I would like to open this welcome by first pointing out the excellent work and care provided by Myron Snuffin to IBA each year. The Indiana Bandmaster’s Association is an exceptionally strong organization largely due to the guidance of Myron. Glenn Northern will continue this year as our IBA Past-President. I feel so lucky to be able to follow a person of such high professional standards. Rick Granlund will serve as the IBA Vice-President this year and will assume leadership in 2019. Rick has served as IBA President before and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and passion for the band activity. We are in good hands.
One of the benefits of serving as the IBA President is that there is something of a “Soap Box” that goes with writing this greeting. I would like to take this opportunity to point out something that is on my heart. One only needs to watch a few minutes of the evening news to see that our world is becoming more and more polarized over political and social biases. What a frightening time to be a child. Our national climate might be challenging but teachers, and in our case band directors specifically, have the power to make a positive impact against hate and prejudice. I look at my own band and I can see the racial, religious, orientational, and socio-economic diversity with my eyes and through my relationship with the students. Some band leaders may have to look deeper to find the divergent needs within their students but the differences are there. Neglect, abuse, loneliness, and mental illness are just some of the issues our students may be facing. Poverty is not just an economic problem but a state of want and need for the vital collateral that is required as a child grows and develops.
So I ask you, how does your band live? In my opinion there is no better example of team work than when a band sits down and makes music. The art eliminates thoughts of superiority by requiring all musical parts to depend upon each other. Making music is the practice of preparing, giving, listening, responding, supporting, and accepting. It is what love in relationships should be. Does your band family socially make music? To mature as citizens, student’s need a place where they can be whoever they are without judgement or ridicule. The fact that all races, religions, and orientations can pursue music together by focusing on common performance goals is the super power of a band program. In band our performances are what is judged, not the members as individuals. Students are judged by their actions not their situations. So, how does your band live? If you cannot say that there is love, then your students need you. Our band rooms can and should be places where diversity is a strength and everyone has a place at the table. I urge you to find a moment in your busy schedule to pause from preparing for the next performance to look at your students, then answer the question to yourself, “How does the band live”?
The first Indiana All State Band was formed in 1961 conducted by John Paynter. Over time the Indiana All State Band has grown to include an All State Band, All State Honors Band, and now a Junior All State Band. The level of performance from these groups has greatly added to Indiana’s reputation for outstanding bands. This year’s slate of conductors are once again world class. The Junior All State Band will be conducted by Chip De Stefano from McCracken Middle School, Skokie, Illinois. The All State Band will welcome Dr. Jason Worsbyt from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the All State Honor Band will be conducted by Scott Tepple from University of Wisconsin. Thank you Candi Granlund and Rob Shaver for your leadership of the Junior All State Band. Thanks also to Jay Gephart and all of our friends at Purdue University for helping the IBA board and volunteers host the All State Bands in your facilities. The experience for our band members and directors at Purdue is second to none.
The Indiana Bandmasters Association Board of Directors is a collection of talent, hardworking teachers. District I is represented by Murray Weaver from Discovery Middle School in Mishawaka and David Elliott from Elkhart Central HS. District II is represented by Katy Briel from Clark-Pleasant MS in Whiteland and Tim Cox from Decatur Central HS. in Indianapolis. Joshua Miller from North Clay MS in Brazil and Adam Miller from Jeffersonville HS. will represent District III on the IBA Board of Directors.
All Region Band and All District Band registration is now open. Start assessing your students. Josh Miller is the chairperson of the All-Region Band Festival and David Elliott is the chairperson of the All-District Band Festival.
If you are a new teacher, we would love to connect you to an experienced educator as part of the Phi Beta Mu Mentoring project. Please contact Jim DeCaro at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will help find a teacher for you in your area.
Band Directors possess the ability to reach out and impact the lives of large numbers of young adults each year. Please take the time to reflect on the incredible trust our students and band parents have in us. The students do not need us as friends. Band Directors are needed as advocates, examples of positive leadership, and guides as students grow. I encourage everyone to look back and make sure your band family is happy and healthy. Have an outstanding year!