SBO November 2011

Page 1

NOVEMBER 2011 $5.00

On the


with Trumbull High School’s

Peter Horton


The Southwest Marching Band Guest Editorial:

USSBA Adjudication



Contents 32

Features 10

REPORT: THE SOUTHWEST MARCHING BAND SBO investigates the small schools in Southwestern North Dakota who are joining forces once a year to create a giant marching band and provide new musical opportunities for rural students.


GUEST EDITORIAL: ADJUDICATION The USSBA’s George Hopkins discusses the philosophy behind the recent changes in his organization’s adjudication policy.


UPCLOSE: PETER HORTON SBO chats with Peter Horton, band director at Trumbull (Conn.) High School, who has applied the lessons he learned in drum corps in building a well rounded, powerhouse music program.


PERFORMANCE: PERCUSSION Jeff Crowell of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire presents some fundamental percussion lessons that work.


REPAIR: PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS Yamaha’s Troy Wallwage provides pointers on caring for and maintaining marching and orchestral percussion instruments.


TECHNOLOGY: DIGITAL TUNERS John Kuzmich explores into the evolving world of digital tuners.





November 2011

Columns 4 6 52

Perspective Headlines New Products

53 54 56

Playing Tip Classifieds Ad Index

Cover photo by Gale Zucker, Branford, Conn.,

SB&O School Band and Orchestra® (ISSN 1098-3694) Volume 14, Number 11, 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 © 2011 by Symphony Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in USA.

2 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

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Glee Gives Back


new series on Fox is blissfully unoriginal in a witty, imaginative way.” That’s what The New York Times said about the launch of the subsequently highly successful show Glee back when it debuted in early 2009. Whether you like the show or not, it’s difficult not to feel some affinity for it as 20th Century Fox, the show’s producer, has now partnered with NAfME to develop the GLEE Give-a-Note campaign to donate $1 million in amounts of $10,000 to $50,000 to 73 schools across the country. The money is being generated by a portion of revenues from the sales of DVD and Blu-ray disks of the show going towards the Give a Note charity. It appears that television shows and movies about musical performance have taken their content seriously enough, in recent times, to take the next step in moving off-screen to support the cause of music education – and the list of contributors keeps getting more impressive each year. We’ve seen the launch of the VH1 Save the Music foundation, Mr. “Supporting real Holland’s Opus foundation, and now, one of the counmusic in real try’s hottest television shows, Glee. Although the content schools is of this show is reviled by some educators for its negaa particularly tive stereotypes of both students and teachers, as well as other negative or unrealistic content and attributes, that redeeming feature it is supporting real music in real schools is a particularly of the program.” redeeming feature of the program. There are dozens of other charities that were founded by music related organizations, such as the Fender Music Foundation, The Smart Foundation, Tipitina’s,,, Guitar Center Music Foundation, and too many others to list them all in this space. It would seem that if there is so much support there would be plenty of external funding for school music programs, but it’s really a tiny proportion of the needs for a country as large as the United States. According to an AP article on October 24, 2011, “In California, a survey found that nearly half of all districts last year cut or reduced art, drama and music programs,” and that approximately 284,000 jobs in education have disappeared since 2008. Even though our latest economic indicators show some growth in GDP, the level of increase is still small and cannot offset the reduction in tax revenues from the real estate crisis. “Even in a best-case scenario that assumes strong economic growth next year, it won’t be until 2013 or later when districts see budget levels return to pre-recession levels,” executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, Daniel Domenech of Arlington, Virginia says in the article. For now, the donations from the charities will go a long way to help struggling school music programs, but it is essential that we continue to push our legislators to maintain as much funding for the arts as possible.


November 2011 Volume 14, Number 11 GROUP PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel Editorial Staff

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Christian Wissmuller

EDITOR Eliahu Sussman ASSOCIATE EDITOR Matt Parish Art Staff


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



SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Jason LaChapelle Business Staff


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

Member 2011

RPMDA Rick Kessel 4

School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

From Marching and Concert Bands to Orchestras and Jazz Bands, instrumental groups who take part in a Disney Performing Arts program – whether that’s in a performance or in a workshop or festival – share a common bond. And now, Disney Performing Arts is celebrating this bond and commemorating

this once-in-a-lifetime experience with an exclusive badge of honor. So, if you think your instrumental group has Ears for the Arts, then there is no better time to plan your next Disney Performing Arts trip. For more information, contact your travel planner or call toll-free 1-866-715-4095.




Does your program have percussion ensembles?


Yes (67%) No (33%)

NAMM Invites Educators to 2012 “Music Education Days”


he NAMM Foundation recently invited music educators and school administrators from across the United States to come to Anaheim, Calif. to experience NAMM’s fifth annual “Music Education Days,” being held on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21 through Jan. 22 at the 2012 NAMM Show. Music educators and school administrators will have access to NAMM’s premier tradeonly music products trade show, where they will be encouraged to see and try the many instruments and products relevant and useful to today’s music classrooms. Highlights of “Music Education Days” include a breakfast receptions including a performance by National Show Choir Champions Brea Olinda High School, a choir clinic, a brass ensemble clinic, a live interview with composer Sammy Nestico, and much more. For more info, visit

Garwood Whaley to Receive Industry Award at the Midwest Clinic


he Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference recently announced conductor Garwood Whaley as the 2011 recipient of their annual “Music Industrty Award.” The Music Industry Award was introduced in 1962 to honor conductors, educators, composers, and others whose unique service to music education and continuing influence on the development and improvement of instrumental ensembles deserve special recognition. Whaley is conductor emeritus of the Bishop Ireton Symphonic Wind Ensemble in Alexandria, Va., former adjunct professor of music at The Catholic University of America, past-president of the Percussive Arts Society, and founder and president of Meredith Music in 1979. Learn more at

Pretzelmaker Teams with VH1 with $30k ‘Save the Music’ Donation Representatives from Pretzelmaker and its parent company GFG Management, LLC joined VH1 Save The Music Foundation recently at the Boston Teachers Union School to present a $30,000 donation to the Foundation. The donation was announced earlier this year as part of the brand’s annual National Pretzel Day celebration and was used to purchase musical instruments and equipment for the school’s growing music program. Visit for more information.

New Film Highlights Legendary High School Band A new film narrated by Jamie Foxx documents the story of music director Conrad Johnson’s famed “Kashmere Stage Band.” The film, Thunder Soul, was released on September 23 and is in theaters now. It documents the band in its late ‘60s and ‘70s heyday and follows them during a recent 30-year reunion with their 92-year-old teacher and composer. Mr. Johnson was featured in the November 2006 issue of SBO. For more on Thunder Soul, visit 6 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

Online Poll Results Does your program have percussion ensembles?





Visit and let your voice be heard in the current online poll – results to be published in the next issue of SBO.

2012 MTNA National Conference Set for New York in March The 2012 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Conference will take place in New York, New York, March 24–28, at the Hilton New York, located on the Avenue of the Americas. MTNA expects more than 2,000 music teachers from across the country to converge on the city for this annual five-day event. Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1979, will act as the conference’s keynote speaker. Numerous professional workshops, teaching tracks, sessions, industry showcases and masterclasses will also take place, as well as the finals of MTNA’s national student competitions. For more info, visit

Disney Jazz Relocates The annual Disney Jazz Celebration, typically held in Orlando, Florida’s Disney World Resort, is relocating to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Created for middle and high school instrumental and vocal ensembles, the three-day festival will be held Feb. 2426, 2012. Participating student groups



will compete for top honors, learn from leading jazz educators and interact with renowned jazz artists in an exclusive, private setting for student performers. Signature events that will be part of the 2012 Disney Jazz Celebration include adjudicated performances and personalized educational clinics, along with GRAMMY Camp® - Basic Training sessions presented by the GRAMMY Foundation. For more info, visit

Young Nonprofit to Set Up for Music Ed in Austin


he Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts, a startup nonprofit launched by Austin philanthropist Teresa Lozana Long, aims to provide music education to schoolage children in East Austin. Long, who is the president of the Alliance, points to an increased cognitive ability, increased global perspective, and higher education achievement as reasons for the program’s importance. The alliance plans to form a youth orchestra modeled after the famous Venezuelan social change program, El Sistema, which has helped more than 400,000 underprivileged children in more than 25 countries and has sprouted several similar programs in the United States. Formed in collaboration with the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, the alliance is offering free music lessons to middle school children at East Austin College Prep. The alliance also recently kicked off a fundraising campaign, with the goal of raising $250,000 by early 2012. Learn more at

Longy to Start El Sistema-Based Program A new program entitled “Take a Stand” was recently announced by Cambridge, Mass.’s Longy School of Music as a connection to the successful “El Sistema” education program started in Venezuela. The program will be enacted in collaboration with New York’s Bard College and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which is directed by El Sistema’s most famous graduate, the 30-year-old Gustavo Dudamel (who recently was named “Artist of the Year” at the Gramophone Awards). More info can be found at

Anmol Mehra Joins Music for All Board AdAm LArson of new York pLAYs bAri’s hArd rubber, mouthpieces! Bari Woodwind Supplies, LLC A Division of the Cavanaugh Company

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Anmol Mehra, of Fidelity Investments, has been elected to the Music for All Board of Directors. Music for All is a nonprofit educational organization, whose mission is to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Anmol Mehra is an equity research analyst for Fidelity Investments in Boston, Mass., the largest mutual fund company in the United States. Mehra played trombone and baritone and was a student camper and a SWAG for a number of years at the Music for All Summer Symposium. He was also a member of the University of Texas Longhorn Band and marched a summer with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. He is on the Board of Directors with Urbanity Dance, a Boston-based contemporary dance company,and he is on the Advisory Board for the University of Texas MBA Investment Fund. Visit to learn more.

