Music News

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Directors and Adjudicators: Be Realistic, Be Fair and Be Excited

By Daniel Galloway, TMAA Marching Band Vice President | Tuesday, October 02, 2012 1:15 PM

As this marching band season unfolds, I find I have the unique opportunity to reflect on this activity from three different points of view. First, as a director of a competitive marching band program; second, as an active adjudicator for multiple contests;  and finally, as a parent of a student in a marching band program. And, wearing these three hats has tempered my perspective as a director and as an adjudicator. It all boils down to being realistic, being fair and being excited.

As a director I truly believe that setting achievable, educational goals is essential. One must be realistic about the learning curve that will be required to refine the content of a show. All too often I have watched a band attempt to perform a 7:50 show and fall short of a superior rating when a better executed seven-minute show would have easily been rated a Division One.

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Dr. Bradley Kent Joins Music Department

By Kate Y. Hector, Media Coordinator | Tuesday, October 02, 2012 9:10 AM

Dr. Bradley Kent
Dr. Bradley Kent

The music department has an energetic new member in Dr. Bradley Kent. Kent started as the new associate music director after Labor Day and is excited to put his years of experience to use here at the League.

“As a young teacher, I experienced what UIL did for me and my students,” Kent said. “I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for what UIL does for our music programs in this state.”

Kent started his career in music as a teacher at Lewisville High School, north of Dallas, but his musical interest started long before that.

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Music World Stays Stable, Only Minor Rule Tweaks

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Monday, August 27, 2012 3:19 PM

Walking the halls of the summer music conferences in San Antonio, one of the most common questions I hear is, “What’s new?”  And, my response is generally, “Not much.”

You see UIL music operates in a very stable environment that remains sensitive to the priorities and expectations of the music programs and directors it serves. That is not to say that we don’t have problems and challenges that confront us on every level, but the basic structure of what we do in UIL music remains stable and consistent.

Much of the credit for this stability can be attributed to the network of communication that we enjoy throughout the state and the excellent work of the UIL/TMEA Music Advisory Committee that carefully reviews our rules, contest procedures and proposals for revisions. As a result our rule changes are minimal; however, there are two new options included in the 2012-13 UIL Constitution and Contest Rules that are worth mentioning.

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Getting to the Art of the Matter

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Friday, March 30, 2012 9:24 AM

What do you teach?Have you ever been asked that question?

I’m sure we all have at one time or another and the reality of the matter is there can be countless responses.

Perhaps you would say, "I teach band."

Others might respond that they are a music educator or a music teacher.  A few colleagues would take a more philosophical approach and respond that what they really teach is students and music is the subject. It is likely that an expanded list of “teaching tasks” might include discipline, references to teamwork, working towards a common goal and various other qualities associated with the citizenship and team player merit badge.  The truth is that we teach a lot, and we teach on multiple levels.

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Tips for Being an Effective UIL Concert Judge

By Mark McGahey, TMAA Concert Band Vice President | Friday, March 30, 2012 9:21 AM

We are well underway with UIL Concert and Sightreading Contests across Texas. For those who will be participating as adjudicators soon, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Tip #1 - Write in a succinct, concise manner. Get to the point; complete sentences are OK, but not necessary. You can use blurbs or bullet points to set apart the most important information.

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A Few Issues Popping Up in Music

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Tuesday, February 07, 2012 12:05 PM

What’s new with UIL?  How are things in Austin? Anything happening in music?

These and countless similar inquiries confront me everywhere I go as I travel across the state and nation. People want to know what is going on, and from my perspective, they deserve to know what is going on. To be honest, sometimes there is very little going on. The ship is on a confirmed course, the sails are trimmed and it appears to be smooth sailing ahead. At other times the seas are rough, the winds are unpredictable and there are uncharted waters ahead. While there is little drama in our “UIL music world” at present, there are issues that have surfaced in recent months that require thoughtful deliberation and possible action.

So, since you asked, here’s what’s new in Austin. Not surprisingly, several of these items have to do with marching band.

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Judge Etiquette in the Sight-reading Room

By Jeff Turner, TMAA Orchestra VP | Monday, December 05, 2011 11:47 AM

Another concert and sight-reading judging season will be here sooner than we think.  As that time of the year nears, I wanted to share a few thoughts and ideas about professionalism on a sight-reading panel.  As I thought about the word professionalism in this context, I concluded it would be more appropriate to speak in terms of etiquette defined as:  the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other.

In our TMAA judging workshops, we spend most of the time discussing best practice for writing educational sheets and assigning appropriate ratings.  I’d like to suggest some things that come under the “other” category of judging that we tend to take for granted.

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State Marching Band Goes Live (on the Web)

By McKensie Wallesen, UIL intern | Monday, December 05, 2011 9:41 AM

At the 4A State Marching Band Competition, Vandergrift High School performs at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Vandergrift HS placed ninth at the state competition. Cedar Park High School won the 4A title. Queen City High School won the 2A title, and Sundown High School won the 1A title. For a full list of results, go to
At the 4A State Marching Band Competition, Vandergrift High School performs at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Vandergrift HS placed ninth at the state competition. Cedar Park High School won the 4A title. Queen City High School won the 2A title, and Sundown High School won the 1A title. For a full list of results, go to

Photo by Jeanne Acton

For the first time in the history of the UIL State Marching Band Contest, parents, fans and bands across the state were able to see the performances live without making the trip to the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Over the two-day contest, the webcast received more than 60,000 hits without even much advertising to promote the event.
One of those hits was from a parent who had emergency surgery days before the marching contest so she couldn’t travel to see her daughter play.

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State Wind Ensemble Festival Provides a Unique Musical Opportunity

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:22 PM

The State Wind Ensemble Contest was established in 1976 as a part of the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest. During the years that followed, this event gradually evolved into the festival format that is in place today. It is now referred to as the State Wind Ensemble Festival (SWEF) and provides an educationally rewarding and positive experience for all participants. This prestigious event is scheduled for May 5, 2012.

Much of the success of this event has been attributed to the Clinician/Commentator component of the format. This feature allows each performing group to have a 30-minute post concert clinic/critique with a nationally recognized conductor/educator. The focus of the event is on the subjective, artistic elements of music performance rather than the objective, technical details that tend to dominate critiques in a totally competitive setting.

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Only Minor Rule Changes for Music in 2012

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Thursday, September 15, 2011 2:14 PM

The UIL Music Programs continue to operate in a stable climate with minimal changes from year to year.  Virtually all UIL music rules remain unchanged with the exception of some minor procedural issues pertaining to Sight-reading Contest.  The following rule changes will be in effect for the 2012 Sight-reading Contests in band, choir and orchestra.

Section 1111(a)(7) - RECORDING DEVICES IN THE SIGHT-READING ROOM.  With the advent of smart phones and other portable recording devices it has become more prevalent for individuals to record the sight-reading music during the competition for later review.  This practice is inconsistent with the expectations for the sight-reading contest.  Consequently the UIL Legislative Council has adopted a regulation that prohibits the use of recording devices in the sight-reading room.

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