SBO July 2011

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JULY 2011 $5.00

Clearing Early-Career Hurdles in

Music Ed

Guest Editorial: Dear Band Parents Report: 2011 Essay Contest Winners


July 2011

Features 10

UPFRONT Q&A: BOB MORRISON In a brief SBO interview, music ed advocate Bob Morrison discusses the current spate of challenges facing young music educators.


COMMENTARY: BRAIN RULES, PART 3 In continued examination of John Medina’s “Brain Rules,” Joe Allison and Erin Wehr focus on attention and memory, two key elements of learning.


REPORT: ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS SBO presents the winners and winning essays of the 11th annual Essay Scholarship contest.


GUEST EDITORIAL: DEAR BAND PARENTS Tracy Leenman offers words of wisdom to band and orchestra parents in this freely reproducible letter.


ROUNDTABLE: EARLY-CAREER HURDLES Four successful and still relatively young educators talk about the unexpected hurdles they’ve had to clear early in their careers.


STAFF SELECTIONS: NEW WORKS FOR CONCERT BAND University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Peter Haberman makes his Staff Selections debut with a look at recommended new works for concert band.

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Columns 4 6 44

Perspective Headlines New Products

46 47 48

Playing Tip Classifieds Ad Index

Cover design by Andrew Ross.

SB&O School Band and Orchestra® (ISSN 1098-3694) Volume 14, Number 7, 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, July 2011



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CEO of the Music Program


s the band or orchestra director a Chief Executive Officer? I believe a strong case could be made for “yes” when looking at today’s professional music educator. It’s not such a far-fetched idea when you review this month’s roundtable discussion with several experienced directors who have overcome many obstacles to make it past the allimportant five-year mark. The typical corporate CEO has to oversee and motivate a company in a multitude of areas, including production, sales & marketing, finance & accounting, human resources, new product development, boards of directors, shareholders, and more. If you examine each one of these specialties, they can easily be translated to the typical music program, which is why achieving success can be such a challenge in our profession. For example: human resources would entail recruitment and retention of students; new product development would be the preparation of new programs or marching shows; shareholders would be the parents, and boards of di“Most of the educators rectors similarly could be related to school administrawho enter the field of tion. Finance and accounting is certainly part of the music education, unfor- package as directors are constantly dealing with the intricacies of school budgets, fundraising and expentunately, learn most of ditures for travel, instruments, and equipment. Sales their management skills & marketing entails building the constituencies in the by trial and error.” community of supporters within and outside of the school and, most importantly, human resource development is the constant training and education of incoming students. One of the common concerns that our teachers mentioned in their interviews in this issue is that although they had excellent musical training, they didn’t have an education in dealing with many of the “management” aspects of running a school music program. Perhaps if you combined a degree in music with a degree in business or perhaps arts administration, then many of the thorny issues of preparing the director for managerial aspects of running a school music program would be covered. In the business world, often the managers who are the most successful have a background in another field, such as engineering, science, accounting, or other specialized area. They then add the business degree which provides them with the knowledge and skills to manage a company that produces a product or service. Most of the educators who enter the field of music education, unfortunately, learn most of their management skills by trial and error, which they indicate is often a source of great frustration. Though there are obviously several significant differences between running a corporation and running a school music program, it would seem to make sense that some of these essential aspects of music education management could be developed into the core college curriculum to provide a strong foundation for new educators entering the field. If you’re just starting in the profession, you’ll find many important tips from experienced directors within this issue that could be vitally helpful to your future as a music educator… read on!

Rick Kessel 4 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011


July 2011

Volume 14, Number 7 GROUP PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel Editorial Staff

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HeadLines The Met Tours Japan


ew York’s Metropolitan Opera recently became the first major artistic touring company to visit Japan since the devastating earthquake in March, embarking on a three-week tour of the country. It’s the company’s seventh – but by far its most historic – visit to Japan, happening amidst tour cancellations from other major international arts institutions. The Met decided to go ahead with its tour after consulting with scientific and medical experts and determining that radiation levels had been back to pre-earthquake levels in Tokyo and Nagoya since April. “We are the first major opera company to come to Japan since the earthquake,” general manager Peter Gelb said on arrival at a press conference in Tokyo, “so the tour has a special significance to us and to the people of Japan. What we want most is for our trip to provide an opportunity to lift the spirits of those members of the public who love opera. Many members of the company share my feelings that this tragedy has had a profound impact on people all over the world. I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to think that a performance by the Metropolitan Opera could change lives that are destroyed, but we will do our best to show that normal cultural life in Japan is ready to resume.” An eleventh-hour casting initiative in the weeks before the company’s departure from New York yielded Soprano Marina Poplavskaya, tenor Marcelo Álvarez and tenor Rolando Villazón, who had originally been cast for the tour several years ago but been forced to bow out due to his vocal problems. They are joined by 350 other members of the company, including singers, orchestra, chorus, ballet, and staff. For more info, visit:

DCI Brings New Big Screen Events for the 2011 Drum Corps Season


MENC Announces Winners of the 2011 Student Composers Competition

MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the winners of its 2011 Student Composers Competition, which focused on compositions for brass instruments (solo or ensemble). Winners include Zach Ashcraft from the University of Denver in Denver, Colo., (Hymn for the Forgotten), Nathan Lutz from West Chester East High School in West Chester, Penn. (Horizon), and Victor LaBozzetta from Selden Middle School in Selden, N.Y. (Time Travel!). Winning compositions were performed by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on June 26 as part of MENC’s annual Music Education Week in Washington, DC. The event also featured performances by an awardwinning jazz band, concert band, orchestra and mixed choir. For more information, visit:

Blue Stars of La Crosse, Wis.

ollowing up its 2011 Tour Premiere event broadcast to theaters all over the country, Drum Corps International’s popular “Big, Loud & Live” cinecast will

Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Ill.

return for an eighth season on Thursday, August 11 beginning at 6:30 PM (Eastern). Broadcast in high definition to movie theaters nationwide, this event will capture the action from the 2011 World Championship 6 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

Blue Devils of Concord, Calif.

Prelims at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The annual “Big, Loud & Live” series continues to grow, with more than 38,400 fans in attendance last year at nearly 500 movie theaters nationwide. The event has allowed fans who are unable attend the World Championships to experience and enjoy the thrills and drama of the world’s best drum corps at the climax of the season. The series year began with the unprecedented gathering of all eight top-scoring drum corps for the June premiere, which showcased the Blue Devils, Blue Stars, Bluecoats, The Cadets, Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment and Santa Clara Vanguard. Additional details about this year’s “Big, Loud & Live” event and a complete list of participating theaters will be released in the coming months at

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HeadLines League of American Orchestras Hashes Out a Tough Year at Annual Conference in Minneapolis


mong other things, the end of concert season means another chance for orchestra directors and organizers to meet and spend some quality time together. At this year’s League of American Orchestras 2011 Conference held last month, over 800 delegates converged on Minneapolis-St. Paul to talk shop and plan for the future. The mood wasn’t altogether peachy. At “Red Alert,” a plenary session about critical issues facing American orchestras and proposed solutions, League president Jesse Rosen didn’t mince words. St. Paul Symphony Orchestra President Sarah Lutman blogs at the Arts Journal that Rosen said that the current problems faced by many orchestras cannot be attributed to the economy but instead are symptomatic of underlying trends and conditions that have been brewing for decades Rosen noted five major problems: Declining Jesse Rosen, League of American Orchestras president. revenues and rising costs, donor fatigue, new ways to impress audiences (excellent performances just aren’t enough), unimaginative performance formats, and lack of diversity. The solutions Rosen proposes have been mentioned before, but bear consideration as always, placing the responsibility for orchestral well-being squarely on groups’ own shoulders. He suggested that everyone understand and take responsibility for their true financial condition. He added that groups must look around them and take steps to realign with their community needs, meaning that orchestras must become more relevant at a local level. Finally, he stressed the need to foster creativity. He said that there is overwhelming evidence that audiences can be engaged around innovations in venue, programmatic themes, and juxtapositions of reperoire. For full coverage of the conference, visit:

L.A. Phil Three-Peats the Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming


ustavo Dudamel’s Los Angeles Philharmonic’s fearless programming has once again earned the group accolades, winning ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming by an orchestra. The awards, conferred since 1947, recognize orchestras “that challenge the audience, build the repertoire and increase interest in the music of our time.” The prizes, announced Thursday, are given in five categories, topped by the Gould award, the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming (won this year by the Minnesota Orchestra) and the John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music (won by the Alabama Symphony). The L.A. Phil’s season was headlined by performances of Messiaen’s “Turangalila” Symphony, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, and Brahms’s “A German Requiem,” but a variety of extras made the season even more interesting. Brahms’s work was paired with several new major premieres of work by Henryk Gorecki, Peter Lieberson, Sofia Gubaiduina, and Steven Mackey. Audiences also enjoyed performances of Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle and Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Weber,” as well as a new work by none other than ex-Phil director Esa-Pekka Salonen. Learn more about upcoming programming at the L.A. Phil, visit

8 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

Stradivarius Auctioned for $16m in Benefit for Japan A renowned Stradivarius violin built in 1721 recently sold for $16 million at a London auction in a generous effort to raise money for tsunami disaster relief. The nonprofit Nippon Foundation said that the proceeds from its sale of the nearly 300-year-old violin known as the Lady Blunt be directed toward relief projects in northern Japan. The group’s music affiliate reportedly owned the violin and rarely used it. The new owner remains unnamed.

