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Brandon Valley Band’s Web Site – Where Form Meets Function

Mike Lawson • Archives • October 23, 2006

The photos, explains Henson, are perhaps the major draw to the site – especially for the students in the band.

“I have found that although most students appear to be ‘camera shy’ for the photographer, they really are interested in seeing pictures of themselves and their friends online,” he notes. “Plus, the pictures bring family members to the site who might not have an incentive to visit otherwise.”

Band Director Bob Goheen is particularly pleased with the Web site’s ability to provide detailed information in one easily accessible place.

“It has really helped this fall communicating information about our upcoming trip to the Fiesta Bowl,” he points out. “There are just so many aspects to a trip of this magnitude, and it’s great to know that everyone in our program has access to all the details.”

In two months, the site has had more than 11,000 hits, Goheen adds.

“I’m excited and pleased that the new site is being used and visited often.”

Henson hopes that keeping the site “fresh” with detailed information will continue to attract visitors and build the band’s visibility. The Brandon Valley band program has had a Web presence since 1999, but the current Web site represents a significant overhaul that Henson spent the summer working on. The new version of the site was launched in November, 2002.

“The home page creation (and multiple recreations) took around 100 hours of late-night experimentation to get the best balance between the look and feel I wanted to get and reasonable download times for dial-up users,” he explains. “Adobe Photoshop and ImageReady, Microsoft PhotoDraw, Java script and a bit of hand-coded HTML were used to build the site.”

When brainstorming about the new Web site, Goheen expressed his desire for a Web site that would communicate well with parents and students, and serve as a source of pride for the band program.

“The graphics and the layout are ‘state-of-the-art.’ Charlie has put together as interesting and visually pleasing a site as any I’ve seen,” Goheen says. “Charlie has done a great job of making us all proud of the program.”

In the near future, Henson would like to add more multimedia effects to the site, such as video and audio streaming.

“As we move into the winter concert season, I hope to add concert ‘previews’ – sort of an online program before the concert that contains a list of the music that will be performed, along with program information on the music and composers.”

He’s also planning to update the site daily from his laptop during the band’s Fiesta Bowl trip so that friends and family at home can share the students’ travel experiences.

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