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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusical Miscellany(Moderators: JP, BGuttman) 2017: My Last Year In High School Marching Band
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EWadie99
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« on: Jan 15, 2017, 05:18PM »

Ahh 2017, a bittersweet year, where it's my last year in the marching band season.  I've never thought that it would come as fast as it did.  I will always remember the friends I made and the three marching shows I participated in.  I hope maybe for the my last show on the last songs will have a bass trombone feature where I would play from the sidelines to end with a bang!  I know it's not likely but, just an idea.  I'll work on my senior speech for senior circle we do every year at band camp where all the seniors give a farewell speech of all the memories they had and at the dance we play "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers at the end where the seniors gather up in the center and hold hands together, side by side.  I may have a love/hate relationship with marching band, but it has taught me a lot about the meaning of teamwork, dedication, friendship, family, and so much more.  I'm honestly glad I joined marching band my freshmen year and didn't went to band camp till my sophomore year.  Without it, I don't know where I'll be at this moment in time.

Thanks,

Ethan         
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 15, 2017, 05:40PM »

It certainly does go by quickly. But on the other hand marching band has been one of the least enjoyable musical (if you can even call it that) experiences I've ever had
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 15, 2017, 05:48PM »

You won't miss it.

I recall pausing to take in the smell of the cut grass on the football field of what i knew would be my last marching band event in high school. I still remember it  :) but i wouldn't go back to it.

I thought I would miss marching band, but then I went to a college that did concert band with no marching and I didn't miss it.

Then I got out of college, got a band director job and was required to drag completely inadequate forces through halftime shows and even marching band contest and it became double clear to me what a misallocation of time marching band was in a music education curriculum.

It has its place in a certain time and it's fun in its own way but... onward and upward.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 16, 2017, 03:28PM »

I can see why some people not like marching band.  For me, I managed to used my years in it for my PE credit but for the most part, it gave me something to do instead of sitting all day or practicing at home for a few hours.  To an extent, it was like a gym class and a band class combined if you put it as that.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:21PM »

But on the other hand marching band has been one of the least enjoyable musical (if you can even call it that) experiences I've ever had

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« Reply #5 on: Jan 17, 2017, 12:53AM »

I tried to get out of the band when I was going to be a senior, but I was informed that high school instrumental music was a requirement to be in the county Youth Orchestra I was in.
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 17, 2017, 10:05AM »

I guess I'm probably brainwashed after being in marching band for so long but it's not required to be in marching band where I'm at.  I'm still debating if I should discontinue in high school band and do bass trombone and tenor trombone as a hobby.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 17, 2017, 11:30AM »

You should stay - the more you play, the more you know.  There's always a chance of someone representing a big city orchestra or a Div. II school looking for players.  OTOH- if you're committed to a big time institution already then all I can say now is that it's nice to be out at the lake during springtime while the classmates you have now are still in school.   
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 17, 2017, 12:17PM »

Quote
There's always a chance of someone representing a big city orchestra or a Div. II school looking for players.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding this statement... but if I am not: If there has ever been a performance where someone was recruited for any position because they  were in an ensemble performance in a high school marching band, I'll eat my shoe. Which isn't to say there isn't some merit to marching band... Although I found mostly social benefit and not musical benefit, but we did competitions in my HS and I wasn't a particular fan of doing competitive marching.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 17, 2017, 12:21PM »

Personally, I loved high school marching band; granted, I'm in an area that focuses on competitive contemporary field shows, and I'm a big fan of modern drum corps/marching band/indoor percussion. Now, college marching? Hated it.

I think that discontinuing one's participation in high school music, just to avoid marching band for a season of about four months, isn't necessary...There are plenty of positive habits that one can focus on during marching season (rhythmic precision, air support, work ethic) that will help during concert season. That kind of focus does take excessive willpower when the rest of the section is blasting their brains out along with a cheesy arrangement of "Low Rider", though...
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 17, 2017, 01:12PM »

I'm still debating if I should discontinue in high school band and do bass trombone and tenor trombone as a hobby.

