High School Band

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by audwey11, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Chuck offers a lot of great advice here. As a freshman in HS, I was in a similar situation as you. By the end of the year, the only upper classman who I didn't sit above in chair placement was my older sister, who was a senior at the time.

    This is going to be one of those situations where you'll just have to be you, but remember that to get respect, you have to give it first. Just do your best, play as good as you can, and continue to strive for improvement.
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Ignore ALL other players and focus on the music you are given to play by your director. Where chairs are assigned, such is competitive and where mentioned that you're a freshman is chastising the others who are lax and not performing to their capability. To some degree, instrument quality and maintenance comes into consideration. While section blending is preferable, section blending with those that are not up to preferred quality is not.

    Personally, I don't believe in the chair concept as it does produce animosity that can extend to the loss of friendship. In my high school band, music was handed out randomly not sequentially and now the group I play with does the same and of the latter it is just by luck that I draw more 1st parts than other parts albeit I believe I'm close if I count both 2nd and 3rd parts against the first parts ... and IMO 2nd and 3rd parts are harder to play well.

    As I often now double on euphonium, IMO even such harmony is more difficult than the melody.

    Try being one of three 8th graders in high school band ... yes all three of us were separately privately tutored by our high school band director, but then I was the only one of the three to play trumpet. Too, in those times our band was desperate for players!
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    SMILE, but don't smirk!
  4. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    I'm not sure if ignoring them is the best idea. I was in the same situation three years ago, and I found that the best idea is to actually help the others. For the past twoyeare, I've been giving some of them private lessons and running the sectionals. The others appreciate that I genuinely want to help them be the best they can be, even if they're not as serious. I would talk to them and just tell them that you mean no animosity, and that you will help wherever possible. Hopefully they'll realize that you're sincere and respond well.
  5. ATrumpetDude

    ATrumpetDude Piano User

    Sep 15, 2015
    My advice - Just try to have fun, be friendly to everyone, and don't worry too much about the chair thing. If you don't act like its such a big deal that will help diffuse things.
    Be generous about other players being featured, even if you can play better.
    Don't offer trumpet advice or correction at this point unless asked for it.
    Don't show off (Playing your part well with the group is not showing off, warming up on the Carnival of Venice is.)
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Perhaps my choice of "ignore" was a poor choice, but if others are not playing well that's what you must do in a session ... lead by example. The offer of assistance or tutoring should be taken up after the session(s) and then only if they approach you to ask for it just as ATrumpetDude suggests. I'd wager 99.9% will never ask for your assistance and continue as they are ... don't usurp the Director's responsibility.
  7. Kevin Whiting

    Kevin Whiting Piano User

    Apr 13, 2013
    Greendale, WI.
    ATrumpetDude is spot on here!! Well said - WELL said! I agree with everything you said here, especially about offering advice.

  8. audwey11

    audwey11 Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2015
    I have band tomorrow and will try all of these tips! (Except maybe the ignoring one...)
  9. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Just play your best and don't worry what they think.
    If your band director senses an issue, the director had better step in and stop it.
    Years back in high school, we, like you, earned our chairs and we played our part we were assigned to. There was zero passing of a first part to a third or a second part to a first.
    Sadly, things are quite different now. You've earned you chair, they didn't. They are petty whiners.
    I remember in our 65-66 high school band, the third chair player was a junior who should have been 1st chair. He wanted to stay in third chair out of respect for the other two who were very good players on their own. They were his friends and he respected them.
    Your situation is not the same, but you should get the same respect from them as he gave to the two in front of him.
    Believe it or not, nearly 50 years later, this player and I are still friends and see each other a couple times a year.
    Rich T.
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I know of only 3 others in my high school band as are still alive, and TG and great surgeons I am. At this time, I don't know if James "Jimmy" Merchant is still alive presently, but when I worked in DC, his own band had a house standing gig in the Green Room of the Sheraton Hotel. Even in high school he was one hot sax player.

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