Issue: October-December 2009
Bandworld Magazine Page


20 Years ago in Bandworld
Programming (concluded)

by M. Max McKee 
Vol. 5, #2, p.34 (November 1989)

• Think about concert order. Even though you may have selected a great opener and the perfect finale, it is important to be aware of audience concentration. If you program two ten-minute overture-like pieces in succession, you’ll lose your audience about half way into the second piece. The same would be true if you play a chorale-style composition immediately after a heavy overture.

• Think about variety within the program. Feature a soloist, a guest conductor, a narrator. Do something visually interesting with film, slides, or costumed vocalists.

• Think about timing. How many long and how many short pieces are programmed? Will the pace of the program drag or will it seem frantic and fragmented?

• Think about program length. There are very few groups good enough to sustain interest for more than a hour. If you have more than one group on the concert, keep the total length (including staging) to one hour and thirty minutes. Unless you have a very high-powered program, do not include an intermission.

• Think about staging. Is the band seated before the audience arrives or do you warm up the group in front of the audience? If so, stop doing that. It lacks class and is definitely unprofessional.

• Think about special entrances or exits. Have the band enter the stage area while playing, or use a "Farewell Symphony” exit. Try using antiphonal sections or soloists.

• Think about singing. Have the band sing with or without accompaniment. Try putting the band in with the audience to sing the National Anthem at the beginning or Silent Night at the end. (Thanks, Dad, for one of the best ideas of all time!)

• Think about lighting. Can you bring down or bring up certain lights at concert time? It affects the feel of the program.

• Think about attire. Does the group look professional? Is the attire a mish-mash of who-knows-what? Does one person in an otherwise uniform ensemble have on the wrong color shoes, socks, coat, tie?

Make positive changes; they have a dramatic impact on how your program comes across.


The page you have requested is part of the subscriber area.
  • You can select another page using the navigation above.
  • If you have a subscription, please login below to view this page:
User ID: