That’s easy!! We stay inside and get to do all kinds of fantastic music / conducting related things! Yesterday the temperatures plummeted, the skies lit up and the rain drenched us for most of the day. Due to the lightening siren going off before the storm arrived, the conclusion of our morning march off was postponed right in the middle. So inside the auditorium everyone ran and once settled Mr. Parks went wild on an all day indoor session.

The students had a big lesson in music theory, specifically how to figure out time signatures when listening to musical examples. From 4/4 time to 12/8 to 5/8 and more, the students took copious notes really seemed to understand the concept of beat versus pulse.

Fran Kick arrived late in the morning for a session on leadership with all 623 drum major students. Patience, cooperation, commitment and follow through were all topics of discussion. It was fantastic to hear the students continuing to explore each of the topics when departing for lunch. (Yes, I absolutely do indeed eavesdrop on the students’ conversations in the hallways, parking lots and various other random places on campus.)

The weather finally cleared out after dinner and suddenly the Mid-West heat was truly gone for the day–sweatshirts and jackets made their first appearance to give you an idea of how low the temperatures dropped. The group was WIRED!! We pushed right into squad competitions (most proud of squads 1-4: huge improvement in 24 hours!). There was no time for too much celebration though because we needed to get back to the conclusion of the march off from the day before. All students who were will eligible to participate flooded the field for a whirlwind of a game. Congratulations to:

  • Kadee Marshall of Maize High School, Kansas

The group was than brought over to Braden Auditorium for the evening’s concert and another day at BOA had concluded.

This now brings us to today–and what a day it has been already. The morning included another mace session with a “Sequential Boom” session (Teaching Procedure challenge) for all the students who do not use a mace. Right after that we split up into our competition areas.

Now I know that every staff member is proud of their mini-companies, but I have never, EVER had a group of 4 sqauds like I did this year at BOA! Courteous, polite, positive, enthusiastic, helpful and trusting–not a bad bunch of adjectives and that just barely scratches the surface. All squads started out in upper box 3 of the competition sheet — no small feat for any one squad let alone all four — and the end results of today’s final competition had all of them not only in either upper box 4 but also box 5. To make it even more impressive, I gave out the highest score I have EVER given: 495 out of 500! Squad 3 simply blew me away today!!!!

Congratulations to Squads 1-4—and thank you for one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve ever had at DMA!

The day would not have been complete without our daily march off, and today’s was extra “special.” It was the quickest, dirtiest march off I’ve ever seen Mr. Parks call. Just how good a listener are you?? THAT was the purpose. If you listen with a sense of clarity and do not allow that inner voice to question or guess or anticipate, you will do just fine! But shutting down that voice inside your head is quite a demanding task!

Now, the odds of a person winning a march off against 622 other students are big enough, but what are the odds of someone winning TWO march offs at the same workshop against 622 other students? Well that’s ASTRONOMICAL! Yet the milestone was indeed achieved! Congratulations to:

  • Liz Chaten from Cathedral High School Indianapolis, Indiana
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