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SBOUpfrontQ&A: Bob Morrison

Nurturing the Next Generation… of Educators


etween technological advances, budgetary demands, nationally standardized curricula, and economic factors affecting public institutions and their employees – including teachers – the field of music education is

simply not an easy one in which to succeed these days. Instead of dwelling on the frightening rates of attrition among those work-

ing through their first few years in the band room, a more worthwhile pursuit is to explore solutions that might alleviate some of the difficulties facing those early in their career path. To assist with this, SBO recently caught up with one of the leading music education advocates Bob Morrison

10 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

in the country, Bob Morrison.

In addition to being the author of the regular “From the Trenches” article in this publication, Mr. Morrison has kept himself busy over the years founding, developing, and helping to lead, among others, the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the National Coalition for Music Education, and Music For All, as well as his latest venture, Quadrant Arts Education Research. In this recent conversation with SBO, Morrison shares his perspective on the current challenges facing young music educators, while also thinking creatively about potential and practical solutions. School Band & Orchestra: What are the biggest challenges facing young music educators today? Bob Morrison: One of the obstacles that young music educators face is just the shock of the realities of teaching in the public school setting. There are so many nonmusical responsibilities that come along with that: understanding schedules, advocating for your program, working as a part of a team within the school, supporting all of the students, understanding school budgets, building parental support. There are so many variables involved beyond just the teaching of music to the students. Many of the young directors coming straight out of college are just not prepared to face all of that.

It’s a huge hurdle, facing the reality that all of these things are demanding, complex, and political. SBO: If they aren’t prepared to step into the classroom from day one, do you see that as an indictment of the college system in which future music educators are trained? BM: There’s certainly a gap between the amount of time and energy between training musical capabilities and the practical realities of what it takes to manage a program and thrive in today’s educational environment, as well as some of the issues that are creating challenges for new – and even some more seasoned – professionals. Scheduling is one of the critical areas, particularly at the high school level. You almost need the Watson Computer to figure out the schedule for some schools, and educators really need to understand how they can be supportive of influencing the schedule so that it’s developed in a way that gives them optimal opportunity to teach the students, while at they same time maintaining a collegial professionalism with their other colleagues. The day of the music educator in a room in a corner of the building who is only seen when coming out for his or her ensemble’s performances is long gone. Being integrated as a part of the faculty is one of the key pathways to success. Oftentimes students don’t have a clear understanding of that. It’s not so much an indictment of what our colleges are doing, because musically, they’re doing very well, it’s just a matter of recognizing that there’s more to being a music educator or a band director than just teaching the music. That’s where the gap is. SBO: In any field, there are going to be a certain number of people who realize that they’re in the wrong profession, yet in music education, the number of young teachers who don’t succeed seems to be unusually high. To what degree do you think that this indicates that the music education system is simply one that isn’t rigged in such a way that it supports the success of young educators, even those who may have great potential?

BM: Like any career, there is going to be attrition among the people who realize they really aren’t cut out of for a particular profession. I think a lot of young people who are leaving music education – and this is based purely on anecdotal evidence – is due to pressures placed on educators and the testing mentality that has really taken root and become the priority, where everything else is seen as secondary. And most recently, as you hear about states talking about changing the way teachers are evaluated, changing ten-

ure requirements, and changing pension structures, there are a lot of nonmusical reasons that the system itself is putting pressure on teachers. There was a point in time where you could come in, manage a program, and really make a career of it. Now, there are some serious disincentives that are making it more difficult for people to want to stay with it. I was just reading an article about how here in the state of New Jersey, we have the highest percentage of civil servants, including teachers,

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that are taking their retirement because of concern over policy changes that would impact both their retirement programs and their annual evaluations. As government looks for ways to save funds, some of those policy changes make it less attractive for seasoned teachers to stay with it, which is a pretty negative signal to be sending to our younger folks. They might look at this stuff and say, “Well, if this is they way they’re going to talk about me and treat me, I’m not so sure I picked the right profession.” That’s a legitimate concern. SBO: While the concerns about political machinations might seem to be beyond the reach of most people, do you see any broad solutions to easing the transition from university to the classroom? Bob Morrison: Well certainly, if there were some coursework that were available at the university level about the business of managing a music program – finance, fundraising, networking, building community support, managing parents – as students are transitioning in their last year, that certainly would be helpful. One of the things that I’ve been seeing that is really invaluable is efforts by several of the state music education associations to establish mentoring programs, where you have a seasoned veteran in the field who takes on one or two or three students who are just making their way into the profession. That allows young educators to have that person to talk to who has seen it, been through it, and can help new teachers understand, recognize and manage the challenges that crop up in the early years. Oftentimes, the early career music educators will give up because they don’t have that kind of support or network in place. I was just at the Iowa Bandmasters Association meeting, and they have a fantastic mentoring program. It’s very well designed, and it is supported by the state department of education. They have some of the best instrumental music programs of any state from the standpoint of the sheer number of them. Almost every elementary, middle, and high school in the state of Iowa has an instrumental music program, and that the new crop of educators coming through has a support network to help them be successful is certainly one of the reasons that music is doing so well in that state. SBO: Is this idea gaining in popularity? The concept of mentorship isn’t exactly a new one. Bob Morrison: It isn’t a new one, but from what I’ve seen of the work in Iowa, they’ve refined the model very well. We can’t just throw this kids out of college, hand them a diploma, say, “Thanks for playing, here are some parting gifts,” and send them on their way. We have to nurture them and support them in making that transition from the theory of what it’s going to be like to teach in a music program to dealing with the reality of all of the other demands that come along with it.

SBOCommentary: Brain Rules, Part 3

Brain Rules 4 and 6:


&Memory By Joe Allison And erin Wehr


fter an introduction and overview of John Medina’s Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Home, Work, and School, as well as a close look at rules 1 and 2, in this installment we will concen-

trate on brain rules 4 and 6: “We don’t pay attention to boring things,” and “Remember to repeat.” Perhaps more than any of the other rules, these two exemplify the daily teaching goals of school ensemble directors in keeping their students’ attention, and teaching them in a way that they will retain the desired knowledge and skills. These two concepts are also interdependent and should be considered in tandem, or as Medina insists, “The more attention the brain pays to a given stimulus, the more elaborately the information will be encoded – and retained.”

14 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

According to research, we all have a tendency to “check out” of a presentation, lecture, or class after about 10 minutes of concentrated focus. Although we don’t yet know why this is true, we do know that understanding human attention can help us design instruction to hold students’ focus long enough to effectively assure strong understanding and retention of the material. One’s attention is influenced most by memory, personal interest, and awareness. Normally our past experiences (memories) inform us as to what we should pay attention to. Different environments and cultures create different memory priorities, which is why one student can recall the exact words you used a day before but can’t say what you were wearing, while another vividly remembers the color of your shoes, but not what you taught! An understanding of these seemingly inconsistent characteristics can guide us as educators toward effective methods to stimulate interest and awareness in our students. It is probably no surprise

that students in particular age groups consistently have commonly shared interests. Also predictably, the youngsters’ interests are often not related to ours as adults. Seeking out examples, themes, and stories relevant to the culture of your students, or helping students discover their own cultural ties to that which you want them to learn, creates and stimulates interest. Understanding the background of a composer, the context under which a work was written, and any specific literal meanings in the work all can help “bond” the student with the music, but only if the student can relate the additional information to his or her own experience. Medina (through the work of Michael Posner) offers four particular bullet points to “maximum focus” rehearsals: ■ Emotion captures attention, ■ Meaning comes before details, ■ The brain cannot multitask ■ The brain often needs a break. First, an emotional event causes the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which aids memory and the brain’s processing of information. These emotionally charged stimuli are of two types. One type of event is experienced individually, such as a sad feeling when you hear a song that reminds you of a dark personal memory. The second type includes those that are experienced universally, such as experiences related to food, sex, and survival. Emotions that are generally experienced by everyone are logically more powerful for use in teaching. All of our students can relate to the emotions connected to hunger, love, and fear. Human emotional arousal is based more on “the big picture” rather than small details. In order for our students to remember the small-but-important details (micro), they first need to see that big picture (macro). In the context of current effective learning theory, which emphasizes knowledge retention, context is everything! This physiological imperative reinforces the popular macro-micro-macro approach to teaching/rehearsing. In this paradigm, a large portion of music is

played both before and after the refinement of small component details. An additional benefit of applying this concept is enhanced learning of the substantive meaning of the work explored. Happily, the process of contextualizing the teaching increases the potential for retaining both the holistic objectives and performance detail of musical compositions. A win/win, for sure! Current neurological research tells us that “multitasking” is a myth, according to Medina. For most of us who direct orchestras and bands, this is quite a shocker! It is quite common to ask student performers to perform a number of tasks concurrently in rehearsal and performance. Is this not possible to achieve? Perhaps this is a syntax issue. Though the brain itself multitasks constantly to perform its many and varied functions, it can only focus on one thing at a time. When teaching in a private lesson or rehearsal, it is not uncommon to hear a teacher stop the playing and say something like: “Now don’t forget the crescendo, F# clarinets. Tune it up, low brass, and flutes don’t rush. We all must attack and release together – sit up, Johnny… One, two, ready, play.” If these varied instructions are reminders of previously learned material, some of that information might “stick,” but likely

