-

pects of the subject (programming quality literature for inexperienced musicians and the current fashions of transcribing musical material for the “outdoor” marching band and drum corps), it might be best to seek out someone who has practical current experience in both areas, as well as a willingness to share his accumulated wisdom.

40 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

Composer John Mackey’s works for band and orchestra are not only at the forefront of current programming for advanced high school, collegiate, and professional ensembles, they are critically acclaimed, as well. Mackey’s characteristic use of state-of-the-art, high-energy metric and harmonic devices have also made his compositions prime sources of material for “outdoor” ensembles. John writes for orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber groups, and the theater, focusing of late on music for dance and symphonic winds. Some of his more noteworthy pieces include “Redline Tango” and “Under the Rug” for orchestra, as well as “Turbine” and “Kingfishers Catch Fire” for band. As

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noted earlier, Mackey’s music currently enjoys frequent programming in the concert hall, and widespread transcription for marching bands and drum corps. I recently caught up with Mackey by phone at his Austin home; he seemed at once eager and a bit wary to discuss what we have already found to be two volatile subjects. This is likely an appropriate approach for one so in the spotlight of his profession. While talking about pacing and development in recent ensemble works, it came up that, just as with concert pieces, one of the more recent criticisms of “out-

42 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

door” music has been the lack of a sense of adequate development or musical “space.” Mackey suggested that problems arise if “the music can’t breathe and there’s no real structural development.” He agreed that the pacing/development issue should not

We often hear spectators’ complaints directly related to this pacing/development issue. They refer to “a lack of melody,” “higher-fasterlouder,” or “too hard to understand,” particularly in regard to contest or festival music. Much of this undoubtedly

“I just wanted the audience to go: ‘Oh my God, that’s amazing!’” be confused with only frenetic tempos or high energy. “I am often accused of writing music that is purely visceral. They say, ‘It’s really cool, but it’s so loud!’ That’s my personality – I like loud and fast!”

comes from the common techniques of abridging source material: “Each one (source tune) was probably ten minutes long to begin with, and now it’s maybe three minutes,” offers Mackey. “Everything is all chopped all up, and that’s just the way that all goes.” The challenge seems to be providing performers an optimal demonstration of skills through the musical score. There’s a lot that can be attempted in a ten-minute contest show, and any number of arrangements seem to include the maximum that – or maybe more than – can be appreciated by most listeners and viewers. They might also include more elements than can be convincingly and consistently performed by the students. In 2008, the well-known Marian Catholic High School Band from Chicago Heights, Illinois performed an entire competition program based on the music of John Mackey. The show was a great success, both artistically and competitively, finishing fourth at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. The creative mind behind the musical and visual orchestration is MCHS Band Director Greg Bimm. Speaking about Bimm’s adaptation of Mackey’s own material, John says: “I was really impressed with Greg’s [transcriptions] mostly because it was not very much changed” from the original concepts. “Part of the pieces he used in that show were originally written for string quartet – it had never occurred to me it could work with winds until I heard him do it. That’s like – oh my gosh, I should make a band piece out of that! It’s as good as the string quartet version. How does it make any sense that he took a string quartet piece and made a marching band piece out of it and have it sound, I thought, maybe better than the string quartet version?”

Those that know Mr. Bimm understand that he has brought such a high level of musical and visual artistry to the band activity over so many years that the Marian Marching and Symphonic Bands are known for innovation and substance, regardless of venue: indoors or out, concert hall or football field. It should be noted that John Mackey is not known as a devotee of the marching pageantry world. “I admittedly am not the first person to ask about marching shows, because I don’t watch them. I might enjoy a marching show I’m not part of, but if my music is in them, I tend to avoid them, because when I’m in them I’m like: that’s not how that goes!” He continues, “I spend so much time writing the piece, micromanaging every note of every bar, that if any of that is changed, it’s changed! Even if it’s cool – it’s changed.” That statement makes his effusive praise of Greg Bimm’s work even more significant. While the frenetic pace of marching shows can raise some difficulties for arrangers, performers, and the audience, at times John Mackey invites similar elements into concert programming. “I have been accused of that [higher-faster-louder] in some of my own concert music as well,” Mackey admits. “I have pieces where I try to do it intentionally – that really do not get a breath. The entire point of ‘Asphalt Cocktail’ is not to stop. The whole point of that is that it’s an onslaught – in your face for fiveand-a-half minutes. And basically that’s as close as I can have to having marching band music in the concert hall!” In this case, it’s all by design. He explains, “It’s as loud as marching band music, it has a Kevlar head snare drum in the percussion section – it is so intended to be just visceral. There’s nothing artsy about that. It’s never going to win a Pulitzer. I just wanted the audience to go: ‘Oh my God, that’s amazing!’” He further compares the experience to the classic Maxell Audio Tape ads of the ’80s, where the listener was literally blown back in his chair while enjoying the powerful sound blasting from the stereo. Effective imagery!

