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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000123.txt from 1998/04

From: "Joshua M. Coleman" <joshcole@-----.Edu>
Subj: Re: very young principal cl's
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:07:43 -0500

On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Craig E. Countryman wrote:

> I think that if a person deserves a job he should get it. Still being a high
> school student, I don't have too much orchestral experience, but just from my
> own personal experience in other ensembles I can tell you that it really irks
> me when I am sitting behind someone simply because they are a more senior
> member of the section, but are not necessarily the best player. If the older
> member would like to apply for the position then he should, but if he gets
> beaten by a younger player, the younger player should definitely take the
> position. If he earns it I see no reason why not.

These are very good points, Craig. However, I do have a couple of
comments of my own to make. True, I agree with you that if a person
deserves and earns a job that he/she should get it. However, in positions
of leadership (e.g. section leader of a marching band or principal of a
concert band), a very important factor to be considered _IS_ experience.
Take for instance this scenerio: At the end of my sophomore year in high
school, I was sitting third chair. Our band director then chose section
leaders considering many factors. The principal clarinetist was not going
to play clarinet for marching season the following year, so that left
(seemingly) the assistant principal and myself as the section leaders.
However, our band director chose the next senior-to-be in line, who was at
the time sitting about 7th or 8th chair. At first, I was a bit ticked.
But after a few hours of thinking about my band director's decision, I
realized that he had thrown experience into the pot of choosing section
leaders. And I feel that this applies to choosing a principal in a
concert band as well. One must remember, as Mark Charette pointed out,
that experience and leadership abilites must also be strong in a
principal, at least from my own experiences. However, this can be solved
in a simple way that I have seen being used in NMSU Jazz Bands -- the lead
player is _not necessarily_ the section leader. For instance, in NMSU
Jazz I, the third trumpet is the section leader, not lead trumpet. In
NMSU Jazz II, the lead tenor is the saxophone section leader, not lead
alto. It could be said that simply because one has great playing abilites
does not guarantee great leadership qualities.

What are the takes on this approach? I feel that it is a good solution to
the young principal / older experienced player debate.

Joshua M. Coleman
http://web.nmsu.edu/~joshcole
(Under construction always because I have NO TIME to do anything with it!)

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see it, do the other trees make fun of it?

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