Medina’s 12 Brain Rules • Rule #1: EXERCISE • Rule #2: SURVIVAL • Rule #3: WIRING


• Rule #6: LONG-TERM MEMORY • Rule #7: SLEEP • Rule #8: STRESS • Rule #9: SENSORY INTEGRATION • Rule #10: VISION • Rule #11: GENDER • Rule #12: EXPLORATION

not guarantee that the students’ brains can effectively process that much information to assure adequate skill and retention. One can often see this in a student teacher’s work, where he or she may try to teach a semester’s worth of music theory in one intense lesson. The human brain processes one concept at a time, and it needs time to process new information and make sense of it by connecting that information to previously learned information. Sometimes, what appears

“The process of contextualizing the teaching increases the potential for retaining both the holistic objectives and performance detail of musical compositions.” only temporarily. For something to be deeply learned and retained however, those individual concepts must be processed (rehearsed) individually. Sometimes, the brain needs a break. Something of which we teachers are all probably guilty is giving out too much information, with too little time for the brain to process it all. If a band director decides to require all his students to play all of their major scales by the end of his first semester teaching, that might not be the best idea (depending on context – there’s that word again!). Just because we understand now how to effectively play and teach 12 major scales, that does

to be “learned really fast” is forgotten even faster. Consider the following rehearsal design utilizing the ideas in this article: ■ Teach in 10-minute segments with each segment presenting one “big picture” idea. Consider working on any one movement or work for no more than 25 minutes at a time. ■ Teach the meaning of a musical work (or at least delve into it) before teaching the details. ■ Give the rehearsal plan at the beginning of the rehearsal so that students know where the new information fits in the overall picture. School Band and Orchestra, July 2011 15



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Medina himself says, “Better attention always equals better learning. It improves retention of reading material, accuracy, and clarity in writing, math and science – every academic category that has ever been tested.” These are proven ideas for getting and keeping students’ attention, the first step in memory retention. Once something is learned, how do we assure that the students (or we) keep the desired knowledge and skill? Most memories will disappear in minutes. Conversely, the memories that you can keep past those first fragile few minutes will actually strengthen over time. Medina’s Rule #6 “Remember to repeat” involves replicating information within the first few minutes, and then also again within a couple of hours. Without the essential repetition, the memory is lost. Consider the following rehearsal considerations for long-term memory: ■ Present new information gradually, in multiple ways, and repeat at regular intervals. Begin in the warmup and transfer to the rehearsal. ■ Provide opportunity for practice and repetition of the new idea at regularly timed intervals within a rehearsal. ■ Return to previously learned material expecting the need to provide opportunity for more repetition near the end of a rehearsal. ■ Begin a rehearsal expecting to return to previously learned material, and the need to provide opportunity for more repetition. ■ Give the students the tools and knowledge on how to practice for long-term memory. If you are a teacher-in-a-hurry (and who among us is not?), then it appears to take an extra measure of patience and self-discipline on our part to allow the process to run its course. Maybe it’s not the-tortoise-and-the-hare, but the requisite short-term patience becomes long-term reward for both students and instructors. We will visit more of the 12 rules in the next installment – particularly brain rule 5: “Repeat to Remember,”

and see how that can affect our teaching to benefit our students and our programs. As a reminder, check out Medina’s website at www.brainrules. net, which includes an introductory video, and all manner of information presented in ways consistent with the actual brain rules.

Joseph Allison is the director of Bands and coordinator of Conducting Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He is also a co-founder of The Marching Roundtable (www. Prior to these positions, Dr. Allison was the director of Bands and Orchestras at Sumter (S.C.) High School, where his program became the first internationally to be honored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation as laureates of both the Sudler Flag of Honor for concert excellence and the Sudler Shield for marching achievement. Allison maintains an active international schedule of clinics and adjudications in the concert, marching, and jazz activities. He can be reached at joe. or Erin Wehr has taught music education for Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Iowa. She has also directed elementary and secondary instrumental music programs in Iowa and Illinois, taught general music, and holds Orff certification. Wehr has served as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for elementary and secondary music programs, drum and bugle corps, and adult and community music groups.

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SBOReport: Essay Contest


SBO Essay

Winners T

wo students from Washington State were among the 10 winners of this year’s SBO essay scholarship contest, with the other

eight hailing from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Minnesota, and Montana.

Each winner was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and their respective school music programs received a matching award of musical products from cosponsors NAMM, Alfred Publishing, Sabian Ltd., Woodwind & Brasswind, and Yamaha Corporation of America. This year’s theme, “How My Music Teacher Has Influenced Me And My Goals In School,” generated more than 7,000 entries from all parts of the United States and several foreign countries. The music students received their checks from local music dealers who are members of NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), a major co-sponsor of the program. 2011 marks the eleventh year for the essay contest, which has awarded $220,000 in scholarship funds and matching music products to more than 100 school music programs since its inception. SBO would like to congratulate the following winning students and their music directors.

Winning essays can also be read online at 18 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

cymbals aren’t

WHERE the sounds COME really


©2011 Avedis Zildjian Company

Alex Wilson

Age: 13 Grade: 7 Minnehaha Academy Minneapolis, Minn. “One in a Million” Last year I had a band teacher named Mr. Paul Band director Matthew Marsolek; Isaacs. He was a very inspi- Alex Wilson; and Tom Schmitt, rational band teacher and president of Schmitt Music. never got mad at our class. We all loved him and were very happy with his teaching. Mr. Isaacs also taught jazz band. I was just a sixth-grader. I was the youngest player, and he taught me that I could succeed even in a daunting and scary environment if I just practiced and played my heart out. Now, only a year later, I’m playing solos in front of the entire school. Sadly, Mr. Isaacs passed away last year from cancer. We all miss him so much. He was the kindest and gentlest man I have ever known. He never missed the chance to bless our days as we walked from the classroom. He had a long list of cheesy jokes and cute stories that everyone loved. He taught us to love life no matter what it throws at us, and he always wanted to be teaching us, even at the peak of his illness. His favorite song was “No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I’m clinging, while Christ is Lord of heav’n and earth how can I keep from singing?” No storm ever shook that calm, and he never stopped singing. Because of him, neither will I.

Valerie Stickles

Age: 17 Grade: 12 Coventry High School Coventry, Conn. My high school band teacher, Mr. Ned Smith, has truly been a significant Band director Ned Smith, Valerie influence in y life; he has Stickles, and Christina LaRosa of inspired me to pursue music Vernon Music and Arts. education in college. I met Mr. Smith my freshman year. He was a first year teacher with a very natural teaching style. It was clear from the beginning that music teaching was his lifestyle, and he was completely invested in our band program. He constantly demonstrated a pure sense of respect and sensitivity towards music. By the end of that first year, he had already instilled a deep appreciation for the power and beauty of music in all his students. Never before had I recognized the

20 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

comfort, healing, and hope that could be offered through music, and never before had I loved music so much. My love for music has strengthened each year of high school because of Mr. Smith. By my junior year, I began to realize just how much pursuing music education as a career would suit me. I began an independent study with Mr. Smith during the school day called “Introduction to Music Education” where I learned about philosophies of music education and helped in a sixth grade band classroom. His passion and enthusiasm for his occupation, along with my own passion for the music and fantastic band experience, affirmed by the close of the class that I wanted to be a music teacher. Mr. Smith has been my most significant inspiration. His influence will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Ryan Fox

Age: 17 Grade: 12 Sultan High School Monroe, Wash. My music teachers have taught me that my disability doesn’t matter-only my abilTerry Freeman of Kennelly Keys ity does. I am autistic, and Music; Ryan Fox; and Jill Sumpter, from my early elementary music director at Sultan High school years it has been mu- School. sic teachers who have always reached out to me. They aren’t afraid of my odd speech or quirky eye contact. Instead, they value my perfect pitch, good rhythm, solid percussion technique, and ability to help an ensemble sound great. They have encouraged me to enter honor bands and solo competitions each year, and this year I even won 2nd place on timpani statewide. My music teachers allow me to try to fit in. They include me in activities and combos, encourage me to challenge myself, and expect me to help others. They have taught me responsibility by allowing me to babysit marimbas, timpani, and cymbals during summer vacations so I could practice for All-State auditions in the fall. I always return everything before school starts, and I’ve learned to make small repairs. My high school teacher even loaned me her personal timpani because my school doesn’t have any. Music is how I connect with the world; it’s how I express myself. I now want to major in music performance in college because of the opportunities given to me, and I want to reach out and make the world better through my music because music makes people happy. I know my disability might not allow me to teach, but I can definitely perform. My dream is to become a professional timpanist.

