Wide range of topics covered in State of the USSBA address

Hopkins and King deliver news about 2011

With snowflakes in the air and ice on the streets, the US Scholastic Band Association focused band directors, judges and event staff members on the fall with an hour-long State of the USSBA address presented by Youth Education in the Arts CEO and Founder of the USSBA George Hopkins and Sean King, director of the USSBA.

[object Object]The SOTU11 webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 18 targeted bands in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.  A special Texas webinar will be scheduled for the next week in advance of the Texas Music Educators Conference, where USSBA representatives George Hopkins, Sean King and Jon Swengler will be on hand in San Antonio to meet directors and discuss the exciting 2011 Texas schedule. 

“The USSBA basically begins planning the next year’s schedule in the days and weeks following the close of the preceding season,” said King.  “This was the first time we could report our plans to the great people who make up the USSBA.” 

The 2011USSBA Fall Marching Band schedule was nearly complete and ready for publication, before a last minute change to the Naval Academy schedule tossed everything back into the air.  “The change at Navy put all of the pieces of the puzzle back into play.  But we believe the structure for the upcoming season is solid and allows room for our local hosts to make the most out of their events.” 

George Hopkins speaking on the subject of local hosts said, “By extending the season one week to Nov. 12-13, we are able to accommodate hosts and allow major events like the DeMoulin Challenge and Yamaha Cup to not impact the host bands too greatly.  Judge availability also comes into play, and with a slightly expanded schedule we can provide quality panels at every event and avoid getting spread too thin.” 

Highlights of the State of the USSBA included: 

  • Group size changes to “round off” the numbers.  After a study of the past five years of band sizes, groups have been trending slightly smaller, but not enough to radically change group sizes. The count will remain for TOTAL performing members, rather than winds or school size. 
  • Classification evaluation.  In order to avoid significant issues regarding band classification, all bands will be evaluated in February according to 2010 scores and possible video review.
  • Revision to membership fees.  After analyzing participation trends, most bands enjoy the “free test drive” opportunity for the USSBA.  However, due to geography, logistics, increased transportation costs and schedule conflicts, many bands are only able to participate in two or three events.  A scaled participation fee structure will now enable bands to participate in a few shows affordably.  Full membership will also come with additional benefits of to be announced in the near future.
  • National Championships for Open Class bands – Nov. 11-13 – Annapolis, Md.
  • National Championships for Class A Bands – Nov. 12-13 – Allentown, Pa.
    • Ticket requirements have been removed; one single fee
    • Limited to 90 bands
  • State Championships
      • New Jersey - Saturday, Nov. 5; Three locations
      • Pennsylvania – Saturday, Nov. 5; West Chester University (tentative)
      • New England - Saturday, Nov. 5; Bridgeport, Conn.
      • Maryland – Saturday, Nov. 5; Towson University (tentative)
      • Virginia – Saturday, Nov. 5; Richmond area
      • New York – Sunday, Oct. 23
      • Registration
      • Fee plus Ticket Requirement based on band size similar to past seasons
  • DeMoulin Challenges
      • Prelim/Finals format
      • Rutgers University – TBA
      • Towson University – Oct. 15 (tentative)
      • Hersheypark Stadium – Oct. 22 (tentative)
      • J. Birney Crum Stadium – Oct. 30 (tentative)
      • New England – Connecticut/Massachusetts (TBA)
      • Wake Forest University – TBA
  • Yamaha Cup
    • Any USSBA Regional competition with bands representing up to all 12 classes
    • New Meadowlands Stadium – TBA
    • Northern Virginia – Herndon HS -  Sept. 24
    • Northern Virginia – Park View HS – Oct. 22 (tentative)
    • Central Virginia – Liberty University – Lynchburg – TBA
    • Southeastern Virginia – Virginia Beach Sportsplex – Oct. 15
    • Central New Jersey – College of New Jersey – Oct. 16 (tentative)
    • More to come
  • Marine Corps Invitational - Navy & Marine Corps Stadium, Annapolis - Sept. 24
  • Local Events from Sept. 10-Oct. 29
    • Deposits due by Feb. 1 to be on the 2011 published schedule

CLICK HERE to review the State of the USSBA PowerPoint. Audio excerpts of the webinar will be posted soon!

Each of these events and topics will be the subject of further posts and webinars.  Stay close to email, Facebook and the usbands.org website for additional information to be released, including confirmed events over the coming weeks.


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