Program Health

Dr. Travis J. Cross is the chair of the department of music at UCLA, where he conducts the wind ensemble and symphonic band and directs the graduate wind conducting program. His diverse areas of expertise make Cross an ideal presenter for any session designed to enhance the skills of the earnest band director.
In his inspirational and practical presentations, Daniel Berard, the director of bands at Grain Valley High School, shares his experience of starting with nothing but a blank piece of paper and a vision and building support systems comprised of community members and parents to create a thriving program. 
Give beginning band and orchestra students a boost in confidence by providing an opportunity for them to showcase their newly acquired music skills in front of family and friends in a public setting. That's the mission of the First Performance National Day of Celebration (FPNDoC). 
On the first day of school, new students may come to band class and sit timidly, not making eye contact with others. If the teacher facilitates a drum circle, then by the end of class, everyone will be smiling, chatting and bubbling with excitement.
In the blog post, Case Study: A Music Program Succeeds in the Inner City, read how the band program at Rancho High School in Las Vegas was transformed by band director Clint Williams.  
Nestled between the city's homeless corridor and a cemetery near the historic Fremont District of Las Vegas, Rancho High School might not seem like the ideal home for a successful performing arts program, but thanks to Clint Williams, Rancho's director of bands, the program is thriving.
In a sprawling state like Texas, it might be easy to overlook the small town of Roma that sits along the Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border. But that would be a mistake because the Roma Independent School District has cultivated a unique and successful music program thanks in large part to Dena Laurel, who came to Roma High School as an assistant band director in 1997 and then moved up to become director of bands in 2008. 
In May 2018, I had the privilege of attending the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy Fly-in in Washington, D.C. The goal of this program is to train NAMM members about the policies and priorities of the current administration so when they meet with members of Congress, they can better advocate for the importance of music education.
Every spring, Denison (Iowa) High School hosts a fiesta, including a taco truck, chips and salsa, and parents' homemade desserts. But the main attraction is the Denison High School Mariachi Band. 
When Daniel Berard walked into his job interview at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2004, he had a clear vision of how to start the band program from scratch. He pictured the program one, two, five and 10 years down the road and hoped the administration would buy into his plans.

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