Ensemble playing in an outdoor environment can be one of the most challenging endeavors we face as educators. Beyond just the sheer listening environment and spatial demands, we must have a clear understanding of how the various percussion ensembles fit into the picture and how they work and interact with the wind section.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a director is programming a concert. Balancing the interests of the musicians as well as the audience can be a large task. A variety of concepts may come into play when putting together a concert. I believe the overarching goals are to provide your students with a quality program, and to entertain your audience who will likely have very diverse musical interests.
Having a strong show concept can take you far in marching competition, but the ability to make great mid-season adjustments is something that sets the top programs apart. I’d like to share some concepts and strategies designed to help improve show design, while also providing some thoughts on large scale musical approaches throughout the season.
When a great screen actor takes on a stage role, they significantly adapt their technique for the larger venue. I think that’s a reasonable analogy for the challenges we as educators face when taking the music ensemble to an outdoor setting. Today I’d like to provide you with some techniques, concepts, and tips that may be helpful for your program as you begin the marching season.