Marching Music

A Marching Band Consulting Company?
May 23, 2012, 9:11 pm
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I have at least one band per month asking me for a recommendation…someone to work with their guard, percussion, woodwinds, brass or visual program.  It happens so often that, even with my worldwide circle of friends, I can’t fill all of the requests!  I am thinking that I might be just the person to start a marching band consulting company.  There would be standard rates/pay amounts for quality instructors/clinicians based on experience levels.  There would be a screening process.  This is a probe.  Please comment and give advice, express interest in either getting clinicians or being a clinician, etc. on this article.  If you are seriously interested in becoming one of my clinicians, email your resume including a valid phone number and recent head shot to  Here are the bands I have on my list right now that need clinicians for the 2012 outdoor season:

South Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown, Md
Front Ensemble
Visual (Marching – Corps experience required) 

Frederick High School, Frederick, Md
Color Guard Choreographer and Tech 

Brunswick High School, Brunswick, Md
Woodwind OR Brass Tech
Percussion Tech
Color Guard Choreographer and Tech 
Assistant Director 

Youngsville High School, Youngsville, Pa
Color Guard Choreographer


That’s one way to increase awareness of the sport!
July 9, 2009, 4:09 pm
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In all seriousness, this is actually pretty scary; a CBS news cast of last month’s Glassmen bus crash at the following link

The Glassmen are still trying to raise funds to cover tour expenses, including arrangements for the replacement bus.  Visit their website to donate!

Move-ins are coming!!!
May 12, 2009, 2:57 pm
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It’s just about the middle of May and age-outs like myself are sitting behind desks and in cubicles longing for the smell of freshly cut grass, sunscreen and sweat.  (That really is what drum corps smells like, for those of you who have never marched.)  High School and college kids are excitedly shopping and packing.  The rookie girls (and some of the guys) are packing WAY too much clothing.  Parents are fighting with principals and professors to get their kids out of school early so that they don’t get behind in drill.   If you had cold feet back in November IT’S NOT TOO LATE!  Statistically, at least one member of each corps will be injured and/or quit in the next 4-6 weeks and the corps will be desperately seeking new members to replace them.  My only suggestion is that if you plan on starting your drum corps career as a hole filler, you get in there as soon as possible.  The further into move-ins you start, the more physically fit everyone else will be (and be expected to be) and the higher your risk of injury becomes.

Don’t let that scare you though.  This is a wonderful opportunity, so don’t waste it!

If you need help finding a spot, let me know and I’ll hook you up if I can!

March-A-Thons: Friend or Foe?
March 17, 2009, 11:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I got an email from a friend of mine asking for my address so that she could send me a march-a-thon.  I can’t believe it’s that time of year already!

Anyway, this post investigates what march-a-thons mean to corps as well as to members.

Let’s start off with the corps.  The corps, as an organization, definitely benefits from march-a-thons.  That’s why they insist that members fill them out.  With 150 people filling out 20 or so forms each, they’re bound to get some gas money.  Think about it.  If each of 150 people brings in only $5, that means $750 for the corps proper.  Then they offer a small percentage back to the member (usually off of their tour fees) as an incentive to participate.

Just FYI, most corps don’t actually do a march-a-thon like they say.  Most just designate a rehearsal day and figure that they probably march about that much in a day, which is probably true.

Now for the member’s point of view:  Each member pays around $2,000 in tour and camp fees.  Some corps charge more.  A small percentage of the money brought in from a member’s march-a-thon really doesn’t make much of a dent in the tour fee.  If that member were to write a personal letter to friends and family asking for help with tour fees, he or she would probably get much more out of the deal.

So the point is, march-a-thons benefit the corps proper.  Personal letters benefit individual members much more.

High School band directors, this might be a great fundraising tool for you.  Keep a percentage of the money and put another percentage into the kids’ trip accounts or give it to a charity that supports school music.  Invite donors to watch a practice, performance or the march-a-thon itself.  Getting the community involved and showing they what you’re doing is always a great PR move toward future donations and participation.

Young Music Educators and the Economy
February 27, 2009, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Unfortunately for young music educators, it is becoming harder and harder to get a job in the current economy, much less an ideal job.  Many, like myself, are teaching outside of their specialty.  Music Ed. certification is K-12 vocal and instrumental, but teachers are rarely trained equally in all parts of the spectrum.

Even if you have known that you wanted to be a high school marching band director since you were 10 (that’s me) you may end up teaching elementary school general music or middle school theater arts.

Keep your instrumental skills up and be patient.  The economic crisis and lack of positions can’t last forever!

Point two-five
September 20, 2007, 4:35 pm
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A couple of my friends have a related blog.  You should check it out!

Opinions on a World Championship, by Joe Dacey
March 26, 2007, 1:35 am
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