High School Music Programs Declining

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by xjb0906, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Pelham in Rocky Mount? What are they doing differently? I may make some phone calls to successful programs to see what kind of glue they are using to hold things together. Imagine the world with no one preparing to take the place of the older musicans. Sounds like a very sad place to me.
  2. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    In my area there always seems to be a conflict with the band classes and the AP classes students are pressured to take. Also, we have so many standardized tests and the students are often put in a situation in which they have to chose band or something else. I also think the parents interest in the band program is going down, not many people want to put in the time to have a marching band. I know in my situation the marching band is killing the band program as a whole.

    Whats best for the students isn't whats important anymore, its what helps pass tests that matters.

    I think the Mayans predicted this ...................

  3. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Support, success and incentive. Our band takes a trip every other year (the other years are for state marching contest), my senior year we went to Orlando. We paid very little for what we received. People want to join band because we go places and have fun.

    Our town and superintendent LOVE band, we make many appearances throughout the year and are well received. And our very community involved, such as the dinner concert we put on every year and a pep-rally at the local Dairy Queen.

    Specific ones that bring in the little ones are concerts and demonstrations. Every year we play for the jr high, middle, intermediate and primary schools, and when the middle school kids start deciding if they want band or art, usually the first chair from each instrument plays at their music class. All this works, with an over 75% initial class attendance in band.

    And success, winning gets people interested, we always get 1's and have consistently gone to State.
  4. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    There is so much initiatives in No Child Left Behind that most every intelligent child is Slowed Down. Many parents will place their children in smaller private schools to avoid the Slow Down efect. It is like a Brain Drain. Of course these private schools do not have ambitious Music programs because of the cost. Most public schools here can't even acquire high caliber Band Directors. Our local High School has a Music Minor who is a great guy, But his Major was in Special Education. There are close to 2000 students, but only 75 in Band. Yes, It is a shame, but many variables kick in to explain why.
  5. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas

    With No Child Left Behind, his major is much more appropriate.
  6. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    I was fortunate to literally be on the ground floor of an incredible band program. In 1967 the band program was in complete disarray, literally the band was an embarrassment to the school. A band director was hired to turn things around, and he did the very next year. We went from laughing stock to one of the best programs in the state. But most of all, he created an atmosphere of excellence. Students began to demand it of themselves--the school expected it--and the community enjoyed. Today they are one of the top band programs in the nation. Their top band is audition only, they have at least a half dozen paid directors, they have their own all weather practice facility for marching, they consistently compete for national championships and have won a couple. I sincerely believe that great music programs are built on a tradition of excellence. That's when kids grow up wanting to be be a member of the band, that's when communities won't let their administrators cut the programs. And it only takes one man or woman with the vision, the drive and the talent to turn it around. You don't gain national status overnight, but you've got to start somewhere.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Commitment to funding these programs.
  8. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Pelham HS outside Birmingham AL. It is a very large school. Their band entered from both end zones and sideline, ech group almost as big as our entire band. Huge group. Used 3 drum majors.

    Yes, a number of years ago there were some super band programs. I grew up in a huge HS in the Northeast - graduating class well over 1000 plus hundreds. When you get that type of pool of students, you can really do something. Music there was also very competitive -with about any type band you could imagine. As several others have cited, a number of the bands were audition only- with many more rejected than making it. The jazz band was actually far better than either the university jazz bands I played with in undergrad and grad school. In fact, the jazz band was on Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and had a number of other such accolades. Director was friends with Stan Kenton (we mainly played his charts, and those from Johnny Richards, Hank Levy etc. ) so we had him and his band in for a clinic each year. Remember he even let us set up our personal reel to reel and record -still have the tapes. Neat standing side by side with his guys and playing in the clinic (they could outread us though -ha). Several of our folks went on to play with him, Buddy Rich, Ferguson, Woody and such. Remember our marching band (super huge) had the entire half time show for the Baltimore colts playoff game- and the director would not do it until they agreed the air time would be uninterupted. Still have a newspaper ( think front page of the local paper) picture taken of the tv screen showing the band with name on the screen. Also did similar for the Phili Eagles. You don't even see college bands at half time today- yet alone a high school. Point being, there were many great HS programs across the country back then. I don't see anything like that today.

    In the late 70's when I worked as a band director, I remember our small school here in AL had 103 in the marching band and I thought that was small (compared to the HS from where I graduated up North). 103 would be big here today. Even the super large schools that are still around like in California and such simply don't have the ratio of band students to study body that used to exist- or if they do they are certainly a rarity.

    Guess I'm starting to show my age and sound like "the world is going to heck," but in band music programs it really is.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    and back about 30 years ago -- I was in the regents program with all the math, science, English ---and honor student, in the honor society and such -- and still played in band, and jazz band, and pep rallies ---- and worked over 25 hours a week on the farm ------------- I studied and stayed out of trouble ---- ooopps, sorry for that rant, that was back in the day when my parents would have kicked my sorry b-h-nd if I failed a class (oh, yeah I failed trigonometry--- and couldn't sit down for a few days --- I never failed any classes since then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  10. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    My High School (in Texas) had 40 trumpets, and marched about 150ish. Completely new show every 2 weeks (once home, once away).
    We had 3 full wind ensembles, plus a remedial beginner oriented band, and two jazz bands.

    We had three full time band directors. The school enrollment was about 1500 people. This was almost 30 years ago.

    The school here in AZ where my wife works has about 50 people in the band, including percussion and color guard. I counted 6 trumpets.

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