Mackey has also admitted to sensing a degree of uniformity in regard to the approach of musical design with competitive groups, especially when looking at the bigger picture. When asked for potential solutions, Mackey emphasized one of the most fundamental concepts we have in the arts. “The solution is the same thing that works in concert music, that makes it more exciting. I like loud and fast, but that only works if it’s not all loud and

fast! It’s contrast that makes the louds seem louder. When people hear ‘Turbine,’ they think it’s the loudest thing they’ve ever heard. But the fact is that it’s nine minutes long, and six minutes of it is really very quiet. You think it’s crazy loud because it had gotten quiet. If there isn’t enough contrast, then it just become fatiguing.” What practical lessons have we learned from this encounter with a composer at the height of his art? What can we apply






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in our ongoing quest to de-mystify the task of choosing and programming works for school instrumental ensembles? • It takes effort from the composers, directors, and players to assure merit and substance in music through composition, interpretation, and characteristic performing. • Music composed or arranged for an optimal demonstration of the players’ skills can be written to accommodate characteristic artistry. • Part of the actual demand of the musical score is the artistic training and sensitivity required to realize the concepts in performance. • The basic tenets of ensemble music are the same whether on the stage or the field. • Music composed or arranged for an optimal demonstration of the players’ skills has a logical tendency to be over-saturated and over-stimulated, making it difficult for the audience to understand. • Music composed or arranged for an optimal demonstration of the players’ skills has a tendency to sacrifice artistic form and structure for superficial impact. The key to avoiding the pitfalls of the last two bulleted items is a simple one: be aware!

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Dr. Joseph H. Allison is currently professor of Music at Eastern Kentucky University, serving as the director of bands and Graduate Conducting Activities. He taught in the public high schools for 18 years, where ensembles under his direction regularly appeared in regional and national settings. His Sumter (S.C.) High School Bands were the first internationally to be awarded both the Sudler Flag and Sudler Shield for concert and marching excellence. Dr. Allison is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and consultant for concert, marching and jazz events throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.

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SBOPerformance: French Horn Maintenance

How to Service French Horn Rotors BY JEFF SMITH


ith a few simple, affordable supplies and this stepby-step guidance, musicians and music directors can

Cleaning and Lubrication

As a musical and mechanical necessity, rotor valves have a very tight easily learn to service rotor valves. This can be of clearance between the rotor and valve casing and at the bearings. Because great benefit in both emergency situations and as a of this, any deposits on any part may cause the valve to lock in place or freeze up. This is most likely to be matter of regular maintenance. experienced after the instrument has been unused for some time. While there are many points of service that can be attended to without great Playing the instrument daily tends investment or advanced skill, there are still many areas of repair (beyond the to keep minerals and lubricants from scope of this article) that must be referred to professional technicians. hardening into deposits. This is particularly true if the musician lubricates the rotors frequently. The lubrication helps the valve shed any contaminants, and fills the space that would otherwise attract water-born minerals, which create deposits. Often you can free a stuck or sticking valve without disassembly by lubricating the rotor through the slide tubes, and working the rotor stop arm back and forth by hand. Pulling the valve slides, put two drops of valve oil into each tube on the horn. Don’t turn the valve using the levers, but rather by directly turning the stop arm (fig. 1). Also put a drop on the back bearing (after removing the cap), and the top bearing (beneath the stop arm). To clean a valve requires disassembly. First unscrew and remove the valve caps. If these are frozen, tap lightly on the knurled (grip) area of Conduct the music, not the the cap pattern. that in a Conduct glancing only counter-clockwhich is in the music – no more and no less. Therewise is much more(as to ifmusic than manner trying to the unscrew delineation of the meter. Time-beating usually results in over-conducting. Even apply the cap). If the cap is still stuck, lovely gestures, if not called for in the music, should not be present in the a drop of penetrating oilconductto the joint of ing. Look for techniques, clinics, or instructionalthe materials help you of after cap andtocasing, andget tryout again the pattern box. Applying the language of Rudolfthe Laban maybeen be helpful. oil has allowed to penetrate.