Letters From Past Winners Emily Walker

Age: 14 Grade: 8 Hudson Memorial School Hudson, N.H.

Emily Walker cut: Mike Seckla, music director at Hudson Memorial High School; Emily Walker; Justin Wright of Ted Herbert’s Music; and educational rep Don Goldston.

My music teacher has influenced me and my goals by inspiring me with the importance, pride, joy, and rewards of playing music. In sixth grade I chose to play the clarinet in the school band and was introduced to a whole different atmosphere. Everyone that contributed different sounds to a song was a part of a jigsaw puzzle that resembled our band. Mr. Seckla was the director of it all, and he was the one that put all of the different pieces together and enabled us to grow as a band. Mr. Seckla inspired me to keep working at the clarinet and to also pick up the flute. I was determined to learn everything about the flute and keep practicing, and within a short time I developed the skills to play fluently. He helped me reach the goal of learning how to play the flute by stressing the importance of practicing to reach your goals. I often stay after school for a few hours a week to keep practicing for fun. Mr. Seckla reminds me every day of the joy of playing music by showing me and my band classmates what we can create by working together. After every concert, I feel pride swelling inside me and I feel rewarded when we all take a bow and the audience applauds our performance. As I look around at my band classmates, it reminds me of one of the most significant qualities of playing music: teamwork.

Who knew?

By Gabrielle Duran

It never was my dream to become a professional musician. I never aspired to play in a symphony or any other ensemble as a career. Band was just an extracurricular activity my mother enrolled me into in middle school. She was worried I would have trouble making friends in school, so she forced me to be involved in the band program at Wooddale Middle School. In Middle School, I was indifferent towards making music and performing. However, I had a natural talent for playing the clarinet. My musicianship ultimately determined which high school I attended. Once again, even though I was terrified of failure, my mother made me audition for the band program at Overton High School. My audition for Mr. Piecuch, the band director at that time, was, apparently, impressive for an incoming freshman. It was how I earned my spot into the sole Creative and Performing Arts Optional High School in Memphis. Still, I did not know where my involvement in the arts would take me. Freshman year was one of rapid improvement. Not only had I proven myself in the classroom, our band directors were constantly pushing us freshmen, urging us to learn and become better musicians. In one year, I went from a shy ninth grader who played clarinet to a proud member of the Overton band. Tenth grade was a dark year, as we were introduced to our new band directors. Mr. Piecuch had left the program after 16 years of excellent teaching and guidance to all of the students. The loss affected many students negatively. Many dropped out of band, many transferred, and a great deal of people who continued with band never felt the same about it. Personally, I continued to learn and grow because I still had years to go in the program. I was first chair of the Symphonic Band as a tenth grader. In the second semester, we were introduced to our next band director, Andre Feagin. Mr. Feagin was just what the program needed to lift our spirits and lead us to victory, just as Mr. Piecuch has done. Under the direction of Mr. Feagin, I played my first solo in concert. It was then that I realized my full potential. Still, I had no idea where all of this would lead. Junior year with Mr. Feagin was simply amazing. The repertoire of music that we played was always exciting, engaging, and extremely challenging. We started off every new program with music that we doubted we would we able to play. Consequently, we ended each program feeling as if we had played the best performance ever. Who knew we would soon be competing nationally against bands from all over the country? In the spring, we rehearsed tediously for a program of music that struck fear into the hearts of most college band directors. It was music that Mr. Feagoin’s colleagues told him was impossible. To prepare this music, we even held a rehearse-a-thon where we spent the night at the school and rehearsed for hours and hours straight and raised thousands of dollars. All of the money we raised went towards the trip. This trip was to San Antonio, Texas, to compete nationally against other high school bands, orchestras, and choirs. In April of 2009, the Overton Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Andre Feagin, sat in front of judges and an audience who doubted our ability. After all, we were just poor kids from Memphis, Tennessee. We had to hustle up money to even afford the bus drive to San Antonio, our instruments were not shiny and new, and our attire was not at all elegant. Despite our disadvantages, from the very first downbeat, we had made it clear that we worked just as hard. We performed the best that the Overton Band ever had. The hall was filled with the sound of hard work, passion, and dedication of students who hungered so desperately for greatness. The judges were silent, the audience was astounded, and we were ecstatic, smiling up at our director because we knew we had won. When we finished, there was a long standing ovation, and we all had to choke back our confident giggles and grins. At the reward ceremony, all sixty of us stood in a large impermeable circle around our director and prayed. Tension and anxiety bubbled inside all of us as we were skipped repeatedly for fourth, third, and second in every category. At the moment we were called for first place, our circle literally broke. Some of us fell, some ran, some jumped, and some stood completely still, but we all cried. We could not believe we had been honored as the best high school musical ensemble in the country. The summer of 2010 was also a great year for the program. Now under the direction of Dr. Reginald Houze, we were invited out of thousands of schools to perform with three others on the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York . It was our last performance of the year, and for me and my other classmates, our last ever in the band. We all looked at each other on stage with smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes. “Look at us,” I thought to myself. “We’re in New York on the stage of Carnegie Hall. We really are something.”

Gabrielle Duran just completed her freshman year at the University of Memphis, where she studies Foreign Language and is a recipient of the university’s Mighty Sound of the South marching band scholarship. Gabrielle was a winner of the SBO Essay Contest in 2010. School Band and Orchestra, July 2011 21

Haunnah Hewett

Age: 12 Grade: 7 Clearwater Fundamental Middle School Clearwater, Fla. By simply believing in me, my music teacher, Mrs. Zebley, has influenced me and my personal goals in school. When I entered middle school, I was struggling in all aspects of learning. I really wanted to play the oboe, although I was told it was one of the most difLynn Weigand, Bringe Music; ficult instruments to play. It Haunnah Hewett; and Clearwater gave me great courage the day Fundamental Middle School band my band teacher handed me director Calista Zebley. the oboe and said that it was mine to play for the next three years. I, like many other students, was just “getting by” while putting in the bare minimum of practice. I realized I was not really getting anywhere. Then the day came, my music teacher told our class “You are only as good as you want to be, if you practice honestly you will only get better, and maybe even become perfect at some things.” I ran with this encouragement and I began to practice the oboe each and every day. In addition, I applied her theory to other subjects in which I was having difficulties with, and all my grades began to increase.

22 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

As my ability to play the oboe amplified so did my grades in other classes. As I completed sixth grade, I found myself with straight “A”s in all areas. This was a first for me and I hope with the belief and praise of my band teacher that I will continue to strive forward in music while continuing to excel in leadership, problem solving, self-esteem and pride accomplishments.

Adam M. McClendon

Age: 18 Grade: 12 Morgan Park High School Chicago, Ill. Wow. Where shall I start? I watch my band director, Ms. Shemeka Nash work with students from various socio-economic backgrounds on a daily basis. In addition she juggles a Nash, band director, lot of responsibility between Shemeka Morgan Hill High School; Althea Bilthe parents, the various aux- lins, essay winner’s mother; Adam iliaries, and the school’s man- McLendon; and Michael Skinner, agement team. Watching her DANSR, Inc. do all this reminds me that I can achieve my goals and that I can make a difference in the world and more closely in someone’s life. She always encour-

Letters From Past Winners Last year, Truc Pham, a high school student from Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, California, was one of 10 winners of SBO’s annual Student Essay Contest. Truc recently sent this touching letter to Sid Davis, SBO Publisher, sharing how the scholarship she was awarded through Jeff Edon, Laguna Creek High the essay contest has positively School; Pete Rose, Skip’s Music, impacted her life. Elk Grove; and Truc Pham. Dear Mr. Davis, My name is Truc Pham. You may or may not remember me, but I was an essay contest winner in 2010. I’m not quite sure who to make this to but even if you aren’t the right person, I hope you take the time to read this, or you would pass this on to the person who is. After receiving a letter last year that I had won the essay contest, I was in awe. I never expected to win; it was just an essay I wrote because I felt like I needed to say it, nothing more. To be chosen from thousands was an astounding honor and even to this day, a year later, I cannot believe it. Three years ago, our band at Laguna Creek High School from Elk Grove, California auditioned to be part of 6 bands in the nation to participate in an international music festival in New York City where we would get the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2011. We were accepted. And just two weeks ago on this exact day, we were playing in Carnegie Hall. My biggest issue, of course, was money. My parents didn’t have the two grand that was needed to pay for the trip. The economy was tough, fundraising was slow going, and I was quickly losing hope. But that quickly changed with a letter from SBO. It’s safe to say that I could not have won any scholarship at a better time because it allowed me to go on the Carnegie trip, the trip of a lifetime. We got to see the busy life of New York City. We got to experience the food, the people, the atmosphere of a big city. Even riding the subway was a rite of passage to a bunch of Cali kids. We did all the touristy things: seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, watch a show on Broadway, Wall Street, Ground Zero, and so many others that I can go on for days talking about. We performed in Central park. We attended a dinner cruise with all the other festival participants where we met students from all over the United States as well as Switzerland, Puerto Rico, and Japan. But through it all, the event that I would relive a thousand times over is our experience at Carnegie Hall. Sure, we all wished we played better, who wouldn’t? But the feeling of being on that stage, and being able to feel the history of such a prestigious hall was absolutely breathtaking. The massive size of the hall was just astounding. I am still at a loss for words when it comes to describing it. My Carnegie trip was so much more than I could have asked for. I could not have dreamed up a better experience than those 6 days. And I could not have to done it without SBO’s Essay scholarship. I am so grateful to have received this opportunity. I am really blessed to have been able to do this at such a young age; this will be remembered for a lifetime. I’m proud to say that SBO has really affected my life, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank all those at SBO that have played a role in giving me the experience of a lifetime. I cannot put into words how thankful I am. Thank you for your time, Truc Pham

