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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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2011 TSSEC: Largest Music Contest in UIL History

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism Director | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12:54 PM

Members of the PSJA Memorial High School ensemble play for their judge at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest. TSSEC was held over Memorial Day weekend.
Members of the PSJA Memorial High School ensemble play for their judge at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest. TSSEC was held over Memorial Day weekend.

Photo by Jeanne Acton

During the Memorial Day weekend, more than 20,000 high school music students from across the state descended on Central Texas for the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest, making it the largest music contest ever hosted by UIL.

UIL Music Director Richard Floyd said he was pleasantly surprised by the increased participation.

“It was the largest event in our history,” Floyd said. “I thought our number might be down because of budget constraints. This suggests that our superintendents and schools believe the contest is truly a beneficial, educational experience for their students.”

The contest was held at three sites: the University of Texas at Austin, Connally High School and Hendrickson High School, both in Pflugerville Independent School District.

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Sight Reading Contest Committed to Consistency

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Tuesday, May 03, 2011 11:03 AM

The following article appeared in The Leaguer in April of 2004.  Based on recent occurrences relating to band sight-reading music, it would seem timely to run it once again. Please read on.

There are two things that I know will happen every spring. The first is the need to file my income tax return by April 15. That one is between Uncle Sam and me. The other is the inevitable, passionate discussion of sight-reading music that surfaces every year about this time. That one concerns all of us and I assure you that it is not an issue that I take lightly.

When I came to the UIL in 1984, my predecessor gave me a great deal of sage advice. As years have passed and times have changed, some of his council has lost relevance, but his assessment of the sight-reading contest continues to be remarkably accurate. Dr. Patrick assured me that regardless of the source of the music, the method used to select it or the system used to judge it, there would always be a portion of our directors who would be displeased. He was so right.

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Music Participation Numbers Reach More Than a Half Million

By Julianne Coyne, UIL Intern | Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:01 PM

The Monahans High School band gets ready to march at the State Marching Band Competition at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The Monahans High School band gets ready to march at the State Marching Band Competition at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Photo by Stephen Tidmore

The numbers are pretty staggering.

More than half a million students participated in a UIL music activity last year.

The breakdown looks like this: 849 marching bands, 3,208 concert bands, 1,152 orchestras, 2,750 choirs, 109,699 solo entries and 16,846 ensemble entries for UIL during the 2009-2010 school year.

Amanda Drinkwater, band director at Marcus High School in Lewisville, understands the impact music can have on students. Her band captured the division 5A State Championship this year.

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Technology Will Allow for More Frequent Updates of PML for 2011-12 School Year

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:45 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.

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3 Things that Will Help You be a Better Judge

By Mark McGahey, TMAA Concert Band Vice President | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:32 AM

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.

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Music Makes Associate’s Life

By Julianne Coyne, UIL Intern | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:25 AM

Music associate Patty Esfandari (back right) poses with her ensemble, Heralds and MInstrels. Patty has played with the ensemble for 20 years.
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.

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Cleaning ‘House’: Holidays Offer Time to Organize, Prepare

By Dinah Menger, TMAA Vocal Vice President | Monday, December 06, 2010 9:44 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.”

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Preparing for State Marching Band Contest is a Year-Round Job

By Richard Floyd, Music Director | Thursday, November 18, 2010 8:52 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.

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State Wind Ensemble Festival Provides a Unique Musical Opportunity

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.

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