Insights Into Teens: Episode 130 ”Marching Band”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-afgzh-113768f

In today’s episode we’re going to take a look at Marching Band. We’ll explore what’s involved as far as time and commitment. We’ll talk about what skills are honed in marching band, not all of which are musical. We’ll also take a look at some of the less obvious benefits teens gain that will stay with them for a lifetime. 

Show Notes

INTRO THEME]
[INTRODUCTIONS]
Insights Into Teens: Episode 130 “Marching Band”
My musical and talented co-host Madison Whalen
And introducing our special guests the directors of Madison’s marching band program, Jon Porco and Ammanda Latkis Porco

Summary
In today’s episode we’re going to take a look at Marching Band. We’ll explore what’s involved as far as time and commitment. We’ll talk about what skills are honed in marching band, not all of which are musical. We’ll also take a look at some of the less obvious benefits teens gain that will stay with them for a lifetime.

[TRANSITION]

[SEGMENT 1]

About the Directors

Tell us a little about your personal marching band history
How long have you been involved in marching band?
How long have you been directing marching band?
Do you share the same duties or do you handle different aspects of the marching band
What motivated you to become marching band directors?
Without giving away trade secrets, what qualities does your marching band have that other high schools might not?
What is the most enjoyable things about directing marching band?
What kind of impact do you see marching band having on its members?
Do any of your former members keep in touch after graduating?

About marching band?
What is marching band?
What is involved?
What would a new member just joining need to know?
What skills would a new incoming member ideally have before joining a marching band?
How is marching band different from other band electives?
Let’s discuss instruments?
What instruments typically make up a marching band?
Does the type of available instruments in a band dictate what program you can do?
Are there “must have” instruments that a marching band just doesn’t work without?
What is the “pit”?
What is different about the pit?
What instruments are typically found in the pit?
Do all marching bands have a pit?
Talk a little about practices.
How often do they occur?
How long are practice sessions?
What does a typical rehearsal entail?
Let’s talk about performances a bit
Typically, wow often can members expect to perform?
How many competitions does a typical band compete in each season?
Are the competitions stressful?
Are the audiences very large?
Let’s talk band camp
Does your marching band do a band camp?
How long is the band camp?
What is the primary purpose of band camp?
Let’s talk color guard
What is color guard and is it part of marching band?
Are practices and performances for color guard different than marching band?
What skills are needed to participate in color guard?
How long is marching season?
Are there “off season” activities?
What does the season typically start for students?

[AD1: SSE]

[SEGMENT 2]

What is required of marching band?

What instruments or tools are required for marching band?
Let’s talk about uniforms
Are uniforms required for practice?
Are uniforms issues to members or purchased separately?
How much band experience do you need in order to join marching band?
How much time do kids need to put into marching band?
Is marching band something that happens in or out of school?
Is there a cost to be in marching band?
Are there fundraisers for marching band?
Are there required dates where kids must be present?
What are some of the challenges most of the kids face in marching band?
How about “stage fright’
Do members experience it?
How do you help members overcome stage fright?

What are the benefits of marching band?
What does marching band mean to the kids who join it?
What are some of the physical benefits marching band offers?
How can marching band teach members about leadership?
What are some of the time management benefits offered by marching band?
How does marching band affect kids’ grades?
What is the community of marching band like?
Are their potential career paths to take from marching band?
Do most of your students continue marching band in college?
Does marching band have any benefits that most people don’t think of?
Why do you think kids should join marching band?

[AD2: ENTERTAINMENT]

[SEGMENT 3]

The Creative Process

How do you go about selecting what program you run and how far in advance do you typically start the process?
Are there licensing challenges for incorporating music and props into your program?
How do you go about putting a program together? How to you select the music, the visuals, the uniforms and costumes, the props, etc.

Can you talk a bit about the crew and other instructors who are part of the process and their involvement?
Are there specific elements you look to include in your performance that are required for competitions?
Does the performance evolve as the season goes on, if so what’s that process look like?
How do you digest the input from the judges and relay that in an actionable form to the band to make corrections

Can you tell us a bit about your student leadership in marching band, what do you look for, how are they selected, what are they responsible for etc.?
Can you talk a little bit about the support that the marching band gets from the school and the parents?
What is the one message you’d want to send to prospective marching band members that would encourage them to participate in the program?

[TRANSITION]

[CLOSE]
Closing thoughts shoutouts
Show Plugs
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[OUTRO AND CREDITS]

Transcription

00:00:01:12 – 00:00:07:14
Michelle
Insightful podcasts. By informative, host.

00:00:09:22 – 00:00:16:11
Michelle
Based key insights into things.

00:00:17:18 – 00:00:18:14
Michelle
A podcast.

00:00:18:14 – 00:00:19:01
Michelle
Network.

00:00:26:07 – 00:00:42:11
Michelle
Welcome to Insights into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, as well as a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

00:00:50:22 – 00:01:02:06
Joseph
Welcome to insights in the teens. This is episode 130. Marching band, I’m your host, Joseph Whalen, and my musical and talented cohost Madison Whalen.

00:01:02:21 – 00:01:03:14
Madison
Hi, everyone.

00:01:03:16 – 00:01:04:22
Joseph
How are you doing today, Maddie?

00:01:05:08 – 00:01:06:11
Madison
I’m all right. How about you?

00:01:06:11 – 00:01:17:17
Joseph
I’m doing good today. We are joined by special guests. The directors of Madison’s marching band, Mr. John Porco and Amanda is Porco. How are you guys doing again?

00:01:17:21 – 00:01:18:09
Jon
How are you?

00:01:18:20 – 00:01:30:18
Joseph
Great. Thanks so much for joining us for this. I know we wanted to do this early on and things have just been so crazy with the band and everything else. So I appreciate you guys taking the time to talk to us today.

00:01:32:02 – 00:01:45:07
Joseph
So in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about, you know, what marching band is. We’ll explore what’s involved as far as time commitments. We’ll talk about what skills are honed in marching band, not all of which are musical.

00:01:45:22 – 00:01:53:03
Joseph
We’ll also take a look at some of the less obvious benefits teens gain that will stay with them for a lifetime. Are we ready to get into it?

00:01:53:09 – 00:01:53:16
Madison
Sure.

00:01:53:22 – 00:01:55:12
Joseph
All right, let’s do this.

00:01:57:15 – 00:01:58:02

But.

00:02:02:06 – 00:02:16:20
Joseph
All right, so let’s first get to know our directors. So tell us a little about yourself. What’s your personal marching band history? How long you been involved, how long you been directing that sort of thing?

00:02:18:02 – 00:02:37:10
Jon
So I’ll get I’ll just get started, I’ve been involved for 15 years in marching band, performing and instructing. I went to one of the high school tours as a fresh freshman, just marching for the first time and then taught at Deptford, as well as apps, a gaming high school.

00:02:38:09 – 00:02:44:13
Jon
I realized at the end of the season that I just wrapped up my 10th year directing, which is crazy. Those years fly by.

00:02:44:20 – 00:02:46:17
Joseph
That is impressive. Yeah.

00:02:47:15 – 00:03:10:04
Amanda
I’ve been in the activity since 2003 and I started instructing in 2009. So since then, I have worked with a Cherokee High School Gaming High School and most recently Denver High School, where I’ve been the assistant director, I guess, for three, three or seven years.

00:03:10:05 – 00:03:26:13
Joseph
Yeah. Oh, that’s great. That is great. So what do you guys do? Do you share the same duties? Do you handle different aspects of, I don’t know, the musical side, the creative side? Can you kind of explain sort of what you guys are both responsible for?

00:03:27:06 – 00:03:43:04
Jon
So this is this is an ongoing work in progress from sharing duties. We definitely have our own strengths. There’s some things that we we share and we kind of butt heads with, but we always prevail with the greater one on top.

00:03:43:04 – 00:04:01:06
Jon
But generally, I’m the music director. Amanda is our visual director. We’ll obviously cross over in those aspects occasionally. Amanda’s obviously a music teacher. I’ve done visual for many years, but we try to stay, stay in our lane for the most part.

00:04:01:13 – 00:04:08:07
Jon
And then administratively, we split up a lot of stuff. I mean, Amanda is the most organized human being. I know.

00:04:08:16 – 00:04:10:06
Jon
I heard her.

00:04:10:13 – 00:04:18:19
Jon
As much as I can. I try to. I try to be organized, but she always outdoes me. So we do split our duties pretty, pretty evenly.

00:04:19:10 – 00:04:34:15
Joseph
And you know, I have to I have to kind of speak a little from experience because I was there for the one practice and I got to see how you guys interacted with the band. And it was almost a synchronicity the way that you guys, you know, as you were making corrections here and there, you have one

00:04:34:15 – 00:04:40:16
Joseph
person that was up in the booth, one person down on the field, and it was a very cooperative feel to it. So it was very interesting.

00:04:41:09 – 00:04:41:22
Jon
Definitely.

00:04:42:06 – 00:04:45:11
Joseph
What motivated you guys to become band directors?

00:04:47:06 – 00:05:03:18
Amanda
I would say it would be my experience in high school marching band. You know, there’s so much to take out of that experience, not just as a musician, as a performer, but you know, life skills, discipline, you know, the relationships that you build are really unique and special.

00:05:04:03 – 00:05:16:02
Amanda
And I was inspired by my director who provided me that experience as a student. I was really inspired to kind of explore what it might take to become a music educator.

