Posted: October 26, 2004 in Uncategorized

Ahight….so er’body in the Bullard Band seems to be jotting their thoughts on the current season….here’s my two cents (gotta make it quick thoe….gotta get ready for a concert perdy soon ):

So I remember when I was in high school, seeing Bullard High School back in the day….over 200 members….back when it was the dominating band in Fresno Unified, and most of Clovis, really. I remember 1999, when they did “The Planets,” thinking to myself “Wow… incredible” …Then in 2001, my good friend from Jr. High/High School moved from Lemoore to Fresno, and went to Bullard for her Senior year. The band was much smaller than before, but man….it was one of the first times I had seen a small band absolutely dominate on the field.

The next year, 2002, my friend Chris Williams asked me if I wanted to volunteer there….so I did, and man….fell in love with those kids…especially the saxes man, they were so much fun. The band had such a great work ethic….sure there were times where they’d mess around, and Chris would make them run, or Mike would scream from the tower….but what I mostly remember, was how bad the kids wanted it….REALLY wanted it….came short to Live Oak…again…but that would change…

Last year, I became the Assistant Band Director there…..didn’t know why Chris and Gary recommended me for that job, but I took it. We did a show that was unlike the “usual” bullard show. But ya know, it started rough, but got more and more fun. The kids were mostly hard-working. Still winning shows….taking captions….then at championships, we took second….but it wasn’t to Live Oak….I had never seen those kids SO happy….it really hit me, and I was so proud…

So now….we’re left with the events of this season…

We’re not doing as well as before. We have a new band director….again….and changes have arrived….again….new this, new that. What DOESN’T change is the name: BULLARD….with that name comes a reputation in the WBA circuit. Along with that reputation comes a number of expectations….high ones….

This year has been slow. It’s been a crushing experience from an instructor’s standpoint. And as humans, we’re insecure….full of folly….totally unwilling to be humble (generally)…so what happens when bad things happen? We become defensive….and pass the blame unto others. Everyone has their vices….including us, your instructors. None of us have the “perfect” teaching style. That’s what’s so great about having the staff that we have….everyone has something to offer, and it’s because of the experiences all of us have gone through. I CERTAINLY know that I’m not the greatest instructor….i’m far from it….but I do know a lil’ sumpin sumpin….

So….stop blaming each other….stop yelling at each other….stop blaming ms. lily….stop being upset with Mike or Eddie, just because they tell it like it is more so than anyone else. Vets, I know it’s frustrating for you, but the best way you could possibly lead, is by example….knowing your drill, your music, how the band runs logistically….DO it. Newer folks, you’ve no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into! Marching band is serious to a number of people in this band. It’s fun, if you allow it to be. Listen to your section leaders….they know wussup….

To the entire band, I hope you know where I’m coming from. This has been a hard year for ya….but imagine how it feels for your staff, to see potential wasting itself away. I wanna throw some props though, to a few sections/people:

Drumline: You’re working extremely hard….yeah, sometimes you’re still pretty squirrely….but you’ve improved so much over the year….keep setting a good example….and please, ENCOURAGE the hornline….don’t DISCOURAGE them….stick with your staff as they’ve stuck with you….they think the world of you…

Pit: Unbelievable how you’ve grown so much in strength. You have an amazing instructor who absolutely LOVES you….i hope he’s told you that….he’s told me…but yeah, you rock!

Guard: You’re improving more and more….I’m glad that y’all and Skye bond….keep up the good work.

There are some great things happening in the band….little by little….but I hope you can see what the staff has been talking about. Step it up…..I’m all about seeing people push themselves beyond the limit. If I’ve failed you as your instructor in any way…man, I’m sorry. I’m really trying….and I hope you see that…..

Anyway, this got far too long, and I have a concert to get ready for. I love you all, and I’ll see ya soon….

….drink red kool-aid….


  1. Hey Yo, Everything you said was the truth man!!!!!!!! But you are doing the best you can dont be so hard on yourself The band really needs to want to be the best in order to succeed. It will all be ok I know it is fusterating but keep your head up! Love ya!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes…everything so true. Kinda like the whole ordeal last year with Ecker leaving and Reynolds coming in. Woo for band!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow Marcus, to be honest that had to be the best post I have ever read…major props to you, everything you said is true to the fullest extent. Its true that im fed up with all of the happenings of the band, and how for the first time my section is dragging everyone even lower. I only hope that everything turns out for the best, and I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to make you proud, I swear that I won’t be the one to fail you, and Ill give all of my energy into making my section better for the good of the band. Its hard for someone to see the instant rise of a band, and then the slow decline of it. Its got to be hard for all of the seniors, considering that it started with us. I am thankful for the instructors who give their time to make our band better. Even though I do disagree at times, I still honor the fact that you guys could be doing something else, but instead you are with us. You make us feel loved, at least most of us who really do care so much about band, and I hope that you realize that. I am grateful for everything you have done… you have shown me a whole new side of a black man that I have never seen before lol (DDR Freak lol). Your a great person and I think of you as a great friend as well, not just an instructor. I hope that we will live up to our bands reputation soon, and make all the instructors proud as we have done so many times before. Thank you marcus for all you have done as well as all the other instructors. God Bless, and we wont let you down. Your Nappy Headed Friend, Anthony ShultzP.S. Read my post, you might find it interesting as well.

  4.  I agree with Anthony…
    Thanks a bunch, Marcus, for being there for us and putting up with us, as well as the rest of the staff. The laziness and apathy I see is very discouraging at time…but I can only help it by setting an example myself, or try to.

    – The Cuckoo Clarinetist, Laura

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Marcus for that thoughtful post. I know that you care for us so much, and I know you’re putting your best effort into trying to make us preform our best. THANK YOU.
    Thanks also for your comments about the 2001 show (That was me on 2nd bass.. hehe)… I am still trying to understand where we went wrong… all I can hope is that myself and other upperclassmen can lead by example, its the only way.
    BTW, if you ever wanted to have a meeting with the upperclassmen to discuss the situation… there would be a whole bunch of us willing to attend. Just for the record, thats all.
    Anyway, take care and God Bless always.
    Much love, my ethnic brotheren.

  6. Anonymous says:

    what’s up marcus!  just thought i’d drop ya the ol’ holla.  i just wanna say that you’re doing a great job with bullard and your words of encouragement to the band is truly inspiring, keep up the great job!  wish you could gone with us to friendship games man, it wasn’t the same without ya, but i’m sure that’ll be different next year, hollaaaa!!=)

  7. jazstmpr67 says:

    Wow, you and I are going through the same things right now, just different schools. Thanks for your post, it makes me feel better that I’m not the only going through what I do as a Music Educator, and keeps me focused on my goals as a teacher and what the goals of the band and students are!! You are the best, love ya!!

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