Instruments & Gear

I started playing cornet in third grade and switched to a professional trumpet my second year not due to any great improvement on my part, but because my older brother who was going to high school switched from trumpet to French horn and I inherited his trumpet. I thought that I sounded a lot better on the trumpet, but at that time in my life I was also convinced that a new pair of sneakers would enable me to run faster and jump higher.

Even though I switched to a professional trumpet at an early age, generally the ideal time to purchase a step-up instrument occurs at the transition from junior high/middle school to high school. I spoke with several successful junior high band directors about this and they all agreed on this timetable but also pointed out that exceptions can be made in the case of an advanced and noticeably dedicated student. Students entering high school are also often inspired by the level of "older" players around them as well as exposure to more challenging and sophisticated music.

When buying a step-up instrument, parents must consider whether their child is mature enough to appreciate and care for the instrument. I remember teaching a seventh-grader several years ago with well-to-do parents. They wanted the best for their child so, against my advice, they purchased the most expensive trumpet on the market. Within months, this beautiful instrument looked like it had been through a war zone.

Read more: How to Buy a Step-Up Trumpet

Instruments & Gear

One of the most important pieces of a marching band is the percussion section. Without the drums to set the pace and keep the beat, the rest of the band would be out of time and out of step. For this Report, SBO is focusing on the all-important marching snare drum. Which model is best for your marching band? Here is an alphabetical sampling of companies offering marching snare drums.

DEG Music Products
www.degmusic.com

The Dynasty USA top and bottom head/pipe band snare drum is used by the Blue Devils, Boston Crusaders, Magic of Orlando, Hawthorne Caballeros, Syracuse Brigadiers and San Francisco Renegades, among others. The Wedge Snare Drum is used for indoor/outdoor playing and features a lightweight design. Drums feature Dynasty Erudite hoops, which increase the durability of the drums. Standard finishes are red, white, black and blue.

Read more: Report: Marching Snare Drums

 


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!

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Directors who make a Difference

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

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

SBO Web Poll

This year, our primary major band travel is for:

Festival Competitions - 42.5%
Public Performances - 30%
Educational Workshops - 5%
Some of All of the Above - 20%

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