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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000100.txt from 1998/03

From: "Jason Hsien" <>
Subj: Re: marching bands
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:34:27 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Garrett <>
:1. Some believe that marching band is the end all to a musical
:experience in high school. This is a position I cannot support, and it is
:one that I argue vehmently against.

I agree with this here.
:2. Marching bands have value and a place in the music curriculum -
:that they provide many things for students that are important in a musical
:environment. I agree with this.

:3. Marching bands often are used by the teachers of that area as a
:political means - as a device to prove worthiness to non-music
:administrators.........I believe this is very a prevelant and dangerous
:practice that negatively impacts on music education in the public schools.
:i also believe it negatively affects the music literacy of high school
:aged students.

This is _NOT ALWAYS_ the case, just to clarify this, and I hope that you
agree with me here, for you used the word "often". Some administrators feel
that the music program is very worthy, and I am very proud that my HS admins
come in occasionally to listen to us simply to enjoy the music. They also
attend almost all our shows.
:4. Done correctly, marching band can be exciting and fulfilling. It
:serves both a musical and social outlet, and it can be compared with the
:same values associated with athletic teams. This is a true statment. But
:caution........once you walk this path, be prepared to show why they
:shouldn't cut the band instead of the football team when budgets fail and
:referendums on the tax base become an issue!

Of course they cut band instead of football. Without football, this wouldn't
be america, a sad but true fact. You don't ever see NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX
fighting over the rights to show DCI championships and charge $1.5 million
per commercial.
:5. Drum and Bugle Corp (DCI) is a great art form........yes it is.
:Not to be associated with the high school band "copy" of DCI that tries to
:stake a claim as part of that art form.

No comment.
:6. Marching bands are an equal musically to their counterpart on the
:concert stage........
: Sorry.......this is an indefensible position. Sadly, there are
:people who truly believe it. They may never know or understand the beauty
:of the music form that the marching band evolved away from.

But, sicne most high school students have never seen a "classic marching
show", we have to work with what we have, and in our opinion, we enjoy what
we do and are very proud. No, we may not be playing Sonatas or Symphonies in
G (okay... SOME of us are), but we play music that fits with what we march.
Example: This years, we are doing a New York theme, so we did a lot NYC-like
stuff, including a traffic jam along with the song "On Broadway". No a
traffic jam is not something I would call art (okay... again... some people
may think so. I've seen b/w professional photos of Los Angeles freeways and
interchanges go for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.) But, it fits,
the music fits, and the marching fits.
:These are the main issues we have been discussing. How do they affect
:clarinet playing? Well, the whole thing started when I responded to the
:issue of marching alto clarinets on the field. What I find intersting is
:that the DCI bands have no woodwinds! Just an observation.

Isn't it amazing what the smallest comment can stem out to?! :) SOmeone asks
about Alto mouthpieces which go into Altos on the field to Clarinets on the
field to the validity of Marching Band in the first place... ::sigh:: Isn't
the Internet a beautiful place?

Seriously though, Roger, I think all of us read your letter to the best of
our ability. Those who interpreted it the way you intended, sided with you.
Those who interpreted it differently sided with Karen and I (Karen, thanks
for supporting my position, btw!), but this list of issues has clarified
your position tremendously, and I apologize about attacking you in my
previous letter. I am still not in FULL agreement with you, but I think I
understand the general idea of what you were trying to say.

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
A! WK[r]+++ YK- P&B--- DT+ SL+++ SK++ RR-- GDF--- PO I+ E42 H42 PonYiddish

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