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Micheal Holmes - President, Alabama Bandmasters Association The Process:

Moving Forward (stay in step)

We all have different perspectives on where we are at varying times throughout the year. Beginning band members are mastering opening a clarinet case without spilling instrument parts all over the floor. They are learning how to enter the band room, where to put their stuff, how to sit, breathe, and hold an instrument properly. Excitement and enthusiasm levels are high for both students and instructors.

Second and third year

students are getting back in shape; some preparing for pep rallies or the occasional middle school football game, Veteran’s Day programs, and holiday concerts. They really love those pep rallies. Visit any high school campus for a little ESPN, a variety of “show” music, and you may even have an opportunity to “Stand Up and Get Crunk” (that one always makes me cry). Many of my colleagues have also been working on music for their Fall Concert during band class while “cleaning” the marching band show in the afternoons. This time of year working 40, 50, 60+ hours a week are routine for directors and students alike. Homework, after school practice, part-time jobs, and all of the other activities available keep our students busy from breakfast to bedtime. Both student and teacher love the band experience. That’s why we keep coming back for more.

My high school diploma is a vocational diploma with an emphasis in carpentry. But that didn’t matter. I so loved my experience in band that a couple of months before graduation I knew I wasn’t ready for it to end. So, to whom did I go for direction? My band directors, Johnny Jacobs and Michial Mayhall. They made a call and by the middle of the next week, I was auditioning for a scholarship with Dr. Jimmy Simpson who was then band director at The University of North Alabama. The rest is history. You mean the world to your students.

If you

work as hard as they do and are honest and fair with them, they will never let you down. If things aren’t always working out as planned, take a look in the mirror. It’s usually on us and our students are counting on us to right the ship when needed. And we will because we are band director, and that is our “Super Power.”

What a great month September has been in Alabama.

Two “President’s Own”

performances on school campuses at Florence and Homewood. Thanks to the band staffs (should that be staves?) at both schools for hosting. I had the pleasure of attending the concert at Homewood High School the night before I completed this article. Those Marines did not disappoint.

From Mark Foster, Jazz Chair...

Please check the ABA website for audition requirements and registration information for the 2016 All-State Jazz Bands. We will have three high school bands again this year (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) and one middle school band. We had 177 students audition for the bands last year, and I would like to see this number grow substantially this year. Please encourage your students to audition for the band.

Students perform a recorded audition on CD, which consists of two jazz standards (including some improvisation), an etude, and several scales. They should be able to improvise with just a few scales, so please don’t let your students get intimidated by the improv component. Remember to allow enough preparation time to get recordings completed and mailed by November 6, 2015.


Marches, Sinatra, an Alabama-born clarinet soloist, and “Lincolnshire Posey” were all on the menu, and we all left full. This was definitely taxpayer money well spent.

“The President’s Own” Marine Band performs at Homewood High School

This issue of Ala Breve will be filled with schedules, biographies, registration forms, and all manner of information needed to prepare you for the AMEA In-Service Conference in January, 2016. Please make every effort to attend. As you read this issue, you will become better informed of all that is offered in the way of clinics, business meetings, and performances. ABA will have numerous performances and clinics to present.

Renew your NAfME

membership now if you have not done so. Please do not wait until the AMEA In- Service in January to renew as this creates delays in the on-site registration and pre- registration pick-up process.

Check the AMEA/ABA website regularly. You will find needed forms, All-State Band audition requirements and etudes, Cumulative Music list, ABA Directory, District and State Calendar, and other useful and needed information. Check the site weekly for announcements and calendar updates.

Your ABA state

officers and district officers will be using this site to keep you informed as well as have you register for events such as All-State and MPA. We are just getting started. I hope to see you at Midwest and AMEA. Keep it going for your students and DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN!

October/November 2015

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