Tip #1 -

46 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

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Loosen the main screw (fig. 1) a turn or two, and tap on this screw to release the rotor from the bearing. Completely unscrew the main screw allowing the rotor to be pulled from the casing. If you are removing more than one valve at a time, keep them in order so that you can get the rotor in the correct casing when reassembling. Protect the rotor by working over a table covered with a soft towel to receive the rotor if it falls. Also protect the bell stem of the instrument so that if a lever arm releases, the spring tension won’t slam the lever into the bell causing a dent. Control the levers while tapping the rotor loose. The rotor is now available for cleaning. While a scrubbing in soap and water may bring results, more often you will need to soak the rotor in a chemical to remove deposits. White vinegar is a good solution for the nonprofessional. You may wish to pull all the slides and rotors and give the instrument a brush-through in a bath of lukewarm water and mild dishwashing detergent. Rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry before assembling with fresh slide grease and valve oil. Cleaning the valve casing of deposits is problematic because it requires a larger tank of solution. I would refer this to a technician. Many professional shops use ultrasonic cleaners and more aggressive chemicals for this task. Wiping both the casing and the rotor with a lint free cloth, dry test the fit of the rotor. If you are satisfied that the valve rotates freely, reassemble the valve with fresh oil, adding a drop of rotor oil on the bearings and the threads of the valve cap. Place the stop arm back onto the rotor and set the main screw. Be careful not to over tighten this screw. This task can be clumsy if the string is still attached. You may wish to detach the string and restring it after assembly (see below).

Adjusting Rotor Port Alignment In order for the instrument to play its best, it is necessary that the rotor valve ports align correctly with the tubing to which they direct the airflow to (fig. 7). Taking the valve cap off the rotor, you will see corresponding marks in

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both the rotor shaft and in the back bearing. You will also notice a small notch on the outer edge of the back bearing (fig. 9). 1.


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Align the notch in the back bearing with the corresponding notch in the valve casing. This bearing is gently pressed into place. If it is not located correctly, loosen the stop arm main screw (fig. 1) a couple turns. Tap on this screw to release the back bearing, rotate the bearing to its home position, and tap it back into place. Reset the main screw.

Note: when securing the bearing, it is best to use a plastic tube (or a dowel with a center hole), which fits over the center of the bearing. Tap on this tube to equally distribute the pressure applied by the hammer. 2.


Moving the rotor stop arm all the way in each direction, observe the position of the mark in the rotor in relation to the mark in the bearing. These must align perfectly when at each stop (fig. 10 & 11). This alignment is adjusted by changing the size of the rotor stops. The rotor stops are often neoprene, sometimes cork. The JLS kit includes neoprene. Use School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 49


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this to replace stops that are missing or too small to be adjusted. If the stop is too large, it can be cut back with a razor blade. While it may be possible to insert new stops while all parts are assembled, it sometimes is necessary to remove the cork plate from the casing (making a bigger job). The stop material often needs to be squeezed with pliers or stretched to fit into the plate. The material will then expand to fit securely in the cork plate. If you remove the cork plate, you can hold one end of the neoprene in a vice, which easily allows you to stretch the material and insert it into place. Trim the excess on each side of the plate with a razor blade.

Restringing Guide These instructions include the use of the JLS #206058 Valve Restringing Kit. 1. Set the Stringing Jig in place over the lever touch pieces as shown. This will keep all levers on plane with each other. (Note: if all valves are being restrung, you will determine the touch piece height when you secure the first screw in step 6). 50 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010


3. 4.

