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The Rise and Fall of Programs


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I guess both Lafayette and Dunbar come up because it's one of the few rare cases where a director change did not cause a drop in production. Lafayette kept their traditions and Mr. Smith understood those traditions and maintained that program from what it was when he received it. Mr. Hood took a program that Mr. Cornish worked very hard to successfully get to high class status very quickly, but unlike Mr. Smith (not a dig at all, just different takes) Mr. Hood had a couple of transition years as he worked on where he wanted to take the band. He chose a different direction in regard to style and production but still continues the success that Mr. Cornish left him, even taking it to the next level.

 

Basically, it shows that director changes can't all be bad. Whether they continue tradition, or modify it to fit a new style, it can still succeed. Unfortunately, bands like GRC, North Hardin, and Elizabethtown didn't have as much luck on that front. However, it's not all a lost cause, as both GRC and North Hardin and getting back to the top, so Elizabethtown also has that chance.

 

As for Madison Southern, they were one I was going to mention as well. I know two straight Class A titles (92,93), can't remember if they had any more before then, but never heard from them. I'm also glad to seem them rising back up.

 

Another one I'd mention, and I'll explain, is Harrison County. Granted they've continued to make finals, but they haven't been nearly as dominant in recent years. It's not for lack of trying by the current director, believe me, but numbers have gone down tremendously there. Before these last two or three years, I haven't seen them as small as they are now. It's not like they have another school to go to, so who knows where they've gone. I know some were upset about Mr. Hale leaving, and didn't return to band, but hopefully they will rebuild the excitement within their feeder programs and get that band back up to size.

 

 

Mr. Hood has a lot of help - as does Chuck Smith. Support Staff can make or break an band as well.

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I was looking at all the finalist bands and was wondering about Garrard County. Looking on kyband, they didn't qualify in 2003, but three years later came in third behind two of the best bands in the state. The directors didn't change, so I was wondering if anyone knows what happened to this program to make it so successful in such a short amount of time?

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My best friend moved from Garrard to West Jess. After she moved, Garrard had made it. If I understood her correctly, they just really wanted it. They practiced like crazy and alot.

 

Wow that sounds amazing. It's awesome how far motivation, passion, and desire can take you.

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Daviess County has had major turnover with directors issues in the last few years. Since 2003 there have been 4 director changes. However many of the staff have been retained which has helped with keeping the membership and quality where it is and stays. Tradition helps a great deal.

 

Director is key in so many ways. If a person comes in and changes everything all of the sudden, there will be problems.

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I was looking at all the finalist bands and was wondering about Garrard County. Looking on kyband, they didn't qualify in 2003, but three years later came in third behind two of the best bands in the state. The directors didn't change, so I was wondering if anyone knows what happened to this program to make it so successful in such a short amount of time?

 

See Calloway County:

2000 and 2001 they miss semi-finals. 2002 they make finals for the first time ever.

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I thought I wrote this earlier (but maybe I only thought it). There are many things that go to sustaining a program, but I am convinced that the primary ingredient, the ingredient that insures all others will occur is $. WHile certainly I have no data to cite, nor any way to accumulate such Data. I find it more than just coincidental that GRC's fall from power is almost directly coinciding with the closure of the Rockwell International in Clark CO. (the county's largest employer) That closure profoundly effected that community. It closed in 1992. So much money left that town after that closure. At around the same time regulations concerning how tobacco was marketed, caused many to quit farming, parcel off their land and either move or seek employment elsewhere, usually lexington, therby contributing to its tax-base. My dentist originally practiced in Clark CO. DUe to lack of business he moved to Lexington, and his family with him. BOth kids were in Lexington bands. I may be completely off base on this one particular situation, but I know first hand that it takes lots and lots of money to run a band. This principle holds true for nearly everything else why would it be different for bands? More money, bigger house. More money better car. More money, better health care. More money, better education. More money, nicer trombone. More money.....well you get it. Mr. Smith and Mr hood in Lexington are two of the best (or at least most succesful) band directors in Fayette County, but they make no more money than any other band director in Fayette County. Why then are they at their respective position ? I think both men are driven to excel and the organizations that employ them have systems in place to give them the best opportunity for success. If this werent the case I would imagine they would look elsewhere. Maybe not (I know neither man at all) and am by no means able to address what motivates them. But I know these things: 1) they make no more money than similarly employed banddirectors and music teachers at other FCP schools 2)They could have jobs as music educators that were far less stressful. So it seems that the competitive anglemust be a part of why they are where they are. It follows then that competing at a high level is important. My guess is that if one could know, one would find that the bands who are finishing high at contests such as KMEA and BOA are also better at fundraising.

