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Commentary

  • Invite a Celebrity to Participate in Your School Concert

    Mike Lawson | August 30, 2018

    Few things excite people as much as being in the presence of a celebrity. Indeed, on many occasions I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand the reactions of people in the company of luminaries and it’s pretty amusing to watch them gawk, get giddy, or otherwise go gaga.

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  • Helping students get what they really want – and need

    Mike Lawson | August 3, 2018

    Dear SBO Readers,

    We recently had another rental saxophone returned, and I wanted to cry. Even more than I usually do. Why? Because this little girl came to us for mouthpiece testing and we strongly recommended she begin on clarinet and switch to sax when she was a little bigger.

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  • How Good Were the Players in Sousa’s Band?

    Mike Lawson | June 8, 2018

    John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) started his own band in 1892, which toured and played until his death in 1932. It was made up of over 1,169 different musicians over that 40-year span of time.

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  • Thoughts on Leadership and Legacy

    Mike Lawson | June 8, 2018

    While our colleagues and peers in the industry today know our father as Bob Rogers, founder of our business, when I was five, he was just my dad, a high school band director, leading his students at competitions across the country.

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  • A Tale of Two Gilmores

    Mike Lawson | May 11, 2018

    Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (1829- 1892), the man who became known as, “The Father of the American Band,” should not be confused with William E. Gilmore (1824-1879), leader of Gilmore’s Cornet Band of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

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  • What Was an Audition Like with Gilmore?

    Mike Lawson | April 6, 2018

    One Sunday morning in February 1892, young Herbert L. Clarke (1867- 1945), upon prompting from his brother Ernest, auditioned for the famous Gilmore Band.

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  • Commentary: Using Chorales to Teach Intonation, Articulation, and Phrasing

    Mike Lawson | April 6, 2018

    If you’re like me, you’re busy preparing literature with your band for contests and festivals. And, if you’re like me, your band plays chorales every day.

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  • Commentary: Save Our Symphony

    Mike Lawson | March 2, 2018

    Recently, the San Antonio Symphony embarked on an emotional rollercoaster of dizzying speeds and heights.

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  • Commentary: Re-Energize Your Band Program

    Mike Lawson | March 2, 2018

    A teacher who has been in the classroom for several years has probably developed many effective and comfortable routines for choosing repertoire and planning concerts, trips, and rehearsals.

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  • Commentary: Nurture Student Composers in Your School

    Mike Lawson | March 2, 2018

    When it comes to writing music today, band and orchestra compositions are not the top choice for the majority of those who choose to endeavor in the art of composition.

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  • Getting the Short End of the Blowstick

    Mike Lawson | January 8, 2018

    Music departments across the nation have faced slashed funding for years despite proven studies showing the positive impact sustained involvement in instrumental music has on the strong relationship across middle and high school math proficiency.

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  • A World of Difference: Instrumental Music Education in France

    Mike Lawson | October 4, 2017

    Last summer, I had the pleasure of participating in the European University of Saxophone in Gap, France.

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