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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000028.txt from 1998/03

From: "Jason Hsien" <>
Subj: Re: Marching Band (was alto mpcs)
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 23:38:02 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Hausmann <>

:At 09:19 AM 2/28/98 -0600, Roger Garrett wrote:
:>A lot of people will jump on the soapbox and describe marching band as a
:>serious music event. I describe marching contests, quite accurately (and
:>as one who has performed in them, attended them, judged them, etc.) as a
:>money making venture (for the organizers) and as a public display for the
:>band director who is capable of getting students to move together
:>athletically......perhaps even while playing a memorized arrangement of a
:>piece of music.
:I am not going to claim that marching band is high musical art. Rather, it
:teaches the same sorts of things that team sports teach: teamwork and
:individual contribution to a larger whole being prime learning outcomes.
:Competitive marching is not something of which I approve, but it does
:provide motivation beyond a few halftime shows during which the band is,
:unfortunately, generally ignored.

I must disagree with some of your comments, but not all. I also don't
believe that marching band is "high musical art". I agree that it teaches
sportsmanship and teamwork, and should, in my opinion, be regarded as a type
of sports entertainment. But, competitive marching competitions provide a
forum in which marching bands can come together and perform, to exhibit
their skills and the effort they have placed in them. Also, for those people
who keep saying how stupid marching bands are and how they "are ingnored
during half time shows", please _DO NOT_ blame that on the marching bands in
general. that is the fault of the marching band who performs. They need to
earn respect from those.

At my high school, though it has taken quite a few years of hard work, we
have finally started to gain recognition from our school. Those at football
games cheer the marching band on during the half time show. Many students
regard us with the high respect that our school sports teams and
cheerleaders get now. So do almost all of the teachers. We've started to get
that special class treatment (you all know...)

Also, in response to Rogers' comment about how he thinks he has"quite
accurately" stated that in his opinion, marching bands are nothing more than
money-makers and exhibitions for the directors to show-off at. Now, I can
say that for some shows, this is perfectly the case. How would you, then,
classify, high school bands marching down main street of their hometown,
invited by their city cultural arts committee, playing side by side with
their cross-town rivals? No, this isn't a dream, it is reality, and it
happened in my hometown. My high school (Amador Valley HS) and our
cross-town rivals (Foothill HS) played the piece "Santa Parade" together
during the Annual Christmas Parade down Main Street. It was a brilliant
experience, everyone loved it, and it united our two bands in a way never

In my opinion, marching bands are much more than simply money-makers, they
are a chance for band members and everyone who is involved to work together,
to show teamwork, and to have a good time. To me, all this is worth more and
means more than monetary figures and some directors' reputations.
Unfortunately, not everyone has had a good experience with marching bands as
I have had...

Jason Hsien
Student, Amador Valley High School
"It kind of makes you wonder why man considers himself such a big screaming
-Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes
"Look, Homer, all of us pull a few boners now and then, go off half-cocked,
make asses of ourselves. So, I don't want to be hard on you, but I wish you
wouldn't curse in front of my boys."
- Ned Flanders, The Simpsons
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