Correction: The dates of the Viginia International Music Festival at the Norfolk NATO festival were incorrectly listed in the October 2011 edition of SBO. The correct dates for 2012 are April 27 -29, 2012.


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SBOReport: The Southwest Marching Band

Rural Schools Team Up to Form the


Southwest Marching Band

etween routinely having to travel hundreds of miles for performances and balancing instrumentation in small schools, it can be incredibly challenging for high school music programs in

some of the more sparsely populated corners of America to create or sustain a marching band. And yet, a group of teachers in North Dakota have proven that with a little cooperation and determination, kids from small schools can join the fun, too.

Each May, Bismarck, N.D. hosts an annual celebration of music known as Band Night, which features a parade of high school marching bands from across the Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota, and Southern Canada. “Band Night Parade is a vital part of whatever limited marching experience bands can have in our region,” says Jeff Eckroth of Eckroth Music, a music retail chain headquartered in Bismarck and one of the primary organizers of the event. However, many of the high schools in Southwest North Dakota have a total enrollment of 150 students or less, meaning that participating in such events just wasn’t feasible, until 10 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

several high school directors decided came up with an idea. “I was talking with the band director of South Heart High School, another small school in the area,” recalls Catie Hoselton, band director at Belfield High School, which has a student population of 120. “We were thinking how great it would be to go to the Bismarck Band Night parade, but we really can’t go because we each only had about 20 kids in our programs. So we thought, ‘What if we put our bands together and march them down the street?’” The two band directors followed up on that conversation by bringing their drummers together to do a cadence. Then they ordered t-shirts that their students could wear along with khaki pants. They gathered the two bands together at noon on the day of the parade, did a quick rehearsal at Belfield High School, then put everyone on two busses and drove the 120 miles to Bismarck to march later that evening. And just like that, the Southwest Marching Band was born. When word caught on about what was happening at South Heart and Belfield, other small schools in the area (relatively speaking) jumped at the

chance to join in. “In our region, we [band directors] are all pretty close,” says Hoselton. “We have all either gone to college together or know one another. That second year, we talked to Charm Martian at Bowman High School, and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come and join us?’ So she came and joined us, and then the third year, we talked to Trinity High School in Dickinson, North Dakota, and his band came and joined up with us. The fourth year Richardton High School joined us, because I happen to live there and talked to their teacher, who I knew very well. In 2009, four more schools joined us, and that’s when it really got huge. In 2008, it was about 150 kids, and in 2009 in jumped up to well over 300.” Currently, about 340 kids from 10 schools, covering perhaps 250 square miles, participate in this cooperative ensemble. Scranton High School, which has a total student population of 45 in grades nine through 12, is another participant. Along with his 30 high school musicians, band director Mark Perkins brings along approximately 20 junior high school musicians to “pad his numbers,” he says with a smile. “All we do [at Band Night] is straight line marching, and we all basically share an equal responsibility for the rehearsals,” says Perkins. “We do our own practice at home and then get together just the day of the parade. We spend the morning in sectional rehearsals. There are 10 different directors, of course, so we split the group into ten individual pieces and then go out and do our individual work outside. Then we all put it all together.” While Perkins describes this event as a “flash in the pan” of his yearlong music curriculum, it’s also an event that kids are really excited about. “This has kept some kids in band,” says Hoselton. “They will come to the band room on the first day of school in August and ask, ‘Okay, what are we playing for Band Night?’ And that parade isn’t until the last week of school! They’re already focusing on that. It’s really not as huge of an event as it might seem. We have help, everyone works on the same song, and we throw it together in three hours.”

“We just thought it would be kind of neat to provide that experience for them, and the students have taken it to a whole new level.” “It’s a fun time of the year,” agrees Perkins. “After that event there are only usually a week or ten days left in the school year, so it’s really a fun way to finish out a good year. More importantly, though, it’s the only way we can give these kids a plain old marching experience. There are a couple of our schools that are big enough to do some marching on their own, but my own, for example, is not. I wouldn’t be able to give the students any expe-

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The directors who lead the Southwest Marching Band. many kids in a way so that rience marching without this. the entire ensemble is audiThe other residual effect is the ble is an ongoing challenge. camaraderie of working with “It gets a little overwhelmthe other kids. They way they ing,” admits Hoselton. “We treat each other and get along talk over email or get tois really great to see. There are gether in a restaurant and a lot of social benefits that we talk about how many kids didn’t really count on. We just we’re going to have, how thought it would be kind of many of each instrument, neat to provide that experience and what our lineup is going for them, and the students have to be, but it’s become one of taken it to a whole new level.” those things that’s just fun. While the social element It’s so good to get the kids together. Yes, we want them of participating in the larger ensemble has been fun for to look good and yes we them to sound good, but we individuals, it has also served to bring rival communities are less concerned about getting the kids on the right together. “In sports, we have pretty fierce rivalries befoot; this is about music and it’s about bringing people tween all of these schools, so it’s great that we can get together. For one day, these kids get to be in the largest them marching down the street with the same kids that band in the area. If we can do it, anybody can do it. And they wanted to beat the crap out of on the football field,” we’re getting better at how we look, too!” says Hoselton. “There’s camaraderie there and when these As much fun as it is for the kids, this unique ensemble kids are from small bands that many only have, say, one has also had an extremely positive impact on the Band flute and two trombones, now they’re marching with 50 Night Parade itself. “They add this tremendous dynamic flutes and maybe 50 trombones. For one day, the kids are a and kind of amazement with more than 300 kids marchpart of something bigger than they even know.” ing down the street,” says Jeff Eckroth. “With these Of course, as one might expect, managing an ensemsmall communities, not only do they support their kids ble of that size brings with it its own obstacles. Instruin music education and their kids are thrilled to be a mentation can be tricky, and balancing the sound of that part of it – some even stay in band because of it. But it also draws the community into music education, as well. It gives them a purpose to get behind, so they travel to That Your Bismarck to see their kids and cheer them on. It becomes School and this great experience for everyone involved, not just the Students musicians. The Band Night parade is pretty cool.” And the benefits don’t stop there. The directors of the Can Afford ten little schools are grateful for this collaborative effort. “It really opens the lines of communications,” says Perkins. “We’ve always been a pretty tight group in this corner of the world because it is a sparsely populated area. We have always worked together a lot, but nothing on the scale like this. After this, though, we don’t hesitate to pick up the phone if we’ve got a question about a piece of music or something else. We share music and ideas on how we do things back and forth. It really has enhanced the communications that we have and made everyone feel more at ease with each other. There’s reWe are one of the leading suppliers of ally been no competition, too. I know sometimes people band and orchestra instruments to schools are a little secretive about how they run their programs, and music dealers throughout the United States. but we don’t have any of that. We are definitely running We offer a full line of brass, woodwind, orchestra wide open program here now.” and percussion instruments designed and crafted to educational standards. The Southwest Band is done growing for now, and For a list of dealers talk of a tour has fizzled because there are too many in your area, or a catalog contact: conflicting schedules. However, the next project these by email or call. teachers have taken on is a comparable indoor ensemWe respond to all school bids through local dealers. Samples are available for evaluation. ble, the Southwest Concert Band, which already has 105 students from five of the ten schools in the Southwest Hunter Music Instruments Marching Band. The Southwest Concert Band is hoping 3300 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11101 to make its debut by traveling to Minneapolis for a Me(718) 706-0828 Fax: (718) 706-0128 morial Day performance. 12 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

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SBOGuest Editorial: Adjudication

An Adjudication System for

“Everyband� By GeorGe Hopkins


fter 23 years and close to 2,000 marching band competitions, the U.S. Scholastic Band Association of Allentown, Pa. recently changed the adjudication criteria for many of the participating bands. Although it has been using singular criteria that serviced 700 or more

bands per year in 12 different categories of competition, the USSBA team has decided that, perhaps, there is a better way to assist and support the bands of this ever-growing association.

A bit of history In 1988, the then Garfield Cadets, a four-time Drum Corps International World Champion, hosted a single marching band event at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Twenty-Four bands participated. In 1989, the newly formed Cadets Marching Band Cooperative managed 12 events, and in 1990, 20 events. Fast-forward to today: the now-named U.S. Scholastic Band Association is the promoter and organizer of over 130 events in 16 states with over 725 participating bands.

14 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

Why the growth? Perhaps the USSBA was at the right place at the right time. Perhaps the fact that the sister program, the Cadets Drum Corps, now 10-time Drum Corps International World Champions, are intimately involved in the administration of the USSBA. Perhaps it has grown so much because the threefold foundation that serves as the centerpiece of the USSBA calling for bands to participate offers: • A commitment to provide opportunities in excellent venues • An office that provides service from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. most days of the year and all days of marching season • An adjudication system that contracts with quality teachers and technicians, all committed to supporting and assisting bands from the marching world. Well, yes, all of the above contributed to the expansion, but what I believe truly drew bands over the years was an overarching attitude of care and support, combined with an adjudication system that used scholastic scales to assign scores at events from coast to coast.

