It’s marching season, as many of you probably know, and because I am in public schools, it’s also fundraising time. It’s always fundraising time. Anyway, a big fundraiser that a lot of schools do around here is the “March-a-thon.” Digging around on the internet, I find that its not that uncommon of a thing, but I think there are probably two major kinds: The parade march-a-thon, and the rehearsal march-a-thon.

The Parade march-a-thon is more in time with the community aspect of the high school band, in that it gets the band marching right by your neighbors’ doors, playing for them. I’m not so sure this is as appreciated as it used to be, since we start at 8am. It is also killer on your marching fundamentals since all the parade march-a-thons I’ve seen are between 6 and 10 miles of constant marching, barely even stopping for traffic.

The Rehearsal march-a-thon, our choice this year, is a lot better, though it has its own issues. Since we are spending our time trying to learn a marching show to perform at football games and at competition, we decided it would be best to use our those four hours of the march-a-thon for rehearsal. Sure, it is a lot of work for the kids, and it can be taxing on patience and attitudes. However, morale was high all day, the weather was great, and we managed to learn half our show with music. That’s a great step to make in four hours!

Weather and teacher in-services got in the way of rehearsals during our normal summer band schedule, so we were making up for lost time. We were able to focus on fundamentals while still learning the show. We have a football game in a week, so now we are vastly ahead of where we were going to be had we not used this morning for rehearsals. A good learning time was had by all.


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