 

PLease hear me, this in no way implies that less capable fundraisers care less. Often, as recent times attest to, one's financial situations are outside the realm of one's control. It aint fair, but as my daddy used to say, " 'Fair' is a place where ya show your Hogs." Does anyone else agree? Surely I am not the first to notice this inequity.

 

For what it is worth, my theory is absolutely worthless in explaining the demise of the Westerville Program. Westerville was and remains a very prosperous suburb of Columbus rated by Money magazine as the 46th best city in the US to live. So as Dennis Miller would say, "....but who knows, I could be wrong."

Edited by bandie423
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I thought I wrote this earlier (but maybe I only thought it). There are many things that go to sustaining a program, but I am convinced that the primary ingredient, the ingredient that insures all others will occur is $. WHile certainly I have no data to cite, nor any way to accumulate such Data. I find it more than just coincidental that GRC's fall from power is almost directly coinciding with the closure of the Rockwell International in Clark CO. (the county's largest employer) That closure profoundly effected that community. It closed in 1992. So much money left that town after that closure. At around the same time regulations concerning how tobacco was marketed, caused many to quit farming, parcel off their land and either move or seek employment elsewhere, usually lexington, therby contributing to its tax-base. My dentist originally practiced in Clark CO. DUe to lack of business he moved to Lexington, and his family with him. BOth kids were in Lexington bands. I may be completely off base on this one particular situation, but I know first hand that it takes lots and lots of money to run a band. This principle holds true for nearly everything else why would it be different for bands? More money, bigger house. More money better car. More money, better health care. More money, better education. More money, nicer trombone. More money.....well you get it. Mr. Smith and Mr hood in Lexington are two of the best (or at least most succesful) band directors in Fayette County, but they make no more money than any other band director in Fayette County. Why then are they at their respective position ? I think both men are driven to excel and the organizations that employ them have systems in place to give them the best opportunity for success. If this werent the case I would imagine they would look elsewhere. Maybe not (I know neither man at all) and am by no means able to address what motivates them. But I know these things: 1) they make no more money than similarly employed banddirectors and music teachers at other FCP schools 2)They could have jobs as music educators that were far less stressful. So it seems that the competitive anglemust be a part of why they are where they are. It follows then that competing at a high level is important. My guess is that if one could know, one would find that the bands who are finishing high at contests such as KMEA and BOA are also better at fundraising.

 

PLease hear me, this in no way implies that less capable fundraisers care less. Often, as recent times attest to, one's financial situations are outside the realm of one's control. It aint fair, but as my daddy used to say, " 'Fair' is a place where ya show your Hogs." Does anyone else agree? Surely I am not the first to notice this inequity.

 

For what it is worth, my theory is absolutely worthless in explaining the demise of the Westerville Program. Westerville was and remains a very prosperous suburb of Columbus rated by Money magazine as the 46th best city in the US to live. So as Dennis Miller would say, "....but who knows, I could be wrong."

 

 

nope. that's not it. however, it was a perfect storm of events. administration reared it's ugly head, very successful director left. money was not the issue at grc. maybe at first but you can still smoke (as far as i know) at bingo halls in winchester.

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Lone Oak was in finals in 1987 and 2004. They were 5th place at state in 1997, 1999 and 2000. They placed 2nd in class A at grand nationals in 2004 and was also in grand nationals semifinals in 2002 and 2005. After that year, they lost a ton of members and went downhill very quickly. It's really sad to watch them now after seeing how good they were just a few years ago.

