And the band plays on – at Graduation

By John Gardner

graduationThe graduation ceremony can be one of the least favorite times for band students. First there is providing prelude music for the incoming noisy, uninterested and unappreciative crowd. Next comes Pomp and Circumstance over, and over, and over again…. how big is YOUR school?

Then…. they get to sit through an hour (or more) of speeches and the reading of names. Then there is the postlude music that no one is listening to.

Yeah, just another day in the life of a band student. It is the last official function of the current year band, with which many of the students also performed in:

  • parades. For some bands, that can be a half-dozen or so. Parades are typically short, but requires half a Saturday to get to school, travel or get ready to perform and then, afterward, putting things away and getting home again.
  • football games. 4-5 home games x two performances per game. Also, sitting through an entire game to periodically play the school song in support of the team, or to play some drum cadences to which the cheerleaders react (but no one else).
  • basketball games. 5-10-15-20. Including pre-game rehearsal and the game itself, that is about a 3-hr commitment per game. For how many band concerts will the athletes reciprocate?
  • marching competitions. For many, this is why they are in band. Sadly, most in the community have no clue what happens there.
  • concert band concerts / festivals.
  • jazz band performances.
  • school pep rallies.

Seniors are gone and school is out. Marching band, for many, is already up and running and the next year is under way. The local band has a parade performance two weeks after school is out.

…and the band plays on.

15 yrs experience as a high school band director. 14 yrs as college adjunct faculty. 30+ yrs in the fundraising industry and 24 yrs as a small business owner. (Don't add all those up.). Experience in both the fundraising sales and education worlds give me a unique combination of perspectives in both. I love working with the youthful enthusiasm of today's teenage achievers and with those who work with them.Also 4yrs as proprietor of VirtualMusicOffice.com, which offers a wide variety of virtual services including web/blog design/hosting/managing, social media management (scheduling posts/tweets for maximum impact and brand enhancement) and small business consulting - specializing in school product fundraising.

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