ages me to study in all of my classes. She encourages me to practice so that I am a well-rounded student. Ms. Nash talks to me one-on-one and notices if something is wrong or awry. She makes sure to pull me to the side and genuinely listen and then more importantly help. She follows up to make sure that all the students get to and from school safely, that we eat and that we feel/know that someone really cares. I, like many other students, know that I can come to Ms. Nash for refuge. Words can’t really describe this feeling. Ms. Nash consistently reinforces the fact in me and the students that we can achieve our goals, we can be productive citizens, we can live good lives, and we can be proud of our accomplishments. I have an interest in culinary arts. Although Ms. Nash is the band director, do you know that she encourages me to cook? During the summer of 2009 and 2010, I could not come to practice because I got a culinary internship – do you think Ms. Nash got mad? Nope, she just made sure that I had my music and told me to practice. She told me the hours she would be in the band room. She even arranged for an instructor to come and meet me on my day off at school to work with me. What else can I say about Ms. Nash. She’s wonderful. Without a doubt she has been a totally positive influence on me and I’ll always remember her kindness, talent, perseverance, and just overall coolness towards the students – but especially towards me!

Caleb Carr

Age: 17 Grade: 12 Bozeman High School Bozeman, Mont. My music teacher, Mr. Berdahl, has influenced me and my goals in school by Sherry Linnerooth, Eckroth Music; providing useful insight to Renee Westlake, supervisor of subjects both inside and out- Music, Bozeman Public Schools; side of the band room. These Caleb Carr; Kelly Berdahl, director of Bands, Bozeman High School. last four years, he has stated, “Perfection is expected, but excellence is accepted.” This taught me to never settle for mediocrity, to always strive for the best. With his words of advice in mind, I have since become first chair euphonium in the school’s symphonic band, and lead trombone in the school’s top jazz band. Also, I have found myself applying his advice to my academics. Examples of my success as a student are maintaining a 3.5 grade point average, earning a 5 on the AP Music Theory test, and placing in the top ten students in Montana on a French mastery exam. A second and important way my music teacher has influenced me is by playing a significant role in my career choice. As a freshman in high school, I had no interest in music as a career, but by seeing the enjoyment Mr. Berdahl has in being a director, I have decided on being a music educator. I hope to share my passion for music and excellence with students of my own, as my director has shared with me. My music teacher has impacted my life. He has pushed me to become the best student, the best musician, and the best person I can be. School Band and Orchestra, July 2011 23

Widchard Faustin Age: 11 Grade: 7 Calvary Christian Academy Philadelphia, Pa.

My band teacher, Mr. Darrell Benjamin, has influenced me and my goals in school by always giving me upbeat sup- Darrell Benjamin, port. For the past band director, Calvary Christian Academy; three years, he has Widchard Faustin; played an instru- and George Hines, mental role in help- George’s Music. ing me to become a skillful musician and has encouraged me to maintain a high-level of discipline. I joined the band as a percussionist in the 5th grade. From the start, Mr. B took me under his wing and has nurtured my musical aspirations. He always takes time to answer my questions and helps me with my music no matter how busy he is. His encouragements have motivated me to practice more and make progress everyday in music, as well as in all my academic subjects. My hard work paid off when I was able to move up to advanced band in my second year. I was proud of myself when I was awarded with an Outstanding Musician Award at the end of the school year. I was able to accomplish these milestones because my band teacher supported me every step of the way. Mr. B has reinforced what my parents have always told me to do, which is to put education first, do my very best to hit high notes in my academic studies. I will continue to work hard to achieve all my educational goals.

24 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

With the help of teachers like Mr. B, I am marching on to cross the finish line.

Sarah McGill Age: 17 Grade: 12 Hixson High School Hixson, Tenn.

I remember my hands trembling as I looked at my schedule Jon Colston of Music Instruction Studio, freshman year. I Chattanooga, with Sarah had not touched McGill. my clarinet in three years and I had been placed in symphonic band, of all classes. I was embarrassed to have forgotten even the basics of playing, but upon telling Mr. McHenry, my new band director, he told me I would become a good player again. He kept his promise. Thanks to time spent in and after class, Mr. McHenry helped me to surpass my goal of becoming a decent player. He never made me feel inferior for not remembering how to play, but instead gave me just the push I needed to achieve my goal. He even encouraged me to learn tenor saxophone! He was very kind to me and worked through my affliction to help me be the best marcher I could be. Now, my senior year, I have progressed to be section leader and band captain. I look upon his example of leadership to know how to lead. He has helped me to become the player that I am today and placed one ultimate goal in my sight: fulfilling the potential that he so often reminds me that I possess.

Briannah Yee Age: 12 Grade: 7 Tyee Middle School Bellevue, Wash.

My teacher, Mr. Scott Backus has a tremendous influence on me and my goals in school. He is extremely dedicated to his job and puts in a lot of time and effort to have everything flow in the classroom and the band concerts. Scott Backus, music He’s easy to talk to director, Tyee Middle and is understand- School; Briannah Yee; and Tom Van ing. Most of all, Duzer, educational he makes music services, Kennelly fun to learn. Mr. Keys Music. Backus’s love for music has influenced me to become a better student and person. One of my goals in school is to be a life-long musician, not only on the clarinet, but other instruments as well. Being a member of the band I feel ecstatic. Mr. Backus has taught me to be prepared with my instrument and music and most importantly with a smile on my face and a positive attitude. I realize music helps us relax and forget about our problems. It brings the World closer together and everyone stops and listens. Therefore, I started taking piano this year and also have an interest in flute. With Mr. Backus’s encouragement, I know I can accomplish anything with hard work, dedication, and practice.

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SBOGuest Editorial: Dear Band Parents

An Open Letter to Parents By Tracey Leenman

Following is an open letter to parents of current and future band and orchestra students. Educators are welcome to reproduce and distribute this as they see fit.

Dear Parents, Congratulations! Your child has chosen to start band or strings class this fall! This is exciting! But naturally, you are also apprehensive – “How much will this cost?” “Will my child like it?” “How do we choose the right instrument?” “Will my child stick with it? After all, he’s tried karate, gymnastics, piano, and soccer… and has quit them all.” “Does my child even have any musical ability?” A survey done a few years ago showed that 45 percent of parents responding would not buy a musical instrument or pay for lessons for their child unless they “knew that their child had some musical talent.” But how do you know if your child has musical talent if he’s never held an instrument or been taught how to play? How could you possibly know? Would you refuse to give your child golf clubs and take him to the driving range unless you knew that some day he’d be a scratch golfer? And even if your child never becomes a symphony musician (the musical equivalent of playing in the PGA), he may still be able to enjoy a lifetime of involvement in playing music, at whatever level – and that’s certainly an endeavor worth supporting! Parents often ask: “Will my child like it? Will my child stick with it?” A child’s success in music is directly related to four factors: support; attitude; consistency; and openmindedness. Also worth noting is that finances are not a significant factor in the success of young music students.

26 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

Support Parents who are encouraging, especially through the difficult times, teach their children to reach out and to take risks, to rise to challenges, and to pursue their dreams with confidence. In contrast, parents who say, “My child never sticks with anything,” are being unfair to their children and laying the groundwork for a pattern of discouragement. This is true for any endeavor, not just music; but it is one of the reasons that studying music in school can have a lifelong benefit on a child’s psychosocial development.

Attitude Parents who understand the value of music in a child’s education and the lifelong benefits of studying music will be thrilled that their children are participating in strings or band, and will give this endeavor their full support. Their enthusiasm will be contagious and their children will approach their musical studies with excitement as well. For parents who may not

have seen the research on this, please know that it is both plentiful and irrefutable. Here are just a few examples: • Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science, and language arts (University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent). • Musical training appears to dramatically enhance a child’s abstract thinking skills and spatialtemporal ability – skills necessary for mathematics and science – even more than computer instruction does (Dr. Frances Rauscher, Univ. of California-Irvine). • Students in school music programs show an 11 percent improvement in academics after one year of music study, a 14 percent improvement after two years, a 17 percent improvement after three years, and a 23 percent improvement after four years (Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, Attitude Concepts for Today). • High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their non-musical peers. In 2006, SAT takers with four years of coursework/experience in music performance scored 100 points higher than students with no coursework/experience in the arts (The College Board, Princeton, N.J.). • A school band or orchestra is a microcosm of society. It teaches cooperation, respect, listening skills, analysis and synthesis, creativity and expression, personal responsibility, interpersonal communication; all the psychosocial skills most sought after by Fortune 500 corporations in future employees. In short playing a musical instrument teaches life skills that are adaptable (and applicable) to every personal and professional challenge.

