1. Earning a chair in the ATSSB All-State Band
2. Advancing to the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest, either as soloist or in a chamber ensemble.
3. Advancing twice to the ATSSB Area level of competition.
4. Band Advancement to the Area level of UIL Marching, ATSSB Outstanding Performance Series (OPS), or TMEA Honor Band competitions.
5. Four years of participation in the Band Program.
The area advancement as a group was added by my predecessor as an incentive because the band hadn’t advanced in a decade. Advancing in marching is making a 1 at region, which is where my kids are getting the “sweepstakes = jackets” argument.
I have been advised that group participation isn’t a great metric because “first division is what you want the standard to be, not the exceptional”. I don’t know that, as I’m building this group up, this is sound logic. Maybe AFTER we’re a “1’s all day every day” band I could remove it, but we’re not there yet.
I want it to be an earned thing, but I’m not sold that it should be the be-all, end-all, Presidential Medal of Freedom that we oft try to make it.