An attitude of care and concern The USSBA has worked hard to train adjudicators and administrators to the over-arching idea that their role is to support and care for bands. The USSBA’s job is to assist the band director in maintaining and growing his program. This organization is not interested in penalizing a band for poor performance, or passing judgment upon a band that may not have the best in personnel or program. Instead, its goal is to keep music in the schools by encouraging students to join and stay in band programs. The USSBA wants to be part of the solution. See, for those in the USSBA and its parent company, Youth Education in the Arts, music is very important. Music and arts education are critical components in the lives of many young men and women. But at a deeper level, and with the knowledge that 95 percent or so of high school band students will not

pursue a career in music education or music performance, it’s still possible to assist students and teachers in a program that contributes to life education. In band students learn about: • Teamwork • The value of persistence • Sportsmanship • Self discipline • Self motivation • How to lead and how to follow • And so much more!

So creating band events allows band directors the chance to do their job, and providing service at the level that the USSBA does allows the band director to concentrate his or her efforts on the band and the students, not the details and worries of marching band festivals and circuit administration. And through it all, and across so many events, the adjudicators and the administrators come to the events knowing they are part of the solution


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– a solution that is far more than assigning a winner.

An adjudication system that makes sense Speaking of winners, this is clearly a competitive environment, but a few characteristics make the process more palatable. First off, the USSBA makes sure that bands compete only in like categories. Bands are separated first by size of the band, not the size of the school. This allows for a comparison of like entities. Who is to say why a band has only 60 members with a school size of 1,400? Perhaps there is a new band

ing excellence or does the community pay more attention to other program offerings? What about the equipment? What about the in-class schedule? Point of order, there are so many variables. And in actuality, many of the issues are not so much a judgment or a reflection of the students but a reflection of the director and his or her history. And is that really our place to be critical? Is that why there are marching band competitions? And finally, inside of the groups, the classes and what can be 12 winners at each and every event the USSBA manages, there is a basic scoring agreement that runs alongside what we have all grown up with in school:

“The goal of the USSBA is to keep music in the schools by encouraging students to join and stay in band programs.” director. Perhaps the middle school system is not strong. Perhaps there is a history of small bands and marching is not supported at various levels of the environment. It would be foolish to pass judgment on this sort of criteria. Adjudicators should evaluate only what is presented on the field. With this in mind, the USSBA has 6 different groups categorizing bands as small as 35 members (Group 1) to 150+ membership (Group 6). Bands are also separated by ability level. The USSBA has two different classes of competition, “A” Class and “Open “ Class. “Open” is for the better performing, more mature bands, and “A” class is for those schools that perform at a lesser level of excellence. Now, this in itself is a philosophical point. Why is a band not achieving excellence and why should they be judged, and even be given awards, alongside those bands who performed at a higher level with the same instruments, the same rules and the same opportunity? Again, the USSBA has taken a position that it should simply assist bands in moving to a new level of performance. There are just too many possible factors to issue a snap judgment. How many hours does a band spend in rehearsal? Does the band director have marching experience? Does the school come from a history of march-

A – Excellent (93+) B – Very good (85+) C – Good (77+) D – Fair (70+) F – Failure (below 70) The criteria used as a staple of the USSBA’s adjudication program allow for scoring that reflects what the com-

munity understands. The goal is to create a system to which people can relate. In fact, this philosophy is most critical to the success of music festivals and competitions: Scoring criteria that Mom and Dad can understand, that the principal relates to, and that the other students in the school “get.” A student in a band can understand after explanation that a 57.0 is just a number and finishing 23 of 34 bands in a competition is admirable. Inside a band room we have time to explain, we can rationalize, and we can create a shared appreciation for the process. However, when a score is announced over an intercom, a placement is written up in the school newspaper, or the school website reports on the results of the state championship, there is no time for explanation. A 57 is a failure. A 75 is a C, and a 90 is fabulous. This is what schools and their communities understand, and this has been the model we have used over the years. Add that to a general approach which is supportive (we have given only 2 penalties in 23 years) and you have the ingredients for success. So, why change the grading system in 2011?


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The New System Since 1988 the USSBA has used one scale or system of criteria. Although “A” class bands did not compete against “open” bands, they did use the same criteria. “A” bands would perhaps achieve an 88 or 89 at the end of the year but an excellent rating was not possible. That was reserved for the open bands. Was this what was wanted? Would a student in Algebra only be allowed to achieve a “B” because the top marks were saved for the Advance Placement students? That seems unfair, if not silly, but, with introspection, perhaps this is what was happening? “A” bands make up 70 percent of the bands of the U.S. Scholastic Band Association. Why not allow these bands, which admit to shortfalls in performance, the opportunity to gain the top marks at the level they are choosing to compete? And in fact, why not give these bands a framework that allows for success and perhaps pave the way for a higher level of performance and success in the years to come? To address this change in philosophy, the USSBA had to change the criteria for the “A” bands. Teachers would never expect different levels of classes to generate the same levels of achievement. Why should festival organizers? After examining the criteria, and what specific achievement was really wanted from the mid-level band, as well as shortfalls of the adjudication system, it was recognized that these “criteria for all” actually may have pushed the middle level band to do far more than was necessary. As an example, the criteria under Repertoire Effect might include: • Creativity • Variety of Effect • Coordination • Impacts and Climaxes • Audience Appeal Well, no one really expected a class “A” band to create a band show that was never seen before. Judges were not looking for great speed or wild musical arrangements. In fact, what I have personally stated time and time again comes to mind:

• Play together • March in step • Catch the stuff you throw in the air It sounds pretty simple and easy, but this is rarely achieved. In fact, it is not achieved by too many marching groups anywhere. Indeed, we all talk about achievement, and with good reason, but at some level, good old fashioned execution may be all that is needed? So what did the U.S. Scholastic Band Association do? 1. Took the sheets for the “A” Bands and re-wrote the criteria 2. Made the expectation performer-centric 3. Lessened all expectations related to demand and creativity. The five levels of criteria were also adjusted so that the “A” bands could more easily receive the highest ratings. After all, if, at the level selected, a band achieves at the expected level, the band and the students should receive an “A.” This change was rushed to the field this year because the USSBA staff believed in the possibilities. And, in fact, the early reports are positive. Indeed, as noted, 70 percent of the bands in

the USSBA are “A” class. With that in mind, why not make the highest marks available? After all, marching band is an art form. Some call it a sport because of the physicality involved, but, indeed, music is art. And band is art because the level of quality achieved will always be subjective. Clearly effect is a subjective caption but even discussions of achievement are in the eye of the beholder. I may give more credit to rhythmic challenges and another judge may be more impressed with quality of intonation. Which is more important? Who is correct? It is subjective? And, in fact, much of the adjudication process is subjective. So… the criteria was changed and, today, the weekends are still being spent ranking and rating the performances of bands. However, the USSBA believes that bands are returning home happier than in previous years. Parents are more hopeful, principals will see more value in the effort of the band, and the community will connect to the newfound achievement level of the bands. Hopefully, over time, this newfound enthusiasm will lead to better bands: maybe, just maybe, more band directors might stay in the profession and more students might stay in the band.

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School Band and Orchestra, November 2011 19

If more people are learning music, that might translate to higher level of performances, and, maybe, better bands! Speaking of better bands, what about the open class bands? Are they not affected when they see bands at “A” class now with the same numbers, or even higher ratings? Well, as was expected, open bands are led by smart and capable directors. These directors can explain to their students and staff the value of a system and the differences of systems. And at the root, higher numbers for one class does not devalue the performance level and rewards of those at the higherlevel one iota.

Conclusion Time will tell if this change is for the positive, but if band director response is an indicator, it is already a success. In recent post show evaluations, 95 percent of the comments related to the system have been positive. Many have asked, “What took you so long?” Balter Finest things 1/2pg ad

Well, we are here. The U.S. Scholastic Band Association made a change that allows for a higher level of perceived success. Hopefully this will carry the message and program to more bands and more students over time, with a goal of reaching 1,000 bands before the close of 2013 and to help tens of thousands of students make a difference in the world. We hope that these kids will use the lessons learned in band as a foundation for all that they might accomplish. The Cadets will carry the banner of music education for years to come. The U.S. Scholastic Band Association carries the banner of music education from state to state and school to school. And the parent company of each, Youth Education in the Arts, will continue to develop programs and opportunities that hopefully will support many young people on the road to magnificence. And creating that possibility is why we get up and go to work each day.


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George Hopkins is the CEO and executive director of Youth Education in the Arts, a not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Allentown, Pa. He is also a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame and the Cadets Hall of Fame. He has been on the DCI Board of Directors since 1982, the DCI Executive Committee from 1983-1999, and 2005-present, the NJ Music Educators Board of Directors from 2000-2003 and the president of the NJ Coalition for Music Educators from 2001-2003. Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) is a youth agency committed to supporting the development of young people into magnificent human beings through their participation in the performing arts. Program offerings include the 20-time national champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and the US Scholastic Band Association. Over 70,000 young people across the country are involved in programs supported by YEA! with festivals, performances, and clinics scheduled each year from coast to coast.

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20 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

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On the


with Peter Horton and the Trumbull Golden Eagles By Eliahu SuSSman


ride, attitude, and concentration. These are the tenets that were drilled into Peter Horton when he was a young musician in drum corps. And these same concepts have served as the foundation upon which Horton, now director of Trumbull High School’s Golden Eagle Band program, has developed one of the top all-around school music programs in the state of Connecticut for more than two decades, including a percussion ensemble that is a fixture at the WGI World Championships.