00:05:16:21 – 00:05:29:16
Joseph
That’s that’s actually a really interesting way to look at it. What way? Obviously, we’re not giving away any and trade secrets. What’s the secret sauce? What do you guys have together that makes you different and makes your band special?

00:05:30:04 – 00:05:43:12
Jon
I don’t know. We figured out yet. I guess something cool that we do, at least as we design our own shows. I know a lot of programs will buy. You can buy like music, you could buy arrangements, you could buy drill.

00:05:44:00 – 00:05:56:00
Jon
But we try to keep everything in-house. I think that’s important because I’m not saying we’re like the most creative directors on the circuit. Like, I think there’s a lot of really awesome directors that are creating some really cool shows out there.

00:05:56:00 – 00:06:10:22
Jon
But when you’re designing your own show, you’re really designing it for the students that you have specifically. So you’re able to kind of gauge throughout the spring and summer where everyone’s at and what level you think that they can get to and you could really max out each student to their abilities.

00:06:11:07 – 00:06:18:06
Joseph
Oh, that’s great. That’s great. What do you guys get out of it? What’s the most enjoyment that you get at a directing band?

00:06:20:10 – 00:06:41:05
Amanda
I would just say, you know, watching where the kids start in the beginning of year and where they can end, and just to see that success repeated over and over again, it brings us great joy because you know, you’re bringing you’re being very, very demanding, but you’re asking for the best from these kids.

00:06:41:05 – 00:06:50:21
Amanda
And you know that you know you’re building such an outstanding experience, an outlet for them. It’s a ton of work, but it makes it worth it. And it’s why we keep coming back every year.

00:06:51:15 – 00:07:06:07
Joseph
And then actually a great lead in for the next question is what kind of impact do you see marching band having on these members? As a as a parent of a new marching band member, I’ve seen non musical impacts.

00:07:06:07 – 00:07:08:05
Joseph
What kind of impacts do you guys see?

00:07:09:17 – 00:07:26:12
Jon
Well, I think the most important thing that we like to look for in our programs is character. We want to make sure that we’re creating an environment where, you know, the students can just see on a regular basis, whether it’s an instructor or, you know, a fellow marching band member of like how you want to present yourself

00:07:26:16 – 00:07:45:17
Jon
every day. And that goes, like you said, beyond music, beyond marching band, just a way that you carry yourself. And I think another big thing is like confidence. That’s what you’re going to see a lot of growth from your child when if you have a child doing marching band, they’re out there all the time.

00:07:45:17 – 00:08:02:07
Jon
They are in situations like band camp and these competitions where, you know, you look back like twelve months and you probably have never put yourself in that situation. But on the level of confidence that you gain through the activity is unbelievable and that carries over for for anything.

00:08:02:10 – 00:08:21:02
Joseph
Yeah, yeah. And I would definitely agree with that. I wasn’t in band myself. My musical talent could probably fit into a thimble, unfortunately. I was a choir boy, so I was in choir. But I there was a lot of kids that were inquiring that were in marching band, and I knew from that that it was such a

00:08:21:02 – 00:08:39:13
Joseph
tight knit group, and I didn’t really appreciate that until we were exposed to it. And and it’s even though it’s a competitive environment as you go up against other bands, just the fact that we were coming back for the one competition and you had one band passing the other, wishing him good luck.

00:08:39:13 – 00:08:51:12
Joseph
Go out there, you know, knock them dead, that sort of thing. And just that overall support and encouragement just blew me away. I’ve never seen anything like that in a competitive environment, and it was it was really touching to see.

00:08:52:00 – 00:09:07:15
Amanda
Absolutely. It’s a whole. It’s a whole community, you know, and you see it between the students, but you also see it between, you know, different programs and directors. You know, we have friends who do the same thing that we do with other schools and we couldn’t be bigger fans and more supportive of each other.

00:09:07:19 – 00:09:10:11
Amanda
It’s a really cool community to be a part of.

00:09:11:08 – 00:09:23:15
Joseph
Yeah. And I think that’s probably the biggest benefit that I think I’ve seen so far. And Madison was fortunate enough to experience that early on because she kind of struggled early on there, didn’t really find her place right off the bat.

00:09:24:05 – 00:09:37:03
Joseph
And just the the band members had stepped up and gave her that pat on the back or helped her get, you know, get over one of those little problem she had. It was just fantastic to see the support all the way across the board.

00:09:37:13 – 00:09:43:17
Jon
Totally. Yeah, because we try to tell the upperclassmen, you know, you’ve been there, you’ve been a rookie.

00:09:44:14 – 00:09:44:19
Jon
And.

00:09:44:19 – 00:09:59:09
Jon
Those first couple of months are the hardest. They really are. It’s there’s so much new stuff being thrown at you, and I do agree. I think our upperclassmen this year did an outstanding job in being that support system for the rookies throughout the summer and fall.

00:09:59:21 – 00:10:01:11
Joseph
So bad, guys. I’m sorry.

00:10:01:16 – 00:10:08:13
Amanda
You know, I said, I’m sure Madison can attest to that as well, but the stuff that she was able to find, you know.

00:10:09:15 – 00:10:15:13
Joseph
So do you guys have former members come back after they graduate to keep in touch and help out and stuff?

00:10:16:17 – 00:10:32:09
Jon
Yeah. I mean, any pretty much any student that is going into the field of music, I stay in touch where I’m always there as a resource if they need help or, you know, any paperwork or anything that I can do to like, make their lives easier, I’m there.

00:10:32:22 – 00:10:46:01
Jon
And then we have a lot of alumni coming and working for us. I mean, this past season, Bryan was a graduate of mine. But even before that, it seems like almost every year we have alumni coming back on.

00:10:46:02 – 00:10:49:01
Jon
And it’s really it’s really cool to see them now.

00:10:49:11 – 00:10:49:19
Jon
Yeah.

00:10:50:04 – 00:10:54:02
Joseph
That’s awesome. So, Madison, you had a couple of questions to ask.

00:10:54:06 – 00:10:54:12
Madison
Yeah.

00:10:56:02 – 00:11:05:02
Madison
So the first one’s kind of big. So what is marching band? What’s involved? What’s what? A new member just joining me to know kind of like the basics.

00:11:06:09 – 00:11:09:08
Amanda
So a lot of sports, though.

00:11:09:08 – 00:11:23:16
Amanda
The style of marching band that we do here is a competitive style, so a little bit more involved, a little bit more demanding, a little bit more athletic than what other some other programs might get into. But I guess.

00:11:24:16 – 00:11:40:04
Amanda
The summary of it would be musicians and performers putting together a production on the field that is both musical and visual simultaneously.

00:11:41:09 – 00:11:41:20
Joseph
OK.

00:11:43:07 – 00:11:44:03
Jon
Sums it up, right?

00:11:44:08 – 00:11:46:04
Joseph
That doesn’t give away any secrets.

00:11:49:10 – 00:12:06:14
Amanda
And the second part of your question, Madison, you said what what a new member need to know getting involved. Mm-Hmm. OK. We say pretty much nothing, actually. We have taken kids who have never played an instrument before, kids who are learning something new right off the bat.

00:12:07:05 – 00:12:20:03
Amanda
If you think about the color guard element of our of our group, you know it’s fitting the flags and different equipment. There’s no outlet for that. Before marching band, you know, they didn’t have a previous experience. They may have dance.

00:12:20:17 – 00:12:35:14
Amanda
So that’s a brand new experience most people don’t have experience coming into. Yeah, we’ve taught people instruments. We’ve switched people from one instrument to another instrument. And while it certainly helps for kids to have a little bit of background in music, they learn a little bit quicker.

00:12:36:06 – 00:12:40:09
Amanda
But we would never turn anybody down who wanted to be a part of what we’ve got going on here.

00:12:41:03 – 00:12:52:09
Jon
That’s great. I’m going to add just a quick thing outside of like, I mean, there was like the perfect dancer, but the big things we do look for is someone who has, like a good work ethic. Yeah.

00:12:53:09 – 00:12:53:15
Jon
I mean.

00:12:53:19 – 00:13:06:12
Jon
You don’t need the experience, but it is, as Madison can attest to, it’s a big time commitment. And if you’re there, you’re ready to work, ready to battle yourself every single moment of the day. You’re going to be extremely successful in this program.

00:13:07:14 – 00:13:20:20
Jon
And then, like I said, the other thing is just the time commitment, just understanding that you know, you’re you’re working with us through the summer and fall. A lot of people get surprised when the fall comes around. They’re like, Wow, like, I don’t know, these competitions are closed.

00:13:21:22 – 00:13:29:02
Jon
And this is what this is, what we do this for these performances, these competitions. So it’s fun to sneak that in there.

00:13:29:06 – 00:13:30:12
Joseph
OK, fair enough.

00:13:31:11 – 00:13:34:11
Madison
So how is marching band different from other band electives?

00:13:36:11 – 00:13:53:04
Jon
I think what we talked about earlier is that family vibe that takes place in marching band, which you kind of get in the other ensembles, but I think when you’re around some people so much like you are in marching band, especially band camp, where you’re there Monday through Friday for twelve hours a day, you get to that

00:13:53:04 – 00:13:56:20
Jon
weird feeling towards like your friends and stuff where you like, hate them.

00:13:56:20 – 00:13:59:05
Jon
And you’re like, Right side.