This doesn't have to be a binary choice. You can find other places to play than marching band or other school-associated groups. My closest friends, 10+ years after high school, are my fellow trombone players from an extracurricular youth orchestra we all signed up for when we were 14. None of us knew each other until the first rehearsal, but we've been friends ever since. All of us made it into all-state in one form or another as well because none of us wanted to be the crappiest one there.

I quit marching band after my sophomore year, cause marching band sucks, and wind ensemble wasn't enough fun (for me) to justify marching. I kept playing in jazz band and youth orchestra and was much happier. My playing improved by leaps and bounds once I didn't have to spend all my free time between marching and homework. Best decision I ever made. Then I got to college and discovered I could get credit for designing, building, and driving racecars so trombone fell by the wayside for a few years....

I don't think that quitting band in high school will have any effect on your playing opportunities or music career opportunities, if you choose to go down that road. Not marching doesn't mean you have to give up playing at a quality level...if anything, I'd expect your playing would improve. Then again, if you don't actively despise marching , don't quit it just because you had a bad day or two.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 17, 2017, 02:06PM »

My true passion band wise is Jazz/Commercial/Big Band playing and maybe a little bit of Orchestra.  I plan on doing a double major of "Mathematics and Computer Science" and "Bass Trombone Performance".  I've looked into Michigan State, Central Michigan, Oakland, and Wayne State, and I wouldn't mind going out of state.  But hey, I got over a year to think about that.

EDIT: The more I think about it, I'll probably go the Jazz/Commercial/Big Band route.  It's what I like most out of all the genres. 
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 17, 2017, 06:36PM »

Musically, marching band didn't do much for me except help me develop a very strong embouchure.  However, I graduated in 1975 and the friends from high school I have kept up with over the years are all from marching band.  I work for an insurance company and can pace off a building's dimensions using my marching band pace and be within 5% accuracy.  I learned how to be part of a team, how to work together for common goal, how to get along with others, how to coach others, so many other life lessons. 
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 18, 2017, 08:14PM »

  For me, I managed to used my years in it for my PE credit...

No worse than the awful PE classes I had to take, but I regret such a substitution wasn't available at my HS.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 18, 2017, 08:20PM »

I tried to get out of the band when I was going to be a senior, but I was informed that high school instrumental music was a requirement to be in the county Youth Orchestra I was in.

This is where shopping around for a suitable medical excuse is called for. A diagnosis of allergy to football field yard line chalk would be perfect.
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 25, 2017, 07:43PM »

What did marching band teach me? That some people, no matter how much you hammer stuff into their brains, and repeat things over and over and over again, will never understand how to put one foot in front of the other and walk to a beat. Also, how to play 8 minutes of whole notes at FFF on a terrible instrument
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 27, 2017, 03:26PM »

What did marching band teach me? That some people, no matter how much you hammer stuff into their brains, and repeat things over and over and over again, will never understand how to put one foot in front of the other and walk to a beat. Also, how to play 8 minutes of whole notes at FFF on a terrible instrument
Yeah, I can see where you're coming from.  This is what really annoyed me about marching band but, at least it gave me something to do.  Especially, the instrument part. Eeek!
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Ethan Wadie
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 17, 2017, 02:20PM »

Now the more I think about it, since I now play bass trombone for most of my high school life, playing tenor trombone has helped my high range and helped strengthened my embouchure.  Me playing on a small bore in marching band feels uncomfortable especially with the small mouthpieces.  I sometimes wish I would play a larger bore size and mouthpiece so it wouldn't be a messed up switching back and forth to tenor to bass, but hey, just my $00.02
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Ethan Wadie
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 18, 2017, 07:37PM »

Now the more I think about it, since I now play bass trombone for most of my high school life, playing tenor trombone has helped my high range and helped strengthened my embouchure.  Me playing on a small bore in marching band feels uncomfortable especially with the small mouthpieces.  I sometimes wish I would play a larger bore size and mouthpiece so it wouldn't be a messed up switching back and forth to tenor to bass, but hey, just my $00.02

