By John Gardner
At the end of my first semester at HNHS, I gave a “talk” at the Band Banquet Awards….. At first, I was going to update it with what is outdated or different……but have decided instead to print it (almost) as I said it 9 years ago.
Rookie Run Down
From my perspective, the best thing going for this band is THIS BAND. The work ethic is good. These guys will do just about anything we ask, almost without grumbling. They have all been respectful to me. As the principal says, we have a great clientele of students here.
The NEXT BEST THING GOING for this band are THE PARENTS. There are the dedicated people on the uniform committee; measuring, altering, touching up, repairing when the fence tears a hole in the sleeve or touching up dirty shoes – and dealing with those who forgot socks, or shoes, or uniform. There is the Pit Crew that loads, unloads and transports all our equipment. The Food Committee waters the band after every performance and sometimes feeds them twice in a day.
As Bill Clinton said in a church service, “I like it here – and I don’t wanna leave.”
S-Steps To Success
more below the poster……
After a Band Parent meeting, a group of people made an encouraging request.
“Tell us what you need and let us see what we can do.”
I’ve generalized my goals into three major categories – and they all start with ‘S’. I’m calling them my “Sssss-Steps to Success”.
#1 – Super Size
The FIRST thing we need to do is to SUPER SIZE this band. Size doesn’t equal sound – but it certainly helps!
We need to Search for Super Sizers.
You can help. Be enthusiastic about your band. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Pit people (front sideline ensemble) don’t have to be band members. Your friends who play piano can play mallet instruments. People who quit band in the past can come back. And then, without taking anything away from what it takes to be a percussionist, we can teach just about anybody how to hit something.
We currently have a lot of people in the high school bands who do not march.
You need to Stay to be Seniors.
I’d love to see the school or community have to deal with
- a marching band that can’t fit in the band room.
- having to buy uniforms because we don’t have enough.
- scrambling to get instruments and equipment for the people we have to use them.
- pull into competition parking lots with 5 or 6 busses.
#2 – Sensational Sound
SECOND, you should Strive for Individual Success.
If you become the best that YOU can be, then we can work to blend your individual abilities to improve the overall band. A super-sized band can give us more sound, but we need your individual improvement to enable us to play some of the more challenging types music we heard this past fall.
Study Seriously for Improvement.
You should consider Individual Study on your instrument. If you can pay, we have access to professional experts on every instrument. They absolutely make a difference. For less pay, we can connect you with some college students who are looking for some experience. And if you can’t pay, let us know, because some teachers will make allowances for hard-working students.
Instruments need to go home. There are no shortcuts. Proficiency requires practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it certainly helps.
Your Individual Level of Musical Success depends on a combination of
- your God-given musicianship
- the training you receive
- the equipment you use and
- the commitment you have
#3 – Sizzling Show
FINALLY, we need a SIZZLING SHOW, and it won’t come cheaply.
We need Spectacular Music.
We need Stunning Drill Design.
We need Superb Special Effects.
We need Splendid Style.
We need State-of-the-Art Equipment.
You give us what we need in people, equipment, work ethic and attitude – and we’ll take some major steps toward BIGGER success.
I like it here.