Loosen the rotor stop and the lever string screws and remove the old string. Don’t loosen the screws more than enough to remove the old string (we don’t want to lose them). Cut a new piece of string about 8 inches long. Tie a knot in one end. This will act as a stopper to keep the string





Use a sharp razor blade to make this cut. Holding the rotor arm in the position shown, wrap the string as in fig.2, making sure that the string goes under the screw. Continue wrapping as shown in fig. 3. Secure the screw (don’t over tighten). Continue with the string as in fig. 4, then take it through the hole (fig. 5), and wrap it under the screw. Secure this screw. When at rest, the arm of the lever will usually be set at an elevated angle to the rotor so that when the lever is pressed the arm won’t be too low (which can cause binding and noise) (fig. 6). It may be necessary to re-align the lever arm to the touch piece. The alignment is performed by holding the touch piece and bending the end of the lever either up or down. The lever ends should all be on plane with each other just as the touch pieces were. To add a professional touch, clip the ends of the strings so that they are the same length. To allow for possible adjustment later, leave the unknotted end at least 3/4� long.

Jeff Smith is President of J.L. Smith & Co. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company manufactures tools, parts, and supplies for wind instruments sold around the world under the J.L. Smith and Valentino brands. Jeff has been servicing woodwind and brass instruments for over 30 years.


from pulling through, so make the knot larger than the hole in the lever arm. Thread the string through the hole as shown in fig. 1. Tip: if you cut the string at an angle, you can pass it through the hole easier.


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Do you have suggestions for future articles or areas of coverage? Share your ideas at www.sbomagazine.com!


MADE IN THE USA School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 51

SBOTechnology: Transcription Tools

The Painless Gain of New Transcription Tools BY JOHN KUZMICH, JR.


re you looking for a faster way to help yours students learn improvisation and arranging concepts? The solution might be transcribing. Before you throw your hands up and groan, let’s talk turkey about this secret-weapon

tool for seriously advancing students’ chops.

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 www.kuzmich.com.

52 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

It is amazing how far we have come from the days of paper-and-pencil transcription, using LPs and tape recorders at half speed that dropped the pitch an octave. Times have changed. Transcribing technology today lets you pick the speed and pitch, matches pitches for you automatically, endlessly loops, and usually uses a foot pedal to keeps your hands free. So why isn’t this technology used more commonly? Simple: it can seem tedious to the youth of today, who truly are the high-speed generation. Nevertheless, transcribing and analyzing solos can super-boost understanding and proficiency of scales, chords, rhythm patterns, theory, and ear training. Recently, software applications have significantly improved the transcription process. New programs can ensure that the playback speed is adjustable and always in the correct octave, and looping between particular measures can be done easily and accurately. Transcribing LPs, tapes and CDs is easier, too, because the software makes it easy to record and save original recordings onto a computer’s hard drive. Lynn Seaton, veteran bassist, recording artist, and associate professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas, remembers, “When I was an emerging jazz player in the 70s, the group of people I was around transcribed at normal speed. Half-speed playback was

not used. It was certainly slow and laborious, but the benefits are lasting to this day.” Some transcribing software products even have the ability to speed up playback to 200 percent. This littleknown feature is useful for adapting play-along recordings to faster or

slower practice speeds. Some products even allow you to transpose the original recording. Can you imagine transcribing a guitar solo in E major for a trumpet which has to be written out in F# major? With a click of the mouse, you can transpose the recording up a half-step, making it possible for the trumpet part to be notated in the key of G instead of F#. Then it can be played back with the recording in the key of concert F. Another popular transcribing feature is the vocal reduction, which offers creative wiggle room. This feature takes the center out of the mix on a stereo recording. Generally, on pop recordings, this is where the vocals are mixed, and clicking this feature will make the vocals almost disappear. It works great on big band stereo recordings with a vocal feature. This simplifies tran-

scribing the rhythm section and can be useful to create play-along practice materials from original recordings.