 

 

I agree. Lone Oak had a fabulous program just a few years ago. They were a real competitor to bands like Calloway, Madisonville etc. It is sad to know what their program used to be (100 plus members) and to see them being a much smaller band now. I wonder what happened?

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Don't know how old you are....but just in case you forgot, Elizabethtown always had a medicocre program prior to 1990. And forgive me as I do not fully understand the context of your thread because I found it on a google search for Central Hardin 1992. Central Hardin sprung from the result of East and West Hardin High Schools combining in 1990. If you take a closer look you might notice something interesting. Elizabethtown and Central Hardin High Schools are in such close proximity that the bands can hear each other practicing. Now....both programs (i say both but what I mean is East, West, and E-Town) developed under the Giant of North Hardin in the late 80's and into the 1990's. Although it was E-Town that made finals first in 1990, it was CHHS that won state first in 1992 (scoring higher than NHHS that year at finals). Then as you have annotated...E-Town went on a tear and eclipsed both North and Central in accolades and accomplishments. There is a whole lot more to that story and it starts in the 1960's. Hardin County has a RICH tradition in the activity we call marching band. The common bonds with other programs across the state are mind blowing. Like Chuck Campbell: He was one of the Legendary directors of GRC and North Hardin. Did you know that he started his career directing at East Hardin when the school was created? That is just one of many facts that most people don't know or appreciate.

 

Giggedy Giggedy

 

 

Let's talk about an issue that has occured in this state from its humble beginnings!!

 

The Rise and Fall of Programs

 

Over the past 10-20 years there has been alot of movement as to how long bands stay "competitive"

I just wanted to talk about some of those programs and see what people have to think about those.

 

 

-George Rogers Clark (GRC) - In 1986, the first year of the KMEA Championships GRC took the 4A Championship and took the Overall State Champion title with a score of 90.30. During the next few years they consistently finished in the 2nd-4th place area. 1992 became the first year that GRC didn't make finals. They came back into the finals scene in 1994 to place 3rd in class AA...a sharp decline in numbers for the group. A few more years out of the loop for finals and they came back again in 1997 to finish a distant 4th in finals. From 97 to 00 they did not make finals. They showed their face again in 2001 with a 3rd place finish in class AAA. In 2002 GRC won the state championship in class AAA. The became a common name in finals and untill 2006. This group has had stints where they stay a contender and have had some down years. They are definately one of the more "storied" programs of Kentucky.

 

-Elizabethtown - Came into the finals scene in 1990 and stayed a common name until 1996. Elizabethtown won state championships in 1993, 1994, 1995. 1996 Etown did not get to compete at KMEA because of late entry. 1997 Elizabethtown returned to claim the class AAA title with what some call the "cleanest show in KMEA history" 1998 brought another state championship to Etown. 1999 started the decline for them. They placed 3rd in 1999 in class AAA. Etown made finals for the next 3 years. Then came a sudden drop off for numbers for Elizabethtown. At Elizabethtowns peak they were around 115 members on the field. In 2008 they are around 34 playing members.

 

-Central Hardin- Central Hardin started off their finals stint in 1991 with a 4th place finish in Class AAA. They made finals the next two years, winning the State Championship in thier 3rd year of existence in class AAA. Since 1993 Central Hardin has not made finals in any class. Central Hardin is also one of Kentucky's largest schools.

 

These are just a few programs in the state that have noticed quite a bit of change throughout the years. I plan to continue this with more schools to follow.......enjoy!!!

 

 

 

Bakalakadaka

Durka Durkastan U. 05'

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Etown

Harrison

Central Hardin

 

Etown came to power in 1989. Chuck Smith left Harrison County (he was the assistant and a former of Alum at Harrison). He built Etown into a state champ. The program continued its success under Tom Case (Harrison County Alum). In 2000 he left for Shelby County. The program was left to Michael White. The administration was not happy that the boosters were raising a lot of money. The administration felt that band was too much of a focus and limited Mr White's Jr High Band enrollment (2002). This would lead to less students moving on to high school. These limitations were still in effect when Mr. Johnson took over the reigns.