22 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

Peter Horton was introduced to musical performance at the age of eight, when he began playing bugle in a drum and bugle corps. Quickly progressing musically, Horton later joined the newly formed Stateliners Drum Corps of Greenwich, Connecticut, which went on to have, according to Horton, “one of the best first year drum corps records in history,” winning both of their circuit championships as a small drum corps. Meanwhile in his high school music ensembles, Horton was gaining invaluable experience from his choral director, a priest whom Horton cites as “a great musician,” noting that the “choral aspect was an integral part” of his formative musical experience. Enthralled with all aspects of music – composition, performance, the camaraderie of the ensembles, and satisfaction of teamwork – Horton went on to study music education and taught in several New Jersey schools before making his way back to Connecticut and to Trumbull High School, an institution that already had a well developed music program. In this recent SBO interview, Peter Horton talks about the evolution of drum corps, its connection to music education, and how he has integrated lessons from his youth, such as the importance of consistency and rewards of teamwork, into the ensembles he now leads. School Band & Orchestra: Would you talk about what the program at Trumbull High School was like when you came on board? Peter Horton: When I got here, the program had been established with three other directors. It was always one of the stronger concert and marching programs in the area. We just took that and kept developing it over the last 20-plus years. We keep adding more and more kids, and we’re at our largest numbers now, between 140 and 160 kids. It’s been a great run. The students understand what it’s all about, and they work really hard at making this one of the best programs around. 24 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

SBO: What were your initial goals upon arriving at Trumbull? PH: At the outset, my goal was to maintain what had already been going on, while also getting the students used to me and my style, and well as

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Trumbull High School Bands at a Glance Location: 72 Strobel Road, Trumbull, Conn. On the Web: Students in High School: 2,200 Students in Instrumental Music Program: 210 Ensembles (and students in each) Golden Eagle Marching Band: 140 Scholastic Open Percussion Ensemble: 30 Scholastic A Percussion Ensemble: 20 Scholastic World Winter Guard: 20 Scholastic A Winter Guards: 30 Concert Band: 32 Symphonic Band: 80 Jazz Ensemble: 25 Christmas Brass Ensemble: 12

what we wanted to accomplish. Finding the right staff and the right people to work with the kids was a critical piece. We worked on building up the musicianship aspect of the program and finding the kids who liked playing great music in all kinds of styles. From there we proceeded, and we got better each year. This has been our consistent goal, to improve the program, to have the kids be better year and year after. SBO: It’s easy enough to say, “We want to get better each year,” but what are some of the specific actions you took to help make that happen? PH: From a musicianship aspect, one of the key messages I work at getting across is having kids understand their responsibilities to their instruments: the practice time they need to put in to become a better musician. Improving individual abilities is really important, and that starts by getting them to understand how to perform, and have them work on their playing techniques through lessons and the music that we play. We give them different varieties of music, work on reading, and support them on articulations and phrasing. And we also put an emphasis on what I call, “the other half of the music.” Making it music, so that when they perform, the audiences understand and enjoy what we’re playing. The kids have responded really well to that. We have had some very emotional programs that we’ve 26 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

put out over the years. My focus is getting the kids to learn how to perform all the time and the first time. They need to understand that every time they sit down to play, they are performing on their instruments. In order to do that, it takes focus on the specific technical aspects of playing, which we address through our lesson program and after school programs. The jazz, concert, and marching programs all work together to help kids develop and learn to play different styles and enjoy what they’re playing. SBO: How has your drum corps experience shaped your perspective as a music educator, and what elements of that have you brought into your own program? PH: Drum corps was the inspiration for me. It has evolved over the

Recent Accomplishments 2010 Musical Arts Conference (MAC) Class V Champions Florida Citrus Festival Parade, Spectro Magic Parade (Orlando, Fla.) WGI: Guard Scholastic World, Fifth Place Finalist. • Percussion, Scholastic Open Finalist MAC: Winter Champions • Scholastic World Guard • Scholastic AA Guard • Scholastic Open Percussion 2009 56th Inaugural Presidential Parade, Washington, D.C. Winter Guard: MAC World Silver Medalist, WGI World Class Finalist Winter Percussion: Undefeated MAC Open Class State Champion Gold Medalist • 5th consecutive year WGI Open Class Silver Medalist • 2nd consecutive year) 2008 Hollywood Christmas Parade, Hollywood, Calif. Disneyland Main Street Parade, Anaheim, Calif. Winter Guard: MAC World Silver Medalist, WGI World Class Finalist

Scan this image with your smart phone to watch the Trumbull High School Golden Eagle Marching Band’s 2010 MAC Championship performance!

years. Their approach to great playing and the technical aspects of performing, as well as the changes in the visual and theatrical elements, is something that we’ve been watching closely and learning from. We try to keep up with the times and the musical styles that are out there. It’s helped us to evolve into the program that we are. I base a lot of it on consistency, on doing the same things every year. This goes back to something I learned from my baseball coach in high school: no matter who you were or what class you were in, when you came out for baseball, everybody worked together and learned together, and then we broke into a team. Well, we try to do the same thing with the band. We have certain marching program basics that we go through every year, which every student in the program learns every year. We go over the same things in band camp, and it is the same with the musical aspects: the technique that we’re working to develop, the quality of sound, breath support – the technical aspects of the program. That consistency has helped us to remain one of the top programs in the area.

SBO: Consistency is an interesting concept, especially considering how much evolution there has been of late in the world of marching bands. What’s your take on where that field is going? PH: They’ve gone from a military performance style through an evolution of the visual aspect, from a lot of straight line presentations to curves, and the music now is more supportive of the visual elements, which are much more complex. The visual aspects also support the music. The color guard involvement has gone from basic military moves to all kinds of dance and body movement. Incorporating that with the flags, sabers, and rifles. It’s just a major shift that has happened. A lot of kids, especially around where we are, don’t have much opportunity to participate in drum corps locally, so they’re getting that same experience that I had through the high school program now. There are those in the group that aspire to go on and perform with some of the DCI corps – I have a half dozen kids who are looking to audition for some of the top drum corps groups. It’s something that’s grown for the better, in that we’re producing great musicians at the high school level, and the drum corps have taken the musical aspect of the bands, and the bands have taken the visual aspect of the drum corps, and over the years, it’s really been a great melding together and bringing a lot of success to a lot of programs throughout the country. SBO: What do you think that impact has been in terms of music education? PH: I think it’s been good for music education. The students are more aware of what they need to understand about music. We get into the meaning of the music from the composer’s perspective, what they’ve written and why they’ve written it, and also, from an educational standpoint, they’re learning the discipline that it takes to learn the technical aspects of how to play their instruments. The discipline of this approach has helped my students strive to be better in their academics. Without the program, a lot of the kids might be floundering in other

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School Band and Orchestra, November 2011 27

classes, but many of them are doing great things from an academic standpoint. Traditionally, music and the arts have fostered great academic achievement from students, as well as great musicians, and that’s the case here. SBO: How does the emphasis on percussion carry over into the concert season? PH: We have a strong winter percussion program, and that gives the kids

the ability to branch out and perform on other instruments, to play a variety of styles of music. The percussion enhances all of the different styles of music that we play, not just the marching style of percussion and the marching shows that we do. However, even there, the students’ techniques are being honed and developed. So when they come into the concert program, they’re ready to perform with us. It gives us an opportunity for variety. I

have the students switch instruments and play a different one on every piece. It also gives a lot more chance to play, also. SBO: How would you compare the evolution in marching and drum corps with modern concert music? PH: The music of today has grown. The great composers that are out there have a really good understanding of what school programs are looking for, as well as the things we’re trying to do to enhance our programs. We are getting a lot of literature that keeps us striving to be the best we can be. We choose levels that we know we can play, and we also choose music that we know we’ll have to work on to sound good, so we can improve technical abilities and the challenge education of music. SBO: One of the consistent elements of drum corps and the marching world has been the focus on competition. How does that play a part in your music program? PH: I wouldn’t be engaging in competitive events if I didn’t think we were doing it the right way, with the goal of enhancing our musical capabilities. We are all competitive in nature. We all want to compete and be the best out there. First place in the competitions is always a striving point, but it’s also to go out there and perform the best so that when you walk off the field that night, you can say to yourself that you did the best job that you could at that time. I think that just spills over into everything that we try to do. I approach preparing for competitions the same way as I approach the concert work: I want the same sound as we have out on the field. I don’t want to come inside and have to reteach anything or take a long time to make the transition from outdoors to indoors. Focusing on the fundamental aspects of music – performing, playing properly, breathing properly and all of the other techniques we really work on – has helped us in both the concert and marching areas. SBO: How about developing that consistency – what’s your approach to that? PH: We work on becoming the best

28 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011





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that we can be each day and giving 100 percent all the time. Coming in where you left off the day before and making yourself a little bit better each and everyday. We work on a motto of pride, attitude, and concentration; developing pride in themselves and their approach to the program; the attitude

of the proper way of performing; and the concentration level, which I think is the biggest factor on getting them to be able to focus, wipe out any other problems, and be able to perform for that eight or ten minutes. We then elaborate on that when we play concert pieces. It’s a big part of what we work on.

fellow students, as well as the traditions of the band and other aspects of the culture of the program. That concept has helped us build a solid base here.

SBO: Is there anything that your program does that you think other band programs might benefit from considering?

PH: I work hard at building an overall good relationship with the students and bringing forward the best of their abilities. It’s a great reward to see them go out and perform and really enjoy what they are doing. If the students aren’t enjoying themselves, that’s going to show in the performance. There’s a lot of hard work involved, so not every aspect is fun, but those performances are a culmination of what they’ve worked on for the week, for the season, and for the year. That’s where I get the most gratification; when they enjoy what they’re doing and everyone has a good time together as a family and a team.

PH: I know everybody in music education works hard and to the best of their abilities. Each program has it’s own unique obstacles to confront. If there’s one thing we do well that other bands might be well served to emulate, it would be the consistency of what we do, all the time and over and over. Getting that started with the program means that upperclassmen can begin to teach the freshman, sophomores, and anyone knew who comes into the group. You can give them the responsibilities of teaching the basics to their

SBO: After all these years, what’s the most gratifying aspect of being a music educator for you these days?


