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So you went on Saturday, and kids did great even with the weather being great/bad, hot/cold/in between. You went after a great/not-so-great band. The kids were tired/ecstatic afterwards. What now? Take the comments you were given and read all the positive ones more than one time time to your band...heck read em

three times. Read all that were specific to performance to your kids know, the things you've been saying

to the kids already. Find a way to connect and strive to improve 2% each day.

Any comments that were about design/teaching that the kids are not responsible for, read for you and your staff - the kids don't need to worry about things they can't control.

Talk with the kids, not to. Engage with them and find out what they think they did well, and what needs to improve. Realize they have stake in this show as much as you do.

Limit the negativity - respond with positivity. Acknowledge disappointment while pushing learning and improvement. Its a long month. Realize you have hyper-competitive kids (and parents - I'm one of them), and you have kids who don't give a s*** (their words). Find a way to engage both extremes and in-between in a positive manner.

Most of all realize this - marching band is about the learning and improvement across 4 months. Put on the best product you can possibly give and let the accolades fall where they may. Kids and music are always the most important things, and in that order.

Best wishes on the next performance!

To all: It is with profound grief and sadness that I must tell you our beloved Steve has passed away. He will be incredibly missed by his family, friends, mentors, buddies, and the band world in general. He gave his career to music, but more importantly he gave it to teaching children ABOUT music. He mentored many incredible band directors along the way, judging at contests, and generally offering his opinion and advice when asked. He also helped at several USBands events. Steve attended Forest Park High School in Beaumont, and went on to get his bachelor's degree at Lamar and his master's in educational leadership at UTSA. He taught in El Campo, East Bernard, New Braunfels, Big Spring, Corbett and helped open East Central-Heritage, where he taught for 14 years. He founded The Yellow Board many years ago, hoping that it would provide a forum that would help band directors across the state. I don't think he ever dreamed it would help as many directors across the nation as it did. He always said to me that it is about you - the band directors. He wanted to help the band world in any way that he could. He succeeded. Steve was a great person, a friend. He was someone who could be called on to help at any time. We will all miss him immensely. Please be in prayer for Betsy, his children, his family and his friends - of which there are many. Thank you, Tim

My dearest first born, Brynn.

A little over seven years ago, you went to what could some call an "instrument petting zoo", where you tried various instruments, seeing which one would be best for you. When you squawked that double reed, I knew that oboe was your spirit instrument.

You took to it so well. You're a perfectionist. You're a hard worker. You do great at whatever you set your mind on. Little did I know how far you would go. Your 2nd year, you joined the jazz ensemble at your middle school, learning how to play the tenor sax. With great teaching and a little perseverance you impressed us as your parents and those listening with how well you sounded - all the while earning all-city and all-region honors for oboe. Then we moved to Houston. We thought, oh well she can play tenor sax in the marching band in her new high school. Little did we know that the band did not march tenor saxes. So what did you do? You decided to learn a completely NEW instrument - cymbals. What did you do? You excelled yet again. You learned a new instrument and new way of walking and did it the same way you always do - really, really well. You even made the top band in your 6A school for concert season.

Then the next two years you are section leader for the cymbals, all while keeping you straight A streak going in difficult classes. Whatever you do, you work your butt off. We've never had to push you to well at school. That intrinsic motivation will take you far.

Late junior year, you were going back and forth on whether to try out for drum major. You didn't want to leave your friends, but ultimately you decided that you would still keep your friends and serve the band through being a drum major. Thankfully you not only earned that drum major spot, but you became head drum major.

Being a drum major may sound prestigious, and it is, but is also very difficult. You are representing not only yourself, but the directors to the kids, and the kids to the directors. Many times you were caught in a poop storm. However, you represented yourself in a graceful and loving manner. You helped people learn, you helped them grow. Here's the thing: when you help others grow and achieve, you also grow and achieve. What I've seen from you the past 7 years has been nothing short of amazing. The growth musically from that first squawk to this year playing 1st oboe on Elsa's Procession AND Sorcerer's Apprentice?!?! My goodness! You've had amazing teachers, but that growth is because of you and your hard work. You have gifts and you have used them to the best of your ability. You are tenacious, you are smart, you are kind to others, you are full of grace, if not that graceful :)

You have made your mom and I so proud of you. We have always said that we don't know what we did right, but we hope to not screw it up. Thinking back on that, I know the one thing we did right. We became your parents. You did the rest. Thank you for the last 7 years. We can't wait to see what the next 4+ years of college bring, but if they are anything like what has happened, its going to be amazing. We love you so much.

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