[oregon-l] Very cooll, check it out, Preparing for Pasadena
John A. Fleming
blueskies.acb at gmail.com
Fri Dec 4 16:50:11 GMT 2009
----- Original Message -----
From: "peter altschul" <paltschul at centurytel.net>
To: "Acblead" <leadership at acb.org>
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 3:23 AM
Subject: [leadership] Preparing for Pasadena
> The following article will be included in FIA's upcoming
> newsletter "The Log of the Bridgetender." I am sending it to the
> list first because I think many of you will be interested, and
> secondly, because some of you might want to support the effort;
> details concerning where to sent contributions appear at the end
> of the article.
> Best, Peter
> PREPARING for PASADENA: AN INTERVIEW with DAN KELLEY
> Peter Altschul
> As most of you are aware, the marching band at the Ohio State
> School for the Blind (OSSB) will be marching in the 2010 Rose
> Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CALIFORNIA. In order to find out how
> they were preparing for this big event, I interviewed Dan Kelley
> by phone. Dan is one of the band's two Co-Directors. The
> interview took place in September, 2009, and my questions and his
> answers appear below. Thanks to Nancy Pendegraph and Rowland
> Bowers for introducing me to Dan.
> Peter Altschul: Thanks for taking time to talk with me.
> Dan Kelly: No problem. (Background noise of voices and banging
> chairs). Let me close the office door.
> PA. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide and Ohio State the
> Buckeyes. What's your band called?
> DK: The Marching Panthers.
> PA. How many members, and what instruments do they play?
> DK. We currently have 38 members, most of whom are between the
> ages of 15 and 17. Normally, our band is smaller, so we have
> added some seventh and eighth graders, along with some recent
> grads. Our band consists of 3 trumpets, 4 trombones, 3
> sousaphones, 3 clarinets, 3 alto saxes, 2 tenor saxes, 1 baritone
> sax, 2 flutes (one doubling on piccolo), 4 bass drums, 3 snare
> drums, 1 set of tom-toms, cymbals, and 2 glockenspiels.
> PA. Who does the arrangements, and how do band members learn
> their parts?
> DK. It's a team effort. We buy printed scores that we think
> might work for us. I input them into Finale so I can listen to
> the arrangements and modify them to meet our needs. I use lots
> of open fourths and fifths to compensate for our band's small
> size. Arrangements are saved as "Smart Music Accompaniment
> Files" which students can use to learn their parts by ear.
> I am, though, a strong believer of Braille music, so I also save
> arrangements as XML files which can be imported into Lime from
> which Braille parts can be printed and embossed using Goodfeel.
> Others learn their parts using MP 3s and large print.
> PA. How many read Braille music?
> DK. Three or four read Braille music pretty well. We emphasize
> Braille music reading during the spring. During marching band
> season, we stress the idea that they are a team of talented
> musicians. We try to instill responsibility, organization,
> self-discipline, and other life skills as part of the preparation
> PA. How do band members remain in formation?
> DK. We use marching assistants who walk beside or behind to keep
> band members in formation. However, they are used as "safety
> valves." Students are expected to learn the drill - how many
> steps to take, when and how much to turn, keeping their toes
> pointed, etc. We stress the importance of spatial awareness.
> Students take part in a four-day summer band camp when large
> chunks of time are available for them to learn both the drill and
> the music.
> Since I cannot see the members, I focus more on the music, and
> Carol Agler, the other band co-director as well as the Music
> Director of OSSB, does most of the choreography. We do sometimes
> reverse roles, though.
> PA. Do you form any unique formations?
> DK. We spell out "Ohio" using Braille letters wherez the Ohio
> State University marching band spells out the state name in
> PA. What prompted OSSB to decide to apply to enter the Rose Bowl
> DK. Several people suggested that we reach out to a broader
> audience, so we just applied. We are the only band at a school
> for the blind that marches. We wanted to get the message out
> that there are lots of blind people out there that can contribute
> to music programs.
> I started off working with the middle school band, and moved onto
> the high school. Then, the local School for the Deaf recruited
> us to provide music for their football games. Now, it's as if a
> rocket is strapped to you. We're going to the next level, and it
> requires a whole new level of commitment: three music rehearsals
> and two two-hour marching rehearsals every week. It's a huge
> energy transfer; when the kids get it, it's worth it!
> PA. When the OSSB Band initially applied to march in the parade,
> were there any questions or concerns raised about a marching band
> of students who are blind expressed to you? If so, what were
> they and how did you handle them?
> DK. How are these kids going to march six miles while playing
> instruments? Our kids aren't as active as their sighted peers,
> so we have been focusing on building endurance. We will be
> marching in three parades and plan to walk five-mile hikes with
> band members carrying their instruments. We went on three-mile
> hikes as part of our summer band camp.
> Every band who marches in the Rose Bowl parade does have members
> who drop out; there are drop-out stations and water stations.
> We'll do our best to march the entire six miles.
> PA. How many pieces will you be playing while marching in
> DK. Two or three, alternating with drum cadences. We will also
> perform our halftime show in front of other bands in FanFest.
> PA. What are your key priorities as you prepare for Pasadena?
> DK. Conditioning; the music will come pretty easily.
> Fun-raising; making sure that we have enough money to cover
> travel and other expenses. For one thing, we will be flying to
> Pasadena using our own plane. Finally, we are in constant
> communication with our travel company and Rose Bowl Committee
> members to address the countless details connected with the trip.
> PA. How are your fund-raising efforts going?
> DK. We've raised $110,000 and need $150,000. The Ohio Lions
> clubs took us on as a statewide project, and I have been making
> presentations to Lions clubs, parents, and other groups. We
> raised $15,000 through a golf tournament and other events. Band
> members are selling stuff to raise money.
> PA. Where can our readers send contributions?
> DK. Mail checks to: Ohio State School for the Blind OSSB PTSO,
> C/O James Peterfish, Treasurer, 5220 N. High Street, Columbus,
> OH 43214. When sending a check, please make sure to put "Music
> Department" in the intent or notes line of the check.
> PA. Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to
> let us know how things are going. I might call you in January to
> see how things went?
> DK. That would be great.
> leadership mailing list
> leadership at acb.org
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