I use a Bach 5 on my .508 small bore, 5G on my .547 large bore, and 1 1/2G on my .562 bass.  Some think that you need a small mouthpiece for a small horn, but 7s and bigger didn't work for me.  Find what what works for you.  I suggest trying bigger mouthpieces on your tenor. 
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 18, 2017, 08:34PM »

Other choice might be a large bore straight tenor like a Yamaha 681 or Conn 8H.  I have a large bore King straight tenor from 1930 but it is TIS and is very uncomfortable to hold (no counterweight),
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 18, 2017, 10:26PM »

Loved marching band when it came to social aspect of it.. Music wise, I can only credit it to my chops (but a teacher would've been better) oh well can't undo 4 years. It's related activities like drum corp and wgi leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Too many music majors I know that waste their time (and education) doing only that. Maybe one or two seasons for the music ed major but as a performace major, i believe there are better option on how to spend summers and 3k+ dollars.
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 19, 2017, 12:10AM »

It's related activities like drum corp and wgi leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Too many music majors I know that waste their time (and education) doing only that. Maybe one or two seasons for the music ed major but as a performace major, i believe there are better option on how to spend summers and 3k+ dollars.
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« Reply #22 on: Feb 19, 2017, 08:08PM »

I did try it! I was going to march with Boston, but a lot of things in life really made that impossible. Also tried out the Indoor winds thing as well. It was all fun at the time, but some of the strictness of the camp and then imagining that it'd be like that the whole season was off putting. Then all the people that I know that march literally stopped going to school because of the activity. But everyone's experience is different. Maybe I just like playing music on a chair too much
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« Reply #23 on: Feb 21, 2017, 09:03AM »

I use a Bach 5 on my .508 small bore, 5G on my .547 large bore, and 1 1/2G on my .562 bass.  Some think that you need a small mouthpiece for a small horn, but 7s and bigger didn't work for me.  Find what what works for you.  I suggest trying bigger mouthpieces on your tenor. 
I'll see if I can get a Schilke 53 small shank for my small tenor for my bass chops.  On a large bore, I use a 2G or 3G size to cover the 3rd trombone part when it doesn't require a 2nd trigger.  I'll see which works best for me or it that doesn't work, I might have to use the school's large bore.
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Ethan Wadie
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« Reply #24 on: Feb 21, 2017, 05:35PM »

Just want to ask a question.  What colleges marches bass trombones, just curious if I decide to continue marching in college.  I know I sound crazy but just wanted to ask.
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« Reply #25 on: Feb 22, 2017, 06:51PM »

First off my high school marching band experience was great.people came to games to see the band because the football team was lousy. Every homecoming we performed a"lights out " show using penlights in our hats. The pre game show we did the script Ohio with a sousaphone dotting the I. Our school was a small town school where all the cool people played in the band. Our school was Chesapeake High School and the band director was F Allen Howcroft.   We did a new show for every home game. Our concert band was terrific.

I attended Marshall University after high school . I played bass trombone in high school but not in marching band.. At Marshall I played a school horn.....some kind of Conn bass bone with TIS.  My bass was a 1970 Conn 62H. Paul Jennings was staff arranger at Marshall and wrote bass bone parts for me. Paul would  go on to become a top notch arranger.  He was an outstanding jazz pianist. The time frame for all this was from 1967-1976. Yes this was during the time of the Marshall plane crash. My church Sunday School teacher along with his wife was on that plane. I remember that event as if was yesterday. 
For me marching band was a great experience.
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« Reply #26 on: Feb 25, 2017, 01:22PM »

First off my high school marching band experience was great.people came to games to see the band because the football team was lousy. Every homecoming we performed a"lights out " show using penlights in our hats. The pre game show we did the script Ohio with a sousaphone dotting the I. Our school was a small town school where all the cool people played in the band. Our school was Chesapeake High School and the band director was F Allen Howcroft.   We did a new show for every home game. Our concert band was terrific.  For me marching band was a great experience.

