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I've been watching so many of my friends on Facebook showing off their kids' accomplishments on social media, and I am so proud of you all! It takes a lot of hard work from you and your kids!

I wonder at what expense. Band directors work their asses off. They work long hours to make sure the kids have everything they need and have the best instruction. But I wonder if the kids are really getting the best from their instructor… What I mean by that is this: are you working so much that you're always exhausted? Do you eat healthy? Do you get the proper amount of sleep? Do you have proper interactions, not only with the kids and parents, but the staff at the school, and most importantly at home? I can tell you this - back in the stone ages when I was in the classroom I didn't eat right, didn't sleep right, and definitely yelled way too much. The kids weren't getting the best of me, nor were my colleagues and peers. Worst of all, my family wasn't getting the best person. We all have demons. We all have things we give in to. Things which help us self soothe and calm down. For some it is productive, such as running, or playing basketball or swimming. For some it is vegging out and watching TV or playing video games. Thats my jam. Is it good for me? Hell no. For some, comfort comes at a price, drugs, alcohol or engaging in risky behavior. If you struggle with these things let me tell you something - you are not alone, and there is hope. When I took over The Yellow Board from Steve, I was unaware of his struggles with alcoholism, but he opened up and began to talk with me about it over the rest of 2022. How he was trying to kick it, but its tentacles never fully left him. His addiction clouded his judgment and left his family without a father and husband. It also left the band world without a great friend and champion. One who would always have everyone's back. I still miss him dearly, his family misses him far more though. I have talked with his wife Betsy about sharing this with you. She wants you to know that there is help and that there is hope. I am always available to talk at any time with anyone who needs help, but there are also many trained folks who want to help you kick whatever addiction you may have. is a great hub for information regarding alcoholism, its effects and its treatment. will help you fight for your struggling addict is dedicated to helping you through whatever addiction you have All of this is dependent on YOU wanting to make a change. You are worth the chance to make your body and relationships vibrant and healthy again. You are important to us, to your kids, to your family. You are important to me, dear reader. Please realize this. Too many folks take their lives not understanding how much they matter and that better times will come if you hang on. If you feel like you don’t matter and can’t go on, call me, 903-714-9104, because you matter to me. Call someone close to you, or even someone you don't think is close to you. Call 988. These 3 simple numbers could save your life and the lives of others. We want you to live on to be a grumpy old band director or whatever it is life takes you to. I can't wait to see what it is.

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

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