00:13:59:10 – 00:14:00:06
Joseph
It’s like family.

00:14:00:17 – 00:14:01:03
Jon
Really.

00:14:01:03 – 00:14:19:10
Jon
Hate you. Just like you can like, want to, like, strangle someone and then wake up the next morning and you’re just like best friends again. So it’s a really cool thing in that sense. And then obviously, the visual elements that Amanda was mentioning, this is such a great outlet for students that are interested in dance or even

00:14:19:10 – 00:14:35:00
Jon
just like, you know, into like trying to advance themselves as dancers. You can really get a lot out of this program that really isn’t offered in really any other aspect of a school and maybe like theater drama. So that’s a cool element that’s added in.

00:14:35:03 – 00:14:52:22
Joseph
The one thing that I had, I did notice, and it was very obvious going to see the other competitions and seeing the other bands, and it was the the diversity and the acceptance. It didn’t matter what shape, what size or color you had kids that were out there that had disabilities that were able to get out there

00:14:52:22 – 00:15:04:01
Joseph
on the field and perform and be a part of something special. And it was just so nice and it was a relief to be able to see that level of acceptance out there was very, very surprising, very enlightening.

00:15:04:11 – 00:15:15:21
Jon
Yeah, it’s awesome. And I think that’s another thing with marching band. We are marching bands, usually a custom like design, a custom experience. So we make the show work for anyone who wants to be a part of it.

00:15:16:00 – 00:15:16:07
Joseph
Yeah.

00:15:16:14 – 00:15:19:06
Joseph
And I think that’s great. What else do we have?

00:15:19:19 – 00:15:24:05
Madison
So let’s discuss instruments. So what instruments typically make up a marching band?

00:15:26:01 – 00:15:42:21
Amanda
So marching band instruments are pretty much the same as the instruments that you would see in a contraband or wind ensemble. However, there are a few instruments that are specific to marching band that were kind of modifications of instruments you might find in a concert band.

00:15:43:08 – 00:16:04:04
Amanda
So you will find Piccolo’s flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones and tubas. But a couple of unique instruments for marching band instead of using a French horn. There are melatonin, which we have a melatonin this year, but we might in the future, and they’re kind of like a bigger, flared out trumpet.

00:16:04:04 – 00:16:19:13
Amanda
That sound kind of like a French horn, but you can carry it much better than you would be able to carry a French horn work. And there are also marching euphonium, said baritones that are typically are instruments that sit in your lap in a in a concert band setting.

00:16:19:13 – 00:16:26:02
Amanda
So they have, you know, marching band versions of those instruments that work better on the field.

00:16:26:11 – 00:16:40:17
Jon
And then the other big thing is the percussion section. I think students that are involved in percussion, drums, all of their marching bands, a great outlet for them to explore so many more instruments than they would ever play in a concert band setting.

00:16:40:17 – 00:16:59:05
Jon
So you obviously have the drum line, which is pitched basses, so you have generally anywhere between three and six basses that are pitched high to low. And then you have snare drums, which are pretty common. They’re a little modified for the marching bands starting to cut all the way up to the box.

00:16:59:12 – 00:17:20:18
Jon
And then we have the marching tenor drums, which is kind of like Toms on a drum set. But obviously in one compact little unit that you can carry around. And then the final sections is front ensemble section, which has a whole bunch of different keyboard instruments electronics, odd color, percussion, sometimes in marching band.

00:17:20:18 – 00:17:27:07
Jon
We just like invent things to make sounds because we need them. So we’ll see a lot of weird stuff in that section.

00:17:27:07 – 00:17:29:10
Joseph
Is that the pit you’re referring to there?

00:17:29:19 – 00:17:37:04
Jon
Yeah, we like front ensembles like the fancy name for it, but it is like the casual. When you want to say it, all word makes.

00:17:40:00 – 00:17:46:03
Madison
OK, so let’s talk a little bit about practices, so how often do they typically occur?

00:17:47:10 – 00:18:07:18
Jon
So generally for our program, which again, it’s different across the board, everyone rehearses differently, but we’ll do basically two practices a week during the summer. Generally, we get started around fourth of July. Would you like some free stuff in the spring just to get, you know, students who are interested, but that’s usually the start of our rehearsal

00:18:07:18 – 00:18:20:14
Jon
season, then? Like I mentioned earlier, we have a band camp, which is crazy and it’s a whole week, twelve hour days, but it’s fun. We don’t just rehearse the entire time. We do a lot of team building activities.

00:18:20:20 – 00:18:35:19
Jon
It’s some great band power and food and weird skits. And then during the fall, we’ll keep that same to night a week schedule. But then you have your Friday Night Football games, which generally will stay after school to sectionals.

00:18:36:09 – 00:18:43:16
Jon
And then Saturday is our competition day. So we’ll probably come in like a couple of hours early to get a little bit of a practice in before we head out to a competition.

00:18:44:11 – 00:18:55:04
Joseph
So the one thing that I did notice that struck me is, I don’t know. I don’t want to say Ah, but it’s a little surprising was your practices were were later than I expected them to be. Was there a reason for that?

00:18:55:16 – 00:19:11:06
Jon
Yes. one of the reasons is for the students who want to be, you know, athletes as well as band members. So we have a number of students who are on the soccer team, field hockey team who also participate in marching bands.

00:19:11:06 – 00:19:30:17
Jon
So they’re able to, you know, finish their practice e, you know, wind down just a little bit and then head to marching band. The other thing is staff, that’s that’s actually the biggest thing most of our staff members and this kind of is across the board and in all marching bands were at least in our state where

00:19:30:17 – 00:19:45:18
Jon
the staff members are not working at the school during the day. We find former drum corps members are music majors or educators who maybe are teaching at the elementary middle school level, and we need to wait for them to get off work.

00:19:45:18 – 00:19:57:04
Jon
A lot of them don’t get off work till like five or 6:00. So if we did an after-school practice, it would pretty much be, I guess it would just be me, just be you. That’s all. That’s a lot of responsibility.

00:19:57:04 – 00:19:58:04

For one person.

00:19:58:17 – 00:20:02:03
Joseph
OK, well, that makes perfect sense. Then what else do we have?

00:20:02:17 – 00:20:08:12
Madison
So now let’s talk a bit more about performances. So typically, how often can members expect to perform?

00:20:10:04 – 00:20:11:08
Jon
You know.

00:20:12:16 – 00:20:24:17
Amanda
So during the heavy part of our season, they can expect about two or three performances a. Yeah, yeah, that’s about right.

00:20:24:17 – 00:20:27:22
Jon
Yeah, and the price starts while I usually like the end of September.

00:20:27:22 – 00:20:29:12
Amanda
In September, end of September.

00:20:29:13 – 00:20:48:17
Jon
And so like usually the first week in November, and then we’ll probably do a couple like parades and stuff during the year. So there might be like a parade in the spring or summer or something. And those are always nice, different performances, but generally at a competitive group like Amanda said, like three times a week.

00:20:49:01 – 00:21:05:06
Joseph
Is that sort of what the kids are get psyched up for is to go out and do these performances because I know I played football and you tolerated practiced just for game day. And if game day wasn’t there that week, you you really you couldn’t get through practice that week.

00:21:05:16 – 00:21:20:12
Jon
Generally, that’s that’s the vibe. I think this year, the reason the kids did so well is because our practices were generally really, really strong. You probably hear this from coaches all the time, but we like to preach, you know, you practice like you perform.

00:21:20:14 – 00:21:20:20
Joseph
Yeah.

00:21:21:19 – 00:21:39:07
Jon
And we just try to make sure that those practices the kids are putting out that same level of intensity that they would for a competition. But yeah, that’s the big thing is the competition that they perform for and the main one is our championship at the end of the season on the Atlantic Coast Championships.

00:21:39:13 – 00:21:43:17
Jon
It’s kind of the creme de la creme of competitions. Awesome.

00:21:44:09 – 00:21:49:02
Madison
So speaking of competitions, roughly, how many competitions are there in the season?

00:21:50:21 – 00:21:53:13
Jon
So there’s a lot on the schedule, right, it’s probably like.

00:21:54:07 – 00:21:57:04
Amanda
Yeah, so you can compete. I’m sorry, my dog’s.

00:21:57:14 – 00:21:58:05
Amanda
In the bottom here.

00:22:00:14 – 00:22:12:11
Amanda
I mean, you can start as early as the second week in September, and certain circuits will go all the way up until I know a circuit that just did last weekend. So not one that we were involved with.

00:22:12:11 – 00:22:30:18
Amanda
So you know, you can pick and choose which weekend you want to participate in. You kind of have to schedule it for what’s best for your program, how many times you want to go out that year pacing. You want to get a couple good Saturday Saturdays without shows that you can have really long rehearsals.

00:22:31:13 – 00:22:40:03
Amanda
So we did. Auctions this year, five mechanical fly by.

00:22:40:05 – 00:22:53:17
Jon
Usually it’s like anywhere between four and six competitions for us. But there are some bands that. Do a lot like there’s some bands that do like two or three competitions a weekend, just.

00:22:53:18 – 00:22:54:08
Jon
Performance.

00:22:54:12 – 00:22:59:04
Amanda
That double up and do a sunny Saturday, Sunday, it can be it can get heavy at times.

00:22:59:09 – 00:23:00:04
Joseph
That’s crazy.

