Re: New Chapter...Or New Book?
Posted by Been there on 6/18/2021, 7:44 am, in reply to "New Chapter...Or New Book?"
No UIL. If you're starting beginners in 9th, no UIL for SEVERAL years. MAYBE when your kids are seniors, you can think about going NV. You can go NV for the first year, until you earn a Div I, your Region secretary can set that up. |
Your band kids don't know what UIL is. They don't know that they're missing out (and really....are they?). Going to UIL doesn't necessarily have to be a goal.
I'm guessing from your description this is either a charter school or a private school. If so, you don't need to compete with the "big boys." Look up some videos/recordings of bands in similar situations. I know we don't ever want to lower our standards, but there's a reality that you'll have to accept. You didn't mention a feeder system, you're talking about 9th grade beginners. Your freshmen will be competing against kids who have been playing 4 times as long. Even your seniors, other seniors have been playing nearly twice as long. That's a huge gap to overcome.
Start small. Have fun. Make it fun for the kids. Make the best sounds you can. If you really want to do a competition, find a Six Flags or similar. One in a year is enough, at least at first. You've been an honor band finalist in the past, you're not likely to get that quality of group here. There's nothing wrong with a band that has fun, plays good music, but doesn't ever reach those levels.
If this school has never had band, you'll also be fighting your administration. You'll have to teach them how band works. Have some very frank conversations about their expectations and what they want to see out of the band program. They won't listen to you until you've shown some success, but keep pushing. Get the schedule the way it needs to be. Get the instruments you need. Let them know that you won't be as successful as they want without a solid feeder program starting in 6th grade.
I'm also guessing from your description of your previous work that you're fairly advanced in your career. Especially if this is your retirement gig, you'll have to accept that you might not see this program become what you want it to be before you leave. Work within that reality and do the best you can while you're there, so you can hand it off to someone else.
This kind of job can be a lot of fun - but manage your expectations.