Crappy Day...need to vent.

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by silverstar, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 6, 2005
    I was accepted into an honor band about two months ago. We got the music a month ago, and haven't heard anything about it until today. It's being held over the same weekend as my show choir group's last competition. I have known about this competition since the beginning of the year. So, my dilemma was which director do I let down? Initially I was going to back out of the show choir trip, but that goes against everything that I've been taught. It was a prior engagement that I had, a promise I made, and now I was letting down the whole group. I told the director and he wasn't pleased. I talked to my band director, and he said that the honor band was more important. I really do not want to go to this honor band. I thought it was next week, not this week. This, I understand, was partly my fault for not double checking the dates.

    Well, I talked to my mom about it, and she said that it's my decision. She also said that the show choir gig was a prior engagement and that usually when something happens like this one doesn't dump the first job for the second. She was also peeved that I hadn't recieved any info until today.

    So....I'm going to talk to my director tomorrow and tell him I'm not going to honor band. He's going to be very disappointed in me and very angry. I feel like such a bad person. I've never let anyone down like this before and I really wish that I could just not deal with this. I've been on the brink of tears all day because I've been so frustrated. It isn't fair.

  2. soontir2432

    soontir2432 Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2004
    Queens, New York, USA
    In my opinion, most directors say their "gig" is more important because they want everyone in their band to be there and not go somewhere else like your choir.

    Don't feel guilty about it. Yes, he will be pissed and angry but he should be at himself for not realizing that someone like you may have to fill other obligations/promises.

    His ignorance is his own fault. Hell, I'm surprise he didn't give a date when he gave the music. It's almost as if the band doesn't have a firm schedule...

    You don't want to go to band, I say screw the late arsed band director and go with what you want to do.

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana

    Tell the band director exactly what you told us. Then explain your decision is to support the first commitment.

    You are an honors band player -- the director cannot stay mad at you for long.

    I believe the band director will understand -- it may take some time. But whatever you do, don't get too worked up over it. You were caught in a tough place and made a decision using important principles. If every teenager did that, there would be few problems at any high school.

  4. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    I've had this situation, sadly enough, many times. I always did the prior engagement when they were of equal importance, such as this may very well be. Yeah, the director will get mad. And you know what? He'll get over it. Rather quickly, actually. I can't count how many times I leaked mine off. He probably couldn't name 1 now just 2 years later. Your director dropped the ball when he didn't give you a date. He gets the blame on this one. Enjoy the choir trip.

    Tell him to get a hotel roo....oh wait...never mind. That just sucks.
  5. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

    Nov 2, 2003

    our state band & state activity associations have events calendars made up from now 'til doomsday. everyone knows what happens on what weekend. we even put in bad weather alternate schedules.
    you can check with your state's ed dept to be in the know on certain future events. also, your director probably has a yearly regional event schedule you can check.
    none of that helps now, though. i think you should go with the prior engagement, if they really need you. if your presence isn't critical, go to the band event.
    the only prevention is to let the students know at the beginning of the school year, or semesters, what's on tap (barring emergences - you never know when the pres. will pop in & you have to play the national anthem).

    did you contact those folks i pm-ed about yet?


    go join the festivities. send us pix!!

  6. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Uh, what's an honor band???

  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Do your gig with the choir. Next time, be more pro-active in finding out about dates for things you want to do. There's always a way if you're aggressive enough.

  8. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    I don't see anything wrong with honoring a prior commitment in a case like this. And I don't really see that your band director has any right to be angry at you for sticking with the prior commitment, except for selfishness on his part.

    Maybe you can be more careful in checking for conflicting dates on future commitments. But it also seems to me the director could also learn from this mix up and be a little more efficient in distributing essential information in the future.

    Do what your conscience tells you to do. You have to live with it much longer than a high school band director. I'm sure that in your future life there will be many times when doing what you think is right will anger someone else. And in each occasion you will have to decide whether you will allow yourself to be manipulated by someone else's anger into violating your own conscience, or sticking to your convictions. This occasion is just good practice for life. Do what you think is right.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003

    I say to do the show choir commitment, and here's why:

    Your show choir is made up of various members, all of whom work together and work with each other in a defined and refined ensemble. Each person there, whether they like it or not, depends on the other members in the ensemble, who in turn depend on them. Any time you introduce a new member to a standing ensemble, or worse, take one away without a replacement, it has a drastic effect on the ensemble as a whole.

    The way that I see it, it isn't a matter of deciding which director to let down, it would be a matter of letting the whole show choir down because essentially, every musical ensemble of two or more persons requires teamwork to function properly, and you are an integral part of that teamwork in the show choir.

    Honor bands, on the other hand, are usually throw together groups. Yes, you might know many of the people in that band, but because of its nature of being a throw together group, it does not have the same level of cohesiveness and teamwork that a group like a show choir has.

    On top of all of this is the fact that the show choir commitment came first and you knew about it well in advance of the honor band opportunity.

    If it were me, I would do the show choir commitment and I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. I was a member of my high school show choir all 4 years of high school, and I was also in many honor bands and although I never had a conflict like the one that you have described, I do have a feel for what you are going through.

    Think of it this way: If you don't do the honor band, you won't be missed, but if you don't do the show choir commitment, you will definitely be missed by everyone in the ensemble.

    Seriously, do the show choir gig and worry about it no more. If your band director is upset by that decision, that's his problem, not yours. Your place, in my opinion, is with the show choir and I think that you can make the decision to go to the last show choir competition with a clear conscience. You certainly are not a bad person for doing the right thing and standing by your team.

    That's what I would do.

    Edit: One more way to look at it is like this: It was your Band Director's and honor band's lack of organization, lack of coordination, and lack of prior planning that caused this dilemma, not you. If your band director really thinks that the honor band is more important than honoring a prior commitment that you have as a member of an ensemble, then in my opinion, he needs to re-examine his priorities and I think that he's being a jerk for trying to put pressure on you to back out on them.
  10. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Yup, prior engagements always take precedence. Always. Its just a good habit. Its like keeping a promise.

    You have enough time to make honors band again. No biggie. TRUST ME, its no biggie. Your band director will get over it.

    Anyway, when you put down your high school accomplishments on your college application "rap sheet," the only thing they care about is "IF YOU WERE ACCEPTED."

    I had to turn down a big Symposium two years in a row, because of prior engagements. I was accepted three years in a row, and thats what I put on my rap sheet.

    Rich, an "honor band" is usually what they call the top tier band, made up of the top players in auditions. Normally, out of three bands, they are called "Conert band," "Orchestra band," and "Honor Band," in the order from last to first. Concert bands normally play standard high school fare. Orchestra band plays high-level high school/low-level college music. Honors normally plays the "good stuff." They also get the most illustrious guest conductors.

    When I made honors band last year, our conductor was the dean of music at the University of South Carolina. We played "Amerland," "Peterloo Overture" "76 Trombones," and the piece from Moulin Rougue (Forget the name, it wasnt that great). Our guest composer was this English fellow (we couldn't understand him), and he conducted us on some crazy piece..

    Dadgummit, I'll find the old program tonight. :D


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