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Is he showing Favorites?

  • Yes

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  • No

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • Maybe but the purchase of these instruments are just because of the importants of these sections

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • I'm just as confused as you

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Ok, so our band has bought used Crossmen (I believe he said they cost $40,000-50,000) drums for the entire drumline, even though he bought new drums two years ago he got them new ones again and we still have the old ones. Then he bought used Phantom regiment euphoniums to march fine we needed those then he went and bought about 13 new cornets/trumpets for the entire section. But when it comes to getting any woodwind or repairing any woodwind instrument he just blows use off. For example one of the Bari's he hasn't gotten repaired even though he needs it for one of his classes. I realize you are all probably going to say he ran out of cash well I see where your coming from, but he is now thing of buying new tubas and baritones all silver plate.3 months ago I asked to get a tenor fixed for my section havent seen it in 3 months it would have only taken $200-300 to fix no, I'm pretty sure he sold it. Granted the brass is what you hear in general, but I'm pretty sure the woodwinds havent recieved a new horn in 20 years. I dont know what the band director view is on this and what qualifies a section for a new instrument. That is why I'm coming to the band directors in this forum and asking you, Is this a logical purchase of horns or is he just showing favorites to some sections of the band?
 

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Our school buys large instruments including tenors and baris. You've got to realize most people only see the the marching band. In our culture sports and its cheering sections get all the publicity. Also some band directors feel that their calling is marching band so they spend their budget on what they know. It is his/her job to make these choices not the band members. Be nice and ask about the horn or find a way to get your own if possible.

Creativity grows best in the dark, like celery.
-Huxley
 

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Sometimes you have to take control of your own musical goals.
 

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Hotspur said:
3 months ago I asked to get a tenor fixed for my section havent seen it in 3 months it would have only taken $200-300 to fix no, I'm pretty sure he sold it.
I don't know if your director is playing favorites or not, but to address the point above, there may be a serious backlog in your district repair shop. Here in Las Vegas (where I teach), our district tech is backed up almost ten weeks. I don't know if that's what's happening here, but I don't think there's any reason to assume that your teacher has sold an instrument.
 

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We don't have enough information here to really answer your question, but I am familiar with the complication of budgets and there are several things that could be happening. It is possible that there is a good budget for new horns, but not for repairs. It is also possible that in the requesting process, the people that appove the spending of the money favor brass and drums because they feel it will bring in more money to the school through the types of events they participate in (we see this in sports a lot). It could be that he doesn't even control the budget, but rather it is controlled at a district level, and it is easier for a district to purchase instruments in bulk to distribute to the schools. There are any number of possibilities here.

IMHO it would not be innappropriate to be straight up with your director about feeling like the woodwinds are getting overlooked when your section has real needs. If done respectfully, I would hope that he would respond with the same amount of respect and give you a straightforward answer in reply.

I can say from experience that budgeting and purchasing can be a very complicated thing and many times there are lots of little things that don't make sense, but directly affect or control a purchase, especially by a public institution using tax dollars. I have had to turn back thousands of dollars unused before where I work because it was budgeted in an area where we had no needs, yet I was not allowed to use the money for areas where the needs were much greater.
 

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Budgeting is VERY complicated. I teach MS Band in a wonder district. Each teacher is given an Apple Laptop to use for grading, dataprocessing, on-line this or that. Our entire school has internet wireless access. It's a beautiful thing. With that said - I have only received ONE new instrument in the last 5 years.

The computer money comes out of a TECHNOLOGY fund which is partially funded through a State Grant. The Band instrument money comes out of a general equipment fund - such as chairs and desk. So if I need a state-of-the-art laptop - then I'm in good shape. If I need a bari sax - it will NEVER happen.

Maybe the marching items are coming out of a athletic fund and MUST be put towards specific instruments. Who knows? It's complicated and POLITICAL.
 

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Budget Smudget

Im not a director, but if he is spending money buying drums and silverplate brass, then he has a significant budget. His priorities are clearly not with the woodwind if he would rather spend $40k on drums that didnt need replacing, no matter how good a bargain deal they might have been at the time. If he cant deal with the politics to make the money go where it needs to go, then hes not doing his job very well in my opinion.
 

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Canadiain said:
Budget Smudget

Im not a director, but if he is spending money buying drums and silverplate brass, then he has a significant budget. His priorities are clearly not with the woodwind if he would rather spend $40k on drums that didnt need replacing, no matter how good a bargain deal they might have been at the time. If he cant deal with the politics to make the money go where it needs to go, then hes not doing his job very well in my opinion.

That's the thing though. He might not have any control over the budget, and depending on the administration if he fights it he could get in trouble.
 

