Okay…I’ve been debating on whether or not to post this one or not, but since the marching season is now over, maybe you dopers can help me out here.
okay…quick background information
My freshman yesr(currently a senior) Our band director of 23 years retires. Thus, we don’t have a marching band that year.
Sophomore year- We get our current director in. We only had 25 members in the band, but for our first year under a new director it was ok
Junior Year- This year we only have 21 members. We are in danger of losing the marching band if our numbers don’t start improving. [Now would be the time to say that our town is a small town of maybe 500-750 people…and we’re very sports oriented. The people in this town would rather have no band and more athletics, but whatever. The school give us no funding for new instruments, uniforms or anything. Anyway, back to the story] Since we have such few members, we needed to do something…
This Year, My Senior Year- Our director decides to march 8th graders with us…boosting our numbers from a projected 22 to 34. Which everyone seemed to really like but they are 8th graders so we had to play easier music, even easier then we did before because of our numbers.
okay…I think that’s enough background information, to the question now
Because we have been hurting for numbers, Our Director feels she has to be EXTREMELY leanant on everything. We have no discipline, basically no rules, and no boundaries on what we can/cannot do, because our director is afraid of people quitting. I personally have been against that since she would tell us we couldn’t do something, and then not punish those who disobeyed. I have been telling her time and time again, if you let people get away with stuff, they will keep pushing and pushing and eventually you’ll have a band with 34 people, but no discipline.
Nobody takes it seriously. Nobody takes the time to make sure they have their music down well or the drill right. Nobody makes sure they are on the right foot or if they are staying on beat. When we’re in the stands…only like 10 people stay by their instrument and have the next stand song out and ready to go. Our director lets them just go talk to their friends, take our their jackets off…basically…be regular fans to the game who play the occasional song. The crowd doesn’t get into our songs, even at halftime. The cheerleaders don’t like the band because we take up their time for cheering. I can’t explain how bad it really is, but think about how bad you are picturing it…and mulitply it by like 10. It’s that bad.
Now, my question to you all is:
- Should we continue on this way, hoping and praying that it gets better, some how we’ll get like 15 new people and the discipline will come along?
- Stop doing the marching band, maybe just have a small pep band to play at home games with no halftime show?
- Let the band go away for a few years, run the risk of it never being reinstituted again, and hope that the numbers will increase and people will miss the band once it’s gone for a while?
and another question:
Do you think we should have been hard on the band’s discipline from the beginning, using the thinking process of “A band of 20 hard workers is better than a band of 40 slackers?”
thank you, and btw for all you bandies out there. This insightful article was written by a percussionist, whom I bet YOU thought was just someone who was loud and annoying and had no intelligent thought…that’s right…
thank you for reading this post:)