Marching Band Time

It’s time to start planning for the next Marching Band Season.  We will be again hosting some Saturday events to introduce what we do to potential students.  The first such event will be held on March 3rd in the band room at the HS.  The other dates include April 7, and two Saturdays in May.

We are in the process of creating an Honor Band for the region.  The dates for that have not been set yet, but will likely require us to cancel one of the May MB clinics.  As soon as that information is locked in we will update you.

Either way you will want to keep both May 12 and 19 free for band.

National Honors Ensemble Auditions

Students may now apply to be in a National Honors Ensemble.

We are excited to announce that applications are NOW OPEN for the 2018 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles. This year’s event will take place November 25-28, 2018 at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL. The 2018 program will also include our first-ever All-National Honor Guitar Ensemble! Attached please find the 2018 promotional flyer, and ensemble selection procedure. You can find all current information about the 2018 ANHE program at nafme.org/ANHE.

Here is the flyer:

ANHE_2018

A Message From Scott Lang

With greater rigor comes a greater education. This has been the mantra and formula used by reformists and political pundits for almost two decades. Through it all, America’s youth have been pushed, pulled, prodded, and cajoled through dizzying levels of sleep deprivation and stress, often leading to depression, angst, and academic burnout.

Since 2010, schools across this country have turned to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based curricula in hopes of feeding the frenzy of helicopter parents who crave competition and rigor. Needing proof that their children are prepared for college and a global marketplace, schools are being forced to drive curricula towards technical skills that have an ever decreasing shelf life of relevance and usability.

Are we pushing kids too far too fast? Is it possible that in an effort to do good, we are actually doing long-term damage? Where will it stop? When will it end? How long before preschool becomes pre-med?

Gone are teaching and training of soft skills. Gone are the days of teaching of requisite and important social skills. Gone are the days of exploration and discovery.

Through it all, there is some evidence that STEM is not driving innovation but is in fact inhibiting it.

As a part of a major initiative to analyze its workforce, Google undertook a comprehensive and long ranging study of its employees and what makes them successful or not. What they found shook not just Google but the entirety of Silicon Valley, akin to the earthquakes they have become accustomed to.

Project Oxygen concluded that, “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise came in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others, valuing different points of view; having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

Those traits sound more like what one gains as an English or music major than as a computer programmer. Could it be that top Google employees were succeeding despitetheir technical training, not because of it?

After bringing in anthropologists and ethnographers to dive even deeper into the data, the company enlarged its previous hiring practices to include humanities majors, musicians, artists, and even the MBAs and company founders once viewed with disdain.

Yes, science, technology, and math are important. We need engineers to understand schematics. We need architects to understand blueprints. We need programmers to understand code. But, we also need humans who understand humans.

And the arts, music in particular, makes people more human and help us to understand what it is to be human.

Have a great week!

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Calendar

The calendar I was using for the Band Website was not allowing you to subscribe to it easy.  So I have changed the calendar on the website to one that will allow subscriptions to, and should update as I add and change things.

Europe Trip Update

I have had a couple people ask me about the France trip in June 2019.  You may have noticed that they page about it is gone from the web site.  After spending countless hours in discussions with administrators, and the school board we have all come to the conclusion that the trip is really not feasible for us.

We all agree that it would be an amazing opportunity, but there are a ton of factors that make it difficult for us to pull off.  I too am sad that we will not get the opportunity to go, but we are now looking for a new trip idea that will be possible in about the same time frame.

Stay tuned for more information as we get it.  I was planning to let people down when I had an alternative plan, but since a couple have asked recently I figured I better fill everyone in .

If you have been saving to go, keep saving so that whatever else we come up with you will be all set to go.