00:23:01:16 – 00:23:13:06
Madison
So we haven’t really talked about a certain aspect of the ban, which is the color guard. OK, so what is the color guard and is it really a part of the marching band?

00:23:13:16 – 00:23:33:13
Amanda
And so if it’s the musician’s job to show what the story is by sound, the color guard’s job is to represent that visually. So anything that we are trying to portray within our theme is really going to be centered around the color guard.

00:23:33:17 – 00:23:49:17
Amanda
They’re going to do the storytelling for us, and they are absolutely a pivotal part of the whole band. It would be really hard to read a lot of the theming that we do without their level of performance. So absolutely they are.

00:23:49:18 – 00:24:11:19
Amanda
They’re huge. So they do a number of things. They dance, they spin flags, they send rifles, sabers, sometimes oddball equipment that we just come up with them all into the theme. Like in the past, we’ve used these like lightning bolt cutters say, you know, you’ll see them doing all sorts of stuff out there and they are there

00:24:11:19 – 00:24:21:19
Amanda
are truly talented performers. It’s a very unique skill set. I’m always jealous of the guard. I wish I got a chance to perform in a color guard before, but they are super tough.

00:24:23:03 – 00:24:37:03
Jon
It’s crazy. I mean, especially when the weather’s getting colder, like you’re tossing these things like so many feet up in the air and you have to like, just catch it. And it’s just like it’s painful. Sometimes it hits you in the head, like and they just say, keep on working through it.

00:24:38:01 – 00:24:47:12
Jon
There are very impressive birds. Yeah, there are nice, especially like for like a rehearsal. It’s always good to point out the color guard be like, how can we not working as hard as them?

00:24:49:04 – 00:25:05:15
Joseph
That was one thing that I had noticed. Going to all the competitions was the. How the story was depicted, you know, the color guard was basically the stage they were, they were the actors on the stage. It was almost like everybody else was there to support them.

00:25:05:15 – 00:25:07:04
Joseph
Telling the story is what it seemed like.

00:25:07:05 – 00:25:08:15
Amanda
In some ways. Absolutely.

00:25:09:09 – 00:25:22:12
Joseph
It was really, really interesting to see, especially across the different bands, to see some of the props that they had and some of the outfits that were done in the last game that we went to and it was exceptionally cold.

00:25:22:12 – 00:25:31:22
Joseph
We all had sympathy for the color guard for the outfits because it was very cold. What was the last question we have for this one?

00:25:32:13 – 00:25:38:17
Madison
The last one is just basic. Like how long is marching band as a marching band season.

00:25:39:08 – 00:25:40:17
Amanda
And never and you never.

00:25:42:03 – 00:25:42:06
Amanda
Know.

00:25:42:17 – 00:25:51:15
Amanda
What two weeks out now. And you know him and I will be sitting on the couch watching TV and be like, Well, what do you think about this theme for next year? What can we do? You know what kind of songs could we like?

00:25:52:02 – 00:25:53:04
Amanda
So we never really stop.

00:25:53:05 – 00:25:53:21
Jon
For us, it does.

00:25:54:21 – 00:25:55:08
Jon
This is like.

00:25:55:08 – 00:26:05:17
Jon
Design season, and usually usually this is when we like, get the staff together. But this is like one of the rare years where all the staff members as of now are coming back.

00:26:05:18 – 00:26:07:15
Jon
So it’s almost.

00:26:07:15 – 00:26:21:14
Jon
Like a break for us. But yeah, then it comes design season where you get the whole storyboard together. You do all the music arrangements and then we start some. There’s usually a little bit of off season training.

00:26:22:17 – 00:26:23:02
Jon
And all.

00:26:23:04 – 00:26:38:08
Jon
And all the group. We usually leave that up to the kids, depending how you know how crazy they want to go that year. I’ve had groups that started off season training in January when I started coming in like once a week and just like worked on visual and music stuff.

00:26:39:22 – 00:26:53:05
Jon
But then sometimes it doesn’t start till May, so it all depends on what the student leadership wants to do. We don’t want to. I never want to push them in that sense just because you really want them to, to want to basically for that kind of thing.

00:26:53:05 – 00:26:55:15
Jon
So yeah, it’s kind of it really doesn’t.

00:26:55:18 – 00:26:56:21
Amanda
It doesn’t stop in there.

00:26:58:10 – 00:27:09:13
Joseph
Even when you’re out, you’re never out, right? Well, that was great. That was I think that was that was all the questions we have for this segment. We’re going to take a quick break and then we’ll come back.

00:27:09:13 – 00:27:44:20
Joseph
We’ll talk about what’s required for marching band. We’ll be right back. For over seven years, the second Sith empire has been the Premiere Community Guild. The online game Star Wars The Old Republic, with hundreds of friendly and helpful active members, a weekly schedule of nightly events and your guild meet and greets and an active community both on

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Joseph
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00:28:08:19 – 00:28:15:19
Joseph
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00:28:23:04 – 00:28:41:18
Madison
Welcome back to inside Nadine’s today, we’re talking about marching band with our guests, Mr. John Porco and Miss Amanda Lark as Pogo. So now we’re going to be talking about what’s required for marching band. So I think now’s a good time to talk about uniforms.

00:28:41:18 – 00:28:44:14
Madison
So a uniforms required for practice.

00:28:46:12 – 00:29:02:08
Amanda
So we usually only use the uniforms for performances in a couple of rare occasions when we’re getting ready for some early performances, there may be times where we call for students to wear their helmets or gloves just to get used to those different accessories.

00:29:03:00 – 00:29:19:21
Amanda
But we typically will not use those during practice. We do have a practice uniform in the sense that we require students to wear athletic clothing, sneakers, things like that. We do have a little bit of a dress code for what is appropriate to wear to rehearsal.

00:29:22:02 – 00:29:22:13
Joseph
OK.

00:29:23:10 – 00:29:26:02
Madison
That’s a good example, that explanation.

00:29:26:16 – 00:29:26:18
Joseph
OK.

00:29:27:09 – 00:29:37:12
Madison
Sorry, not tuned to with my English. So our next question is how much time do kids need to put into marching bands?

00:29:39:14 – 00:29:59:17
Jon
So we require them to come to the rehearsal, so yeah, in the summer, it’s six hours a week, nothing too crazy. And then in the fall, the PRI gets almost doubled every twelve hours a week. It’s pretty similar to any varsity sport less than but the varsity sports are doing.

00:30:00:09 – 00:30:21:20
Jon
But we also ask that, you know, you practice outside of the activity. We always have like sectionals happening, you know, before practice or on an off day with our student leadership. But generally, like any instrument, you need to play it pretty consistently to improve at it and especially even with color guard with it being, you know, new

00:30:21:20 – 00:30:34:18
Jon
equipment to a lot of these members, it’s something that, you know, the more you do it, the more times you wrap it on, the more comfortable you are. So other than our practice time, obviously as much as you need outside?

00:30:35:12 – 00:30:37:00
Joseph
Fair point. Yeah.

00:30:38:17 – 00:30:42:08
Madison
So is marching band something that happens in or out of school?

00:30:43:15 – 00:30:58:19
Jon
So, Mark, you mentioned extracurricular activity, so it’s pretty much 100% outside of school I’m trying to think of there isn’t. I know there are programs in the country that have like marching band classes like you go out to the Midwest or even Pennsylvania.

00:30:58:19 – 00:31:17:13
Jon
There’s like schools where a color guard class that you sign up for, like instead of gym. Some schools concert band program is marching band. So, but mainly at least in the south or even in the state of New Jersey, marching band is generally an extracurricular afterschool activity.

00:31:18:15 – 00:31:19:03
Jon
OK.

00:31:20:17 – 00:31:24:10
Madison
All right, so is there a cost at all to be in marching band?

00:31:25:22 – 00:31:39:05
Amanda
There isn’t a upfront fee to participate. There are a few things that families will have to purchase along the way. A couple of uniform parts like gloves and shoes and things that come up are that.

00:31:39:10 – 00:31:40:07
Jon
You grow out of.

00:31:40:15 – 00:31:41:10
Amanda
Herbs and things.

00:31:41:11 – 00:31:42:17
Amanda
To use.

00:31:44:09 – 00:32:07:03
Amanda
And we do require kids to participate in a number of our booster fundraisers. So a lot of what we do within our program would not happen without the support of our parent booster organization. And part of the way that they help us achieve what we need to achieve in the season is by running a number of fundraisers

00:32:08:01 – 00:32:21:20
Amanda
that families can take a part of it in different ways, whether that be selling things or helping out a different event, different ways to bring some income into helping to support the program. And that offsets costs for all the students as well.

00:32:22:12 – 00:32:23:00
Joseph
OK.

00:32:24:10 – 00:32:28:06
Madison
So what are some of the challenges most of the kids face in marching band?

00:32:30:18 – 00:32:44:11
Amanda
I would say, if you’re new to it, time management can be a little bit overwhelming, you know, when you come back into school or you’re starting high school for the first time and you’re layering that in with a pretty intense fall rehearsal schedule.

00:32:45:05 – 00:32:48:19
Amanda
I see kids swim a little bit with that from time to time.

