Today will be a
quick post (well… none of my posts end up quick… I think I’m incapable of “short and concise…) and a link to an interesting discussion.
First, if you haven’t discovered the new “Marching Roundtable” podcast take a minute a click on over there … well… first finish reading this post and then click over!
It’s a new podcast website where the hosts have long discussions with experienced music, marching and color guard educators. So far there have been podcast episodes with Bart Woodley of WGI, George Hopkins of YEA/USSBA/Cadets and others. It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into the varied opinions and experiences of those with a long-term view of the marching arts activities.
Today they posted what they call a “Roundtable Brief,” which is a shorter length podcast (this one is 17 1/2 minutes) that was generated from something said in one of the longer podcasts. Today’s brief is titled “Prioritizing the Color Guard in Dire Circumstances.”
It’s an interesting discussion between the podcast host, Joe, and band director Tim Hinton. Hinton suggests the needs of the music program must take priority over the needs of the auxiliary program and when it comes to an either/or situation the music program needs win out. Joe challenges him on this statement throughout, pointing out that in many programs today the auxiliary students are seen not as an “extra” part of the program but as equals. Ultimately they settle on the fact that in most cases it’s possible to find a happy medium – to find ways to serve all students in the program… but that the situations being focused on by Hinton in his assertion are the most dire situations where funding a color guard comes at the detriment of running a successful music education program.
While it can be a scary statement to hear, it is one that color guard educators face every year at budget time. In most schools it’s a situation where we’re trying to fund a competitive color guard program within a larger music education program with a sense of balance. Let’s face it – this activity can get insanely expensive if you’re traveling all over the country for competitions every year. In a difficult economic climate I’m sure that many of us (myself included) have been faced with developing a reasonable budget, defending that budget, trimming said reasonable budget by a lot, presenting the revised version… etc.. etc..
So I would challenge all our readers to bring your creativity to the table here – rather than get upset over these types of conversations – where we can become emotional because we feel a need to defend our programs – let’s be pragmatic.
Tight budgets are a reality.
Let’s join together in sharing ways that we can save money in our programs – ways we can trim budgets here and there – and effective ways to fundraise.
Through our collective experiences we can share all our individual best-practices for saving money and come up with a variety of cost-cutting and fund-raising options to help support programs everywhere.
Our fundraising and budget section here is small right now. Let’s join together and focus on that area of CGE and build that resource.
Will you join us?
- Will you send in your best budget saving tip?
- Will you share your most unique or profitable fundraiser?
- Will you share how your group managed to face a budget challenge and pull through with a successful season?
- Will you share how your budget process works?
We’ve all seen groups – even at the national level – who have created intensely creative products “with less.” We’ve seen groups that reused equipment, re-used floors, used only one flag for an entire show, didn’t use a floor at all, borrowed or shared equipment with another school. It takes a lot of creativity and some networking.
What ideas can we share that might enable that program on the brink of elimination to survive and provide another season of educational experiences for their performers?
Don’t worry about whether or not you’re “a writer.” Send us your tip and if you’d like we can make it “look prettier.” Don’t worry if you think your idea was specific to your own group – maybe half way across the country there is a group just like yours and your tip just might be their saving grace.
If it might help one team it’s worth sharing.
So here’s the link to Marching Roundtable and their newest podcast “Roundtable Briefs: Prioritizing the Color Guard in Dire Circumstances.”
About the Author (Author Profile)
Catina Anderson is the founder/editor of the Colorguard Educators blog. Color guard has been part of her life for almost 25 years. She began coaching in 1994 and worked with the Broad Run High School color guard in Northern VA from 1998 until 2010. She has also written for Halftime Magazine and served on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Indoor Association. A former teacher, she enjoys sharing what she has learned and hopes to encourage others to share as well. Together we can create even more positive experiences for performers and help to collectively strengthen marching arts activities worldwide.