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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000174.txt from 1998/03

From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subj: Marching Band Stuff (Again)!
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 18:35:59 -0500

Always a hot button--and here, a generational thing, too. If you read
the string, you'll see that Roger loved marching band, too--but with
20/20/20 hindsight (that's 20/20 hindsight after 20 years of doing other
stuff) sees a lot of the hoopla as perhaps not the best allocation of
resources. I agree w/ Roger--a lot of bad band directors are using the
marching band as an end, and not the proper means it should be.

As to the Mahler--he's right. Sorry, kids. As much as I enjoyed
marching in high school, there is nothing like sitting smack dab in the
middle of a good orchestra when you turn the last page. My only quibble
is that IMHO, Mahler 1 is definitely superior to Mahler 5/6/7 in the
butt kicking dep't.

Upshot--enjoy marching band for what it is. Have a ball on tour.
Anything that keeps the horn in your face is a good thing--but don't
confuse the football field with the woodshed. Halftime is not a valid
replacement for the practice room.


----Original Message Follows----
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 17:09:21 -0600 (CST)
From: Roger Garrett <>
Subject: Re: Marching Band (was alto mpcs)

On Mon, 2 Mar 1998, JohnnyWalt wrote:
> I will never change my views on marching band. I have played in
some of
> the nation's top bands/youth orchestras and know what that musical
> is like. You are correct, I have not experienced even near to
everything in
> the musical spectrum, but I have a general view. Just the same,
marching band
> cannot be described. In its true essence it is ask
> greatness can be acheived?" and "what is the true value in marching
> Marching band is a wonderful combination of mechanical movement and
> Participating in it is just as valuable to me as music is to you. It
> frustrates me that you have such a firm opinion without knowing what
it is
> like to be in a great marching band. What have been your experiences
> marching band? Have you ever been to a national competition? Unless
you have
> participated in an excellent marching band, how can you convey that
> band has no value or greatness?? I am tired and sick of people
> marching bands as your typical no-brainer high school kids who can't
> worth a damn. There is a Native American saying, "Great spirit, let
> criticize no man until I have walked a mile in his moccasins." It
seems to be
> appropriate for this subject.....

Then it should be no surprise to you Matt that people who have had the
experiences you describe cannot fathom how you could possible view great
music as represented by the marching genre. If you are talking about a
great "rush" or the excitement you experience in tandem with the
competition, that is one thing, but to say that a great marching band
represents that which is the most exciting in music (I know those are
your words but those are what your words have conveyed) when you, at the
same time, admit that you have a general view.....that is, you have
experienced Mahler's 5th, 6th, or 7th symhony finales from within the
ensemble, that you have never played the Hindemith Symphony in Bb for
Concert Band - last 80 measures - with a top college ensemble, that you
have never played the Holst Suites with superb players - you do not have
position to compare your marching experiences.......just the thrill you
had when the adreneline hit. I am pleased that you view your marching
experience as an equal one to what the rest of the musical world has to
offer........but for those of us who have experience everything you have
and more, try not to be so upset when we view your experience as limited
and narrow......and, based on your explanations, unjustifiable!

What is sad is that, if you had no legs and could not march, you could
find the same kind of joy or thrill in music - and we are not talking
about arrangments - we are talking about the real thing.

Roger Garrett

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