You can go to and for many more reasons that your child should continue to study music throughout his/her entire school career. Studying music benefits a child’s education in ways that no other subject can, as the skills needed to excel in music are transferable to every academic subject.

Consistency My husband and I have six children. Each of them took piano lessons beginning in fourth grade, and a band instrument beginning in fifth grade. There was never a question, never a doubt. We believe strongly in the value of music in every family’s daily lifestyle, and in the importance of music in every child’s education; and our children “caught” this atti-






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tude early on as well. If parents consider music an academic subject (rather than co- or extra-curricular), they will give performing music classes the same priority they give all other academic subjects. They will insist that their children do their music homework (i.e., practice) just like every other academic subject’s homework, and will enforce the same consequences for not doing music homework as for neglecting other homework. If children do their homework regularly, they will progress, just like in every other academic subject. Once they progress, and begin to play well, playing will be its own reward. We all love to do what we do well. On the other hand, we all hate falling behind or not being “as good as everyone else” at something. Because performing music requires neuromuscular and psychomotor development as well as intellect, doing daily music homework is usually necessary before a child can progress enough to “like it.”

Open-mindedness Encourage your child to keep his/ her mind open about choosing an instrument until he/or she has been mouthpiece tested (band instrument) or sized (string instruments). Mom may think it’s a great idea that her son play saxophone, but the child may be too small even to hold the sax correctly or to reach around the palm keys. And besides, every school has far too many saxophone-playerwannabes! Also remember that instruments are not gender-specific. James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Tadeu Cohelo are all worldfamous (male) flutists. Deanna Swoboda is a professional tuba player. The instrument(s) that a child is best physically suited to play, and that offers him/her the best opportunity for success, are the instrument(s) they should be encouraged to play. And please remember that there are some instruments that will open doors for college scholarships and performing

opportunities more than others, e.g. double reeds (oboe and bassoon), and low brass (French horn, euphonium, trombone and tuba), so if these are the instruments recommended to your child, smile – don’t lament that they were not chosen to play trumpet or sax. About 75 percent of the students we mouthpiece test leave with a totally different instrument than they’d originally planned on . . . and they are happier and more excited about playing than ever! Should your band director not routinely do mouthpiece testing, your local school music retailer will usually do it (for free) – it only takes about 10 minutes, and it’s a great opportunity for you and your child to see and try all the instruments offered to beginning students; rather than simply choosing what looks the shiniest, what all the “cool” kids are playing, what Mom or Dad or an older sibling once played, or what’s been sitting up in Grandma’s attic for 40 years, because “it’s what we already own.”

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28 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

Another reason to remain openminded is that things have changed since you were in school, Mom and Dad. Most beginning bands no longer include “drums,” but ask their students to begin learning percussion on a practice pad, a set of bells, or both. This way, they learn to read music and play scales just like the other band students, and they can focus on making music, not noise. Very few schools use drum sets, though they may have one for their more advanced and/ or jazz band students. Please understand that drum set playing is in many ways as different an art from modern school percussion as snow skiing is from water skiing. If your child has already taken drum (set) lessons, this may or may not mean he should play percussion in school; sometimes, it’s harder to re-learn technique than it is to learn a totally different instrument. And please understand that a snare drum from a drum set won’t work as well for school (you wouldn’t try to take your water skis to Vail, or your snow skis to the ocean, would you?). You will not save any money by doing this – by the time you add a concertheight stand and a carrying case, and concert sticks, you will likely spend more than you would on a regular student snare kit. As far as string sizing, it is crucial that your child is properly sized for the instrument of his/her choice. We often have parents come in assuming that “strings class” means “violin class.” But allowing your child to try viola, cello and bass before choosing an orchestral instrument is important. And size does matter. Instruments that are too large or too small can cause discomfort, and even pain. If playing is uncomfortable for your child, you are dooming him/her to failure in music class. Even if you’ve found a “great deal” online, or have a family “heirloom,” if it’s the wrong size for your child, it’s unfair to ask him/her to play it.

bone, percussion, violin, viola) can be rented for very reasonable monthly rates, usually around $25 per month, with 100 percent of that going towards the purchase. Saxophones, oboes and cellos are usually more expensive. Often, the school will have French horns, euphoniums, tubas, and basses (sometimes even cellos, oboes and bassoons) that you can rent from the school for a very reasonable fee, but if your child’s instrument is

too large to carry back and forth between home and school, he/she will definitely need to have one available at school and another for home use. Again, doing homework daily (practicing) is the key not only to success in band or strings, but also to the enjoyment of playing music. Parents may try to save money by buying an inexpensive instrument either online, or at a store that is not a true school music dealer, believing

Money… NOT! Participation in beginning band and strings classes does not have to be expensive. Many beginning instruments (flute, clarinet, trumpet, tromSchool Band and Orchestra, July 2011 29

this to be the least expensive way to get an instrument. Some might say they don’t want to spend money on a better quality instrument “until we know the child likes it.” But some of these instruments are not at all suitable for school use – they are not made for durability, parts may not be available should they break, they may not even play in the correct key. This is unfair to your child, and not less expensive, either – you may spend more money on repairs than you did for the instrument itself. Or, your child may get discouraged, and quit all together (which happens all too often), and then the entire purchase price is wasted. In contrast, if you are renting, and your child leaves the program, then you are out only a few months’ rent. Brands and models have changed a great deal from when we were in school band. New brands from a variety of sources are springing up practically every day, some suitable for school use and others not. You may

want your child to play the instrument you loved so much when you were in school, but that is not always wise (or inexpensive). Your child may be uncomfortable with a tarnished old instrument, in a case that looks (and smells) nothing like anyone else’s, and is probably significantly heavier to carry around. The fact that the instrument you once played “looks too old” to your child is not nearly as important as the fact that parts may no longer be available for that instrument, or that the re-pad it needs would cost more than the instrument is worth. Sentimentality is a great reason to have your old instrument made into a lamp or displayed on the wall; it’s not a good reason for your child to be at a disadvantage in his/her music class. In the long run, the least expensive way to obtain an instrument for your child is usually from a reputable school music dealer. Ask questions – about discounts, return privileges, carrying charges, your particular

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teacher’s choice of brands and accessories (your school music dealer should be well-acquainted with your teacher and his/her requirements and preferences, where the various instruments are made and what their specs are, and so on). Compare purchase, rental, and lease prices. Ask if they will deliver to your school. Be sure your school music dealer has access to a certified repair technician. If a school music dealer is a member of your state music educators’ association, and the National Association of School Music Dealers (NASMD), you can be sure they are a company that focuses on and cares about school music programs. Believe me; with your support and encouragement, your child will succeed in music class. He or she will love it. He/she will learn skills that will benefit him throughout his life. Whatever investment you make will pay huge dividends in your child’s cognitive, academic, social, and creative development. And your whole family will benefit from being involved in music as well. Please allow us to wish you and your child great success in all of his/her musical endeavors.

Tracy E. Leenman has nearly 40 years of teaching experience, as well as more than 15 years of experience in the music industry. A second-generation woodwind player, she has won several national awards for her work in music advocacy, including the 2009 KEYS Program Keeping the Beat Music Advocacy Award, the 2009 SCMEA Friend of Music Business Award, and the 2006 Phi Beta Mu (Theta Chapter) Outstanding Contributor Award. A noted author and clinician, she is widely respected for her work with educators, students, musicians, instrument manufacturers and retailers. In 2009, she began Musical Innovations, a company dedicated to working with parents, students, educators, and the community-at-large, to promote and strengthen school music program. She can be reached at

SBORoundtable: Survival Guide

Cl Clearing Early-Career Hurdles in

Music Ed


s in any occupation, long-term success in the career of music education hinges upon surviving through the first several years on the job.

And in this particular field, gutting out the first few years can be particularly challenging: studies indicate that as many as 50 percent of young music educators never make it past year five before abandoning the profession. While most fledgling band and orchestra directors are comfortable enough with music from the outset, the trial-by-fire of program management – including elements like fundraising, equipment maintenance, advocacy, recruitment, and the politics of working with administrators, colleagues, and parent groups – often contains many unforeseen challenges.

