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Running a Junior High Band by the Book

Mike Lawson • Archives • October 22, 2006

By Stan Garber

I enjoy the unique opportunity and privilege of visiting school bands all across the country. Over the years it has been interesting to observe that the best bands – which play fantastic concerts and consistently receive division I ratings – all possess a high degree of organization. One example of a highly successful and organized ensemble is the Walter R. Sundling Junior High School Band in Palatine , Ill. Director Jeff Zilke puts together a Band Handbook each year to assist him in running an organized junior high program.

Setting Objectives

The primary responsibility of any leader, be it the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the director of a school band, is to set objectives. Too many directors attempt to narrowly define objectives for their band in terms of tasks or activities, such as performing a particular piece of music or taking a trip during the school year. True objectives are much broader in scope.

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