By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:45 PM
While there has been a great deal of information distributed regarding the new Prescribed Music List revision process, there remains a certain degree of misunderstanding and confusion regarding what is taking place. For at least the last five decades, a committee of five to seven members in band, choir and orchestra has reviewed the Prescribed Music every four years. The end result was a new publication that remained the official UIL list until a new committee convened four years later. With the expanded use of online technology, it became apparent in recent years that a more contemporary and Web-based strategy was in order.
As everyone knows, the PML now “lives” online supported by a search engine that allows directors, private teacher, students and music dealers to explore the list in a multitude of ways. The system also supports online contest entries. Furthermore, with the utilization of available technology, it is possible for the list to be maintained and modified in “real time” and on an ongoing basis. It is no longer necessary to wait four years to print a new edition. Thus, beginning in the 2011-12 school year, music will be added to the list annually prior to the beginning of the new school year.
By Mark McGahey, TMAA Concert Band Vice President | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:32 PM
As we approach the UIL Concert and Sight-reading Contest season, I thought this would be a good opportunity to review several important aspects we, as adjudicators, should bear in mind as we evaluate groups:
1. Knowledge – Know the literature and have a picture in your mind before listening. No, I mean really know the literature, and not just have an idea how a tune goes. As a music evaluator, you need to offer an educated opinion about what you are hearing. How often do you listen to non-varsity bands, middle school bands or any band outside of your classification? Do you have an idea in your mind of how a successful band at each level sounds?
Be sensitive to sub- and non-varsity ensembles. It is important to understand that these groups are working to achieve at their performance level. Also, keep in mind the fact that these groups will likely have students functioning as leaders for the first time.
By Julianne Coyne, UIL Intern | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:25 PM
Music associate Patty Esfandari (back right) poses with her ensemble, Heralds and MInstrels. Patty has played with the ensemble for 20 years.
Photo by Photo courtesy of Heralds and Minstrels
Patty Esfandiari loves music.
And it’s a good thing.
Eight hours a day, five days a week, Patty is immersed in the music business as the administrative associate for the UIL music department.
But eight hours a day is not enough for Patty.
By Dinah Menger, TMAA Vocal Vice President | Monday, December 06, 2010 10:44 AM
As all of us prepare for the holidays ahead, one of the best/worst things that must be done is cleaning and putting order to our homes in preparation for guests, family members and huge gatherings. This is not unlike our everyday lives in our rehearsal halls. The best atmosphere for success is one of order and ease in facilitating our daily rehearsals, events, contests and concerts. The act of “making ready” for our family or our students is a humble way of showing that their presence is important to us. As a teacher or as an adjudicator, it merits keeping this humility in mind. Ego has no place in this process. Aren’t we lucky to teach and adjudicate in the music arena? Our jobs are to create and nurture the finest of arts and to make sure that this purest art form stays intact and keeps ringing for generations-long after we are gone. I am reminded of a great story that one of our school guidance counselors shared with our faculty.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle... a battle that goes on inside every person. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is BAD; it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf is GOOD; it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson pondered these words for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Thursday, November 18, 2010 9:52 AM
It’s the first weekend in November and busloads of band students from across Texas converge on San Antonio for the UIL State Marching Band Contest. By the time the lights go out on Tuesday evening, approximately 18,000 spectators and 10,000 band students will have occupied the Alamodome and celebrated one of the premier marching band events in the nation.
As one might assume, this event doesn’t magically unfold in a 48-hour period of time. It involves months of careful planning and behind the scenes preparation. In fact, plans are already underway for the 2011 A-AA-AAAA event. Step by step, each piece of the puzzle will be laid in place to ensure that every detail of this monumental event is commensurate with the high quality of music performances that are the hallmark of this competition.
At this point in time, the Alamodome is already reserved for this event through 2018. Thus the UIL has a long-term commitment with this venue for the State Marching Band Contest. Shortly, room reservations for judges, contest officials and support personnel will be secured for 2011.
By Richard Floyd, Director of Music | Thursday, September 30, 2010 1:14 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). It is viewed to be an educationally rewarding and positive experience for all participants. This year this prestigious event is scheduled for May 7.
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.
With the approval of the UIL/TMEA Music Advisory Committee and the UIL Legislative Council the event was modified in 2000 to what many would term a festival format. The intent of this revision was to build on the most successful elements of SWEF, which cultivate the positive aspects of making music for music’s sake rather than the attainment of an objective rating. In addition a listening component has been added to emphasize the very important value of becoming good audience members as well as accomplished performers.
By Ronnie, Rios, TMAA Marching Band Vice President | Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:57 PM
Think about loading up the car with the family, picking up grandma on the way to the stadium, snacking on homemade cookies, all while spending a beautiful day at your local marching band contest. Unfortunately, on any given Saturday, this picture could become tainted for marching bands and spectators alike if the adjudication process is flawed.
The judge’s decisions and comments absolutely do matter and they are the sole reason we are selected to serve as adjudicators. It is our responsibility to provide a positive commentary full of beneficial suggestions and musical growth opportunities for each performing group. Reward achievement like there is no tomorrow. We must always remember that our comments are a primary source for educational growth. The students, directors and parents deserve our best effort, and it is essential for the evolution of the activity.
By Richard Floyd, director of music | Thursday, August 26, 2010 8:42 PM
In January of 2010 I wrote about a vision to modify the process that we use to review and amend the Prescribed Music List. It started out like this.
The long standing procedure for revising the Prescribed Music List has consisted of appointing a committee of five to seven people in band, choir and orchestra, who have four years to study the PML, consider additions and deletions and make recommendations that are incorporated into the list for the next four years. Then the cycle begins anew. This process has remained basically unchanged since at least the 1960s when I served on the PML Revision Committee.
Yet, over the past decade technology has dramatically changed virtually every aspect of how we deal with print music and audio recordings. And, at the same time everything I hear and read suggests that there are many more changes to come. In addition, our Prescribed Music List is now maintained in an electronic database online so there is no need to wait four years to complete a revision in order to print a new book. We can amend the list immediately with just a few keystrokes.
By David Lambert, TMAA President | Thursday, August 26, 2010 8:39 PM
Welcome back to a new school year and the opportunities it provides you to influence the lives of young people. Nothing is more important than providing a student with a good educational foundation and life skills to help them make their mark in the world.
Since the 2010-2011 school year is just beginning, I thought it might be a good time to re-address a few on-going concerns regarding TMAA, as well as some new concerns that were brought forth last year. Some of this may seem redundant, but it needs to be reiterated so that we keep it fresh in our minds as we go about the daily routine of preparing students for the various competitions and events in the coming year and preparing ourselves to serve as adjudicators for many of these events.
By Richard Floyd | Tuesday, March 16, 2010 2:44 PM
In 1991, I was asked to write an article on the importance of music adjudication and the vital role that our music directors play as music contest judges. The information in that article is as pertinent today as it was when first written almost 20 years ago. Please feel free to share these comments regarding adjudication with your principal and other administrators.