Everyone starts somewhere

At the start of this school year, my son joined 5th grade band—his first foray as a member of a full instrumental ensemble. He is learning the alto saxophone on top of already playing piano and drum set. In a few short weeks, I’ve watched him evolve from being unable to make any sounds with only the mouthpiece to playing notes on a fully assembled instrument.

At the same time, I’ve seen him leave his mouthpiece randomly laying around on the coffee table and have heard the clank as he accidentally dropped his neck piece on the ground. He is also learning to care for reeds for the first time.

Therefore, it is extremely fitting that this issue of Halftime Magazine includes an article about instrument care. In this feature story, we cover cleaning, maintaining and protecting your woodwind and brass instruments from the wear and tear of routine use as well as from the special rigors of marching band.

This summer, my son also had the opportunity to participate in a color guard group at day camp. I proudly watched him and his team perform flag maneuvers including drop spins and behind-the-back spins in a choreographed routine that they learned in only two weeks. Since the age of two, he has been an avid spectator of the marching arts—especially enjoying the color guard—so he had a great time trying it out.

With his various interests, he is the perfect candidate for being able to perform in multiple sections of the band or for sectional switching in between seasons. Many marching ensembles are “Blending Band & Guard” either by necessity or by design. Instructors are either teaching new skills or taking advantage of their members’ abilities to perform in various roles.

As the marching arts continue to evolve and my son’s skills continue to expand, I look forward to seeing how they will converge more and more in the future.

Keep on Marching,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Hold It

Let’s talk about holding your clarinet properly. This topic seems so obvious that you’re probably tempted to stop reading right now. You’d be surprised, though, ...