You see the post now I would like to say why I decided to post this. We have all noticed in the past decade a significant drop in our bands. However in the past 4 years, Ive noticed a decrease in size and quality of our bands as a whole and its NATIONWIDE... yes I said it...
I saw a few bands this year and I am both bothered and scared. When I see the bands in Atlanta significantly smaller (including SWD) as well as bands in New Orleans struggling, I feel a sense of urgency should be called. Now this post is in no way intended to call any bands weak or say you guys are not good because I know we are all doing the best we can with what we have BUT I do see this thing getting worse every year.
Here in Houston, every black band is on life support, including the ones in the suburbs. The hispanic schools are hanging in there but the decline has started because of the lack of support for them. So in this case of urgency Im throwing out the question too not only directors but to students and parents as well:
What are WE going to do to fix this epidemic of dying bands?
Will it start at Home? Will us parents motivate our students to play music in schools? Will we send our kids to the inner city schools or will we send em to the suburbs?
Will the music majors in college try to get these elementary and middle school jobs instead of focusing on the high schools? If you graduate college and get a high school with no feeder and you dont have a middle school connection, you just killed the program.
Will us band directors be willing to work double duty to recruit kids like old school directors did? I remember Mr. Gerald Stewart at Smiley would come to my damn house if I missed band practice.
Will wealthy entertainers start to sponsor our programs financially? (yeah right)
Will students be dedicated to THEIR OWN BAND and stop being wishy washy and trying to change schools every year to be in the most popular band.
Sorry the post is so long but I just wanna see where our heads are. Regardless of the outcome we are all in this together, it doesnt matter what city, neighborhood or what school it is. We are all struggling.
Defintiely wouldn't hurt for the area high school and college programs to visit the middle schools and have some clinics. The kids would eat up everything they teach because they view them as superheroes(trust me, I hear it everyday).