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SBOPerformance: Percussion

Percussion Lessons That Work By Jeff crowell

By Si Millican

Let’s get one thing straight: these issues are not always our fault. It’s just part of who we are and how we play; but they are our problems to deal with and address so we better be aware of them and have them on our immediate radar to avoid falling into the trap of keeping them going. In most cases, what we do isn’t rocket science; it’s actually quite simple. Simple things unfortunately are hard to get engaged with and what happens is that often the student loses focus because of this lack of depth. I’m

“I tell my percussionists to remember to check


am a musician who is a percussionist, plain and simple, and in that order. Yet, how I interact with my instrument and make my music is different than, say, the wind or string instrumentalist. Perhaps because percussionists strike to create

sound, we, unfortunately, have many traits that do not encourage our musical sides. Those areas need to be addressed, as well as the technical issues that arise from how we generate our sound. I’ve done numerous clinics and masterclasses all over the country and what always amazes me is that the longer I’m in this field and sharing my knowledge with others, the more I find myself saying just about all of the same things! I’m sure this fact is true for many people, but for percussionists we have such a unique way of approaching our instruments that it almost breeds a bunch of problems, or “pitfalls” as I call them. And we need to address these at an early age or they can become habits that are very hard to break. 32 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

the simple things first.” not saying there aren’t a lot of things in this craft that are specific, deep, and take a great deal of concentration and ability, but what I’m about to talk about doesn’t fall into that category. Addressing the following areas will make a huge difference when it comes to performance; unfortunately the concepts behind these ideas are obvious to everyone. What bothers me is that if the things we need to do when we play are so obvious, then why aren’t we doing them already? I do have an answer. It’s because our instruments are what I call “instantly gratifying” which means that if you hit it, it doesn’t sound that bad. Where are the months of trying to get an okay sound on drum, say versus a French Horn? It doesn’t hap-

pen for us. Anyone can hit a drum and make it sound okay, even from the first hit. So then, why should I practice to make it better sounding when it already sounds fine? Our problem is that fine isn’t good enough; we need it to be great. If we haven’t really needed to pay attention to our sound and the way we interact with our instruments then our attention to that interaction and sound is probably non-existent.

Lesson 1: Pay Attention to What You Are Doing, Always

drastic, dramatic, and all-encompassing way. I adhere to these points myself and I teach all my students to do the same and I encourage you to try them and see what positive results they can bring.

Lesson 2: We Rush, So Don’t Rush We rush, it’s a fact. So don’t rush. Problem solved. I know, I know. I wish it were that easy. It is conceptually, but to make it actually happen is another issue.

We live in a very short durational world. Almost all of our sounds are initiated by a very short strike of the instrument. If you try to play successive, very short notes, the human temptation is to come in early. Do that twice in a row and you are rushing. Add to this the fact that many percussionists don’t keep a strong internal sense of pulse and it makes it worse. I’m never solely relying on a conductor for time – I set my internal pulse with the conductor and keep my internal clock going while using the con-

This may seem simple, and it is. We have to be an active participant in what we are doing because if we aren’t, we then have no gauge or way of comprehending how we are playing. This makes it hard for us to change what we are doing when the musical need arises. You’d be amazed at how easy this is, but since we don’t really have to, we never do. Have your students answer questions about what they are doing. For example, “Tom, that was a good crash, but I want it a little dryer sounding, can you do that for me?” Tom now needs to know what kind of sound he just made, how he got it, and how he can change it. Some percussionists might argue that it takes too much extra concentration to do this, but it actually doesn’t. It’s just something that we are not used to doing and when you start asking yourself what you are playing and how it sounds/fits with the rest of the ensemble, it’s actually quite easy. It’s like opening a door that’s always been there, we’ve just never noticed it because the door has always been closed. Once we get the ears turned on, it takes little if no extra focus to assess our playing. I have a saying that goes: “Your answer to the next three questions should be the same – What do you want to do? What do you think you are doing? What are you doing?” You’d be amazed at how much we can do when we start paying attention to our actions and listening to our sound. The remaining lessons represent more of my “Greatest Hits,” the suggestions that I use the most and, quite frankly, affect a student’s playing in a School Band and Orchestra, November 2011 33

ductor as a guide. If there’s no conductor, then that internalization of pulse is essential. Every percussionist must realize this tendency to rush and do their best to think of the notes they are playing as longer and actually hear them that way in their head. I find having the student sing the notes with this longer intended duration actually helps them keep better time and avoid the natural tendency to anticipate. Hearing them

longer when we play will keep us from rushing, as well as helping our internal metronome keep a better sense of time.

Lesson 3: Make Music We are technical beings, we can’t help it. Playing fast or doing tricky stickings on a snare part are what fascinates us, and it’s just the world we live in.






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But are those things musical? Absolutely not. The technical side to what we do often gets in the way of thinking musically. The vertical – how we generate our sound – does not aid us in the horizontal – that is music, phrase, shaping, and so on. Then, by default, thinking horizontally isn’t first on our agenda. The great thing is that we can do this, we are often very good at thinking horizontally. We just don’t normally think of it first. To us it’s just one more facet to what we do, well after the technical side, another piece of the pie. As all of us know, one of the most important areas besides quality of sound is musical communication, and one could argue the musical intent of a musician might supersede everything else. I’m ok with that – I agree. The act of playing percussion, though, doesn’t reinforce this concept. We don’t see it that way. As I said before, it’s just one more piece of the large puzzle. The directors’ job is help student percussionists realize that this idea is paramount and to have them put it on their immediate agenda. Once we know that we can do it, it’s then a matter of constantly reminding and engaging percussionists in a rehearsal to think of that musical side. Have them be responsible for understanding how their part fits into the ensemble as a whole. Do percussionists share the melody with the flutes? Does the triangle part fit in with another section rhythmically, or is it all on its own? Either way, how should the phrase be approached? I love working on this with my students. I’m always amazed at the things they know they want to do musically but because they are so caught up in the logistics of playing their instruments – changing mallets/sticks, moving to another instrument and not making it in time – that it’s just one of the many things that gets left out. Yet, it’s the one thing that should never get left out. Help students realize this and they’ll be fantastic musical contributors.

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Lesson 4: You Want to Sound Consistent? Then Play That Way Once again, a simple concept that is difficult to realize. What I mean by this is that your students should be playing in a symmetrical/balanced way from one side of their body to the other. Most of our instruments require this balanced approach. Drumset, multipercussion set-ups, and some other instances where one hand might be playing something while the other hand is playing a different instrument does exist, but for a majority of what we do we need, we want both appendages to generate the same tone and dynamic. We are unique this way. If you had to throw a football with your weak hand or your strong hand, which would you choose? The stronger one obviously. But, when it comes to playing percussion, I want no obvious discrepancy between sides, so we need to pay attention when we play to help this come to fruition.

Have students watch themselves play in a mirror or record them playing so they can watch it back. What do they see? Is it what they want or intend? I find almost every student sees many inconsistences about their symmetry when they view themselves from a different vantage point. Most phones now have decent video cameras and mirrors are cheap. I actually just have one of those dorm room mirrors in my office and I use it daily. You can also ask student percussionists to answer specific questions regarding this balance. Are they holding the sticks the same way in their hands and in the same place on the stick? Are they moving each side (fingers, wrists, elbow) the same? Are they hitting the instrument in a consistent fashion? Are dynamics consistent between sides, do they play with equal dynamics? They must answer these for themselves. The director could probably answer these questions, but it’s important

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36 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

to help students think about them on their own. Only when they see what’s happening will they then be able to change what they’re doing for the better. Don’t do the work for them. This whole concept might seem so obvious – and it is – but, as I mentioned in Lesson 1, we often miss it. I tell my percussionists to remember to check the simple things first. When we do this, we can fix the easiest things to correct, it normally doesn’t take a long time to retrain our muscle memory to adjust, and it affects our playing to a large extent. If we are addressing, say, a practice pad more consistency, then everything we play will be more consistent, right? I like those odds. Utilize these lessons and see what successful results come from them. If you can get your percussionists engaged in how they are playing, not rushing, thinking and making music with their parts, and addressing the instruments consistently from a technical standpoint, I think you’ll find a you’ll have a whole new depth to your players. They’ll be more involved in the music they are making, and that’s what it’s all about.

Dr. Jeffery Crowell is an associate professor of Music and coordinator of the Wind and Percussion Division at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he is the director of Percussion Studies, as well part of the award-winning Jazz Studies area. He is active throughout the United States as a performer, clinician, adjudicator, and educator with recent performances in South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

John W. Parks IV, D.M.A. Associate Professor of Percussion, The Florida State University

Š2011 Avedis Zildjian Company. Photo by Wendy Smith


SBORepair: Percussion Maintenance

How to Care for and Maintain Marching Percussion Instruments By Troy WollWage


or any percussionists who have ever felt exhausted after a long practice session, imagine the wear and tear on the instruments themselves, since they are taking a literal pounding by all types of sticks and mallets. Being proactive about protecting this

equipment does not cost a lot, and the returns are huge, since a few simple steps will help marching percussion gear not only sound better, but also last longer. With all of the stress and strain a long season takes on the gear, it’s critical to take a few extra steps that will keep the equipment in top competitive shape all year round.

