Other observations

When hunting for audition excerpts that were appropriate for our situation, I explored over thirty sites, most of significant schools of music with outstanding wind ensembles. I was rather taken aback by the audition material. For many of the instruments (saxophone and euphonium excluded), the excerpts selected were orchestral, not band. From the selection pattern, it was pretty clear that the person who selected the excerpts was focusing on the most difficult parts from an orchestral composition to be performed on a concert during the ensuing semester. At a time when wind ensembles are achieving such wonderful results, why are the directors not making sure that there are some band excerpts on the audition? It may be a result of laziness, but it also seems to be a statement of how important even the directors of major wind ensembles may feel about their place in the various schools or colleges of music.

So far, no band composition has won a Pulitzer Prize. No band has won a Grammy for outstanding classical album of the year (that may be reserved only for orchestras, I have not done the research). With the tremendous influx of new music for wind band, these things will eventually change. I am not jealous of my orchestral brother and sister conductors. I am simply wanting more for the musical medium that I think has such potential for an even richer and more artistic future. I am not satisfied that we tend to keep to ourselves by saying recognition from critics and prizes does not matter (implying bias). We do have a bit of a cult, with band people appreciating band people. The only time we recruit new members, along with their parents, is around 6th grade. We are much like the cult of BOA or the cult of DCI. Those people who like those formats follow those formats, but there is no real effort to evangelize. For us to lose that cult-like status, we must appeal to a broader, more artistically educated public. Hence, the professional wind band needs to appear.

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