Reply To: Combined bands = political tyranny?

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I would tell your students that you are using the performance as a recruiting opportunity for your high school band. I have two middle school feeders to my high school (though I have only 35 members in my band – and odd instrumentation to boot) – we do these things several times per year. Each of the middle schools is in a different city. There is a parade in the fall that I do with one middle school, and a parade in the spring that I do with the other school. We have a “band night” at one of our football games that both of the middle schools perform with us at half-time. I always invite our upcoming 8th graders to perform 1 or 2 pieces on our spring concert, and at our graduation. In my mind, it gives those middle school students an idea of what being a member in our band would be like, and most likely would increase their chances of joining my program.

I should say that when I started 4 years ago, I only had 12 students in the program, so recruiting has always been a top priority with me. My current students realize this. Some of them complain a little before the first event in the fall (especially the upper classmen), but then I just remind them of how much we have grown in just a short amount of time. This tends to stop the complaining. Of course, they always seem to have fun after the event is over.

I personally don’t see the issue with doing this if it is going to help you / your program.

Is she the only student that has complained about it? If so, I think I would just ignore her – sounds like she just wants the spotlight to me. If you have a good number of students complaining about it – you might want to approach it like I have. I don’t tend to give into students or parents that think they should get special treatment – even if they are my best players. I think at this point, your parents and students should realize that you are the one in charge, and you know what is best for your band program.

Another question – what would the choir sound like if you didn’t have your band students singing in the choir? Would that greatly help your instrumentation?