00:32:49:19 – 00:33:07:21
Jon
Think the physical element because a lot of a lot of students we recruit our band kids. There are, you know, there’s, you know, in a school, there’s athletes, there’s band kids as a couple mixes. But generally a lot of these band kids that are signing up, you know, the physical element can be a lot of fromtheir like

00:33:07:21 – 00:33:21:20
Jon
shot like, wait, I’m coming to a band practice and I’m running laps like, what is happening right now? The physical element isn’t to create like anyone really can do it, but it is. It can be a shock, you know, coming into the.

00:33:21:20 – 00:33:22:07
Jon
Summer.

00:33:22:07 – 00:33:25:12
Joseph
You know, in all fairness, it is marching band, not standing band.

00:33:25:19 – 00:33:26:01
Jon
Yeah.

00:33:26:19 – 00:33:28:10
Madison
You mentioned that multiple times.

00:33:29:05 – 00:33:29:11
Jon
That’s.

00:33:30:14 – 00:33:31:18
Jon
Going to serve.

00:33:34:11 – 00:33:44:17
Madison
Yeah, that’d be funny. So how about stage fright? Members experience and how do you hope members overcome stage fright?

00:33:46:22 – 00:34:06:09
Amanda
You know what? The whole thing can be really intense. Those first couple of performances where you’ve never done anything like that can absolutely be overwhelming. So we always make sure that our first performance is a football game, which is kind of like our Warm-Up performances in a way, like little dress rehearsals.

00:34:06:09 – 00:34:09:03
Jon
Yeah, you definitely want a football game before your first competition.

00:34:09:03 – 00:34:25:17
Amanda
And I think a good way for kids to overcome that stage fright is to realize that you know, you’re operating as a unit, you are a band, you are a whole group out there. And you know, very rarely are you even going to be able to be singled out, you know, you’re dressed in uniform, you all look

00:34:25:17 – 00:34:39:05
Amanda
the same. It’s hard to even say like, Oh, is that Madison out there? Like, Who is that? And I’m not, you know? So, you know, the fact that you’re going out there with a group and you’re a part of something I think can kind of mitigate some of that stage fright because, you know, we’re not asking you

00:34:39:05 – 00:34:51:12
Amanda
to step out and play a solo all by yourself, you know, if you kids do, but you know, as a member, you can find some peace in the fact that you’re performing, among many others.

00:34:52:03 – 00:35:08:05
Jon
Totally. I think something else, would you always do like a preview performance to what the parents to fill the stands with, with people that they know? I know during rehearsal, especially for like runners and stuff, we always like to get in people’s faces to kind of freak them out a little bit.

00:35:09:02 – 00:35:27:06
Jon
I think having your director stand two inches from you is scarier than, you know, the audience. But like Amanda was saying, like, you have that power in numbers, but you also have, you know, power and preparation. The more prepared you are, the more times you do it, the easier it is.

00:35:27:06 – 00:35:35:16
Jon
And you’re just eventually you get to like the end of the season. It’s almost like, like we talked about leading into like, This is your job. Like, this is something you’ve been doing.

00:35:36:01 – 00:35:36:08
Jon
All.

00:35:36:08 – 00:35:51:10
Jon
Season. You just go out there and you do your job, you do it well and you try not to do anything more. You try to overthink it. You don’t make it anything bigger than what it is. And that’s led us to some really successful performances, some really special moments.

00:35:52:14 – 00:35:53:21
Jon
And that’s like a big thing for us.

00:35:54:09 – 00:36:10:14
Joseph
You know, the closest, the closest parallel I think I have was having been in choir. You know, we would practice we’d have two concerts a year. You never did more than two concerts a year. And when you went out there, you went out there with an entire audience, so you didn’t get to ramp up to it.

00:36:10:15 – 00:36:19:07
Joseph
You didn’t get the ease into it. You didn’t know if it was a friendly audience and you only did it once and then you did it all, you know, four months later. So it could be kind of overwhelming something.

00:36:20:18 – 00:36:21:07
Jon
So maybe.

00:36:21:22 – 00:36:24:18
Jon
Our first performance being like a CCS.

00:36:25:01 – 00:36:25:19
Joseph
Like, yeah.

00:36:26:02 – 00:36:32:14
Joseph
Well, but you guys have played in front of some significantly large audiences this year.

00:36:33:06 – 00:36:51:06
Jon
As a whole. Yeah, that’s that’s a big thing with marching band compared to, I know, circling back to like, how is it different than other ensembles? You do play in front of the biggest crowds. I mean, we played I mean, even just through the years, we’ve done parades in Washington, D.C., where you just like, couldn’t even see

00:36:51:06 – 00:37:02:09
Jon
like where the people ended up. You performed at MetLife Stadium or the Giants play to like a packed like stands right in front of us. Like, there’s been some pretty wild performance opportunities there.

00:37:02:09 – 00:37:03:02
Jon
Marching band.

00:37:03:06 – 00:37:04:18
Jon
That’s really cool.

00:37:05:14 – 00:37:14:11
Joseph
So we kind of touched on the benefits of marching band and you know, we know a lot of it’s not musical. What does marching band mean for the kids that join it?

00:37:17:02 – 00:37:28:20
Jon
For a lot of kids, it’s I see it as an outlet for them. There’s a lot of kids that do marching band that that’s like their moment to kind of get away from all of the stuff that’s happening, like in school and in their lives.

00:37:29:16 – 00:37:45:04
Jon
And they’re able to see marching band as this escape from everything and being out there performing like letting yourself go is something really important for them and really got them through high school. So that’s really big. I mean, I had friends that had that.

00:37:46:01 – 00:37:53:04
Jon
I always loved being a marching band and students just like, that’s a really that’s a big thing for me that stands out from kids.

00:37:53:08 – 00:37:55:22
Joseph
So that huge confidence builder. Yeah.

00:37:56:20 – 00:37:57:12
Joseph
I think also.

00:37:57:20 – 00:38:11:11
Amanda
The unity you’re the best friends that you’ll ever make are they are the people that you did marching band with. We have lifelong friends who will be close with forever who we grew up performing with. Yeah.

00:38:12:13 – 00:38:25:05
Joseph
So we talked about the physical demands, you know, and they’re not overly demanding, but they’re somewhat demanding, if you’re uninitiated. What are some of the physical benefits that kids actually get from dealing with these demands?

00:38:26:04 – 00:38:27:14
Amanda
I mean, we get it.

00:38:28:02 – 00:38:29:00
Amanda
You know.

00:38:30:00 – 00:38:49:20
Amanda
On, you know, flexibility and range of motion and, you know, endurance. You know, there’s a lot of endurance involved with playing your instrument and executing the physical and visual demands of the show. So that’s where a lot of that early summer training comes into place.

00:38:50:04 – 00:39:01:16
Amanda
How much can you knock out to be able to handle, you know, a 78 minute show in all conditions to meet the demands musically and visually?

00:39:01:17 – 00:39:18:13
Jon
Totally, yeah. I mean, we already discussed how color guard is such a physical activity, a level of strength and coordination they need to do that is incredible. But looking at the musicians, it’s like, I’d like to challenge anyone like to jog for eight minutes.

00:39:19:04 – 00:39:24:10
Jon
Pretty easy. Now try doing it with like a 40 inch bass drum on.

00:39:24:10 – 00:39:25:06

You or.

00:39:26:03 – 00:39:44:16
Jon
Jogging while just blowing out the entire time. Like if there’s like levels to it that that definitely add to that, that physicality. And then as a musician, I think the physical, the physical needs of a musician like lung capacity support the muscles that you’re developing.

00:39:45:17 – 00:39:59:04
Jon
I see it all the time, especially now that I’m at the middle school during the day. It’s like the students that were in marching band and had that experience and played that much just takes such a huge leap as musicians and compared to the students that did not participate.

00:39:59:05 – 00:40:11:10
Joseph
It’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. That’s interesting. Now you did touch a little bit about student leadership in the band itself. What does marching band do as far as teaching kids leadership? How does it help them with that?

00:40:14:06 – 00:40:32:11
Amanda
Right. Yeah, I mean, it’s we’ve we’ve mentioned it a couple of other problems about the character and level of discipline that you build in your early years of marching band really enable some kids to thrive as student leaders.

00:40:32:12 – 00:40:50:20
Amanda
You know, there are so many kids are who you can look up to because they marched really well or because they play really well. But it’s it’s the kids who start demanding that high level of personal character. We almost think of them as like many staff members, because they’re just like many extensions of us.

00:40:50:20 – 00:41:14:06
Amanda
You know what I mean? They have the same goals in mind for the program. And you know, we entrust the student leadership to kind of instill the values and the traditions that we’re building within our program. And they’re really what kind of keeps everything alive, you know, they’re the liaison between the staff and the student body.

00:41:14:20 – 00:41:15:11
Joseph
Oh, that’s great.

00:41:15:22 – 00:41:18:05
Jon
Yeah, I think that was spot on.

00:41:19:16 – 00:41:19:18
Jon
The.

00:41:19:18 – 00:41:33:07
Jon
Side. Like we mentioned earlier, the support system and student leadership does well. one of the big things that we we try to be like pretty hands off with student leadership. I mean, we want the upperclassmen to kind of create the identity of the program.

00:41:33:18 – 00:41:45:19
Jon
We’ll chat with them. We listen to them all the time, even when they don’t think we’re listening to them or saying. And I think again, not to harp on this, but I think the message that student leadership gave this year was awesome.

00:41:46:13 – 00:41:59:19
Jon
I was so impressed at our end of the year banquet that the student leadership speaks to the band, and the message that they gave was very consistent and correctly. It was a spot on, which is a really cool thing to say.