Meet The Transcription Programs While there are relatively few transcribing programs available, they all have unique product features. Both of the software programs reviewed in this installment interface with foot pedals, except where noted in the supplementary Web site, www.kuzmich. com/SBO082010.html. Click over there for info about foot pedals, other software – including quality freeware – and hardware applications, along with video tutorials. Transcribe! by Andy Robinson at Seventh String Software is a good example of how well computer music software can provide instructional opportunities. Transcribe! offers features aimed at making the transcription job smooth and easy. Here are a few of those interesting features:

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The speed of the performance can be slowed down without changing the pitch, and the entire piece can be displayed from left to right as a profile of the sound, in any scale. Scrolling is rapid and playback is very responsive. Click on any point to instantly restart playback from that point. Select any selection and loop it. Cue and Review buttons skip rapidly forward or backward through the piece, like on a CD player. A marker can highlight measure and beat by tapping the computer keyboard in time with the piece. Section markers are automatically labeled A, B, et cetera, like rehearsal letters, but can also be given custom labels, such as “verse” or “chorus.” This makes it easier to identify which part of the piece is on the screen, and can be helpful locating any particular measure. I specifically like the tuning adjustments of Transcribe!, which allow users to adjust the tuning of the playback in hundredths of a semitone, in case it wasn’t recorded at concert pitch. The speed reduction without pitch change is accomplished by factors of two, four, eight or 16 with highquality sound, and are fast enough to work in real-time on most Pentiumbased machines. Transcribe! displays a clickable piano keyboard graphic that will play any note being selected by the mouse. Chord analysis is another interesting feature. Select any chord or note and Transcribe! analyzes the frequencies and displays them as a wavy line above the keyboard graphic. Peaks in the line identify the notes being played, and their harmonics. Note: the quality of the original recording can dictate how well the software can analyze the chords. There is a very practical stereo mixer for stereo recordings. This makes it easier to mix channels, get phase-reverse cancellation, and use a vocal eliminator, so that you focus on instruments you want to hear. The tempo calculation in Transcribe! can calculate the tempo in beats per minute, once markers have been placed. The latest version of Transcribe! has continuous variable slowdown for any speed from 5 to 200 percent,

with up to three decimal places. This product is presently distributed as shareware on the Internet, which means you can download it for free at: www.seventhstring.com. It can be used for free for 30 days. To use it after that, you must register it at a cost. For both PC and Mac platforms, a lot of hard disk drive space is required since the audio files are large, at about 10 MB per minute with CD quality. The program it-

self only requires 2 MB of hard disk drive space. Elevation by Superscope Technologies is one of the newest and perhaps most versatile transcription programs on the market. From a company that was previously a part of Superscope/ Marantz, the pioneer in analog tape recorders with pitch alteration capabilities that were the top transcription tools for several decades, Elevation offers an extremely simple interface.

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 55

The program has full transcription capabilities along with sophisticated 16/24-bit digital audio recording capabilities. I particularly like how you can save loops and key/tempo settings as a “snapshot” and export or create an audio CD. This makes it so that when you return to do more transcribing, you won’t have to hunt to find where you were previously working. Elevation also offers the normal transcription tools, including:

56 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

• Play a file in a different key while preserving the tempo. • Adjust a file’s tempo without affecting the key. • Combine key & tempo changes (iZotope DSP). • Seamlessly loop any section of audio & change key & tempo. • Reduce lead vocals from stereo recordings. • Support for common file formats: WAV, AIFF, MP3 & WMA on PC

and Intel-based Macs. • And it is compatible with USB foot pedals. For six excellent Elevation training videos, go to Superscope’s Web site: www.superscopetechnologies.com.

Hardware Solutions Looking for a hardware solution instead of a software solution for your transcription needs? The hardware approach requires fewer steps. Computers occasionally crash, which can create a dramatic experience in the middle of a recording project. Superscope Technologies recently released their PSD410 and PSD450 digital audio recorders, which have many innovations going far beyond their two previous generations of landmark CD digital recorders. Some of the most innovative features include dual recording capabilities with an SD card and a built-in 40-GB hard disk drive, which is basically an automatic built-in backup system. Its USB capabilities simplify the transfer of recordings to a computer or a Flash drive, or vice versa. And you can quickly burn CD’s from any of your recordings in WAV or MP3 file formats. Playback speed adjustment is impressive, ranging from -75 percent to +50 percent, and it easily changes keys as much as an octave up or down in half steps. You can also fine tune CD accompaniments to match your instrument. The PSD410 and PSD450 offer easy-to-create loops for transcribing and foot pedal control, allowing for hands-free, simultaneous usage of a notation application. A chromatic tuner checks pitches and a metronome accents the beat. High quality built-in stereo microphones or two XLR or phono plugs for external microphones let you record yourself to compare against the original. It can reduce lead vocals and change key to create accompaniments that match your vocalist’s range. With this hardware, you don’t need a computer to transcribe, play back, or record, and it’s portable enough to fit in a notebook computer bag. A large full color LCD can display eight files at the same time,


Consider this, Since 1957, which eliminate the need to have to go through many menu levels. This is an attractive piece of hardware that can compete with many software solutions.

