Welcoming Spring and Indoor Championships

Spring is just around the corner. Growing up on Long Island, N.Y., I always looked forward to one of the first signs of spring: yellow daffodils in my parents’ garden, oftentimes poking up through the last snow covering. I enjoyed looking at the yellow blooms, partly because their cup-shaped center reminded me of brass bells.

This year, spring couldn’t have come soon enough. The 2009-2010 season will be remembered as one of the coldest winters in history. Record lows swept the Eastern seaboard, with back-to-back blizzards in many parts of the United States. In mid-February, Mid-Atlantic cities such as Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia received several feet of accumulation over several days, prompting President Barack Obama to coin the term “Snowmageddon.” According to an AOL News article on Feb. 10, “54.9 inches had fallen on the capital, burying a record for the snowiest winter since record-keeping began in 1888.”

Throughout the season, the snow wreaked havoc on marching competitions. WGI Sport of the Arts cancelled its Pittsburgh Regional and Raleigh color guard event while the US Scholastic Band competition cancelled its Upper Darby Indoor show. School closures and unsafe road conditions often led to cancelled rehearsals.

Despite these challenges, guard and percussion groups continued to work hard to perfect their programs in preparation for various circuit and national championships. Palmetto Percussion, which rarely experiences snow in South Carolina, even rehearsed outdoors in several inches of snow.

So to all the guard and percussion groups, we wish you luck through the rest of the season and look forward to cheering you on at championships.

Musically Yours,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Be Positive on Criticism

Chris Casteel, a color guard instructor, writes about the value of positive criticism. From Halftime Magazine, a print publication and website for the marching arts, ...