Current Issue

The Eastman Wind Ensemble is America’s leading wind ensemble. Its core of about 50 performers includes undergraduate and graduate students of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Frederick Fennell first formulated the general concept of the wind ensemble at Eastman more than 50 years ago. Under his leadership the group became known as the pioneering force in the symphonic wind band movement in the United States and abroad. A. Clyde Roller served as conductor between 1962 and 1964, continuing the tradition established by Fennell. Donald Hunsberger became conductor in 1965 and led the ensemble for 37 years to international prominence. The ensemble’s current director, Mark Davis Scatterday, was introduced as the fourth conductor of this prestigious group during the EWE’s 50th anniversary celebration on February 8, 2002.

Donald Hunsberger, conductor emeritus, and Mark Davis Scatterday, current conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, sat down with SBO to tell us the history of their storied music program, from its origins to where it stands today.

Read more: UpClose: A Talk with Donald Hunsberger and Mark Davis Scatterday, Conductors of Frederick...


It was a very busy month for me, starting out with a trip to Ft. Collins, CO to attend the Little Kids Rock “Rockfest” events, immediately followed by the Summer NAMM Show here in Nashville, TN. I learned a lot about a new movement in school music education, which David Wish, founder of Little Kids Rock, has called “Modern Band.” Simply put, Modern Band is a curriculum for school music band programs that go well outside the traditional marching, concert, and jazz band worlds, and focuses on what our NAMM-show-crowd would call the “combo” world of instrumentation. Guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, turntables, technology, and even vocals, to teach students how to play, work together, and perform modern, popular music. An upcoming feature on this movement is in the works, which will provide much more detail on what’s going on with what I genuinely believe I can call a “movement” in the evolution of school music programs. Attending this event immediately prior to attending the Summer NAMM show gave me a lot to consider.

Read more: The Times They Are A-Changin'


Mere days before its big trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a Missouri high school marching band was excited about its upcoming Disney Performing Arts program experience. After all, the band members had been planning and preparing for months, picking and choosing just the right music to perform, then rehearsing it over and over. Then there was all the time they spent building their itinerary, booking travel arrangements and just generally getting excited about visiting the “most magical place on Earth’’ and performing in front of an international audience of thousands. Indeed they had everything planned down to the last detail.

Well, almost.

Just as the group arrived at the backstage area at Disney about an hour before they were scheduled to perform, they made a shocking discovery.  As they loaded their instruments and uniforms off the bus and into the changing room, they realized two members had forgotten their shoes and another, her tuba. That’s when the Disney Performing Arts team sprang into action, scrambling to find a spare pair of shoes and, magically, a spare tuba.

Read more: Planning Your Band’s Perfect Road Trip to Disney

Current Issue

Gateway Shoes has been manufacturing footwear in Missouri for over 30 years. The company started making children's shoes for the large retailers in the ‘80s and ‘90s. They eventually added men's and women's styles to their product line as well as expanding their production capabilities to include bowling shoes, tap dance shoes, and sandals. Through the years, Gateway has evolved with the world economy and expanded its reach and depth into many different industries while utilizing their deep knowledge of shoemaking.

Read more: Meet Your Makers - Marching Footwear Made in the USA: Gateway Shoes LLC


By Dr. Charles T. Menghini
This summer while teaching a graduate class in the summer master’s degree program at VanderCook College of Music, I was once again reminded of how much we as teachers really do know. The problem, for me at least, is that if I don’t stop to reflect on those things that are really important I end up occupying my time in areas that may not always do me the most good.  For me, it’s not a matter of not wanting to do something; it is a matter of not remembering to do something.

Read more: MAC Corner - Make this School Year Your Best Ever

Current Issue

Mike Lawson (c) Sterling OrtizAs I was putting this annual issue together, historically called the “Band Director’s Survival Guide,” it was obvious that this wasn’t the month for me to write a feature piece profiling somebody notable or at least noteworthy, from the world we serve at SBO. Interestingly, in starting out this issue, it all began by assembling the ten winning, wonderful essays, from those submitted by the thousands, for our annual scholarship program, where SBO and its supporting sponsors award $1,000 to students who write an essay on a particular subject.

Read more: Perspective: Perpetuating the Species, Survival of the Fittest, or Self-Preservation...

Current Issue

Terry LoweThere are a lot of great things about running a magazine publishing company. For one thing, it gives you a medium to engage in discussions when you have an important topic on your mind that you feel is beneficial to share with others. Through the years, when I have penned a publisher’s note, it has always been about something in our industry. However, this time I am going off-script. I want to chat with you about an organization I have become aware of that is doing very good work for sick children around the country that you might want to know about.

Read more: Are You Looking For a Miracle In Your Life?


(c) ShutterstockCongratulations! You’ve been a hot shot your whole life. Going to music school wasn’t the question, which instrument you were going to major on was. A perfectionist, you chose a prestigious school and worked hard through many semesters of instrument method classes, performed with many ensembles and were placed with the most desirable cooperating teacher available. Life was good — until you dipped your toe into the real world, as an assistant band director in the middle of nowhere, a thousand miles from home, with children who acted nothing like you expected students to behave. 

Read more: Survival Tip One - Who Moved My Band Director? Suggestions for Accepting Change


(c) ShutterstockLet’s put ourselves in that moment where we get the emergency call. Our community is in danger from the rising waters and help is needed to fill the sandbags. I bet most of us would go with few questions asked. Ok, add another factor: Your home might be in danger if it gets bad enough. That is even more reason to help, correct? Now, let’s throw in the final carrot: Your school and your classroom are in the direct path of the destruction. I’m pretty sure that at that point, you are out the door and texting everyone you know and pleading for help.

Read more: Survival Tip Two - Setting Your Band’s Expectations Before the Levy Breaks…..


Claire Cao, 7th Grade Student at Tohickon Middle School, Doylestown, PA receives scholarship award from Jim Forester, Russo Music, Chalfont.Pa.  How Does Your Music Class Prepare You For Life” was the theme of SBO’s 15th annual scholarship essay contents. Several thousand entries were submitted as students competed for ten, $1,000 scholarships. The awards were given to five students in grades 4 to 8, five students grades 9 to 12, and their respective school music programs received a matching award of music products from co-sponsors NAMM, Alfred Music Publishing, Sabian Ltd., Woodwind & Brasswind, and Yamaha Corporation of America. 

Read more: 2015 SBO Scholarship Essay Contest Winners


On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

Directors who make a Difference

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO?

Click here to nominate a director 

and tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

SBO Web Poll

How do you record your rehearsals?

Analog Tape Recorder - 2.8%
Computer with Microphones/Software - 11.1%
Handheld Recording Device - 50%
Smartphone App - 19.4%
I don't record rehearsals - 16.7%

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