The NCAA got it right. March Madness…an apt description. For music educators it means [but not limited to] basketball playoffs, mid semester concert, solo/ensemble contest, the long haul to Spring break, depressing weather (at least around here), and restless kids. Unfortunately, I have ALL of those things happening right now. So, something has to give…
I did what most band directors would not do. And I am not sure it is a risk worth taking. I postponed by concert in favor of Basketball Playoffs. I capitalize it here because it is HUGE at my school. You have to understand that we have been working very hard to improve our school. I am sure most school staffs do, but it was getting to a critical low about five years ago. The recent success of the sports programs, band and choir programs, and various clubs has begun to rally the students together and we have seen some dramatic improvements across the board.
Back to Basketball Playoffs. This is a big deal and a great opportunity to send the right message to the community about the band program. It also makes our school look like a cohesive group.
The other side of the decision was based on the fact that the students are being asked to keep a schedule that is [in my opinion] inappropriate for a growing high school band program. I think my decision to postpone a curricular event in order for my students to catch their breath and catch up on homework, was just as important a curricular decision as keeping the concert on schedule.
I am still not sure I made the right choice. I am confident I did, but the danger is that I am setting the wrong president that concert band plays second fiddle to pep band. That is not, and never has been my philosophy. I hope to not have to compromise my principles too often in the future.