Foot Pedals I address the magic of foot pedals in detail in the supplementary Web site. Foot pedals are great, but not necessarily required depending on your transcribing style. Some people prefer the separate tasks of handling the software/hardware and then the paper and pencil separation, while others prefer to work hands-free either with paper and pencil or in a notation application.

Closing Comments Transcription provides the inside track to becoming immersed in the intelligent, musical mastery of the great artists. With transcription software, musicians at any level can attain a better understanding of what they hear, expand the ear, and develop musical vocabulary and performance skills. When done correctly, transcribing can be the fastest way to bridge gaps between technique and musical mastery, catching the subtlest nuances of your favorite musical performances. You’d be surprised how well transcribing stretches and motivates. For those who may be new to transcription, start by listening to a recording of a published solo and

check your work as you go. Publishers with many originally recorded, transcribed solos are: Second Floor Music (www.secondfloormusic. com), Hal Leonard (www.halleonard.com), Warner Bros. (www.warnerbrospub.com), and Jamey Aebersold (www.jameyaebersold.com). Of particular note, Hal Leonard’s Artist Transcription series has more than 2,000 transcribed solos in 100-plus books of solos for every jazz band instrument. Don’t limit students to just their own instruments. Transcribing bass lines can be a good entry-level activity, especially with a predictable 12-bar blues progression. Here are a few helpful steps to facilitate an effective transcription experience: • Map out the measures to be transcribed. • Figure out the reoccurring chord progressions; this will help later with melodic transcription. • Sing along with the solo until you have absorbed it and can accurately sing with the recording. • Transcribe short phrases by rhythms first, then the melody. • Looping selected measures can make it easier to transcribe along with slowing down the playback speed. • With a foot pedal, you can loop with a designated time delay between the repeated loops so you have time to think, sing and/or play the part back, and write it into notation.

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NewProducts Conn-Selmer’s L60 Bass Clarinets

Conn-Selmer’s newest addition to the Leblanc U.S.A. family of clarinets, the L60 bass clarinets, features an aged and unstained Grenadilla wood body with a hand-hammered bell and heavily plated nickel or silver keys. Other features include a Steelite Ebonite mouthpiece, a sealing corked tenon neck, and a single register key mechanism.


Valentino Directors Fix Kits

Valentino’s Directors Series Fix Kits offers quick and easy service of instruments from piccolo to tuba and features an illustrated instruction manual. The top section of the case contains an assortment of tools necessary for maintenance of woodwinds and brasswinds. The lower section houses the Directors woodwind and brasswind supply assortments. Individual replacement assortments of supply items are available for each instrument.


Kawai’s RM3 Grand Action

In 1985, Kawai introduced its first electronic piano featuring a woodenkey action. This 25th anniversary year brings the release of the RM3 Grand action standing for Realistic Mechanism, Motion, and Materials.

The RM3’s mechanical design closely emulates that of Kawai’s acoustic grand piano actions. For instance, the extra long wooden keys are balanced on a center pin and move up and down on both ends. The graded hammers are then pushed upward to the contact point from the back of the keys, a mechanical principle found only in the Kawai digital action. The RM3 action also features moisture absorbing Ivory Touch key surfaces. Counterbalancing weights are placed in the front of the bass keys to smooth out the action’s static weight, while a let-off mechanism

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RB Continental Cymbal Case

Reunion Blues is expanding their RB Continental line with the introduction of a cymbal case that features one inch thick shock-absorbing Flexoskeleton exterior lined with reinforced impact panels, and a knurled abrasion grid on the bottom to help resist scuffing. A large EVA-reinforced exterior hi-hat/ accessory pocket with padded dividers

15” through 20”. The Vault Artisan Traditional Hand Cymbals are said to be tonally deep, dark and rich, with a robust vintage musicality. Mediumthin in weight, the Suspended responds for crashing or crescendos.