32 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

There are many ways one might approach this subject, but who better to shed light on the tribulations of young music educators than those who have successfully – and recently – made it over that hump? With that in mind, SBO recently contacted four such educators, who vary in experience between 7 and thirteen years in the classroom, to talk about the challenges they faced early in their careers and how they have managed to become acclimated and attain success. What are the biggest challenges you faced in your first few years teaching? How did you overcome or get past those challenges? DuWayne Dale: The biggest challenge for me was overcoming utopian expectations of what being in the classroom and being a band director would be like. My undergraduate preparation was outstanding, but the realities of daily classroom discipline, lesson planning, financial management, and public relations were overwhelming at first. I was lucky to have had veteran music teachers around me on whom I could rely. I sought their advice, watched them in the classroom, and asked for help when needed. I attended professional development sessions whenever possible and applied those experiences to what I felt were my own shortcomings. Misty Prochazka: Challenges I faced included getting the room organized, finding resources in the files, figuring out what performances were expected, and convincing the students to “buy” into my vision and teaching style. And then there were the non-music-related administrative duties, budget, transportation forms, and so on. Unfortunately the best way to overcome those challenges are to give it time, to trust in yourself and the process, make adjustments as necessary, and build relationships with the students and staff. Andy Walters: I would say two things. The first would be selecting music that truly fit the ensemble, yet was also of high quality. For this challenge, I relied heavily on colleagues to help. Veteran teachers are more than willing to lend a hand in this profession, both with this and any other challenge I have faced. Picking up the phone, typing an email, or even scheduling a visit to watch a veteran teach or twist an ear for advice was one of the best things I could have done. The second was relating to parents, who were sometimes twice my age, while the kids were only four years younger at times. I always tried to be prepared and over-prepared for my communications with them, face to face, or in any way. If you show you are competent, and more importantly, care for their kids, over time parents of any age or education will respect you. Brian Grant: Looking back over my 10 years in this profession, I found that the two greatest challenges faced have been raising funds and student motivation. The manner in which I overcame each of these challenges is the same: I found a colleague who has proven to be successful in the area in which I was struggling and asked that individual for advice. Music education, at least in my corner of the country, has very few competitive overtones. I have never been turned down for advice or assistance by one of my colleagues, nor have I ever denied anyone my advice or assistance when asked. What’s the number one unexpected area you felt unprepared for when you began teaching?

DuWayne Dale Daviess County High School Owensboro, Ky. DuWayne Dale is the band director at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, KY. The 2011-2012 school year will be his thirteenth year teaching band. He also taught high school orchestra for seven years. Misty Prochazka Gering Junior High School Gering, Neb. Misty Prochazka has been a music educator in public schools for seven years. A recipient of the Nebraska State Bandmasters “Jack Snider Young Band Director Award,” she has taught band, choir, elementary band, jazz band, coached the color guard and marching band. Her goals in Music Education include providing her students with a comprehensive understanding of music vocabulary, the esthetic elements and the fundamentals of playing an instrument as well as, to instill a love and enjoyment of music and creating music by providing successful performance opportunities and experiences that will allow her students to experience the intrinsic rewards found in the power of making music. Andy Walters Lewis Central High School Council Bluffs, Iowa Andy Walters began as director of Bands at Lewis Central High School in 2006. Previously, he served as director of Bands at Papillion-La Vista High School, in Papillion, NE from 2003 to 2006, and Ralston High School and Ralston Middle School from 2001 to 2003. Mr. Walters is currently the Past-President for the Southwest Iowa Bandmasters Association. He has also served as the Class AA Representative for the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association, the Executive Board for the Nebraska Wind Symphony and is an Executive Board Member for the Papillion Area Concert Band. Mr. Walters has presented sessions at the Nebraska Music Educators Association Fall Conference and the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association Summer Convention. Brian Grant Blue ridge High School Greer, S.C. Brian T. Grant is the director of Bands at Blue Ridge High School in Greer, South Carolina and has served as a band director in Greenville County for the past 10 years. Mr. Grant is also a National Board Certified Teacher. Under Mr. Grant’s direction, his bands have won three Marching Band State Championships and six Regional Winter Ensemble Championships. The Blue Ridge High School Wind Ensemble consistently receives Superior Ratings at the annual SCBDA Concert Festival. In 2009, Mr. Grant was awarded the Outstanding Young Music Educator Award by SCMEA. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu, MENC, SCMEA and SCBDA.

DD: Little instruction was provided during my undergraduate degree directed toward handling program finances. Setting budgets for School Band and Orchestra, July 2011 33

the year, managing a booster organization, and following school financial procedures all posed significant challenges for me initially. I learned quickly that a good band director is also part accountant, politician, counselor, event planner, recruiter, human resources manager, and general handyman! MP: The students had been at the school longer than I had, so figuring out

the dynamics of the school and the students’ personalities while also trying to stay one step ahead. AW: All of the budget and office

managerial aspects of teaching: filling out forms, getting things done in a timely way for purchases, administrator communication, and managing a budget. This is all overwhelming, but part of our job. I still struggle with this

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BG: This question is easy: finances. I remember my first year of teaching, being “raked over the coals” by our principal because I ran the band account into negative territory. I had no idea how much was in the account to start with, or that a band account even existed. I just kept writing purchase orders and he just kept signing them. My advice to any upcoming music educator is this: upon being appointed to your first job, ask the principal how money is distributed and what the procedures are for spending funds allocated to your program. Do you think the situation you encountered is similar to what young music educators faced in previous generations, or has the educational system changed in the past few years? DD: It seems clear that education today is evolving at an ever-increasing rate. New educators will experience a variety of issues that were not so prevalent a decade or two ago. The push for technology integration and the capability of technology to transform the classroom has grown exponentially since I began teaching. New reforms always seem a year away and the increase in advanced placement, distance learning, and other situations that provide students with an alternative to the tradition high school experience will likely have a greater impact on how music education functions within the high school curriculum in the future. Students are drawn in so many different directions today. New educators will have to find (or fight for) their place in the school curriculum and develop strategies for recruiting that will appeal to today’s students. MP: My impression is that students have more responsibility, fewer authority figures, and less structure at home these days.

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today, but have learned from past mistakes.

AW: I think things have changed. You are expected to walk into teaching situations with more duties, and be a “jack of all trades.” A lot of new teacher jobs are those that are K-12 everything, making it a challenge for many to stay in the profession due to overwhelming duties and circumstances. I also believe that more and 11/16/09 2:36 PM

more parents do not understand what it is that we really do. There is no “band” section in the newspaper, on the web, or on TV, so it’s hard for many to understand what it is that we do as musicians. BG: Well, the situation I mentioned above occurred due to a lack of communication. My principal assumed I knew how things worked from a financial standpoint and I assumed he would stop signing purchase orders when the money ran out. To answer the question, I do believe music educators faced similar situations. The difference today is the level of accountability held to the educational system in general. It may not have been as big a deal 20 years ago to run an account in the red, but with today’s technology our district knows to the penny how much is spent, when it is spent, and on what it was spent. What advice do you have for teachers just entering the classroom about managing all of the non-musicrelated elements that are now a part of being a music educator?

DD: Be organized. Familiarity with spreadsheet software like MS Excel or MS Access can help, but there are other resources that are outstanding. If it can be budgeted for, purchase Charms Office Assistant ( It has allowed me to organize my library, inventory, student data, finances, fundraisers, parent volunteer info, and so much more in one location. It creates email distribution lists and one-call phone services automatically from student data and allows students to manage their personal information. MP: Do not be afraid to ask questions. Be friendly with your principal, secretary, and custodian. It may seem like brown nosing, but it isn’t – it is okay to recognize and appreciate those who can make your life much easier. AW: Seek the advice of your fellow teachers – find at least one in your district or building to whom you can really relate and use as a sounding board. Touch paperwork only once. Make sure the dead-

lines you meet first, are those that affect student success. If you are able to, delegate some tasks to trusted student leaders or perhaps an adult volunteer. Often, it is the teacher who never asks for help who ends up being the most frustrated. BG: One of the root causes of frustration for me as a band director is having to be two people at once; a teacher and a band director. The teacher is accountable for curriculum, assessment, attendance, discipline, and more. The band director is accountable for thousands of dollars of equipment, equipment repair, booster club, purchase orders, bus requests, copyright permission, and so on. My advice for juggling these tasks is to stay organized and utilize the assistance of student leaders and parents. In my situation, there is no assistant band director. I have developed a strong student leadership program that gives certain students the opportunity to help run the band. I also use band parents who are willing to help with tasks that should not befall a student. There is an incredible book


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available by Scott Rush through GIA Publications entitled Habits of a Successful Band Director. That is a must read for every young music educator. This book addresses managing all of the non-music related elements that are now such a critical part of being a music educator. Do you have any advice for older teachers (or for the professional associations and networks) as far as assisting young teachers past the difficult first few years?

DD: Veteran teachers can be a lifeline for new educators. I would encourage any veteran teacher to let new teachers know that they can come to you for help or advice. It’s also important not to hover over them and give unsolicited suggestions unless you’ve been placed in a mentorship role and their supervision is one of your responsibilities. Knowing you are there to help if needed may be all that is required to support their success.

... and know your students are ready to learn.

MP: Share – resources, songs that work, positive feedback, and support.