00:42:00:11 – 00:42:14:00
Jon
But one of the big things that we deal with with student leadership, I’d say, is problem-solving. Yeah, I think students will bring their problems to leadership way before they’ll bring it to us, or they’ll even like witness something going on way before we get involved.

00:42:14:06 – 00:42:29:03
Jon
And a lot of times it’s one of those situations where they’re like, Well, we don’t want to know, we don’t want them to know that we told you, blah blah blah. We have the opportunity to discuss with these students and work with them on how to problem, solve and diffuse situations and work with students who are having

00:42:29:03 – 00:42:47:19
Jon
issues with each other. A lot of the time, obviously, we do get involved if we notice that it’s at a certain point that we need to get in there. But it’s such a cool thing for students to be able to work on, you know, talking out their problems and really listening to each other and handling things.

00:42:47:19 – 00:43:08:19
Joseph
That’s great. That is great. You talk about character and work ethic. I happen to be at practice at one point in time, and I think it was when you were. Madison had lost her cell phone and there was one of your drum majors who was off at soccer practice, got hurt and shows up at band practice with

00:43:08:19 – 00:43:19:18
Joseph
both of her and Lee Air needs to keep up with ice on there. She’s like, I can still, I can still direct, I can still draw. But just to see that passion in there was just incredible that energy.

00:43:20:11 – 00:43:26:21
Joseph
And it speaks volumes to the leadership that you guys provide. So that was that was great. That really moved me when I saw.

00:43:26:21 – 00:43:27:03
Michelle
That.

00:43:28:10 – 00:43:30:05
Jon
There’s there’s definitely some crazy ones.

00:43:30:22 – 00:43:31:08
Joseph
And.

00:43:32:02 – 00:43:54:10
Jon
You’re talking about it is very special. There’s a definitely a bunch of kids like that, that’s for sure. Like we have, we had a student that had a double foot surgery in the offseason like plan. The surgery around marching bands like literally like was in pain all season and just like had like a little like when I

00:43:54:10 – 00:43:58:10
Jon
got to a certain level like you’d like, pulled up like, I feel like I might have to sit like.

00:43:58:10 – 00:43:58:21
Jon
What’s.

00:43:59:20 – 00:44:05:08
Jon
It like so much that I even had to do that? It’s very passionate numbers.

00:44:05:21 – 00:44:16:15
Joseph
So I think I think we can certainly make an argument for the benefits of marching band. Are there detriments like what kind of effect does it have on the kids grades? Do we keep an eye on that sort of thing?

00:44:18:00 – 00:44:41:02
Jon
I think one of the big negatives I see is just. I guess maybe like the parental responsibility, like having to bring your kid to all these practices, all these events are basically not having a fall, kind of. It’s crazy to think about like when that competition season starts, we require we need everyone there for every Saturday.

00:44:42:03 – 00:44:45:16
Jon
I know no one’s not going to be as committed as us. I mean, we’ve missed weddings.

00:44:45:16 – 00:44:47:03
Jon
We’ve missed like births.

00:44:47:03 – 00:45:00:08
Jon
Of children because of marching band. But so is life. But I think that that level and that fall season comes around and the level of commitment that’s required can definitely be challenging to a lot of people.

00:45:00:16 – 00:45:15:16
Joseph
Yeah, I could definitely see that. So where do you guys see kids? I mean, you’ve been doing this for enough years now that you’ve seen kids work through the program graduate, go on to professional life. Do you see this affecting their professional life and providing career paths for them?

00:45:17:10 – 00:45:39:07
Amanda
Yeah, I think the experience in marching band is not what’s going to make you a symphony level professional position musician, but the, you know, the life skills that you take out of it most certainly will. You know, I believe big in the way you do anything is the way that you do everything.

00:45:39:13 – 00:45:58:04
Amanda
And you know, when we build that level of discipline and what it is to be committed and what it is to go for in, you know, that starts to show up in other parts of your life. There are things that you will learn in marching band that will absolutely stick with you for the rest of your life

00:45:59:01 – 00:46:07:01
Joseph
. That’s awesome. So if you guys could give a sales pitch, a one line elevator pitch for why you should join marching band, what would it be?

00:46:08:04 – 00:46:08:15
Jon
Said.

00:46:11:20 – 00:46:16:02
Jon
I don’t even like. I don’t know one line sales pitch.

00:46:16:11 – 00:46:17:17
Amanda
I mean, it’ll change your life.

00:46:17:22 – 00:46:19:03
Jon
It will change your life.

00:46:19:04 – 00:46:35:11
Joseph
And that’s the pitch right there. I love it. I don’t think you need anything else to it. It’ll change your life, and I think it definitely will. And I think that’s a great place to start. We’ll take our second break and we’ll be back to talk about the actual creative process.

00:46:35:12 – 00:46:36:07
Joseph
We’ll be right back.

00:46:42:03 – 00:47:06:17
Michelle
Sea dog. Insights into entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Are husband and wife, team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things for music and movies to television and fandom. We’ll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week.

00:47:08:22 – 00:47:26:22
Michelle
We’ll talk about theme park and pop culture news. We’ll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions. We’ll give you a deep dove into Disney, Star Wars and much more. Check out our video episodes at youtube.com.

00:47:26:22 – 00:47:39:06
Michelle
Backslash insights into things are audio episodes and podcast insights into entertainment dot com or check us out on the web at insights into things dot com.

00:47:46:19 – 00:48:04:13
Joseph
So this is the part of the show that we get into the nitty gritty and we break down those barriers and actually talk about how you actually go about creating things. So how do you go about selecting what program you’re on and how far advanced do you typically start that process?

00:48:04:13 – 00:48:08:14
Joseph
You talked a little bit about it, but what’s the real, the meat and potatoes behind it?

00:48:10:01 – 00:48:18:20
Jon
Deborah, I want to start after the season’s done. Sometimes staff members are very excited and they’re like, the seasons go on while they’re like, I have an idea for next year’s show, and I.

00:48:19:12 – 00:48:19:15
Jon
Like.

00:48:21:10 – 00:48:22:08
Amanda
What happens when you’re at a.

00:48:22:08 – 00:48:41:06
Jon
Time. Yeah. But generally, we’ll will start at the end of the season. We’ll just start collecting ideas. Everyone on the staff is open to submitting some ideas. And then one of the big things you look for is like who we have going into next year, who are strong musicians or our strong performers.

00:48:41:10 – 00:48:53:03
Jon
What are their strengths and what’s a show that can really bring that out? And then selfishly, it’s kind of like what I’m saying, like, if I’m not feeling a show, I’m not going to do it. That’s the beauty of it.

00:48:53:03 – 00:48:58:06
Jon
That’s the benefit of being a director. I guess I get to make the final say on that one.

00:48:58:11 – 00:49:17:17
Joseph
That’s great. So are there licensing challenges? So now I’ve sat through a number of the competitions and there’s restrictions on what you can record and what you can’t record, and there’s copyright issues. So when you guys go about putting a program together, do you have to purchase rights to certain music is there’s a pool of music that’s

00:49:17:17 – 00:49:19:15
Joseph
available. How do you how do you manage that?

00:49:20:10 – 00:49:36:21
Jon
Yes. So there’s definitely music licensing that you have to deal with. Generally, we try to get some music from public domain, which is just music that’s old enough where the copyright has expired. I think it’s something like 75 years after the death.

00:49:37:14 – 00:49:40:02
Joseph
Of Disney because they were protecting Mickey Mouse.

00:49:40:13 – 00:49:41:15
Jon
That’s and.

00:49:41:16 – 00:49:43:07
Jon
That’s why Disney music is off.

00:49:43:16 – 00:49:44:20
Jon
Limits, for the most part.

00:49:45:11 – 00:49:49:16
Jon
John Williams, you can’t really touch and trying to think, what else am I even allowed to say those names are?

00:49:50:08 – 00:49:50:13
Joseph
Yeah.

00:49:50:13 – 00:49:54:03
Joseph
Know people are going to take my podcast down now because you said people.

00:49:54:08 – 00:50:09:02
Jon
Yeah, some of them are just like, really expensive, like the Beatles used to be untouchable. And then this drum corps a couple of years ago did a Beatle show, which was like, it was awesome. But I just was more in all of how much money they must have spent on those arranging rights.

00:50:10:11 – 00:50:28:08
Jon
But generally like to arrange a piece of music, it’s gonna cost you anywhere between like 200 and $1,000, depending on how popular it is. If you’re doing it, some more modern music that’s going to, that’s going to put you back some money so that it definitely goes into the design process.

00:50:28:09 – 00:50:40:11
Jon
Sadly, I’ve been bitten before where I jumped the gun and arranged a song, and then I was like, Oh, this band did it last year, and then I got it, denied arranging rights and I had to rewrite it.

00:50:40:11 – 00:50:45:02
Jon
So it didn’t really sound like the song, but I still was.

00:50:45:14 – 00:50:46:07
Joseph
That’s funny.

00:50:46:13 – 00:50:47:21
Jon
Yeah, it’s an interesting road.

00:50:48:22 – 00:50:54:08
Madison
So can you talk a bit about the crew and other instructors who are part of the process and their involvement?

00:50:56:12 – 00:51:17:21
Amanda
There’s a lot of there’s a lot of talent within our staff. You know, it is certainly not a job that can be done by one or even two people. We have to have people who are specialized in color guard, specifically drumline, specifically even front ensemble, which is very different than the drum life and other both percussion.

