End Goal

This issue of Halftime Magazine is coming out just as high school or college marching band programs are barely starting for the season. It’s the beginning of a long summer of rehearsal. We are months away from the first marching band competitions, and winter percussion is a long way off. So it is very easy to forget the big payoff that is coming in November—or April for winter drumlines.

Big Picture. As you are starting up your next season, it’s important to keep those big picture goals in mind. Most of us are in this activity because of those amazing experiences performing in front of big crowds, showing off all the effort put in over months of hard work. And now that those memories are fresh in your head, it’s your opportunity to leverage them to get your next season off to an awesome start.

Technique Time. I’ve written a number of articles discussing ways to make your summertime as successful as possible: rehearsing the right way, working on basic rudiments, going to drum corps shows and cultivating a positive culture for your drumline and front ensemble.

Remember that the summer is the only time all year where you can really focus on improving your technique, sound quality and rudiment vocab. Once August hits, you will be learning music and drill; and as soon as marching band ends, you are back in the middle of winter percussion season. So do not lose this opportunity! If you want to inspire your ensemble to be stronger this summer, keep your eyes on the prize!

Memorable Moments. Watch videos of your final marching band or winter percussion performance. Include new freshmen in your circle as you reminisce about the great times you had last year. Don’t dwell on the past because it is still time to look forward—but keep those great memories top of mind. You have to be mentally strong to endure a long July rehearsal working on flam technique and scales. It is those amazing performance memories—and knowing that more memories are about to be made—that can help you max out your summer.

About the Author

Lane Armey is the battery percussion coordinator for Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. During the past 15 years, he has worked with various groups including Northwestern University and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.