 

The arrival of JH saw 2 students who lived in the John district already leave etown and attend John. They had to pay to attend etown, but it was free to go to John.

 

Harrison County: Harrison was a power in the 70's, early 80's, late80's, all of the 90's. They made finals in all but 4 years of KMEA. This band program was led through those years by Mr Gregg ( not at Williamstown). The band continued its success under Eric Hale... but the numbers dropped immediately. First, Mr Gregg recruited students... he would not take no for an answer. His wife was the Middle School director and she literally would send 8th graders to the office to change their schedules to add High School Marching Band for the fall.

 

Hale waned students who already had that desire... if you didnt want to be a part... he would move on without you. The band has now became a shell of what it once was... but it was a slipper slope.

 

Central Hardin Yes, they won with Planets in 1992. Janet Allen redeveloped them into a threat in 1997... after she left their numbers started to drop. The addition of John Hardin did in fact reduce their numbers... ironically, North Hardin lost very few students to John (apparently) all the NH kids lived at the same address.

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Don't know how old you are....but just in case you forgot, Elizabethtown always had a medicocre program prior to 1990. And forgive me as I do not fully understand the context of your thread because I found it on a google search for Central Hardin 1992. Central Hardin sprung from the result of East and West Hardin High Schools combining in 1990. If you take a closer look you might notice something interesting. Elizabethtown and Central Hardin High Schools are in such close proximity that the bands can hear each other practicing. Now....both programs (i say both but what I mean is East, West, and E-Town) developed under the Giant of North Hardin in the late 80's and into the 1990's. Although it was E-Town that made finals first in 1990, it was CHHS that won state first in 1992 (scoring higher than NHHS that year at finals). Then as you have annotated...E-Town went on a tear and eclipsed both North and Central in accolades and accomplishments. There is a whole lot more to that story and it starts in the 1960's. Hardin County has a RICH tradition in the activity we call marching band. The common bonds with other programs across the state are mind blowing. Like Chuck Campbell: He was one of the Legendary directors of GRC and North Hardin. Did you know that he started his career directing at East Hardin when the school was created? That is just one of many facts that most people don't know or appreciate.

 

Giggedy Giggedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to thank both you and Dibby Dabby for the info concerning the Hardin County band programs. Having taught at both E. Town and Central Hardin I'm always trying to "get in touch" with those bands' histories.

 

I realize and respect the deep tradition of bands in Hardin County and always appreciate the opportunity to learn more about it.

 

Thanks again,

John

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An answer to that question, middle school fallout, and numerous director changes. Stability has once again been established and we have begun our long and trying rise, hopefully returning to the stature we once had. I know from experience that a program can change instantly, My freshman year we had 105 total, Sophomore 86 total, Junior 32 total, and Senior 29 total, but next year we are projecting a fairly large growth in membership, so maybe you will see a new, bit young revitalized lone oak.

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An answer to that question, middle school fallout, and numerous director changes. Stability has once again been established and we have begun our long and trying rise, hopefully returning to the stature we once had. I know from experience that a program can change instantly, My freshman year we had 105 total, Sophomore 86 total, Junior 32 total, and Senior 29 total, but next year we are projecting a fairly large growth in membership, so maybe you will see a new, bit young revitalized lone oak.

 

I remember we had 112 members my senior year in 2004, and I will admit it was hard to see the numbers decline so quickly over the years after I graduated. I hope that the membership goes up in the next couple of years and the band returns to the size and quality it was a few years ago.

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Central Hardin Yes, they won with Planets in 1992. Janet Allen redeveloped them into a threat in 1997... after she left their numbers started to drop. The addition of John Hardin did in fact reduce their numbers... ironically, North Hardin lost very few students to John (apparently) all the NH kids lived at the same address.

 

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this. Janet Allen taught at Central Hardin for one year (1997), when the band placed 9th at State - the same position as the year before. If anything, her tenure there was the beginning of the downfall for the school.

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If you look at the history, there is usually a director change with each program.

 

And sometimes a director change can make a huge difference. Look at Bourbon Co. The first year Eric Hale was there, they made finals, and have ever since.