00:51:19:02 – 00:51:36:04
Amanda
Like we mentioned, he’ll focus on the music element of things, but keep in mind, that’s only like the horns. If we wanted to get more specifically is a woodwind player. So we need a brass person and it’s like you need to find people who can specialize and serve the student body so.

00:51:37:01 – 00:51:38:12
Jon
They complement our skills.

00:51:38:21 – 00:52:00:12
Amanda
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So they all have, you know, a really important role. And you know, there’s a hierarchy in within the staff about how things get decided. But like you mentioned earlier, as far as it as far as theming goes, you know, we’re we’re always open to, you know, different ideas and we really respect the experience from

00:52:00:12 – 00:52:09:00
Amanda
a lot of our staff members and what they have to offer really from design and structure. You know, we let we let them do what they want to do.

00:52:09:01 – 00:52:22:12
Jon
Oh yeah, definitely give them that creative freedom. That’s why we’re bringing them on. They are the experts of their field. I always will ask questions. I’ll ask know what their process was and why they’re doing what they’re doing.

00:52:22:12 – 00:52:33:11
Jon
But for the most part, I don’t. I mean, we hire these people, so we should trust what they’re doing. one of the big things I look for in staff members is their calmness. That’s like my is. I get a look.

00:52:34:03 – 00:52:34:22
Jon
At the notes.

00:52:34:22 – 00:52:38:16
Jon
I guess I get a little off my rocker sometimes. So I need like.

00:52:38:21 – 00:52:40:07
Jon
A staff to.

00:52:40:14 – 00:52:42:19
Jon
Mellow me out of it. That’s always a nice thing.

00:52:42:19 – 00:52:44:19
Joseph
From control rods in that reactor.

00:52:45:04 – 00:52:45:14
Jon
That.

00:52:47:14 – 00:52:52:21
Madison
So are there specific elements you look to include in your performance that are required for competitions?

00:52:55:01 – 00:53:11:04
Amanda
There are certain restrictions within circuits as far as how long your performance has to be. You can’t be out there for more than 15 minutes dragging your props and equipment off the field. You know there are things that you can incur penalties for if you don’t stay within.

00:53:12:02 – 00:53:25:17
Amanda
But as far as the creative process, the way I kind of think of it, at least from a visual standpoint, is there is like a little checklist of things that you want to hear. You know, are we using dynamic movement versus static movement?

00:53:25:17 – 00:53:44:02
Amanda
Are there levels? How are we, you know, showing what we’re hearing, you know, things like that that I’m constantly running through as the visual designer, you know, I say checking the boxes to make sure the judges like it, but I wouldn’t say that those elements are necessarily required just if you want to be competitive.

00:53:44:05 – 00:53:44:10
Jon
Yeah.

00:53:46:08 – 00:53:47:08
Joseph
I’m sorry, go ahead.

00:53:48:01 – 00:54:02:18
Jon
Was it for like a musical standpoint and overall, I think when you’re going into, you know, the elements of a performance, you want to have moments, you have impacts. So you kind of start there, you want to have these, where do we want our huge like wow or wow moments?

00:54:03:09 – 00:54:15:01
Jon
And then how do you get there? How do you develop that? And then how do you move on from it? Something that I always like to do musically, as well as from an educational standpoint, is I’m looking at the kids throughout the year.

00:54:15:02 – 00:54:28:11
Jon
I’m like, OK, what do we need to work on this year musically? Like, are we struggling with articulations this year? We struggling with coming in on like strange beats or strange entrances, and we all like to sneak some of that.

00:54:28:11 – 00:54:31:09
Jon
It’s kind like sneaking like your vegetables into packages.

00:54:31:09 – 00:54:31:21
Jon
Or something like.

00:54:32:21 – 00:54:49:20
Jon
That in there, so they’re getting stronger at the things that they need to get stronger at. And then making sure that they’re getting the credit. This is kind of like what the what the circuit is looking for, making sure the students are getting the credit for the difficulty that they’re doing.

00:54:49:20 – 00:55:05:15
Jon
So a lot of times, like young designers are like, especially when we were early in our careers. We put these like crazy shows together and so much stuff would get lost and be like, Well, the kids are doing this or doing this or doing this, and you’re not noticing it, and you realize these judges have had one

00:55:05:15 – 00:55:07:02
Jon
moment to just see everything.

00:55:07:02 – 00:55:07:11
Joseph
Yeah.

00:55:07:22 – 00:55:18:16
Jon
So you kind of want to make your wild moment. It’s like in your face, like these kids are doing something crazy right here. Check it out. And that’s that takes a lot of finesse that takes a lot of coordination.

00:55:18:16 – 00:55:22:14
Jon
It’s not easy to do, and it’s something we’re still continuing to develop.

00:55:23:00 – 00:55:44:20
Joseph
But and to that point, I can I can say from from doing the videos from the very beginning throughout the season and seeing how the show evolved. Those points came out very obviously from midway in the season and on where when I was, you know, I tried to do a multi-camera approach and I look for transition points

00:55:44:20 – 00:55:55:00
Joseph
and those gotchas are the transition points. And they started popping up more and more frequently as the season went on. So it it gave the show much more dynamic feel by the end of the season.

00:55:55:21 – 00:55:56:12
Amanda
So, yeah.

00:55:56:19 – 00:56:07:18
Amanda
If you look closely, I mean, week to week from show to show, it’s never exactly the same. You know, you achieve a point of cleanliness and like, here are stable moments. Here is the drill. This is the basic set up.

00:56:07:18 – 00:56:21:21
Amanda
But then when we dig further and further into the theme, we’re adding little visuals left and right. You know, the color guard becomes, you know, a little bit more dynamic and expressive than the one the props get layered in and things like that.

00:56:21:21 – 00:56:27:04
Amanda
You know that the show itself is never really done. You know, when they change.

00:56:27:04 – 00:56:29:09
Jon
It, it’s still stuff we could have added to this show.

00:56:29:15 – 00:56:42:02
Joseph
And that was all I know is every show was slightly different. Like it was. It was almost like an organism that was evolving and growing up throughout the whole season, and we have been very interesting to see every, every performance like that.

00:56:42:12 – 00:56:53:17
Jon
Yeah, it’s cool. It’s also cool. I love it sometimes when like a kid or just do something like on the field, and it wouldn’t be like a planned thing we wanted to add or do. And I’m just like, Wow, I like that.

00:56:54:02 – 00:56:55:19
Jon
We just like so the.

00:56:55:19 – 00:57:01:09
Jon
Kids finally realize it, but they even play a part in the design process through the season.

00:57:01:10 – 00:57:01:19
Joseph
Yeah.

00:57:02:08 – 00:57:03:22
Jon
Madison’s going to be like secretly doing.

00:57:07:11 – 00:57:17:09
Madison
So how do you adjust the input from the judges and relay that? And then? Actionable, actionable form to the band to make corrections.

00:57:17:11 – 00:57:19:07
Joseph
You could tell I wrote the script, you didn’t write the.

00:57:20:09 – 00:57:20:21
Madison
Police.

00:57:21:05 – 00:57:23:03
Jon
And the judge him, but I ignore all of it.

00:57:24:20 – 00:57:42:16
Amanda
You take it with a grain of salt. There they are, experienced in the field. You know, different judges come from different. Generations of marching in this activity is not the same as it was even ten, five, ten years ago, and it’s it’s constantly evolving.

00:57:42:21 – 00:57:59:16
Amanda
What is new, what is modern and depending on their experience and where they came from and their background, we may or may not agree with the feedback that they give. You know what I mean? You want to respect as many reads on the show, it’s great to get eyes on the show and get that feedback.

00:57:59:22 – 00:58:05:15
Amanda
And sometimes we’re like, Yeah, yeah, they’re absolutely right. And other times we’re like, 00, I don’t think you’re right.

00:58:06:15 – 00:58:24:20
Jon
And it’s the best who it is to like. When we were at our old school, we were do competitions where similarly at the top drunk or instructors were judging us. And I just remember our sitting down with the cadets horn line instructor and he’s telling me something, and it’s literally the opposite of what I was doing.

00:58:25:06 – 00:58:42:05
Jon
I were thinking like, Wait, am I an idiot or what? And I completely changed my approach and it was so positive. So you definitely do have to take everything in some way into account, but you can’t act like a man to say you can’t take it like.

00:58:43:04 – 00:58:48:00
Jon
Like, everything is completely 100% seriously, are you’ll be changing your entire show every single week.

00:58:48:14 – 00:58:59:00
Joseph
Well, I had a unique experience at the home show to be sitting up right at the booth and I had the one judge in my one ear and I got to listen to him critique each and every show.

00:58:59:09 – 00:59:15:16
Joseph
And it was interesting because he was incredibly consistent in his critique of of what he was doing. I think it was the visuals judge. Then I had a judge on the other side. And the same thing can happen five times on the field, and he’d call in a different way each time.

00:59:16:02 – 00:59:19:07
Joseph
And I’m like, That’s very confusing to me. I don’t know how easily.

00:59:20:11 – 00:59:34:22
Jon
It can be. There’s times we’ve had judges where we’d be had a judges meeting, which would take place like after the show, and this guy will give his big spiel and we’ll then go to the next table and I’ll listen and he’ll say the same exact thing to the next fan.

