This document is merely the product
of a brainstorming session during the first meeting of the Band
Organizers. You should read this document first, to see what's
been thought of.
The information in this
document is not binding, nor is it set in concrete -- it is put
here merely to serve as a foundation for discussion and future
If after reading this
document and the other planning documents, you have suggestions
to make, please get in touch with the Band Organizers.
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COMMUNITY SYMPHONIC BAND
PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT:
This document is for brainstorming purposes only. The ideas,
concepts, and possibilities outlined in this document are
suggestions only, and not intended to be taken as set in concrete.
All items are up for discussion and alteration if the working
group comes up with something better.
The name “Mid-Mississippi
Community Band” is used in this document as a working title only
for the group. The name of the group may be expected to change in
the near future. In this document, it will be abbreviated as MCSB.
PART 1 – VISION, MISSION, PHILOSOPHY, and GOALS.
Suggested Vision For The MCSB:
Suggested Mission Of The MCSB
The Philosophy Of The MCSB
Goals Of The MCSB
PART 2 – MCSB STAFF SETUP.
Board Of Directors
The Divisions -- Summary
The Music Director (Division)
The Executive Director (Division)
The Operations Director (Division)
G. The Booster Organization
PART 3 – MEMBERSHIP CONSIDERATIONS
PART 4 – GETTING STARTED
we would like to see the MCSB achieve the following:
The group will have more volunteer workers than it
needs. Volunteer workers can be instrumentalists or non-players.
They just want to work to help the MCSB succeed.
The MCSB will have so many players it will be
divided into two bands, the Symphonic Band with the best players,
and the Community Band, which is open to all players.
The MCSB will so popular and in demand that they
could perform two concerts a month if they wanted to.
Every time the MCSB has a concert, it is sold out
Selected staff members are paid a stipend or salary.
The group will own all needed items, including
Instruments (esp. percussion)
Equipment (stands, lights, podium, etc.)
The mission of the MCSB will be twofold. These two mission elements are listed in order of
importance and priority.
of the MCSB is to
Provide a place for instrumentalists to play in a a fun and
Provide good music in the form of concerts to the
communities we serve.
of any organization defines its culture and its values. We see the
philosophy of the MCSB as the following:
People are more important than music.
Granted, the whole purpose of the organization is to make good
music, and to delight our audiences. But before we can make good
music, we must have people, and our people are more important.
should operate under the principle of “the greater good.” This
means when there are conflicts, the resolution should be guided by
the greater good for the greater number, with proper consideration
and prioritization given to the MCSB members, to the audience,
and to individual contributions.
as we strive to put our people first, we must remain careful not
to become vulnerable to people who would see this philosophy as
weakness and attempt to manipulate it to their advantage.
this means the Directors, staff, and other leadership of the MCSB must always be open to listening to concerns of the members, the
audience, and the boosters. Those who hear these concerns are
obligated to let those with the concerts know the disposition and
rationale for the decision.
The MCSB represents all the communities we serve.
We don’t want to put any geographical or other limitation on the
communities we serve. This means we want to remain open to
performance anywhere at any time, with only logistical
considerations placing limits on us. This also means we want our
membership to be open to anyone, with the only requirements being
each individual’s musical ability and attitude.
MCSB Music Should Be FUN!
First, the tunes have to be fun for the players. This means the
music should be somewhat challenging but playable, and each tune
of itself should be fun to play and fun to listen to.
Second, this means the music must be fun for the audience. We
don’t want to “pander” to any audience, but we definitely
want to play things they will enjoy. This means a mixture of
things they know and want to hear, and new things that will
entertain and delight them.
Concerts should follow an interesting sequence.
This means opening with a lively march or show tune, following it
with a fun feature piece (a la Leroy Anderson), a maximum of one
piece of “serious” literature, a feature piece with a guest
conductor or soloist or ensemble, a showcase piece, an inspiring
or patriotic piece, and a rousing finale. There should always be
an encore prepared.
Showcase Local Talent. We should always
consider showcasing local talent. Perhaps sponsoring a high school
solo and ensemble contest, or inviting winners of the state
contest to perform as guests. This would be particularly
appropriate when we do something out of town. For example, if we
play in Hattiesburg, we could invite a local star to be a guest
A Forum For Composers. We might consider
inviting local composers of all ages to write pieces for the MCSB.
Those that “pass muster” will be featured in a concert.
Passing Muster means gaining the approval of the Music Committee.
The goals of the MCSB are the interim steps we want to take en route to achieving our
vision. These goals might include:
Each member will have fun making excellent music.
The MCSB will grow continually in all instrumental
The members will represent all aspects of the
The MCSB will perform at least four concerts a
Audiences for MCSB concerts will continually be
larger with each performance.
The MCSB will be in ever-increasing demand to
provide concerts in many communities.
This is a first-draft
sketch of what the staff setup of the MCSB might look like. We
see the MCSB being governed by a board of directors, a President,
and four divisions.
It might be best to have
an Interim BOD and a Permanent BOD.