The University of Kentucky drumline. 38 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

To institute effective and efficient routine and practices, each ensemble should designate a specific individual to be responsible for completing an end-of-season inventory and maintenance check of all instruments during the off-season. It’s also a good idea to have each member of the organization check his or her particular piece of gear after every show or practice to prepare for the next event and ensure that longterm maintenance is made easier. When it comes to maintaining marching percussion instruments, there are several over-arching principles to keep in mind. Do not keep the gear on an equipment truck for any length of time. The last thing you want is for that truck to leak water on the instruments. Extreme seasonal weather conditions in the winter and summer, especially in the Midwest and Eastern part of the United States, can significantly damage percussion instruments and cause unnecessary wear and tear. As a general rule, it is best to store all musical instruments in a cool, dry indoor environment year-round. All instruments – including keyboards – should be kept under some form of supervised or secure arrangement to avoid theft. At the end of every season the entire battery should be thoroughly cleaned. We recommend taking the heads off each drum, cleaning each part and re-lubricating everything with lithium grease as the drum is reassembled. To ensure optimal storage conditions, clean drum covers should be placed on the drums, which should then be stored in soft or (preferably) hard cases. Care details on battery instruments are provided below. For all drums, hardware and percussion instruments, wipe the parts down with a soft cloth without using any chemicals, which can damage finishes and do more harm than good.

be loosened by three or four turns. If the snare drums have an MTS unit, the MTS should be stored in the off or down position. Ensure that all of the hardware attached to the drum for the carrier is tight and in working order. Take note of any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement.

Multi-Toms Each tom set should be carefully inspected and cleaned while being disassembled and then reassembled. The tension on the head should be reduced by half. The heads should be taught to keep the tension rods in place during storage. Make sure all of the spacers and tenor rails are tight and in working order. Note any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement.

Bass Drums Each drum should be carefully inspected and cleaned while being disassembled and then reassembled. The tension on both heads should be reduced by half. The heads should be taught to keep the tension rods in place during storage. Take note of any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement.

Hardware and Carriers These items can be left stacked neatly in an indoor facility. Take note of any missing or corroded parts for replacement prior to the first camp. Do not store hardware or carriers in the cases with the drums. This can damage the finish and the hardware of the drums over time.

Snare Drums Carefully inspect and clean the drum during disassembly and reassembly. Reduce the tension on both the top head and bottom heads by half. The heads should be taut to keep the tension rods in place during storage. For the snare guts, the vertical adjustment should

A marimba properly prepared for down time. School Band and Orchestra, November 2011 39

Marimbas, Vibes, and Xylophones Take the bars off the instrument and store in a cool dry place off the floor. The bars should be wrapped in a soft blanket and can be rolled up like a sleeping bag. Bar bags are available and highly recommended. These bags are made specifically for the bars and will help to prevent any sliding or shifting that is often found with blankets and sleeping bags. Avoid storing any objects on the wood frames or the accessory bars. Wipe down the wood and metal frame with a soft cloth. Take note of any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement. Check all cords and replace any that are worn or frayed. Place a clean cover on the instrument for storage.

Timpani The heads should be left in-tune. Do not adjust the tension of the heads. Pedals should be in the forward or “toe down” position to keep the tension on the heads. Take note of any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement. Place a clean cover on the instrument for storage.

Bells The bars do not have to be removed from the instrument frame. Store the instrument in its original, closed case. Do not store the instrument laying flat

40 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

on top of another mallet instrument such as a xylophone, marimba, or vibraphone. The instrument should be stored flat in a cool dry room.

Chimes Take note of any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement. Check all cords and replace any that are worn or frayed. The instrument should be stored upright in a cool dry room.

Concert Snare and Concert Toms As with marching bass drums, the tension on the drum heads should be reduced by half. The drum head should be taut to keep the tension rods in place during storage. For the snare guts, the vertical adjustment should be loosened by three or four turns and in the off position. It is strongly recommended that snares be stored in a case. The toms should be stored in hard cases if appropriate sizes are available.

Concert Bass The drum head should remain intune and does not have to be loosened. Place a clean cover on the instrument for storage.

Miscellaneous Hardware Stack the hardware neatly in an indoor environment. Tighten all parts

before storing. Take note of any missing or corroded parts that may need replacement. Hardware tends to “disappear” during the off-season because the parts and pieces are small. A full inventory list of all equipment will help cut down on future purchase needs. In this economy, school budgets are tight. Thus, it makes sense to get the most out of valuable marching and pit percussion instruments. While every ensemble puts a lot of work into practice and performing, by paying a little more attention to the care and storage of gear, it will last longer and sound better, providing more value for the school program and giving audiences an enhanced musical experience.

Troy C. Wollwage is the marketing manager for Percussion instruments with the Yamaha Corporation of America. 2011 is the eighth year of Troy’s leadership at Yamaha, overseeing all aspects of marketing, product research, and development for the percussion product group.

SBOTechnology: Tuners

Playing In Tune:

More Than Following a Display By John Kuzmich, Jr.


lawyer’s relationship



and wisdom is on a par with a

piano tuner’s relationship to a concert. He neither composes the music, nor interprets it – he merely keeps the machinery running,” says Lucille Kallen, a noted scriptwriter, lyricist, and novelist.


all is said and done, success hinges on attention to the basics; and there’s nothing more essential to music than good intonation. Intonation is a daily challenge, guiding students to play consistently in tune with each other and as an ensemble. This requires more than matching a single concert A-440 pitch. Playing different pitches relatively in 42 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

tune is more demanding and more important than perfect (absolute) pitch. We’ve relied heavily on electronic tuners for more than 50 years without realizing, sometimes, that not all tuners are equal and there are factors affect-

ing the best use of a good electronic tuner. Before getting into the specifics of tuners, it would be good to review the basic elements that affect intonation quality. In equal temperament, all

notes are defined as multiples of the same basic interval. This is okay until you realize that string, brass and woodwinds are basically utilizing their overtone series with “just” intonation based on tuning to intervals with ratios found in their overtone series. Fretless string instruments add another dimension of intonation. A slight increase in the pitch results when pressing the string increases its tension. If the instrument doesn’t compensate for this with a slight increase in the distance from the bridge saddle to the fret, the note sounds sharp. Like unfretted string instruments, the tenor trombone also relies on the musician precisely positioning something, in this case the trombone’s slide. The slide’s pitch adjustment on a single partial is approximately the interval of a tritone on a slide length of over 80 centimeters. Putting multiple families of instruments together in an ensemble creates a challenge of the first order in getting these instruments to play in tune with each other, particularly with chords. Consequently, intervals in these two systems of tuning are not the same. Each “just” interval differs from its nearest equally tempered interval. To hear the differences between just intonation and equal temperament intonation, go to SBO112011.html.

The Electronic Tuner Market Electronic tuners detect and display the pitch of notes played on any musi-

cal instrument. There are a number of types of electronic tuners: dedicated tuners for guitars and electric basses, chromatic tuners for all instruments, strobe tuners for more precise tuning, clip-on tuners, floor-pedal tuners, rackmount tuners, PC/Mac software tuning applications, and iPhone/ Pod applications. Student electronic tuners are typically either clip-on or hand-held, whereas most common classroom display tuners are still the big table model strobes. Each type of tuner has its own advantages. Clip-on tuners are small, compact, and work well when clipped onto anything that vibrates. While they can be fragile and sometimes inaccurate, they’re very convenient for guitar and electric bass. A hand-held tuner will often include an external microphone with a quarter-inch jack, and some have a DC jack in the event that the unit’s batteries die. Table and strobe tuners have high accuracy and can be used for interval work as well as pitch tuning. They also can be bulky to transport. Rackmount tuners can be integrated into a rack system, prewired for each setup, have good visibility on big stages, and can be muted. They are usually only AC powered and, while not usually as handy as portable tuners, security-wise, they’re safe from theft. Pedal tuners are convenient for live performances because they’re easy to transport, integrate well into pedal-board setup/power, easy to mute for silent tuning, and some have a by-pass so signal quality will not be compromised. The pedal

tuner LED display can become invisible under bright stage light.

Meet the Players Peterson Tuners is the oldest continuous and best-known company still exclusively producing electronic tuner technology, as they have since 1937. Korg developed the first portable hand-held tuner in 1975. Peterson, Korg, and Boss tuners are the primary manufactures of today’s electronic tuners. Other emerging players in the tuner market are Sonic Research,

A Representative Sample of Popular Tuners Dedicated tuner for guitar/bass Korg GA-1 (tinyurl. com/3mok5fu) Chromatic tuner Korg CA40 ( Strobe tuner Peterson StroboRack Tuner Features ( Clip-on Peterson StroboClip ( Peterson StroboFlip ( Floor Pedal Boss TU-3 (tinyurl. com/3jg8wct) Peterson Stomp Classic Pedal Tuner ( Table or Desktop Tuners Boss TU-12BW ( Peterson AutoStrobe 590 with Tone Generator ( Tuning Software StrobeSoft 2.0 ( iPhone/iPad Tuning Software iStroboSoft iPhone (

44 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

Snark, Fender, and Planet Waves, which sell affordable LED-based tuners. Most tuners range in price from $12 to $200 and more sophisticated Peterson Tuners cost up to $3,700, providing full chromatic chordal tuning capabilities. A software strobe tuning application by Peterson Tuners can define lengthy linear tuning of musical passages with detailed graphs and printouts for greater analysis and comprehension.

promote any such claim of accuracy. Simply read the advertising materials, manual, or box to discover its worth.

