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Perspective

  • Of Mentors and Modes

    Mike Lawson | January 8, 2018

    It’s a new year, with new plans, new goals, and all the mice and men one can muster in planning those things.

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  • 1000 Directors, 20 Years

    Mike Lawson | December 6, 2017

    This is the 20th annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” issue of SBO. During that time, we have honored a director from each state, making a total of 1000 band directors who have been selected by our editorial board to be featured in this issue’s report. It is kind of a big deal.

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  • If I Email You in November, It’s Not SPAM and I’m Not Selling Anything!

    Mike Lawson | November 6, 2017

    In our December issue of SBO, we will feature our 50 Directors Who Make a Difference issue for the 20th time.

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  • The Angry Winds of Change

    Mike Lawson | October 5, 2017

    We had intended to do Part II of our feature on military bands in this issue, but unfortunately our ace reporter, Marty Steiner, is based in Florida, along with some of the people who were to be part of the story.

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  • … is not capable of learning an instrument.

    Mike Lawson | September 8, 2017

    I saw this image posted on Facebook by my friend, Julie Duty, founder of United Sound. It was, in a word, heartbreaking.

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  • Music as Medicine

    Mike Lawson | August 11, 2017

    Some say laughter is the best medicine, but I am going to go with music.

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  • Summertime, and the Gigging is Easy…

    Mike Lawson | July 14, 2017

    School is out, many of you are involved in busy summer band programs, band camps and the like.

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  • I Wanna Rock!

    Mike Lawson | June 20, 2017

    Remember when jazz music being taught in your school was unthinkable?

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  • Mr. Lawson Goes to Washington

    Mike Lawson | June 20, 2017

    This issue we present the 17th annual School Band and Orchestra Essay Contest winners and their essays.

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  • Who’s the leader of the club…?

    Mike Lawson | March 20, 2017

    This month’s Perspective column is a salute to Tim Hill. It’s likely you don’t know Tim. But if you have made a trip to Disney in the past 25 years and taken in a school band, orchestra or choral group performing, you’ve seen Tim’s work.

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  • Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

    Mike Lawson | February 13, 2017

    Last year we were celebrating the end of “No Child Left Behind” and the new “ESSA” or Every Child Succeeds Act,” wherein the arts were, for the first time determined to be part of a well­-rounded curriculum. I went to Capitol Hill with educators, manufacturers, and members of NAMM to observe them asking their representatives to fully fund the bill, and to thank them for supporting it. It seemed like a hopeful couple of days walking around the House of Representatives. I left there thinking things were moving forward.

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  • What a Difference a Director Makes

    Mike Lawson | December 13, 2016

    This is the 19th annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” issue of SBO. We were, once again, blown away by the heartfelt, inspiring stories shared with us about these band director and orchestra leader candidates. It isn’t easy to choose the final names for each state. In fact, it’s rather difficult. This isn’t a popularity contest, so the most submissions doesn’t garner a spot on the list, though it certainly gets attention if the entire band gets together to enter their director and say amazing things.

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