into small groups and assign experienced chaperones to supervise those groups throughout the trip. Burns: Start by hyping up the trip to parents and current students! Then, go to the middle school and start preparing the rising ninth-grade students. Get everyone excited about it! Then, draw up a well-thought-out commitment form to be signed by the students and parents. The form should
break down the final cost into installments and provide specific due dates. This way you will know who is going, and your boosters will have a real-time picture of who is keeping up with their costs. Teague: Sponsored music festivals can provide a great target and goal as you prepare literature for tours. However, for our school, the most memorable tours have actually been
to destinations where the focus was on educational clinics with university professors, and exchange concerts with other schools. Don’t underestimate how important those kinds of “noncompetitive” experiences can be for learners. Finally, consider setting up a “Blogging Team” before departure, and allow your students to write about their tour experiences while it’s actually going on. It is a wonderful way to keep parents and administrators interested in your tour while it’s happening, and it becomes an electronic scrapbook of your tour that everyone can enjoy when you return home. Guenther: Be prepared, stay informed, be unafraid to ask for lots of help, and know that you are giving students a very valuable experience and memories that they could cherish for the rest of their lives. Kingsland: Identify student/parent interest; seek school department permission; pick a performance opportunity and location; identify funds; develop a detailed itinerary; develop a funding/payment timeline. Linley: First – make sure that there are no questions regarding behavior expectations. Put all of the rules in writing. Have parents and students sign stating that they understand the rules. Do not bend on these rules. Second – be sure you are clear on what your district’s policy is on student medication. Third – plan, plan, plan, and then create a backup plan. Fourth – think about travel with planning your festival repertoire. If you are flying across the country, consider any expanded percussion or amplification equipment that you may have to bring. Fifth – have some fun, yourself! Arsenault: Start with a short oneor two-night stay at a festival or parade where your band will be able to travel by bus. Find your favorite trips and set up a trip schedule. Ours is: year one, New York City; year two, Washington, D.C.; year three, no trip (raise money for the following year); and year four, Orlando, Fla.
40 School Band and Orchestra, June 2008
SBO June 2008