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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000053.txt from 1998/03

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: Marching Band (was alto mpcs)
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 12:06:20 -0500

On Sun, 1 Mar 1998, Jason Hsien wrote:
> 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.

Well, we agree so far!

> 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.

We begin to differ here only that marching bands tend to be ignored
because many of them (in fact, most of them) play the same show at every
game.....with small changes here and there..... the half-time show is less
for the fans at the game than it is for the band to fine-tune their
competition..........also......while I agree that marching competitions
are an opportunity to display and exhibit effort and skill on the field,
my difficulty is with those band directors who use it as a measure of
their musical teaching.......plainly, this would be wrong.

> 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
> before.

I say bravo! When I taught high school band, I not only combined a
marching show with our rival across town (we marched the same show.....on
the field at the same time.....lots of fun....and WOW WHAT A SOUND!), we
also marched the Christmas Parade together (held on Thanksgiving day
*groan*) as a display of friendly competition between the bands. No one
knew who to give the trophy to ......since we registered under our name,
we accepted it and had the name plate changed to show both bands!

> 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...

I never said they are only money-makers.......I said the organizers of the
competition view it as such......and I will add that many of them view the
hosting of such as a "feather in their cap" musically....that they are
somehow the new leaders of the music "industry" in town!

Your good experiences sound are one of the lucky ones!

Rogerm Garrett

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