Display The effectiveness of a tuner is more than sensitivity to pitch differences. Be sure to check out the type of readout display. All tuners use a microprocessor to measure the pitch waveform, which drives the needle or an array

of lights. For tuners that use LED displays, the LED lights typically move left or right in response to pitch. The more lights available to display the pitch, the better. Some digital tuners use a virtual needle readout display, so when the note is in tune the needle pauses in a vertical position, with left or right deviations indicating flat or sharp. Tuners with a needle are often supplied with a backlight so the display can be read on a dark stage.

Sensitivity The most accurate tuners can be .1% of a cent or 1/1000th of a semitone, which represents the highest accuracy in the industry. Not all tuners will advertise their accuracy. Students at home can easily use tuners that are at least 1% of a cent. But schools should look to use .1% of a cent accuracy, especially since ensemble rooms tend to be noisy. Unacceptable would be plus/minus 3 cents. There is only a 1.9 cent difference between an equally tempered fifth and a perfect fifth and if the tuner can’t recognize the difference, it isn’t going to be much good for training or improving intonation. Some tuners assess pitch by sampling, which delays the display of the pitch. They record a pitch and make a ballpark, mean average calculation. That takes time and won’t provide a response worth talking about. Look for a real-time, accurate assessment in a tuner. A tone generator is more useful than an average tuner because students can learn to play against a root. The note generator can be used as a tuner and also to tune intervals, like thirds or fifths, against it until they can be heard meshing together. Many inexpensive pocket tuners have tone generators; and most tuners have outputs for external speakers so the tone generator sound is more realistic. So how can you tell if you are purchasing a real-time assessment tuner instead of sampling technology? Read the promo info. Be aware that many tuners are less accurate sampling units. The intonation accuracy of a good, real-time tuner will be posted in cents or fractions in the tuner’s literature. A sample tuner will not be able to

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Speaking of displays, instrumental teachers are experiencing success with tuning software that projects a tune onto a large screen or the wall. This focuses students’ attention visually and aurally. When intonation issues arise, students become a cheering squad identifying, fixing, and encouraging accuracy. The two applications I recommend for 28 to 60 inch wall projection are SmartMusic’s tuner displays and Peterson’s StroboSoft. For $99, StroboSoft can use linear, chordal, or match pitch tuning and provide helpful analysis with multiple displays.

Tone-Generating Reference Capabilities While a tuner’s visual display can be a proactive guide to better intonation, electronic tuners that also have chromatic tone-generating capabilities can guide the student’s intonation even further. Aurally matching out-of-tune notes to individual tuner generated-tones, the student is challenged to adjust to the tuner’s visual display and more importantly eliminate beats to create a pure, in-tune tone. A combined use of the tuner together with its visual and aural assistance provides valuable tuning instruction. Amplifying the tuner’s generating tone through good speakers or a headset will further improve the student’s tuning capabilities, especially if the tuner is just an entrylevel portable unit with miniature speakers.

46 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

Students should be encouraged to go beyond matching unison pitches and play well tuned thirds, fifths, and sevenths on a given note generated by the tuner. For example, the tuner generates a concert Bb and the student aurally tunes an interval performed above or below that pitch. Perfect intervals are easiest to tune followed by major and minor intervals. Over time, this process will build students’ confidence and sensitivity to the intonation of harmonic intervals, which leads directly to better tuning of chords in an ensemble.

External Microphones First, when practical, I suggest using an external clip-on microphone connected to a tuner because it is more focused on your playing and not that of your neighbor in an ensemble setting. The clip-on microphone also picks up the vibrations of the instrument itself and transfers it to the tuner very efficiently. Second, have a long cord connected to the external microphone so the tuner doesn’t end up damaged on the floor when a student inadvertently moves around. Peterson’s external microphone cords are all eight feet long. Consider using a quality external microphone with the tuner, along with a lengthy cord in the rehearsal room for better isolation and versatility. Also, when intonation problems arise during the rehearsal, it is helpful to have a tuner close at hand for quick assessment and ensemble awareness of accurate intonation.

Closing Comments Purchasing the right tuner involves matching strong features to specific needs and there are many models to choose from. In this article’s supplemental website is a list of 60 tuners with detailed product descriptions, user feedback, and product photos. I would suggest that schools purchase tabletop tuners because they offer the most features, accuracy, and applications. Students can purchase small portable tuners for effective practice at home. Pay close attention to the quality of each tuner’s visual display for the best accuracy. Beware of tuners that do not provide real-time tuning and be sure to check for accuracy in cents. istening skills can be significantly improved when students become comfortable with a tuner in their practice making sure any outof-tune notes are regularly monitored then immediately and confidently corrected. Finally, not all tuners offer multitemperaments (equal, just, etc.) and their visual displays vary in providing accuracy. Nevertheless, a good electronic tuner is a valuable tool for teaching good intonation.

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

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Fresh Works

for Percussion Ensemble By Jeff Crowell


ver the past 15 years, the repertoire for percussion ensemble has increased exponentially. The variety and diversity of current composers, themes, and instrumentation are truly fantastic. It’s a wonderful time to play percussion music! With this expanded quantity of choices, though, comes the question, “Where do I look to find what’s out there?” The clas-

sics are always quality selections to play, but how and where does one find the newer literature? How do you know if it’s worth the effort to perform? The purpose of this article is to provide educators with starting places and pieces to begin the journey into this newer repertoire world. Along with these recommendations, I tried to take into consideration an array of ability levels, instruments used, and number of players. While not all of these works are brand new, they were selected because they are not played very often and might be “new” to you.

EASY “Thunder on the Bay” Scott Harding C. Alan Publications Difficulty: Easy Duration: 4:30 Players and instrumentation: 6-? – bass drum, shaker, metal clank, wood click, high drums played with hands, low drums played with sticks

48 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

This piece is designed for the younger ensemble. The instrumentation must have at least 6 players but can include as many as you want beyond that by doubling parts. Instrument substitutions and flexibility with repeated sections mean you have lots of options with how you want to organize the piece. While the work falls into the Easy category, Harding does a nice job of keeping it interesting and retaining lots of musical elements – just because it’s easier doesn’t mean it’s not good!

Players and instrumentation: 7 – marimba (4.3 octaves), vibraphone, chimes, bells, timpani, 2 suspended cymbals, tambourine, triangle, temple blocks, woodblock, claves, 3 tomtoms, 2 snare drums, bongos Lynn Glassock has been writing great percussion ensemble music for years and this piece is no exception. It represents his idiomatic writing for the genre and his ability to always get the ensemble to be the most musical they can be without their technique getting in the way.

Publisher link:

“Barnstormer” Chris Cockarell Row-Loff Productions Difficulty: Easy Duration: 2:58 Players and instrumentation: Three – concert snare drum, mounted cowbell, 2 suspended cymbals, small concert bass drum, mounted tambourine, chimes, high pitched tom, 2 jam blocks or temple blocks (high and low pitched) This piece is excellent for the younger trio. It’s got a cadence-type feel to it and has plenty of accents and dynamics to keep it challenging without being overly hard. I really like that composer chose to not “keep it simple” and composed quite a bit of variety and musical elements to make it wonderful to the ear yet enjoyable to play. Publisher link: html?item=02CS1

“Teamwork” Lynn Glassock C. Alan Publications Difficulty: Medium-Easy Duration: 6:00

The piece opens with a majestic section followed by a syncopated melody on the marimba which is supported by the other mallet instruments. The middle section features all the players on wooden then headed instruments. The end of the work brings everything together while building to the final climax. It’s a great concert opener or closer. Publisher link:

“Overture for Percussion Toys” Grant Cambridge Honey Rock Publishing Difficulty: Medium-Easy Duration: 5:00 Players and instrumentation: Ten – wind chimes, temple blocks, tambourine, ratchet, triangle, castanets, finger cymbals, maracas, guiro, vibra-slap, agogo bells Finally, a piece just for the “toys” or accessory instruments of the percussion section. No longer are these just used for color, they are the main substance for this composition with each one carrying an important role. The performers must give special attention to how their instrument contributes to the musical statement. Layering of

instruments, in addition to rhythmic motives that go between all the players, makes up a majority of the work. Publisher link: htm#overture

“Technology” Jim Casella Tapspace Publications Difficulty: Medium-Easy Duration: 4:00

Players and Instrumentation: Eight parts – glockenspiel, xylophone, 3 timpani, triangle, ride cymbal, hi-hat cymbals, temple blocks, snare drum, 4 tom toms, suspended cymbal, bass drum, small shaker, 2 additional toms “Technology” is written for eight percussionists of intermediate to beginning skill levels. Based on a “techno” groove, this will appeal to both the players and the audience and it’s really fun to play. I like the piece because it is accessible, yet it teaches the students to listen and still use a great deal of dynamic contrast. Some parts are written to feature more advanced players (snare, toms, timpani), while other parts are more elementary for less experienced players. This works well for any group since there is always an array of ability levels to any given ensemble. Publisher link: html

MEDIUM/ADVANCED “Ballet for Bouncing Balls” Montgomery Hatch Tapspace Publications Difficulty: Medium Duration: 3:00 (or longer) Players and instrumentation: 5 – 3 large basketballs, 2 small basketballs, 4 handballs School Band and Orchestra, November 2011 49

This one deviates from “normal” instrumentation. The idea of utilizing basketballs as instruments with some theatrics came to the forefront with the group “Stomp” and has continued since that time. But, Montgomery Hatch does a fantastic job of writing a quality piece that doesn’t copy those ideas but presents this entertaining and engaging concept in a fresh way. There is room to explore the theatrical element and the score contains suggestions for staging. “Ballet for Bouncing Balls” is an all-around wonderful piece and well worth looking into for concert performance. Publisher link:

“Bombasticus Cachophonosaurus” Axel Clarke Bachovich Publications Difficulty: Medium/Medium-Advanced Duration: 8:00 Players and instrumentation: 10 – high snare drum, medium snare drum, 8 tom-toms varying from small to large, high and low surdos (or smaller bass drums), medium and large bass drums This higher-end intermediate level work incorporates a large number of players and a common instrument setup. It’s in an A-B-A form and includes sections of melody driven development with variations and antiphonal accompaniment. What’s great about this piece is that it’s fresh, creative, and written well while still being a good challenge for the percussionists to play. Publisher link:

50 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

Akadinda Trio

“County Clare”

Emanuel Sejourne Honey Rock Publishing Difficulty: Medium-Advanced Duration: 3:00 Players and instrumentation: 3 – 1 marimba (all 3 players play the same instrument) Sejourne’s work is inspired by the mallet music of Uganda and is accessible to both performers and audiences alike. The piece has lots of polyrhythm and though no one part is extremely hard, concentration is required of each player to make sure that the parts line up correctly. In spite of this polyrhythmic theme, “Akadinda Trio” still grooves!

