All Blog Posts (25)

Lots of wind band perusal scores!

Hi everyone!

I've recently updated the page on my website that features each of my wind band works. In addition to difficulty level, duration, and instrumentation, you can read about the piece, listen to an mp3 (and often watch a video of a performance), and best of all, download a perusal score by just emailing for the access code! Here's the link:…


Added by Alex Shapiro on June 16, 2018 at 9:45pm — No Comments

Which Comes First, Technique or Musicality?

This question is much like the chicken or the egg issue. Which should be taught first? One camp believes that without technique, nothing can be played and the other camp asks the question “what good is technique if it isn’t musical”. Both have their cases and in this post I will try to…


Added by Bruce Chidester on February 16, 2017 at 8:08pm — No Comments

Band Camps

A member here recently mentioned band camps to me, and it got me thinking and reminiscing. During the summers between my 7th and 8th grades (1961 and 1962), I went to the Union County Band School (New Jersey). Only after I became a band director did I realize that the "camp" was a huge undertaking. It was created then by two band director brothers, Casey (Casimir V. Bork, as I recall) and Vladimir Bork. Classes started about 8 or 8:30 and ran until about 12:30. I recall there were about 4 or…


Added by Arthur J. Michaels on June 21, 2012 at 9:44am — No Comments

PAPER CUT performed at the 2011 Midwest Clinic

Hello friends,


I'm really pleased to announce that my 2010 BandQuest commission Paper Cut (for wind band, prerecorded audio track and... printer paper!) will be performed at this year's Midwest Clinic by The Vandercook College of Music Symphonic Band, conducted by Charles Menghini. The concert will be at McCormick Place West on Friday December 16, 2011, at 1:30 p.m., and I'll be there. It would…


Added by Alex Shapiro on September 26, 2011 at 11:25pm — No Comments

Florida Travel

Orlando is obviously one of the most popular destinations for groups and for good reason. The theme parks are musts and for performing or competing groups, there aren't many places in the world that offer more of a variety.  No trip to Orlando would be complete without a visit to the theme parks but did you know there are plenty of other attractions and sights to see that are off the beaten path?  And rather than take away from one of your "theme park days", these attractions can complement…


Added by Marie Sperling on August 18, 2011 at 12:26pm — 1 Comment

President's Own US Marine Band performs Chris Brubeck's "Quiet Heroes"

I wanted to let my colleagues in the band world know that I just enjoyed one of the biggest musical thrills of my life.  The President's Own US Marine Band recently performed the premiere of the concert band version of a piece I wrote called "Quiet Heroes".  The work was commissioned a few years ago for symphony orchestra and narrator and tells the story of the flagraisers at Iwo Jima who were immortalized by the monumental Marine Corps War Memorial.  Wilford Brimley narrated the…


Added by Chris Brubeck on March 7, 2011 at 10:38am — No Comments

Cheap Beginning Band music

Just added a new piece I wrote for my 8th grade band for Christmas.

So, I decided that, rather than spend a large amount of money in order to stock my large beginning band with a piece of music (125 kids each of the past two years), I would write my own music. Its not complicated, and it is designed for the band's first concert (so far).

This isn't… Continue

Added by Paul Lemen on December 5, 2010 at 9:46pm — No Comments

Technology Resources for Addressing: Rhythm, Note Names, and Fingerings

I have boiled instrumental music production down to three components: Rhythm, Note Names, and Fingering. This is not some new concept but rather an attempt by me to categorize a child’s poor performance into one of the three elements. I need to develop a…


Added by David Vickery on November 3, 2010 at 11:30pm — 3 Comments

Alex Shapiro writes about her BandQuest residency

Composer Alex Shapiro talks about her experiences writing a piece for young band as part of BandQuest.

Added by Carey Nadeau on August 10, 2010 at 4:39pm — No Comments

How your travel dates can affect band trip pricing.

