• Making the Where Match Your Why – Essentials of Performance Travel

    Tom Merrill | June 14, 2022Performance travel is one of those subjects that often gets covered quickly in your music education courses. You might remember a short conversation sandwiched somewhere between “how to do uniform bids” and “choosing the best fundraiser.” Granted, there is much to cover to equip you for the real world, and no matter what, much will […] Read More...
  • This Seems… Familiar

    Tom Merrill | September 6, 2021What a long, strange trip it’s been. So…. where do we go from here? Similar to the world of music education, the performance travel world has been turned upside down and inside out by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most music programs, the travel industry found itself in hibernation—working to find ways to survive at a […] Read More...
  • On the Road Again: A Return to Travel

    Mike Lawson | May 4, 2021As the percentage of Americans who have received Covid-19 vaccines continues to climb, SBO reached out again to travel company Worldstrides to learn more about the current status of student travel. Read More...
  • Who Says You Can’t Attend a Festival This School Year?

    Mike Lawson | April 6, 2021In the year of virtual-everything, Worldstrides pivots with virtual festivals. Their virtual festival series can help your students not miss out on these important ways they show off their work. Read More...
  • Why Having a Trusted Travel Partner is More Important Than Ever

    Mike Lawson | March 6, 2021Student travel is returning, and we learned a lot from COVID-19 cancelations and disappointments. As you start to plan for returning to travel in the next school year, learn why hiring a great travel planner is more important than ever before. Read More...
  • What Have We Learned from COVID-19?

    Tom Merrill | January 8, 2021

    Friday, November 13, 2020. I’m not superstitious. That’s a lie. I’m a Chicago Cubs fan. Eight months since the last Friday the 13th. March 13th. The end of that week. It’s really only been ten months?

  • Weathering the Perfect Storm Together

    Tom Merrill | April 30, 2020

    You walk into a restaurant. You’re seated, handed a menu, and you make a selection with your waiter. A few minutes later your meal is served, you enjoy your food, and pay on the way out. Now imagine: You walk into a restaurant. Only this time, you’re planning a banquet. You’re seated with your waiter and the chef, who ask what you would like. They’re going to create this especially for you—the sky’s the limit. It’s going to take months to plan and assemble, but it’s going to be amazing.

  • A Better Approach to a Bid Process

    Tom Merrill | January 10, 2020

    The email arrived on a Monday. “Dear Travel Planner:” These never end well.

  • Is Wind Band’s Moment Finally Here?

    Tom Merrill | June 6, 2019

    I spent the first weekend of May 2019 in the usual annual place: Band Geek Nirvana.

  • The Benefits of Being a Little Nerdy

    Tom Merrill | May 8, 2019

    In the April/May 2018 issue of Choral Director, SBO’s sister magazine, I wrote a piece entitled “The Importance of Our Ancestry,” which discussed the value of knowing the leading conductor/educators in our field.

  • History of the Joliet Township High School Band: Part Five — “Community”

    Tom Merrill | April 10, 2019

    Last month, we shared the challenges of changing times and community. In our final installment, we share the legacy that continues through community support.

  • History of the Joliet Township High School Band Part Four—“Challenges and Successes”

    Tom Merrill | March 1, 2019

    Last month, we shared how the Joliet program maintains their long tradition. This month, we discuss the challenges of changing times and the successes born of determination and hard work. In 1964, with the town population booming, Joliet Township split into three high schools: East, Central, and West.

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