Bela Fleck/arr. David Steinquest Row-Loff Productions Difficulty: Advanced Duration: 3:16 Players and instrumentation: Six parts: xylophone, 2 marimbas (3 players), vibraphone, bass guitar Steinquest’s mallet ensemble arrangement of Bela Fleck’s piece is exciting, up tempo, and engaging to listen to. Each part has it’s own challenges and the addition of the bass guitar fills out the ensemble nicely. Not only will each performer need to intricately learn his or her part, but the piece really comes together when all the parts work together with good timing, balance, and blend. Smooth phrasing is the key and that’s always a paramount challenge for us percussionists, so this piece will not only be great to play but it will enhance your students’ abilities to make music.

Publisher link: htm#akadinda

“Crosswalk” David Reeves Tapspace Publications Difficulty: Medium-Advanced Duration: 3:45 Players and instrumentation: Eight parts – glockenspiel, chimes, xylophone, 2 vibraphones, 2 marimbas (low A), 4 timpani, 2 bongos, 2 congas, 4 log drums, 4 cowbells, 4 brake drums, temple blocks, 4 concert toms, 3 double-headed toms, concert bass drum, 4 cymbals (splash, china, sizzle, 18” suspended) I love the sounds and contrast in this work. The instrumentation contains fairly standard “western” percussion instruments found in the typical high school band room. Each player has a pitched instrument and four non-pitched surfaces. Though the piece is not intentionally programmatic, the title does imply somewhat of an unusual gait to the overall rhythmic structure of the music. It has lots of dynamic contrast as well as timbre possibilities from the ensemble so it’s a great piece to work on these characteristics with your students – traits they need whenever they play. “Crosswalk” has a great energy and drive while maintaining a slight minimalist feeling that helps the contrast really stand out. It’s one that keeps you guessing what comes next. Publisher link: html

Publisher link: html?item=97CS11

This list represents a starting point to see what’s available in the evergrowing world of percussion ensemble literature. Please continue to explore and see what might fit your needs for repertoire; you never know what you might find!

Dr. Jeffery Crowell is an associate professor of Music and coordinator of the Wind and Percussion Division at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he is the director of Percussion Studies, as well part of the award-winning Jazz Studies area. He is active throughout the United States as a performer, clinician, adjudicator, and educator with recent performances in South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Keep Music Education Strong Learning to play music is so much more than memorizing notes and scales. It helps a child develop creativity and instills self-discipline, commitment and confidence. Your leadership in the community assures that music is a part of quality education for every child. Keep music education strong—go to

believe in music 5790 Armada Drive • Carlsbad, CA 92008 • 760.438.8001 •

PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT 1. Publication Title: School Band and Orchestra. 2. Publication No.: 0019-072. 3. Filing Date 10/3/11. 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly. 5. No. of Issues Published Annually: 12. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $24. 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: School Band and Orchestra, 21 Highland Circle, Ste. 1, Needham, Norfolk, MA 02494. 8. Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters or General Business Office of the Publisher: (Same as #7). 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Richard E. Kessel, 21 Highland Circle, Ste. 1, Needham, MA 02494; Editor: Eliahu Sussman, 21 Highland Circle, Ste. 1, Needham, MA 02494; Managing Editor: None. 10. Owner (If owned by a corporation, its name and address must be stated and also immediately thereafter the names and addresses of stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of stock): Zapis Capital Group, LLC; Leon Zapis, 26202 Detroit Rd. Ste. 300, Westlake, OH 44145; Richard Bongorno, 26202 Detroit Rd. Ste. 300, Westlake, OH 44145; Maria Wymer, 26202 Detroit Rd. Ste. 300, Westlake, OH 44145; Donna Thomas, 26202 Detroit Rd. Ste. 300, Westlake, OH 44145; Renee Seybert, 26202 Detroit Rd. Ste. 300, Westlake, OH 44145. . 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgages, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. 12. (For Nonprofit Organizations - Does Not Apply) 13. Publication Name: School Band and Orchestra. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: October 2011. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation. Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months/Actual No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: a. Total No. Copies : 14,501/14,333 b. Legitimate paid and/or requested distribution: (1) Paid/ Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions:. 9,524/9,876 (2) Paid/Requested In-County Subscriptions:.0/0 (3) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, and counter sales:.0/0 (4) Requested copies distributed by other USPS mail classes:.0/0 c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation:. 9,524/9,876 d. Nonrequested distribution: (1). Outside county nonrequested copies:.4,690/4,297 (2) In County nonrequested copies:. 0/0 (3) Nonrequested copies distributed through other USPS mail classes:0/0 (4). Nonrequested copies distributed outside the mail: 125/0 e. Total nonrequested distribution:. 4,815/4,297 f. Total Distribution:14,339/14,173 g. Copies not distributed:162/160 h. Total: 14,501/14,333 i: Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation: 66%/69% 16. This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the November 2011 issue of this publication. 17. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions and/or civil sanctions. Richard E. Kessel, Publisher 52 School Band and Orchestra, November 2011

NewProducts Yamaha 900 Grand Series Concert Toms

The 900 Grand Series Concert Toms are ideal for any solo or ensemble performance, constructed with the exclusive AirSeal System process and feature the YESS II mount, which allows increased sustain and tone without sacrificing stability. Available in 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, 13”, 14”, 15”, and 16” sizes, the toms come with the WS-860A Tom Stands and feature a ball and socket design for complete adjustment and stability. The stand offers a lean, double-braced leg design that gives the performer ultimate stability.

Vic Firth American Classics in Black, White, and Pink Vic Firth American Classic® 5A and 5B are sporting a new look, now available in black, white, and pink (5A only). These new classics feature a specially formulated finish, which is both comfortable to grip and visually distinctive. Like all painted Vic Firth models, the tips have a clear finish to keep heads and cymbals clean. Crafted from select hickory for a pronounced sound and long lasting durability, they are guaranteed straight, weight matched and pitch paired.

Thirty-two Rose Etudes for Flute from Carl Fischer

The new Thirty-two Rose Etudes for Flute is a reworking by flute master Amy Porter of the famous etudes Cyrille Rose wrote for clarinet. Now flute students can reap the rewards of pieces that have benefited clarinetists for generations. As these etudes were written for the range of the clarinet and based on the range of Ferling’s oboe etudes, Porter has raised the octave placement in some exercises to make them more suited for all the octaves of the modern flute. This edition also includes a data CD containing piano accompaniments written and performed by John Walker in both mp3 and printable PDF format. In this form, the Rose etudes will become as essential to flute students as they are to clarinetists, as both practice and recital pieces.






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Build Links to a Chain “When rehearsing a technical passage (a measure of 16th notes for example), break the passage into small segments of one beat plus one note (five 16th notes). Repeat slowly until smooth. Start on the fifth note and play the next five notes as a group (beat 2 to downbeat of beat 3). Repeat slowly until smooth, then go back and combine the first two segments. Rehearse best 3 to downbeat of beat 4, then combine 1-2-3-downbeat of 4 as a longer segment. This creates a ‘chain’ of segment links. By isolating, then combining, it provides the chance to work on specifics slowly, but also gain reinforcement of the earlier material. This can also work by isolating phrases based on rhythmic patterns, if the part does not align specifically to beats within the measure. Small links first, then build the chain.” Gary Gribble Pope High School Marietta, Ga. Submit your PLAYING TIP online at or e-mail it to editor Eliahu Sussman at Winning entries will be published in School Band and Orchestra Magazine and contributor will receive a prize gift compliments of EPN Travel Services, Inc.



College Search & Career Guide 2011

Including information on over 100 music schools:

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Students will use this essential on-line

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Expert Articles & much more!

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College Search and Career Guide Acing the College Audition Freshmen Year Survival Tips The Many Bands of the Armed Forces


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




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The IVASI DVD System helps high school students learn important works to prepare for college orchestras.



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JEN CONFERENCE January 4-7, 2012 Developing Tomorrow’s Jazz Audiences Today! In the immortal words of one of jazz’ most notable innovators, LOUIS Satchmo Armstrong…

To Jazz or not to Jazz… There is no question!

Call it what you want, but by chance, through karma, serendipity, destiny, fate, providence, or luck…we are proud to announce the Third Annual JEN Conference in yet another city with LOUIS in the title... LOUISville, Kentucky… We think Three’s a CHARM! Come experience all Louisville has to offer, as we will be collectively Developing Tomorrow’s Jazz Audiences Today!

The Jazz Education Network

is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences. For complete membership information/benefits please visit us at:

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