00:59:34:22 – 00:59:35:05
Jon
I’m just.

00:59:35:05 – 00:59:35:11
Jon
Like.

00:59:37:09 – 00:59:38:07
Jon
As I come on, dude.

00:59:38:21 – 00:59:40:10
Joseph
That script back out and read it again.

00:59:41:07 – 00:59:41:17
Jon
There really.

00:59:41:17 – 00:59:59:17
Jon
Are. There are some excellent judges like we got fortunate. Like our past year, the music judge happened to see us at our home show chapters and assesses and you recognize he was like calling out moments that he called out the week before and recognized the level of quality that we got to.

00:59:59:17 – 01:00:11:22
Jon
And it was really on top of things, and there’s judges like that. They’re just like, really, you know, fortunate that they’re in your circuit and they’re, you know, the ones that are kind of are in your fate is in their hands, basically.

01:00:12:03 – 01:00:26:05
Joseph
Yeah. Let’s take a kind of a sidestep here. Let’s talk about we we gave credit to our student leadership already, but what goes into choosing the student leadership? What qualities do you look for? Is it a new leadership every year?

01:00:26:05 – 01:00:27:09
Joseph
How does that evolve?

01:00:28:08 – 01:00:44:14
Jon
Well, it starts their first day of marching bands. It really does. I mean, we do a full interview process, audition process every single year. So even if you were a drum major this past season, you have to reapply.

01:00:46:00 – 01:00:58:14
Jon
But it is. We watch everything, we see everything, we hear everything. You could come in and tell us that you’re the most wonderful person in the world, but we’ve watched you every single rehearsal and maybe you’re telling the truth.

01:00:58:14 – 01:01:16:07
Jon
Maybe not. So the interview process does take into account, but we’re always looking for student leaders and we tell the kids, even if you don’t have a leadership title, you can still be a leader on that field. So there’s kids that kind of, I’d say, force us to make them leaders.

01:01:16:07 – 01:01:16:21
Jon
So it doesn’t even.

01:01:17:07 – 01:01:17:13
Jon
There’s.

01:01:17:13 – 01:01:18:15
Jon
The option to choose.

01:01:18:18 – 01:01:31:16
Joseph
That’s great. So what about the support that the band gets? We’ve talked about the Band Parent Association and I’m at the school. Does the school? Do you feel the school supports the band sufficiently?

01:01:32:06 – 01:01:46:14
Jon
Totally. I think we have an excellent life as far as the administration goes. Athletic Director, Administration, It’s so cool because I’ve been in situations where it has not been as supportive, so it’s really nice to be in this district.

01:01:48:04 – 01:02:02:17
Jon
There’s teachers always coming up to me, like after a competition saying like, Oh, we heard you did well, all this stuff. So obviously it’s out in the community. It’s a very supportive arts community, Deptford. So it’s just really nice to have that support.

01:02:02:17 – 01:02:10:12
Jon
That’s something that kind of drew me to this position. Definitely. But yeah, it’s it’s a really nice situation there.

01:02:11:01 – 01:02:15:06
Joseph
They have to be supportive. I mean, they made that beautiful feel for you guys that you let the football team.

01:02:15:06 – 01:02:15:11
Jon
To the.

01:02:15:22 – 01:02:30:02
Jon
Marching band field. That’s been awesome. I mean, getting some rehearsal at New Turf Field, every basically every single practice makes a huge difference. Madison got to experience our parking lot a couple of times.

01:02:31:02 – 01:02:32:05
Joseph
Unfortunately, like.

01:02:32:09 – 01:02:34:08
Jon
A slight downgrade, I’d say, from.

01:02:34:08 – 01:02:34:19
Jon
The.

01:02:35:05 – 01:02:36:01
Jon
Turf Stadium.

01:02:37:02 – 01:02:53:22
Joseph
Well, that’s great. I think we’re all looking forward to next year’s season and I’m certainly looking forward to it. I didn’t think I would be. I’ll be honest with you, I was I was very overwhelmed early on at the at the time demands and and just what was, you know, expected of the parents.

01:02:54:08 – 01:03:08:01
Joseph
But you see the end product and after you see that there’s a there’s a level of pride even that I have in that limited that I’ve committed to it and seeing how she’s evolved throughout the whole time and what she’s learned and become.

01:03:08:12 – 01:03:17:13
Joseph
And at the end of the whole thing, it’s it’s worth it. You know, I couldn’t I couldn’t endorse it more strongly than I can at this point. So and.

01:03:18:13 – 01:03:19:17
Jon
Yeah, appreciate it.

01:03:19:19 – 01:03:31:10
Joseph
And you guys have done a fantastic job and the kids look up to you guys. I didn’t hear a negative word about any of the staff, you know, from from my daughter or anybody else that I interacted with.

01:03:31:10 – 01:03:32:11
Joseph
And I think that’s a great.

01:03:33:03 – 01:03:33:21
Jon
You’re hanging out with the right.

01:03:33:21 – 01:03:34:06
Jon
People.

01:03:37:06 – 01:03:40:21
Joseph
So I think that was all we had. Did you have any other questions that you wanted to throw out there?

01:03:43:09 – 01:03:48:00
Madison
I guess all I really have to say is I think we’re too good this year.

01:03:49:16 – 01:03:50:13
Jon
Yes. Yeah.

01:03:50:17 – 01:03:51:17
Jon
But I say.

01:03:52:09 – 01:04:05:14
Jon
Generally, Amanda, those at the end of a marching band season I go into, I like to go into hibernation, usually right on anyone to talk to me for at least a month. And like sometimes this happened, but this year I was right.

01:04:05:14 – 01:04:10:16
Jon
I’m like this day after eight years, I was ready to go for next year, so.

01:04:10:18 – 01:04:11:08
Joseph
It’s quite.

01:04:11:15 – 01:04:12:14
Jon
Awesome season.

01:04:14:02 – 01:04:17:02
Joseph
Is there any message that you guys want to leave us with before we go?

01:04:18:10 – 01:04:20:02
Jon
Man, you’d leave the greatness, I don’t.

01:04:20:03 – 01:04:20:15
Amanda
Know why, but.

01:04:22:03 – 01:04:41:00
Amanda
You know, for the sake of this, you know, being informative and if this could reach any audience and, you know, inform anybody about the activity, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s certainly something out of many people’s comfort zone.

01:04:41:00 – 01:04:53:22
Amanda
It’s a it’s a weird thing to get involved, but it’s it’s a lot of fun and there’s so much that you can take from it. You know, you grow and you become a better person.

01:04:54:18 – 01:04:58:06
Joseph
That’s great that you’re right. That is a great message to leave the kids with.

01:04:59:03 – 01:04:59:14
Jon
She’s good.

01:05:00:01 – 01:05:16:03
Joseph
Teaching is good. So we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll come right back. We’ll get Madison’s closing thoughts and then we’ll finish up with the show plugs and go from there. We’ll be right back. Go with your closing thoughts.

01:05:16:15 – 01:05:31:07
Madison
OK. So to everyone out there, I just want to kind of mention that, yeah, marching band has a lot of benefits. I’ve certainly benefited a lot from it. There are definitely ups and downs to it. I’ve experienced both.

01:05:32:10 – 01:05:54:00
Madison
And, you know, going into what I really was, that kind of scared person. I thought that there was a lot being expected of me. There was a lot of anxiety going into it at first. But once you realize that you start getting those really good performances and you hear how the instructors like, how proud of the instructors

01:05:54:00 – 01:06:07:00
Madison
are of you, how much you’ve improved and you can just it. It just it just ultimately makes it worth it in the end, just to see how much you’ve improved. And overall, I can’t recommend the feeling enough.

01:06:07:09 – 01:06:15:10
Joseph
OK, that was that was very well said. I want to thank our guests, John and Amanda. You guys were great. I appreciate all the time you gave us tonight.

01:06:16:04 – 01:06:17:01
Jon
Thanks for having us.

01:06:18:03 – 01:06:25:17
Joseph
We’ll have this probably posted up on Monday for you guys to see if you want to go back and see how bad we flubbed our lines on the stand here.

01:06:28:00 – 01:06:28:07
Joseph
Listen.

01:06:28:16 – 01:06:34:17
Joseph
We’re we’re ready to go for our next season, a marching band. I hope you guys get a good turnout with students as well.

01:06:35:19 – 01:06:36:21
Jon
Thanks. Thanks.

01:06:36:21 – 01:06:52:04
Joseph
Thanks so much for your time. Before we do go, I did want to invite our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio versions of this podcast. Listeners insights into teams VIDEO versions of all the network podcasts can be found.

01:06:52:04 – 01:07:07:19
Joseph
Listeners insights into things were available anywhere, can get a podcast, Apple, Spotify, Google, etc. I would also encourage you to write and give us your feedback. You can email us at comments and insights into things. Dot com. We’re on Twitter at Inside’s Underscore Things.

01:07:08:08 – 01:07:23:09
Joseph
You can get us on Facebook at Facebook.com Slash Insights Into Things podcast on Instagram or Instagram. Accounts like insights into things or you can get all that and more on our official website at WW Dot Insights into things dot com.

01:07:23:14 – 01:07:25:04
Joseph
That’s it. And another one in the books.

01:07:25:07 – 01:07:26:01
Madison
By everyone.

01:07:26:09 – 01:07:27:00
Joseph
By.

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