Congratulations to the 2013 Cockrill Symphonic I Band who has been selected as a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence/National Wind Band Honors project. This marks the second time in three years that that this group has earned this tremendous honor.
The Mark of Excellence consists of the National Wind Band Honors, the National Choral Honors, National Orchestra Honors, National Jazz Honors, and National Percussion Ensemble Honors. It is a competition, entered by recordings, in which the top performances are selected as National Winners, and the second tier performances receive Commended Honors. This year over 178 of the finest musical ensembles in the nation entered the competition and the project received entries from thirty five states.
The adjudicators for the project were: Dr. Kraig Alan Williams, Director of Bands at Rutgers University; Colonel John R. Bourgeois, USMC (Ret), the 25th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, and Eugene Corporon, Conductor of the Wind Symphony and Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas.
“The Cockrill Symphonic I Band is a wonderful example of musical achievement, and a credit to the McKinney school district. I salute you for the wonderful performance that you have shared with us, and the tremendous work you do with young musicians!"
— Dick Clardy, Executive Director, The Foundation for Music Excellence
Yes, the dreaded "p-word." We've all heard it. We as band directors say it, preach it, demand it, respect it. It's a habit that was instilled upon me at an early age, and something that I strive to teach the value of to all my students.
Developing healthy practice habits starts from day one of beginner band. And it's a skill that lasts a lifetime. If you're going to excel at ANYTHING in life, whether it be playing an instrument, performing complex mathematics calculations, or effectively communicating with a potential employer, practice is the means for accomplishing any goal or task.
Band students know that if they want to perform at their very best, they must diligently practice their instrument. The countless hours in the practice room can yield amazing results if approached the right way. We've all heard the phrase "practice makes perfect." But it's the quality of practice that really matters. Instead I like to say "perfect (or deliberate) practice makes perfect."
So whether your student is embarking on their 1st year of learning to play an instrument, or their 10th, encourage healthy practice habits at home. Don't let them just "play" their instruments, but perform every time they make a sound. Encourage excellence in everything they do. They certainly deserve it!
I frequently visit a blog called The Bulletproof Musician. The guy that created it is a Performance Psychologist on faculty at The Julliard School. I consider him an expert on the field on practice and has tons of advice for budding musicians :-)
Check out this article by Geoff Colvin (editor and columnist for Fortune magazine and author of Talent is Overrated), which argues why you don't have to be naturally talented to be successful.
CMS Band Parents,
Early voting begins tomorrow in the McKinney ISD Tax Ratification Election (TRE). Less than 10% of registered voters typically show up for these elections, even in neighboring cities. Regardless of how you choose to vote, please exercise your right to vote and encourage as many people as you know to do the same.