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36 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

AW: Thank you for your leadership and your help with younger teachers. Continue to offer help sessions at conventions, and make personal contacts with younger teachers. If you see something horribly wrong with a performance or literature selection at contest, please reach out and speak to us. Ignorance is bliss – unless it means we are unaware of an obvious lack of something that is hurting kids (because we, as young teachers, might not know any better). BG: I would like for every state or

district to have a mentoring program that would pair successful, experienced music educators with those just starting out. To music educators in areas that do not have a mentoring program, make it a habit to pick up the phone and call a colleague. Younger music educators should self-advocate. Don’t wait for someone to contact you, be proactive. Older music educators should make it a point to contact younger colleagues not only to offer assistance, but to see if there are any fresh, relevant ideas the younger educator might be willing to share. Most of the ideas I implement regularly, and with great success, have come from my colleagues.

Additional thoughts on surviving as a young band director today? DD: Make time for yourself. You will often find that you are the first at school in the morning and the last to leave in the evening. When other teachers are discussing trips to the beach in July, you’ll be planning band camp. When you do go home, leave your work behind. Be as organized and effective as you can with your time at work so that you can make time for your family and friends. MP: I think that the old saying “don’t smile till Christmas” is way off base. Students want a teacher who is fair and consistent. Students are much more willing to respond to you if they know you and know you care about them and are trying your best to build a successful program. I have seen too many music teachers befriend students to try and please them and get them to “work” for them – students want a teacher first, not a friend. The classroom is like a family: students need to have fun in order for them to choose to be in your class; however, they need to know the rules and that working hard is the only path to success. I try to instill in my students that there is a time to work and a time to play. By giving students boundaries, you are able to give them more responsibility and choices in the classroom. In turn, they will respect you and trust that you will make decisions based on their best interests. AW: Get out of your box and network. The best part of this profession is the people – and those willing to help. With advice from others and an understanding soundboard, you can overcome any situation that you are involved in. BG: Conduct an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have identified your weaknesses, surround yourself with people who are very good at those aspects of being a music educator and learn all you can from them. We have all said “If I could go back and do that again, knowing then what I know now...” While that is not possible, the closest you can get to that is to talk to someone who has been there already and ask what they might have done differently.



Top New Works for Concert Band By Peter J. HaBerman


t’s time to begin planning for the next school year. The marching music might be ready and the drill actively being written, but what about

the concert side of the program? After picking a few of the wonderful standards in band repertoire (which are always a good choice), directors need something new that will get everyone off to a good start. The works should be engaging for students to play and of a high enough quality to justify the expenditure of ever-shrinking funds in the budget. In addition, these pieces should also stand the test of time and be worthy of repeating at some point in the future. This article strives to avoid trendy music that will date itself soon, while highlighting firstrate selections that are enjoyable to play. Here are some new pieces that top my list for many different age groups and abilities.

38 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

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“Be Still, My Soul” by Robert W. Smith (CL Barnhouse Company)

“Broken Bow” by Carl Strommen (Alfred Music Publishing)

Grade: ½ Duration: 2:30 It is impressive how musically mature this work sounds even though it was written with such limited technical ranges! Using only 6 notes and scoring for beginning band, it is a wonderful first lyrical arrangement for your young band. The original hymn-tune is an AfricanAmerican spiritual with the same melody as Sibelius’ Finlandia; there are a lot of teaching opportunities that go beyond the music with this one. I could see this as a great addition to any beginning band concert, or a good sight reader for older bands that stresses musicality rather than technique. Publisher link: www.barnhouse. com/product.php?id=023-3906-00 Audio Link: samples/mp3/023-3906-00.mp3

Grade: 2 Duration: 2:45 I have tried to avoid soundtracks in this article, but I could not help myself on

“Groovee” (A G-Minor Groove for Concert Band) by Richard Saucedo (Hal Leonard Corporation) Grade: 2 Duration: 3:00 I really enjoyed the groovy, bluesy, and minimalistic ideas in this piece. It is a definite win for the students, audience, and director. Groovee layers lyr-

this one. Though it is not from any specific film, the music has all the fun characteristics of a cowboy/western movie. Carl Strommen has put together a piece with a wonderful energy which your students will love to play. The scoring is rather traditional, but everyone has a chance to be featured. It is also a fun way to work on multiple sixteenth-note combinations and syncopated rhythms, which are prevalent in the work. Publisher Link: Products/Broken-Bow--00-32497.aspx Audio Link:

“Earthdance” by Michael Sweeney (Hal Leonard Corporation)

ical, rhythmic, and bluesy sounds on top of an evolving percussion groove. Looking over the score, there is something for everyone in this piece. Publisher Link: do?itemid=4002991 Audio Link: do?itemId=4002991&fileName=/common/audio/04002991.mp3 40 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011

Grade: 3 Duration: 7:30 After a first listening, I immediately put this work on my “must-do” list. One month later, I programmed it for an honor band. It was the students’ favorite piece and after the concert I received many comments about the tune from parents, as well. The work has sound effects for the ensemble and an active percussion part; it is also lyrical and expressive, yet rhythmic and driving. Players find it fun, uplifting, and exciting. It has many mood changes and I found it easy to get the students to go beyond the notes and capture the styles, phrases, and musical moments in the piece. Publisher Link:

do?itemid=4002979 Audio Link: do?itemId=4002979&fileName=/ common/audio/04002979.mp3

“Play” by Carl Holmquist (C. Alan Publications) Grade: 3 Duration: 5:30 I’m not sure why this is rated at a grade 3, because it is rhythmically difficult and highly independent (I would call it a grade 5). That being said, it is absolutely worth the effort! I have worked with two different ensembles on this tune and will come back to it again whenever I get the chance. The piece combines a light eighth-note New Orleans swing feel, a layered fugal development, and a serious and inspiring chorale into a work with a powerful message. There is a wonderful metric modulation in the work which will need attention, again the independence in counting is imperative, and it has unique instrumentation requests to navigate. The bluesy clarinet solo can have some added smears and I would encourage students to improvise if they feel comfortable. Publisher Link: Code=CAPC&Product_Code=14860 Audio Link:

“Elements” by Brian Balmages (FJH Music Company) Grade: 4 Duration: 8:30 This four-movement work is subtitled a “petite symphony,” and each short movement carries a descriptive title. Orchestration is one reason why I enjoy this piece, but that may also be a limiting factor for some. Piano plays an important role in a couple of movements, there is little doubling at times so full instrumentation is needed, percussionists will be kept busy, and there are solos for oboe, horns, marimba, piano, and others. I could see a group successfully performing only a couple of movements rather than the entire piece, as there is no unifying thread that connects the movements together. The first movement, “Air,” has a fresh minimalistic and dry character I haven’t heard in works for band before. Move-

ment two is titled “Water” and is full of gorgeous chord progressions with beautiful sonorities for both brass and woodwinds. “Earth” is a scherzo-like third movement march with many quotes from Holst’s “Planets.” Oddly, the melodies Holst used to describe other planets are used here to depict our own, and it works well. The final movement, “Fire,” is rhythmic, full of energy and muscle, and reminds me of a Vaclav Nelhybel work. Publisher Link: band/b1437.htm Audio Link: band/b1437.htm

“Rest” by Frank Ticheli (Manhattan Beach Music)

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Grade: 4 Duration: 7:15 Frank Ticheli’s Rest is a work full of beauty and grace. Transcribed from his own chorale work, There Will Be Rest, the piece does not need the text to communicate a strong emotional journey. Starting from simple and searching notes in the beginning, the work ends with a triumphant and powerful state-

ment of hope. If you liked “American Elegy,” you will find this piece as powerful and easier to put together. I am excited to perform the work myself this year. Publisher Link: index.html Audio Link:

“Xerxes” by John Mackey (SelfPublished) Grade: 5 Duration: 5:00 “Xerxes” is a dark work that has all the angst, grit, and muscle John Mackey could fit into a concert march. Your students will love the intense and volatile sounds asked of them, and yet there is plenty of opportunity to work on musical arrivals and balanced harmonic dissonance. The middle section features the woodwinds, especially the soprano saxophone and friends. It is not a “toe-taper” like King or Sousa, but students and audiences sure will remember this one! Publisher Link: blog/xerxes/

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Peter Haberman is an assistant professor of Music and serves as the director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he conducts the Wind Symphony, teaches courses in conducting and repertoire, supervises student teachers, and coordinates the UW-Eau Claire band program. A native of Minnesota, he has earned degrees from Concordia College, the University of Montana, and the University of Minnesota where he completed a Doctor of Music Arts in conducting. Dr. Haberman maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician across the United States.

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by the New York Times “as much of a traditionalist as an innovator,” Mr. Liebermann’s music is known for its technical command and audience appeal, and he has written over one hundred works in all genres including Sonata for Flute and Piano and Gargoyles.

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44 School Band and Orchestra, July 2011






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Spit Out the Notes “In teaching my 5th-grade band students tonguing, I tell them to pretend they’re spitting out watermelon seeds. For accented notes, I tell them to spit the seed as far across the room as possible. For fast tonguing, when we get into quarter and eighth notes, I tell them to continue to spit out the seeds or they can accidentally go down their throat if they breathe in between the notes. This part of our fun exercise teaches breath control as well as tonguing. It also keeps them from ‘huffing’ out the notes, as many of us so aptly put it!” Janis Bowden Stowe Elementary School Des Moines, Iowa 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.



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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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