Pearl Carbonply Series Marching Drums

Pearl’s Championship Carbonply Series snares, tenors, and bass drums,

feature shells made of six plies of African mahogany encapsulated in an inner and outer ply of carbon fiber. The Carbonply shells provide strength, but keep the drums lightweight for movement and agility. Pearl Championship Carbonply Series Marching Drums are said to blend with any wind section and can support even the largest marching bands. The series is available in carbon fiber matte finish with aluminum, chrome, or powder-coated hardware.


is also provided, along with an adjustable, hideaway padded backpack. The interior features padded dividers to protect individual cymbals, and a quilted “double helix” velvet lining. A Ballistic Quadraweave exterior features corded edges and seams that are doublestitched with high tensile thread and reinforced at tested stress points, topped off with the RB Continental Zero-G palm-contoured handle designed with weight distributing foam core.


Sabian’s Symphonic Suspended Cymbal

Sabian’s Vault Artisan Traditional Suspended Cymbal is available in sizes

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 59

NewProducts At Five Towns College

Bachelor Degree Programs

â&#x20AC;˘ Jazz/Commercial Music Mus.B. â&#x20AC;˘ Music Education Mus.B. Concentrations in: Audio Recording Technology, Composition/Songwriting, Music Business, Musical Theatre & Performance

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It's not too late to apply! Classes Start August 26! www.ftc.edu


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60 School Band and Orchestra, August 2010

Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Addarioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Online Hub For Both Students & Teachers

Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Addario has updated thelessonroom.com, their education-based Website focused on bringing together music teachers and students while providing accessible resources that speak to each group. The site now includes over 2,000 educational resources spanning from videos, lessons, artist and tech interviews, and interactive tools, provided by various partners including Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Shure, Joel Rothman, Workship Live, Alfred, and BerkleeMusic. com. Experienced partners, the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants (AIMM) and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) are continuing to provide support. On the site, users are able to find printable articles that span topics including gear and technology, business and career, technique and rehearsal tips. There are also interactive music games and tools focusing on subjects like note reading, clefs, key signatures, rhythm, pitches, scales, intervals, ear training, and fingerings. The site also includes an online metronome, online tuner, and organizational tools for teachers and students. Also available are interactive theory drills, as well as performance and care topics by instrument. The site houses a directory with over 2,000 teachers for students to search by instrument, location, and other criteria.


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Fix Warbling Saxes â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes notes on a tenor sax will warble if a student is not able to get a good clean tone, usually around the note G. Have the student place their mouthpiece cap in the bell of the instrument. This will usually stop the warble and give the student a more sustained note and clean tone. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know why it works, but it does.â&#x20AC;? Mark Best New Haven Middle School New Haven, Ind. Submit your PLAYING TIP online at www.sbomagazine.com or e-mail it to editor Eliahu Sussman: esussman@symphonypublishing.com. Win a special prize from EPN Travel, Inc. Winning Playing Tips will be published in School Band and Orchestra magazine.


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Directors Fix Kits

School Band and Orchestra, August 2010 61





Custom Arrangements

For All Instrumental / Vocal Ensembles Tailored to Your Specific Groups Contact Al Newman (505) 681-1213 amnewman@earthlink.net 1424 Sara Way SE Rio Rancho NM, 87124

Free Marching Band Arrangements Contact or email International Education Service P.O. Box 15036 Alexandria, Virginia 22309 703-619-6268 IES9@msn.com


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School Band and Orchestra, August 2010


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School Band and Orchestra, August 2010



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2nd Annual JEN Conference January 6-8, 2011 New Orleans, LA Historic Roosevelt Hotel – Famed Blue Room Details online NOW! • Exciting Headliners • Enlightening Clinics/Panels • Exhilarating School Ensemble Performances • Enticing Exhibits – 20,000 sq. ft.! All under one roof, two blocks from the French Quarter! Registration, Housing, Exhibitor & Volunteer Applications available online NOW!

Check the website often for updates as they materialize! www.JazzEdNet.org Your portal to the global jazz community!

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