Contributed by Don Gunderson
Jr. High/Middle School kids need to see the face of the High School director frequently. Visit, guest conduct on a concert, clinic the festival music. Invite the JH/MS director to guest conduct. Make it a “continuous” program where the students expected to “automatically” continue until graduation. It is a 6 year program.
The upper level students need to have some experiences the younger musicians don’t get. Save some activities until HS.
Invite the students onto the HS campus frequently throughout the year (Band Night at a FB game, pre-festival concert, combined concerts, etc.) . This is something the “academic” classes are unable to do in terms of recruiting.
Make the councilors aware of ALL the advantages that kids receive by being part of a quality music program. Collect data re: grade point averages, students in AP classes, quality colleges eager to recruit (and financially support) “band kids” and other distinguishing factors. Point to successful alumni of your program – and NOT just professional musicians, but others who carried their music experiences into other fields.
You must promote your own program. No one else will.