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Re: Balanced band vs ability where to draw the line?
I would suggest two options:
1-talk to the kids who would be "demoted" one on one, and give them the option. They can be in 2nd band, and probably get cut from parts pretty often for balance. Or they can be in 3rd band, be a leader in the group, and not have that issue.
2-suck it up for a year, don't "demote" anyone, let seniority take some precedence and deal with the balance issues.
Are any of those altos (or your first band altos) smart enough to switch to another instrument for next year? Maybe you need an oboe or bassoon player?
First time in my career that I can create a 3rd band that will actually function as a subnonvarsity instead of a hodgepodge beginner band part 2.
My challenge is that through a combination of kids moving in and out of our school I'm left with an overabundance of saxes. Normally I'd just suck it up and have a 2nd band chock filled with saxes but now I have the chance to make a balanced 50 piece band. That means moving about 4 very good saxes to 3rd band and I'm having a guilty feeling demoting a couple of kids for the simple reason that they picked the wrong instrument.
What is a good number of Altos for a 50 piece middle school band? Next year I would have 8 if I kept everyone.
How many extra Altos can you get away with?
How do you explain to a kid why they are getting demoted? (Obviously I'm not going to phrase it that way)
I already have 3 tenors in 2nd band-trying to convert 1 of the good altos to bari but that still leaves me with about 3 kids to move.