There is an obvious....decline in the current high school bands. GRANTED that it is the responsibility of the band directors to maintain the students. HOWEVER...as the most visible and heard examples to kids, and with the change in focal points...do we have part of the blame?

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..............I guess i was the only one who took it as understood that it was the director's responsibility first. Im not arguing against that. Just not addressing it cause Antonio said it in the beginning.
I feel ya man. Gotta start at the top...

I'll say this first.

 

Kids don't understand the kind of practice it takes to perform every Saturday.  The stuff they hear is not something that is done that day.  Damien pretty much explained how we do things at Jackson State. 

 

Another thing I could say is lack of "the arts" in public schools these days.  I know here in TX, they are cutting back on music programs everywhere.  It's hard to field a 150-200+ student high school these days with the proper equipment.  Funding is just not there.

 

Another one is commitment.  Back in my day, all we had was video games.  Even then, games wasn't as mainstream as it is now, it was more of an underground kinda thing.  Facebook, twitter, cell phones, iPods, iPads are all distractions to a student.  It's hard to get a student to practice when there is so much going on in cyber space (still waiting for the virtual world *lol*)

 

I could go on, but I'm tired so there are a couple main points.

Band directors are only gonna teach what they know.  A lot of the time, you will see directors going to these middle school and high schools and trying to mold these bands into miniature models of college bands they played for.  Problem with that, is that while it's interesting, the kids in the middle and high school bands are not musically mature enough to emulate the actual college band.  The maturity is simply not there.  Habits are formed.  And by the time they move on to the next level, they take those habits with them, and all those accumulated habits are reflected in the overall execution of the band.

 

So while they (young bandsmen) are in that developmental stage, their directors should be instilling them with good habits that will carry over when they move on, as well as fill them up with as much literature as they possibly can, as well is expose them to all types of bands on the next level.  If they aren't doing that, then they are cheating their students, IMO.

Real man...y go out...knowing you know how diverse music is....and teach a child that "we need power"....and then u don't teach any other concepts or better yet how to attain the illusion of power...hell, never hurts to bring them to a pregame battle...well...a few years ago atleast....u would get more marches...not so much now, but yea....and again....how many black bands go to FESTIVAL now....hell..emphasis on marching ain't even high anymore...take Memphis...we used to see floorshows all the time...now...it's like "showdown" central....everywhere...u should have a band that can do it all...no sayin PERFECT...but atleast strive for better.
Thats very true......Phil has been tellin us about this for years. Said he saw starting to happen back in the early 90's

So we all agree that its first and foremost the directors' responsibility to ensure a quality program. No Argument.

 

But someone answer this point Im trying to make: What are people (most importantly, students) thinking/gathering/perceiving when they hear/see us? 

 

Is there anything saying "We work diligently on refining the details"?

 

Is there anything saying "We are striving to sound our best."? Heck, is there anything saying "We are striving to sound better than the band across the field"? And louder =/= better!!!

 

How much of our performances speak to the mastery of fundamentals, musically AND marching? 

 

I could go on but here's my problem: Homeboy said there are no professional showstyle marching bands. True. So WHO are our kids SUPPOSED to look up to and emulate then? I totally agree that many young students try to do what we do with out proper preparation or a full understands of what it takes. But be honest......HONEST......what about most of our performances would lead ANYONE to believe that we work daily on intonation, balance or rhythmic accuracy? 

And I guess to go back more towards the original question, why do so many of us feel like its not our place to show them better?

 

Its like we are playing And 1 but telling the kids to work on free throws. Aint gonna happen. 

So are you saying because a high school can't properly execute our style, we should change our style? Of course not. The only thing we can do is maybe show a clip of a sectional or band rehearsal so that the kids see we do more than just show up and play.

 

Now I do understand that a director can preach something forever, and the kids won't take it in until somebody else comes in and says the same thing.

WOOOOO....WHO THE HELL SAID THAT???? lol
..............??? Not sure what you are talking about.....
See here's my whole issue with "they do what they see"......I agree with that logic, but you have to consider what's being uploaded and by whom.....I've been saying for quite sometime that I both love and hate YouTube. Why, the upside is it gives people the chance to see our work whom otherwise may never get to see it in person......the downside is that overwhelming amount of content uploaded by users who have absolutely no ties to the organizations themselves....so what do they post? Normally the stereotypical clips that a band supposedly "known" for.

To give you an example, it has always infuriated me that there are almost no clips of SU playing any marches, school songs or patriotic students.meanwhile type in neck under SU and I bet at least 10 versions pop up. So when these people who have no ties to our organizations say to themselves, oh SU is known for power, so that's what I'll post, Famu is known for ballads and marches, Tnsu is known for funk, it becomes a situation where people will develop a generalization about how particular bands sound based solely on what they see on the net, and un the case of hbcu's it becomes a stereotype of power, dancing, pop tunes etc. When in actuality these are just a few dimensions of the bands that are being observed.


In other words, people who post should assume some responsibility to make sure their content paints whole the story and not just on side.....but let's be real, this will not happen

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