On this Halloween, I thought it would be cool to take a look at the Haunted Music Hall of Cincinnati. Opened in the 1870s, the Cincinnati Music Hall has been a major contributor to the artistic development of the city for almost a century and a half! But ask the people who work there, and they will tell you it’s not only music they hear late at night... During renovations to the building in 1927, workers digging a connecting tunnel unearthed 3 coffins! One of the coffins con
I never get tired of listening to, performing or studying the music of Percy Grainger! I remember the first time I programmed a piece written by Percy Grainger with my band at King George High School (VA). It was Bainum's arrangement of Australian Up-Country Tune. This beautiful melody was a favorite of Grainger. The original composition was for voice and was sung at his wedding, an event that was held at the famed Hollywood Bowl. Grainger, ever the showman, composed the p
Grading in the band room can be difficult. It is not easy to quantify what a band director teaches. Our instruction time is vastly different from our colleagues in the Math, English, and Science departments. In those classrooms, students will receive a lot of grades for daily assignments, pop quizzes, tests, homework assignments, etc. With so many assignments, it’s not uncommon for these teachers to have 40 or more graded assignments in a given grading period. A lot of band
I can remember the first Wynton Marsalis recording I ever heard. It was an early evening in the spring of 1991 in the band room of Fairfax High School. I was a junior in high school and the jazz band was not a class. We rehearsed one night a week for a few hours. My Director, Ms. Mary Ulrey, wanted us to hear what she meant to breathe through a phrase. She played “Never Let Me Go” from the Standard Time, vol. 3 album. I had been inundated by the offerings of my peers with t
As we move into the new school year, Wind Conductor thought it would be helpful to identify some of the terminology found in most Lesson Plan Templates and how those terms relate to the wind band classroom. Objectives: As you choose the music for the school year, consider the level of playing for your ensemble and where you would like to see them perform. Think of some of the great pieces written for Wind Band. Think which pieces are immediately accessible by your ensemble,
Ask any band director in the US and he or she will probably tell you, “I teach the best kids in the school.” Over my career as an educator, I have been amazed at what my kids have become after graduating and pursuing their dreams. My classroom has been the youthful sanctum of educators, doctors, lawyers, architects, molecular biologists, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, computer techs, political scientists, film makers, college professors, and of
The warmup is vital to any physical activity. For marching band, it is crucial! As you are preparing for the fall Marching Season be sure to develop a routine which will exercise all aspects of the Marching Program. It is imperative for your warmup routine to include all members of the band. You will want your routine to be consistent. A good warmup should consist of two aspects: 1) Physical and 2) Musical. Physical warmups It is important that you develop a solid physical
This time of year, can be very difficult in the band room. The Spring Concert was a success but there are still a few weeks before the next performance.
…and it’s graduation.
… and there are only so many times you can rehearse Pomp and Circumstance.
The goal is to keep the students engaged through the end of the school. Not only will this provide better classroom management, but it will be respected by the administration as they make their rounds in the last few