BOD will consist of 3 to 15 volunteers, and will serve not
more than one year in interim status. Their tasks will be to get
the MCSB off the ground, to write and approve the Constitution
and Bylaws, to “hire” the volunteer Division Chiefs, to do
fundraising, and to oversee the attainment of IRS 501(c)(3)
BOD will consist of a number of directors to be determined
by the Bylaws (suggest 5 to 25), and will have duties and terms of
office as defined in the (to be written) Bylaws. Initial Permanent
BOD members will be elected by the Interim BOD.
Whether the MCSB even
needs a President is a matter to be discussed. It is possible that
the Music Director or other Director could also serve as the
President, or that the President could be another individual
The duties of the
President would be determined by the Bylaws and the BOD, but
should probably be to oversee all functions of the MCSB and
ensure that each staff member is properly fulfilling the assigned
might be that the President would in actuality be the President of
the Booster organization.
Whether the Booster
organization should be a Division of the MCSB, or should be a
totally separate organization, is a matter for discussion.
The four divisions of
the MCSB, and a summary of their functions, is as follows:
Music Director (Division) – This division is in
charge of all things musical. This includes, rehearsals, concerts,
music library, equipment, uniforms, etc. There should be a Music
Division Staff to handle various tasks of the division.
Executive Director (Division) – This division is
in charge of all non-profit type activities. This includes
attaining and maintaining nonprofit corporation status, IRS
501(c)(3) status, appropriate licenses and permissions, and all
fundraising outside of concert admission fees and concert
Operations Director (Division) – This division is
in charge of all the non-music aspects of the MCSB operation.
This includes such things as booking rehearsal locations, booking
concerts, coordinating personnel for each rehearsal and concert,
maintaining the website, writing the newsletter, maintaining the
personnel database, and generating and coordinating all publicity.
The Booster Organization (Division?) This division
is responsible for fundraising, for maintaining the list of
individual and corporate donors and sponsors, and for generating,
operating, and coordinating special events just for the boosters.
This division will
consist of the Music Director and the Music Staff.
The Music Director. This individual is also called
the “Conductor.” This person will be responsible for directing
rehearsals and concerts. Also for coordinating all the members,
assigning parts, chairs, etc. The Music Director also chairs the
Repertoire Committee (below).
Librarian Staff. There should be one principal
Librarian, and as many Library Staff members as needed. The
Librarian Staff will be responsible for maintaining the music
library and the MCSB rehearsal and performance folios. Their
principal duties will consist of passing out new music when
instructed by the director, taking up and filing music no longer
needed, tracking down and regaining possession of music that
accidentally went home with members, processing and filing new
music purchases, and other duties as the Music Director may
Quartermaster Staff. There will be one principal
Quartermaster, and as many staff members as may be needed. The
Quartermaster may wish to appoint individual Lieutenant
Quartermasters to be in charge of
The MCSB Quartermaster Staff is responsible for seeing that each
rehearsal and concert is properly set up in time for the
event, transporting any large instruments and equipment as
needed, and issuing and tracking uniforms when we get them.
Repertoire Committee. Chaired by the Music
Director, this committee consists of at least three members
and is responsible for selecting the music to be played at
each concert, and for approving music to be purchased.
Director and Staff handle all 501(c)(3) matters. They also handle
any nonprofit concerns, including fundraising. (More to come here
later.) The ED may also serve as chair of the booster organization
if that division folds into this one.
This Director and Staff
handle all the bookings. They set up the calendar and locations
for rehearsals and concerts, in coordination with the Music
Director. They handle all the finances of the organization. This
division is responsible for ensuring all monies are properly
accounted for and setting up procedures to ensure any expenditures
go through proper approvals. This division also handles any legal
issues that might arise, especially Sarbannes-Oxley concerns.
The concept of this
division is the foggiest of the lot. It is possible it might be a
loose organization of people and corporations dedicated to seeing
that good community band music is here to stay, and done right.
This area needs further discussion.
A Single Band
In the early days of the
MCSB, we will probably have only enough musicians to form a
single performance group. If that’s the case, then we must
determine how free or how restrictive to make the membership. The
tradeoff is that if we let in players of all levels and abilities,
then many of the more accomplished players will opt out of the
group. But if we restrict membership to players of higher ability,
we are cutting out some people who might really want to play. This
issue warrants much more discussion.
It seems the very best
solution to this issue would be to have two bands, the Symphonic
Band, and the Community Band.
This band would be
membership by invitation only. It would consist of only those
players needed to form a complete ensemble, and would be players
of college-graduate level ability or equivalent. It would probably
be wise to have several-deep reserves in each section because of
individuals’ schedule conflicts.
This band would be open
membership, for anyone of high-school-graduate-level playing
ability. This would provide an opportunity to play for those
adults who sincerely want to play, but are somewhat rusty on their
instrument. It would also provide an opportunity for
high-school-age musicians to play with a larger group, if they
have their band director’s permission and pass an audition.
We need to have a plan
for keeping things moving until they take on a life of their own.
pretty much means we need to form a semi-official “MCSB Startup
Working Group,” and as soon as possible get the Interim Board of
Directors in place.
means we need to have regular meetings, and we need to find out as
soon as we can who we have who wants to work on this thing, who is
willing to put in some time and some effort and some money.
already scheduled our first rehearsal for March 22, and that’s a
great date to shoot for. We’ve got a lot of things to do between
now and then, and it will be much easier if we have lots of people
to do it.
David P. Miller
February 1, 2004