As we finish up this marching season and look ahead to next year, we have some important issues to contemplate. We heard over and over again this year from our evaluators that the show was amazing...great ideas and materials, but the performance levels were not quite up to the standards of some of the other bands. This is not to say that the students haven't worked hard and made great progress, but they just haven't been able to catch up with the groups who invest more heavily into the activity. When you spend over 200 hours practicing and perfecting your show, you will just perform better than those who only practice 125 hours. We have had several outsode directors and instructors evaluate our ehearsals and they all agree that we get an amazing amount done in the time we have...we just don't have as much time.
We will be sending out a survey soon and asking for input toward our future. We can be perfectly happy as we are...practicing a minimal amount and being pretty good. We can design shows to be very audience appealing and not worry about being highly competitive. We can decide to be more in line with the "upper tier" bands and add rehearsal time, or we could try to get more done in the time we have. If we choose the latter, we will need to dramatically increase the number of full time instructors and raise the cost of participation significantly. It won't be an easy decision and it will affect the future of the Pope Band...so we will not take this issue lightly. Please think it over and be prepared to share your thoughts.