By Jeff Young
Very soon band directors all over the country will start thinking ahead to the marching band season again. Despite being in the middle of the busiest time of year for concert band festivals and performances, most directors are taking care of important long-range planning such as hiring marching band staff members, choosing music arrangers and/or composers and choosing drill writers. In addition, this is a very important time of year for choosing drum majors and potential sections leaders for the upcoming summer and fall season. Soon after drum majors are chosen, many band directors are in the habit of signing these students up for camps and drum major academies. At a well-run drum major camp like the Bands of America Drum Major Institute at the Music for All Summer Symposium, these important student leaders learn important lessons in conducting, musicianship, and leadership. After returning from camp these highly-motivated drum majors are able to put their lessons to work to help the band directors and staff members to achieve a successful season.
But what about the section leaders? It is my sincere belief that directors should take the same steps toward nurturing and training these student leaders as they do with their drum majors!
Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn music ensemble fundamentals from Matt Harloff, the director of the three-time Bands of America Grand National Champion Avon High School, and current DCI World Champion- Carolina Crown? Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn music ensemble fundamentals from Richard Saucedo, renowned composer, conductor and clinician?
Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn marching fundamentals from Jeff Young, visual caption head of the two-time Bands of America Grand National Champion Carmel High School and the author and producer of the critically-acclaimed Dynamic Marching & Movement DVD series?
Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn section-specific fundamentals with individualized instruction from current teachers at literally the top band programs in the country: Avon High School (IN), Carmel High School (IN), Broken Arrow High School (OK), Center Grove High School (IN), Pomona High School (CO), Lassiter High School (GA), and the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps!
How can you guarantee that in one week your section leaders will learn the most current and educationally-sound fundamentals and bring back these concepts to your program?
The Music for All Summer Symposium Marching Band Division is exactly the kind of place. Band directors will see immediate and measurable gains when these students return home. These students also get to perform with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in front of a packed stadium full of cheering DCI fans!
In addition, your percussion and color guard section leaders willreceiveworld-class instruction from teachers in the other student divisions at the Symposium. This is a win-win for students and teachers alike.
Finally, if you are a director who chooses to attend this week, you can be in the rehearsal rooms and on the field where these nationally-renowned teachers and instructors teach your kids. Even if you don’t bring your kids, the experience for band directors is unbelievable
I feel confident that my staff and I will help prepare you and your students to have a positively life-changingexperienceand I sincerely hope that you join us this summer.
Jeff Young is coordinator of the Marching Band Division at the MFA Summer Symposium. He is President and CEO of Dynamic Marching & Music and visual caption head for the Carmel (IN) H.S. Marching Band. He judges for DCI, BOA and consults with marching bands across the country. Young teaches AP Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology at Carmel H.S.