I'm from Wickliffe, Ohio and graduated in 75.  Same thing, football was mediocre at best but the band was great.  After most bands have gone to corps style we still to this day do fast (160 BPM at times), high step marching (Ohio State style) with complicated route sheets for each squad.  A student written arrangement of "Aquarius" done for homecoming in the early 70s has been an annual tradition every year since, complete with the drum section forming a human pyramid with one playing upside down. 
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« Reply #27 on: Mar 21, 2017, 03:06PM »

My band director showed us our theme for next year's show, it's pretty much a magic show featuring The Musical "Wicked", "Harry Potter", "Pinball Wizard", Disney's "Hocus Pocus" and "Sorcerer's Apprentice" from Disney's Fantasia.  I believe on of the songs has a trombone or low brass feature. :D.
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 21, 2017, 07:35PM »

Sorcerer's Apprentice is actually by French composer Paul Dukas.  Disney co-opted it for a skit in Fantasia featuring Mickey Mouse.

The piece features the bassoon, but in a marching band that is never going to be heard; they probably have all the low brass playing the theme.  Look it up and give a listen.
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« Reply #29 on: Mar 21, 2017, 09:07PM »

Sorcerer's Apprentice is actually by French composer Paul Dukas.  Disney co-opted it for a skit in Fantasia featuring Mickey Mouse.

The piece features the bassoon, but in a marching band that is never going to be heard; they probably have all the low brass playing the theme.  Look it up and give a listen.

We were doing Sorcerer's Apprentice in a community orchestra.  I show up for the concert and the conductor told me the bassoonist backed out at the last minute, grab your straight mute and you are now playing the bassoon part.  Nothing like sight reading a well-known solo at a performance!
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« Reply #30 on: Jul 03, 2017, 06:25PM »

Just thought I do a little update, I'll confirm that after this marching season, I'll no longer use my small bore which I'll sell since my younger brother will not continue trombone and nobody in my family wants it.  Also, I really don't enjoy playing it at all as I don't plan on using it for future use for college/university marching bands or pep bands. 
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« Reply #31 on: Jul 03, 2017, 08:00PM »

Just thought I do a little update, I'll confirm that after this marching season, I'll no longer use my small bore which I'll sell since my younger brother will not continue trombone and nobody in my family wants it.  Also, I really don't enjoy playing it at all as I don't plan on using it for future use for college/university marching bands or pep bands. 
You should keep it! You don't want pigeonhole yourself as JUST a bass trombone player. You'll get a ton of random tenor gigs if you're open to them. Pop, jazz, you name it. Having a small bore is handy!
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« Reply #32 on: Jul 05, 2017, 12:29PM »

You should keep it! You don't want pigeonhole yourself as JUST a bass trombone player. You'll get a ton of random tenor gigs if you're open to them. Pop, jazz, you name it. Having a small bore is handy!
True.  But I still play tenor in wind ensemble (Elkhart Conn 88H) which belongs to my school on occasion, but I honestly don't see myself doing any tenor gigs on my small bore.  Also, I don't really plan on using it for any future use for college and beyond.  After this coming school year, I'll sell it to someone who will put it to better use than I can (a beginner or whoever).
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« Reply #33 on: Jul 19, 2017, 07:22PM »

For my final low brass section shirt since I'll graduate in the 2017-2018 school year, you know the pink on the Sweet'N Low sugar.  Well, we will put a pink shirt that will say "Sweet'N Low Brass" huh, see what we did there? ;-) and I don't know what the senior shirts design will be but we'll come up with ideas at our senior meetings. 

Just thought I share throughout my final days as a Titan Marching Band member.
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Ethan Wadie
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Adlai E. Stevenson High School Titan Marching Band
Adlai E. Stevenson High School Jazz Ensemble
Adlai E. Stevenson High School Wind Ensemble
Bones:
Besson BE 639
Getzen 1062FD
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