Concert Band

  • On the Road: Destination Cuba

    SBO Staff | December 9, 2014

    In the Plaza de Armas in Old Havana, Cuba, student musicians perspired in the tropical humidity combined with the heat of performance. 120 members of the band, which consists of three concert bands and two jazz ensembles, along with twenty parents and teachers, departed for Havana via Miami on April 10th, 2014 and returned on April 16th. What we saw, heard, and learned on our trip gave us a remarkable perspective on a corner of the world that is controversially regarded by the international community.On our first full day in Havana, we visited an elementary/middle school designed for students who want to pursue music. Applicants to the school go through a rigorous musical aptitude audition process. The students take music classes for half the day and academic classes for half the day, heavily focusing on music beginning at a very young age.

  • UpClose: Julie Bounds

    Mike Lawson | November 23, 2014

    Building A Band Worth Being A Part Of 

    Things are moving in the right direction for the Santa Teresa High School Band in San Jose, California. Under the guidance of director Julie Bounds, the opportunities for music students have expanded dramatically over the past decade, with the program doubling in membership and, in turn, new ensembles being formed to accommodate the influx of students. Santa Teresa’s current offerings include three concert bands, a competitive marching band, and three jazz bands, as well as percussion, guitar, ukulele, and other chamber-style groups. In addition, the band’s budget has gradually expanded from around $4,000 per year to over $100,000. Several years ago, Bounds started a blog titled “The Thrifty Band Director,” and she insists that the recent growth in capital hasn’t altered her fastidious efforts to maximize the return on every dollar spent, whether replacing instruments, purchasing new uniforms, or taking her band on the road. In this recent interview, Julie Bounds discusses the strategies she used to build a comprehensive program that her students feel is worth being a part of. 

  • UpFront: WGI Winds

    Mike Lawson | September 17, 2014

    Winter Guard International (WGI) is well known for hosting a series of competitive performance opportunities for winter guard and percussion groups. After years of brainstorming and deliberation, the organization has decided to expand their offerings, opening up a third branch of activity called “WGI Winds.”

    “WGI Winds is something that we had been considering for a long time,” says Bart Woodley, director of operations for WGI. “We finally just decided that it was time to do it. We wanted to throw it out there and see if it was something that people were interested in.”

    The new program will be run by Wayne Markworth, an active adjudicator and clinician who was also the director of bands at Ohio’s Centerville High School for 35 years. “In November of last year a committee was formed,” says Markworth. “We met in Indianapolis around Bands of America Grand Nationals weekend. Throughout the winter, that committee formulated the rules, regulations, judging sheets, and just about everything else about it.”

  • Repertoire Review: August, 2014

    Mike Lawson | August 20, 2014


    This installment of concert band repertoire reviews features music in a range of difficulty levels by John Kinyon, Larry Daehn, Steve Rouse, Aaron Copland, and Dana Wilson. “Frank Ticheli’s List” is a compilation of core repertoire for concert band selected by composer Frank Ticheli of USC. These pieces have been reviewed by Gregory Rudgers and John Darling.

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