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And sometimes a director change can make a huge difference. Look at Bourbon Co. The first year Eric Hale was there, they made finals, and have ever since.

 

Actually if you want to get technical as soon as Nadine Hale took over in 2003 they made state finals for the first time, making a pretty huge leap from 16th to 4th in Class A. Once Eric took over 2 years later it put them over the edge and they progressively moved up to win the class.

 

Not calling you out... just agreeing that a director change can be good for the program.

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  • 3 months later...
Central Hardin Yes, they won with Planets in 1992. Janet Allen redeveloped them into a threat in 1997... after she left their numbers started to drop. The addition of John Hardin did in fact reduce their numbers... ironically, North Hardin lost very few students to John (apparently) all the NH kids lived at the same address.

 

 

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this. Janet Allen taught at Central Hardin for one year (1997), when the band placed 9th at State - the same position as the year before. If anything, her tenure there was the beginning of the downfall for the school.

 

I have to disagree with you. While CH didn't march at a high level that year (1997), they played incredibly well - thanks to Janet Allen. At the Glascow show that year, the blew McGavock off the field. Unfortunantly, Ms. Allen was only there one year, while the intent all along was to get her into the county thru the CHposition, and then move her to NH when a position became available the following year. Other perople who really wanted that job and would have stayed and really taken CH to the next level were never given the chance. There were other issues at CH that then led to the decline.

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I have to disagree with you. While CH didn't march at a high level that year (1997), they played incredibly well - thanks to Janet Allen. At the Glascow show that year, the blew McGavock off the field. Unfortunantly, Ms. Allen was only there one year, while the intent all along was to get her into the county thru the CHposition, and then move her to NH when a position became available the following year. Other perople who really wanted that job and would have stayed and really taken CH to the next level were never given the chance. There were other issues at CH that then led to the decline.

 

 

 

You seem pretty smart; maybe you're smart enough to figure out a band director needs to stay longer than a year to get something done. Don't you think David Centers has had other offers? Why do you think he is still there. If all Janet wanted out of Central was the North job, it makes it easier for me to understand why she handled Butler the way she did and moved on to "Creek". Personally, I'm always glad when "those type" of people are no longer in the band director world and I'm pretty sure her father would NOT be proud, (maybe you'll understand all that; maybe you won't, I don't really care).

SO.........if taking the NH job was her "intent", as far as I'm concerned as an EDUCATOR..........her intent sucked.

 

Concerning your next point.............someone who REALLY DID WANT THE CENTRAL JOB............got it, took it, stayed and REALLY HAS TAKEN CH TO THE NEXT LEVEL..............and will continue to do so.........in spite of ALL the problems............and trust me, there are many. His name is David Centers.

 

MAN..............I hate setting people straight on the facts.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It's the director. Time and time again, it's the director. A good one can turn lead to gold, a bad one can destroy a great band in record time.

 

It's the director.

 

That statement is very true.

 

We went from 100 plus, to 30-40 members in just a few short years.

Director changes always take a toll upon bands,

and it's most usually hard to get a program built back up.

It takes lots and lots of time. And a director that sticks with it.

Edited by franchessica(:
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Guest South--Suns
That statement is very true.

 

We went from 100 plus, to 30-40 members in just a few short years.

Director changes always take a toll upon bands,

and it's most usually hard to get a program built back up.

It takes lots and lots of time. And a director that sticks with it.

I agree, that has been many of bands that were once amazing to fall dormant and not make the cut. But, never count those bands out. once they get that right director, i believe they will return.

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Sometimes a director change is a good thing. For example, Cumberland Co. was a pretty large band. I think they had almost 100 members and one time, and within a few years their numbers dropped dramatically and they ended up being a state finalists in 07.

 

For Green Co., I think your size is great for your program right now. You all really impressed me last season.

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Guest South--Suns
Sometimes a director change is a good thing. For example, Cumberland Co. was a pretty large band. I think they had almost 100 members and one time, and within a few years their numbers dropped dramatically and they ended up being a state finalists in 07.

 

For Green Co., I think your size is great for your program right now. You all really impressed me last season.

I completely agree.

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