As stated during the evening, we owe a LOT to our band staff for all of their hard work and dedication. We tend to forget sometimes that the banquet is about recognizing the accomplishments of our program during the year...not just about cheering loudly when a certain face pops up on a video or when a kid gets a dollar store toy and hams it up in front of the crowd. These moments are fun and we certainly aren't saying that they shouldn't be a part of the festivities, but there is a lot more to celebrate. We did many worthwhile things this year, from honoring our veterans during the Fall and community service performances...Kids in honors groups and superior rated performances by all ensembles...Great Winter guard competitions and percussion clinics...Scholarships for our seniors planning to continue music and student leaders who represent our program well in all situations...Wonderful experiences with guest artists, clinicians, and conductors...We have so much to celebrate and we need to take the time to remember it all. The amount of effort and expertise that goes into our program's operation is massive. Please thank our staff when you see them!
The closing remarks of the evening talked about "what's next for the band" and "We need to be our own positive promoters so that we avoid being a best kept secret". Ironically, as we were having these moments, there was at least one band parent posting complaints on social media about having to sit through the evening (in which her own child was being recognized and awarded). This is EXACTLY the issue that drags our program down and gives us a negative reputation. Apparently some of our adults need a refresher on the old "If you can't say something nice, then say nothing at all" lesson from childhood. All of you "silent parents" need to counterbalance such negativity with positive observations and exchanges showing all of the benefits our program has to offer. Remaining silent allows the negative people to win. Isn't it interesting that on an evening when our seniors boasted over 1.2 million dollars in scholarships, the thing that got out on social media for the world to see was that our evening ran longer than this lady wanted to sit. Unbelievable.
We have a challenge ahead...we can be negative (or silent) and let our program stagnate, or we can be positive and promote the program and raise it to the recognition level that it deserves. The choice is yours.