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What is his point in being there if he is not going to fight for the budget to be spent where it needs to be spent. Aren't directors supposed to offer some direction?

If there was no money being spent I could sympathise with his dilemma, but with serious money spent on trumpets and replacing drums that are only 2 years old, I have to wonder at the priorities here. Don't you find it at all odd?
 

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Two thoughts:

That is an enourmous budget for a school band. Just wow.

Woodwinds are useless for a marching band, go brass and percussion.
 

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If marching band has that priority over everything else, then it is a classic example of the "tail wagging the dog". Music education needs to have music as its core element not marching competitions to see who can win the biggest trophy IMO. Is your director a DRUMMER? That would explain a lot. ;)

John
 

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Several points...

1. Yes. In all likelihood, woodwinds are being passed over in favor of brass and drums to help build a better marching band.

2. Wow that is a huge band budget. Too bad it all seems to be getting spent on marching equipment.

3. This is very common. But at least marching band does matter today. At one time, band was seen as a group of un-athletic kids that just messed up the field turf during half time.

4. Saxophones can be heard on the field if setup properly. Some tenors with metal resonators and a high-baffle mouthpiece are worth at least three trombones if you have enough wind. I have a 1982 marching band recording to prove it.

5. I am sorry that your band experience is disappointing. You are not alone.

6. Band may have introduced you to music. But school band has nothing to do with being an adult sax player. Now is the time for you to take charge of learning saxophone and performing independently of the school band.

7. Unlike some others on this forum, I thoroughly believe a student has the right to fight for what they think is fair. You can fight back by calling parents, addressing the school board, calling the local newspaper and a host of other things. Weigh your options and decide what is best for you and others that will come after you.
 

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Saxes can definately be heard. Granted, I played a Metalite on tenor but it was clearly audible. Thing is, for many "average" high school kids slapping on a high baffle mouthpiece isn't going to help things.
 

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If you really do feel like you are getting screwed over, get your section leader or woodwind captain to mention it to the director. If he blows them off, then mention it to the band booster president. If you need to go above his head, then do it. I'm sure that you and your parents pay PLENTY to be in that band and if you feel like you're getting treated unfairly, you sure as hell have a right to voice your concerns.
 

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Sasquatch said:
Two thoughts:

That is an enourmous budget for a school band. Just wow.

Woodwinds are useless for a marching band, go brass and percussion.
You know, I play in an all brass marching band(brass band style, NOT drum corp!!!) at Ohio State, and its awesome, but saxes definitely have a strong voice on the marching feild. Flutes and clarinets? not so much!

As for the issue at hand, wow! This is a high school band??? That budget sounds like the budget we have for horns in the Ohio State marching band!!! Tons of new all silverplate horns each year and new perc constantly...

I dont think he is playing favorites, try going as a group to sit down and talk about it with him, and try to work out a resolution so that you guys at least know whats going on, or have a timetable to get things taken care of. If you cant get a meeting, go over his head!
 

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... or do as I did 35 years ago and play drums in marching band. I marched bass drum through high school and college. And maybe, just maybe, that had a postive influence on why I have such a strong sense of time.

Save the saxophone for the jazz band where it is more respected and where you will actually be encouraged to develop tone and not just volume.
 

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Band

I'll chime in as a HS band booster officer for the last 8 years.

Yes it sounds like your director is putting more into his Marching band instead of balancing between that and concert season.

We march 170 kids, and our booster organization puts a separate budget aside for our directors to buy new instruments. We give them $20k per year. Some years they spend it on tubas, some years pit, and every now and then a woodwind or two is purchased.

As for getting a sax repaired, we only own the bari saxes. Tenors and alto's are student property.

We have a parent that is the equipment chairman. When a horn needs repair, he gets a PO cut and turns in the instrument. Every summer he also takes in a bunch of horns for service. Booster/school owned horns/drums cost the student an extra $50 per semester to use. The director doesn't get involved with this stuff.

I don't know if this post helps, it's meant as a data point.
 

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Avon High School in Indiana has a $500,000 marching band budget.
 

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Band-dad thats rather interesting. Ive never seen a band where there was a charge to the students to simply use the the school owned horns. What is the logic for this method? Im sure it works for you, but I'm not quite following it.

In my high school, there was a sometimes a charge on repair, depending on how it became damaged(if it was 100% the students fault, they pay. If it was damaged on the bus on the way to games etc the student wasnt charged anything.) The horns were generally well cared for because of this.

Of course sometimes when directors or others are slow in getting something you NEED done, the old adage applies that If you want it done right, get it done yourself!
 
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