Did you know that the travel dates you choose can drastically affect the price of your trip? Many people think that group rates are the same across the board no matter when they are traveling. This is a very common misconception in the travel industry. For example, depending on the destination, a Monday through Thursday trip can save you money. In more corporate destinations such as Chicago, a weekend trip can sometimes save you money. Ultimately the rates will be set based on many variables… Continue

Added by Marie Sperling on July 12, 2010 at 10:49am — No Comments

Washington DC- Did you know?

Did you know that you can tour the inside of the White House, Congress, or the Senate during your Washington DC Trip? Even with the high security measures, there is still a way to do it!

Here's how- Exactly six months in advance of your trip, send a letter to your congressman asking for the tour. This letter will need to be on school letterhead and cannot be sent until six months in advance of your trip. We recommend that you do not wait until the last minute though! Be…


Added by Marie Sperling on June 30, 2010 at 6:09pm — No Comments


I'm very curious to know why many Band Directors do not choose to travel with a travel company and would rather book everything on their own? Is it because they feel as though they do not have control over the trip? Is it simply a cost factor? Or is it something else?

I've found this subject to be very black and white. Either they do, or they don't. Traveling with a travel company makes the process so much easier on the Band Director. For example if the group increases in size by… Continue

Added by Marie Sperling on June 11, 2010 at 8:03pm — No Comments

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Band Director Academy

Jazz Directors - want to teach jazz more effectively?

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Band Director Academy (BDA) emphasizes hands-on learning and techniques that can be immediately applied in the classroom. This year's BDA focuses on teaching improvisation, and is useful for ANY level jazz director, from beginner to expert.

Dates: June 25-28,…


Added by Andrea Pelloquin on March 2, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

Jazz Articulation

A hundred years ago, when I was young, they used to teach jazz articulation with vocal syllables. Each type of articulation had a very specific syllable. I sort of remember, but don't. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

Added by Joyce Hibser on December 2, 2009 at 3:55pm — 10 Comments


Hello all,

Very exciting news from me and FJH. This week I'm going into the recording studio to begin recording a new band method that will be released by FJH with preview copies available at Midwest. The method, "Measures of Success," is written by an amazing team including Deb Sheldon (Temple University), Robert Sheldon, Timothy Loest, David Collier (Percussion, Univ. of Illinois), and myself. While we're not seeking to reinvent the wheel as many other methods have sound… Continue

Added by Brian Balmages on October 5, 2009 at 11:18am — 10 Comments

Stimulus package for instruments

I got this as an email and thought that I would share. If anyone takes the initiative on this, please let the rest of us know how it goes...






Important information about ARRA from

National Educational Music Company, Ltd.

Dear Music Educator,

Billions of dollars are on their way to the fifty states to be invested… Continue

Added by Alan Nowell on June 2, 2009 at 9:55pm — No Comments

Adobe Reader for PDF Documents

Some of the files on this site and many others are designed to be read using Adobe ® Reader software. These files end with the .pdf extension.

ex: my_document.pdf

You can download and install the Free Adobe Reader here:

Once you have installed it, these type of documents should open up for you, whether they are stored locally on your machine, or whether they… Continue

Added by GHN on March 9, 2009 at 10:03am — 2 Comments

free Jazz Handbook

I have a free Jazz Handbook which can be had for the asking. All I need is your name and address and the quantity of the Handbooks.

Added by Jamey Aebersold on March 3, 2009 at 11:15pm — 22 Comments

How to use

How to use MS for


Many questions have come in regarding how to effectively use Let's take it from general to specific:


1. Network colleagues together for faster communication and collaboration. Local groups, as well as State groups, are forming and communication is fast.… Continue

Added by Russ Weaver on February 5, 2009 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Using as your browser's default homepage at school.


Thank-you so much for you individual feedback regarding the differences between what you see at home on and what you see at school on The reasons are varied and many, and it has to do with everything from your machine, your software version, your operating system and especially your servers and the guys prohibiting things from getting to teachers on the front lines.

Many members have overcome the "IT" difficulties by simply requesting… Continue

Added by Russ Weaver on October 18, 2008 at 8:35am — 2 Comments


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