We are on the brink of needing three bands but doing so would remove our ability to have an Advanced Percussion class and put them in separate classes with the wind players.
So for now, we are planning on 2 big concert bands for next year.
Can anyone see a way to make this work or is going to three bands the better option? What are the positives and negatives from your perspective for either choice?
Here is the potential instrumentation for next year if we have two bands:
Fl - 8 in top band / 10 in second band
Ob - 1 / 3
Bssn - 3 / 2
Clar - 12 / 15
Bcl - 1 / 1
Asax - 7 / 8
Tsax - 2 / 0
Bsax - 1 / 0
Trpt - 13 / 22
Fhorn - 5 / 6
Tbone - 5 / 14
Euph - 4 / 7
Tuba - 2 / 3
Perc - 18 (in their own class)
Band 1 total: 64 kids
Band 2 total: 91 kids
Total in 7th/8th-grade band classes: 173
(and within that overall total of 173, 91 are 8th grade and 82 are 7th grade, in case that changes the perspective of the groups)
From what I see, keeping them in two bands makes scheduling easier and allows us to split woodwind/brass every day without having to worry about percussion. Percussion would instead get the attention they need in a separate class and we would work out temporary schedule changes with their teachers to allow them to come into class with the wind players in the week or two prior to a concert (which we have done successfully for a few years now).
But it will make music selection in the second band more difficult with all the third-band kids in there. Plus, even if we split woodwind/brass every day in second band, that would still be 39 woodwinds in the small band hall and 52 brass in the big band hall. Every Day!
Mass Band on the daily? Is that too crazy?
We would appreciate anyone with ideas on what might work best or options to make rehearsing a 91-person band bearable.
(Incidentally, we had three bands years ago before a new school opened and we know our school will eventually get back to that size again. Just don't know if we want to take the plunge back into the three-band slog next year or the following year.)
Thanks for any advice or ideas!