Here are a few tips & ideas to help you get ready for the new marching season.
SELECTING MUSIC: Stock Arrangements vs. Custom
Most bands will purchase stock arrangements for their shows. Be sure to listen carefully to the samples. Listen for the following things when selecting stock arrangements (if you can get a preview score, even better!):
Choose music which will highlight your ensembles strengths. Just because something sounds cool doesn’t mean it will work for your ensemble.
Most directors who go this route have probably spoken with a custom-music arranger. However, it’s not too late (but you’ll want to move ASAP if you want to pursue this option!). Custom arrangements are a great way to custom tailor music to highlight your ensemble’s strengths.
Be sure to get copyright permissions when looking at this option!
RECRUITING DAY / MINI-CAMP
Recruiting is ESSENTIAL!
Set up your Mini-Camp dates and begin communicating with the middle school directors. Some things you will want to do:
Arrange bus transportation for the middle schools
Make announcements regularly between now and the event. Daily with in the last 7 days.
Visit the feeder program and get the students excited!
Pick out fun activities & ice breakers for the Mini-Camp
Don’t forget to recruit within your school
Have music & play ASAP!
Teach marching fundamentals & band traditions
Remind the upper classmen that their success this season weighs heavily on the recruiting of the Freshman class.
PREPARE YOUR MARCHING CALENDAR NOW
Whether you are marching in a circuit or competing in local/state competitions, most competitions dates are set. Choose which ones your band will compete in. Prepare your calendar now and stick to it. Being prepared with dates before the Mini-Camp strengthens your expectation of full participation throughout the season. Make sure the students know the full commitment of the Marching Season:
I hope this list of tips and ideas is useful! I wish each of you the very best.
And remember: never try to beat the competition but always strive to perform your very best. Trophies & awards are a bi-product of hard work, focus and goals – not the objective!