“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
Superior: that which transcends excellence to the highest level of performance. Congratulations to every Lee County Band for achieving the ultimate rating at Second District Band Festival in Cairo, Georgia, this past weekend. That blue medal is the gold standard in the Georgia Music Educators Association. You may wear it proudly for a lifetime.
Congratulations to the Lee County Middle School Band. Congratulations to Carol Kluball for bringing out the best in our young people. Our middle school band learns more than music while in band class. They learn good character traits and respect for one another. They can test one another quite severely from time to time. I appreciate the way Mrs. Kluball counsels my own son to “Walk away” when other kids are taunting him, as they do each other. “Just walk away.” As for the music, always superior, even from the time when Emma was in middle school.
Congratulations to the Lee County Symphonic Band. Congratulations to Hank Carter for motivating the band to stay focused. Congratulations to all for showing up with your A game at the time of performance. Congratulations to the Lee County Wind Ensemble for making Superior. You played the highest level of music at Band Festival. While other bands played up to level V on some numbers, you are the only band that played exclusively level V music. You went all-out. You are superior.
My daughter and I talk about what leadership in the band should look like. She is aspiring to either being her section leader, woodwind captain or band captain for her senior year. Mr. Carter is careful to set the tone for the band leaders with these words: “Leadership is an action.” Emma and I have been discussing what the band has been for her and what qualities she would like to emulate. We have come down to Positive, Encouraging and Focus. Yeah, I know that sounds like K-love but why not? Positive: you have to maintain a positive attitude on a personal level. Encouraging: if positive on a personal level, you are more equipped to be an encouragement to others to do the same. When others are negative toward situations and other people, stay positive and encourage others to do the same. Just as a negative attitude is contagious, so is a positive attitude. Be proactive. “Leadership is an action.” Focus: show up with your A game every day.
Some of you are considering band as a future for your child. The Lee County Bands are superior. Our directors are superior. It is a positive, encouraging and affirming atmosphere. Sadly, music is a dimension that remains locked-up in far too many people. Do you feel like you are one of those people? If so, you are one of those people. If you’ve a child who shows interest in music, give her the opportunity to learn the language of music. Give him the opportunity to experience the song and to be an integral part of the music. You may find it most liberating for yourself to see them soar.
Written by Keith Hood