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Re: Who will have SMC in 2022?
Kids and communities tend to follow the lead of the director of the program. There are some programs with histories that seem to dictate competing is very important, but I think in general most kids and communities would be satisfied with an outstanding group that does not place such a high value on competition. Another issue we are facing in the marching arts is the shift in demographics that is occurring in the state And country. To say it another way and this will likely be very controversial, BOA and to a lesser extent SMC, particularly in the larger classes, is the realm of wealthy/ wealthier suburban communities. There are a growing number of programs that have switched their emphasis away from the competition offered by BOA and SMC to one that seems to work for the clientele of the school. While many will poor water on this it is perhaps worth noting what happened in schools like Austin when the district initially ignored the changing economics and demographics. At one time every Austin high school had large band programs. A number were highly competitive at the state level. That was a time when parents bought kids instruments and the philosophy was great you be in band, but buy your own instrument. The district provided the typical large instruments, but parents were expected to pay for smaller instruments, mouthpieces, and lessons. As the district changed the numbers started dropping to a point where most programs have far fewer kids than they did in the past. Our goal as music educators should be to make lifelong lovers and learners of music and make our kids as musically competent as they can possibly be. While the competitive aspect of music has some validity, it should not be the driving force. As marching evolves, we see the judging criteria shift in way that rewards those with the money and resources more than those that cannot afford to do the same.