Issue: July - Sept 2007
Bandworld Magazine Page


Marching Bands of Tomorrow (concluded)

by Stan Michalski

Developing Musicianship:

The primary goal of every organization should be to improve the musicianship of the individual members.  In turn, the overall performance skills of the organization, as a whole, will increase exponentially.   Every musical organization must be able to demonstrate the musical growth of individual members and provide testimony that the musical performances are based upon the ultimate goal of servicing the individual and collective needs of individual members and the communities they represent. Subsequently, individual musical growth leads to pride in an organization that contributes toward the musical growth and retention of participating members.

Unachievable Goals:

The establishment of goals that are lofty without concern for time, finances and personal energies to be expended by the individual participants leads to the demise of many groups – some in the formative stages and others after a period of momentous glorified existence.  Goals must be reasonable and achievable.  They can be altered and adjusted as the group matures and takes on added performance requirements.  But to do so without concern for personal time involvement, family concerns, musical concerns and the purpose of the organization can be a formula for self-destruction.

Personal and Personnel Commitment:

Individual members of a Marching Show Band must commit to the goals of an organization.  The successes of bands that have total commitment from the membership are well documented.  Conversely, some organizations falter along the way due to the lack of effort and infusion of personal and musical energy.   The successful bands of any era – locally, regionally or nationally can certainly demonstrate the results that are garnered when all members are committed to a common goal.  Commitment to the goals of an organization must be high on the list of selection criteria when auditioning for membership in a Marching Show Band.  Otherwise, the time proven adage that “any group is only as good as the weakest link” can be applied in a providential manner.

Membership Talent/Ability Pool:

Subsequently, any Marching Show Band is only as proficient as the musical abilities of the individual members. There is a wide variance in membership of musical organizations throughout the world.  Community Bands, School Bands, Service Bands, Police Bands, College and University Bands, Drum and Bugle Corps, Fife and Drum Corps, Military Bands, and Show Bands are just a few among many musical organizations that are labeled “Band” but have different personnel and perform varied styles of music. Therefore, when consideration is being given to establish a Marching Show Band, leadership management must direct concerns toward proper instrumentation, personal commitment and musical ability of potential members.  Failure to do so usually leads to imminent failure.


High ideals for establishment of a Marching Show Band must be accompanied by realistic goals.  In most instances, goals can be achieved without undue pressure and unrealistic requirements on the members of an organization.  In other scenarios, lack of goals contributes to less than adequate performances and a deleterious effect on the membership.  Individual Marching Show Bands take time to develop, to mature, and to activate an identity. Without total concern for a variety of concomitant issues related to Marching Show Bands, the maintenance of a successful musical tenure will be a hardship.  Conversely, there is sufficient evidence available that many fine organizations throughout the world have enjoyed a long and successful reign of musical and marching excellence.  In all instances, this is a result of adherence to specific goals and attributes that are continually adjusted, nurtured and administered by a competent staff of supporters, musicians, teachers and conductors.


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