Why “What Should I Play”?

As  band/wind ensemble directors, one of the constant questions we address is “What should my group play?”  It is my hope the posts which will soon be added here help inform some of your choices.

As a young director, I was convinced that once my band progressed to playing  grade (fill in the number) literature, the task of choosing music would be easy. That didn’t happen (of course) and now that I teach college, I struggle more than ever in picking programs. One issue is the vast amount of new music coming out as well as many older works that seem to have been neglected–that is, the sheer numbers are staggering. Like many of you, I have attended the Mid-West Clinic for years as well as my own state conventions (mostly Florida and Kansas) and devoted large time blocks to score perusal and listening. I have logged many hours on the internet, visited music dealers, asked suggestions of colleagues and combed my own library. I have given clinics at various conventions and I spend a large chunk of time in my classes on the subject, yet the struggle continues. While I don’t have all of the answers, I hope that the work I have done may be of some help to our profession. Your thoughts, comments and even arguments are welcome.

In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that I am a published composer and will gladly welcome comments and questions here on my works. My intention, however is not to promote my own music, so any discussion of it will be limited to responses.

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