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 Post subject: Music Festivals Reflecting Lacking Programs?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 6:58 pm 
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Okay, if you haven't been checking out the SCSBOA website lately, you will notice that music REGIONAL festivals are being cancelled left and right. "Why" do you ask? Well, apparently not a lot of Southern California groups scored "Superiors" at Festival. Wow, that's certainly a shock!

So, what does this say about the majority of our high school music programs out there today? Are high school musicians not being challenged enough? Or, are its music educators not doing ENOUGH to inspire, motivate and more importantly, TEACH its students the importance of music fundamentals and performance?

I don't think it's really the judges fault either. I believe many music programs out there in Southern California today are struggling, but not necessarily due to money, but the lack of "music education" our EDUCATORS are supposed to instill.

Take for instance the Baldwin Park Festival this year. Out of all 3 days, only like 3 groups scored "superior ratings"!!! (1 or 2 high schools, and 1 middle school). Not to mention, there were more than 20 groups that participated in that festival!

Here's what I think: There's simply not enough "qualified" high school music teachers nowadays, and it reflects in the results of festivals this year. The myth that the band director doesn't have much influence in a "succesful program" is bogus--they DO MATTER!!!

Call me too critical, but I think we need more GOOD music teachers!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:28 pm 
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I know my old high school backed out of regionals because of the upcoming AP tests. Alot of the students had alot of work to get done, and to add extra-practice because of regionals into an already-balanced scheudle of study and practice is sometimes too much for high school students.

Just on the side, I'm moving this into the Conert/Jazz Ensemble forum.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:40 pm 
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I don't think I'd put all of the blame on the directors/music educators (I'm not saying that you were though, bandbuff7). Yes, they do have a huge influence on our music prgrams today...but there are other sources of problems. Money is an issue, as well as programs getting cut (I know that in my district, I heard the elementary programs will be cut next year). Students too...do most students nowadays still have the desire to be involved in music?

Perhaps some of the older folks on WOP can answer this better than I can. Much of my opinion is, well, just that. Have a nice day. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:09 pm 
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The problem with the District of (if you know me, you know where), is that they have no respect for the arts. The first thing always to be cut, is the music programs. It does not matter where you are, they are cut first. The district I was a part of for so long is cutting back a lot of the funding for music. The problem with that, is that we have 3 great programs, and one ok program, in this district. How can you justify this? We do have kids that want to join music. At the skool I am going to be teaching brass at, they jumped from 3a to 4a in one year. It is only their second year out this next year, and they are already in 4a. They must have students who want to join.(ps...this group is in the same district). So whay is it that the district is cutting back? Try cutting back the football/basketball/sports in general program. You can't. It would cause a district uprising. So what choice do they have next? The math/history/science departments? Of course not. That would cayuse a parental uprising. So, its the arts that suffer... What my district needs, is some students and their directors to go to meetings, and say that the music programs should not be cancelled. If the arts are not important, than people would not be joining them. We would not have nearly 1000 students in the musci program District wide. Well, that is my 2 cents on my old district, which my sister is still in. Correct me if any of this is wrong though. thanks for reading the ramblings of a young fool BTW.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:15 am 
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I wouldn't group the San Diego schools with the rest of these so-called lacking programs throughout southern California. I have never seen Vista, Mount Carmel, Rancho Bernardo, or Poway's Wind Ensemble/Symphony receive lower than a Unanimous Superior at festival, ever, and yet they never go to regionals. Many of these amazing music programs traditionally avoid regional festivals for whatever reason they choose.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:00 pm 
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Hey, bandbuff, I worked inside the sight-reading room at the Baldwin Park Festival the day your school went. I was the guy with the 'fro and crooked glasses. What group did you play in?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:28 pm 
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-budget cuts
-retiring band directors

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:40 am 
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The Citrus College Regional was full by March 20th, or so I was told. The Thousand Oaks regional had to cancel Saturday because they lost the building they were supposed to be in. I'm not sure why CSUSB canceled- it may have been just too early. I know they had a waiting list. Our school offered to host an additional regional, but was turned down. We're going to Regional on Friday after having a rehearsal Tuesday, a short one Wednesday, and then an after-school rehearsal on Thursday. And that's it this week... the performance won't be much different than sightreaading. :^) That's cool.. sightreading is what matters anyway. And, Saturday, May 1st, is a major SAT test day, which is probably why Westview had to cancel their Saturday date. We wouldn't have been able to go that weekend. It's a shame, tho... Regionals are special events. This time of year, it's just tough to get a full band available on a Saturday.


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 4:57 pm 
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I from up here in northern California, and I see the same trend, well, from what I've heard the Nor Cal scene in high school music never really was happening, but I very much agree with what is being said, and I think its a combination of poor teaching and poor funding, but more poor TEACHING. For example I have seen music teachers struggle with directing a 6/4 time measure to a 4/4 to a 5/4 right after the other. That is ABSOLUTELY NOT hard. I don't know what the deal is, how can you teach someone to play right and in time if you struggle to direct it? That's not mentioning the fact that 5/8 and 7/8 time signatures come up in harder literature, then your really screwed. I have seen a director take a 7/8 in 4 beats a measure, how you do that is hidden from me. I have serious frustrations with this, and I think one MAJOR thing that music programs at MANY places are lacking is the ARTISTIC side of music. I think a lot of bands are trained in marching/field bands to either win, or just play one song really well, which is good but can be detrimental. In the concert class teachers are lacking the ability to inspire emotion and passion in music, and that is sad, very sad. That's what music is all about, and it seems to me to be gone, at least from my school. That has been my major frustration this year, being a senior, is that we are only taught how to TRY and win (try is what we do, we don't win mind you), and the passion is gone out the window, I don't even know if our band director understands this. I think once bands begin to be inspired to be passionate about their music the talent will rise to the top instead of lurking beneath the surface, and that the scores WILL come. If you see a band play the socks of an Elegy or some other slow song, judges can't help but see the musical maturity. Musical maturity? THAT will earn a superior rating. Teachers need to TEACH and INSPIRE and give their kids musical maturity.

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