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The Best of 2021

Trey Reely | December 2021 January 2022

    Best New Health Tip for Marching Band According to Reader’s Digest, dermatologists say that 10% of all cancers occur on the eyelids. For best protection, use a gentle sunscreen designed not to irritate the eyes and wear sunglasses.

    Best Question Exemplifying the Lack of Stability in a Band Program After several “one and dones” – “Mr. Bratten. Who is going to be our band director next year?”

    Best Déjà Vu Experience Serving as a long-term sub at a small single A school.

    Best Comment to Students Selling Mattresses for their Band Fundraiser
    “I don’t know. Let me sleep on it.”

    Best New Musical Show on TV Alter Ego.

    Best Annoying New Term to Enter the National Consciousness Supply chain.

    My Best New Technological Advance Learning how to use the Adobe Scan app on my iPhone.

    Best Rediscovered Movie Classic That Made My Day Mary Poppins (1964).

    Best Enlightening Read An article on tubist Cora Youngblood Colson in the ITEA Journal.

    Best New Terrifying Technological Adventure Joining and then opening the TikTok app.

    Best Relaxing Thing Done That Shows My Age Float around the lazy river at a resort for days on end.

    Best Term of Endearment My students calling me Mr. Jigglesworth. (I don’t want to know why.)

    Best and Most Useful Retirement Memento Two quilts made out of my old band shirts.

    Best “If I Had to Do It Over Again” Thought Put the date on band shirts each year.

    Second Best “If I Had to Do It Over Again” Thought Do a better job of keeping up with concert programs and recordings.

    Best Music Documentary That Is New to Me It’s a tie: Quincy Jones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Garth Brooks, Miles Davis, ZZ Top, and Frank Sinatra.

    Best Excuse for Not Keeping Up with Recordings Life went digital.

    Best New Tip for Getting Tuba Players to Open Up the Oral Cavity Tell them to pretend they have a grape on their tongue.

    Best Rediscovered Oldie Played During an MRI Where Is the Love? (1972) performed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.

    Best Little Book to Improve Rudiments Life’s Little Rudiment Book by David Steinquest (Row-Loff Productions).

    Best Supplementary Book to Help a Non-Percussionist Teach Musical Snare Drum Playing Portraits in Rhythm: Complete Study Guide by Anthony J. Cirone (Alfred).

    Best Show of Physical Endurance While Judging Marching Band The iPad I was using overheated before I did.

    Best Band Fashion Trend to Keep an Eye On Cheaper, more stylish band uniforms made from different blends of materials.

    Best Post-Retirement Activity I Never Thought I Would Enjoy, But Do Driving a school bus for activity trips.

    Best Musical Thing I Get to Do Now More than Ever Play duets with private lesson students.

    Best Quote on Humility “People with humility don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less.” (Norman Vincent Peale)

    Best Sign I Am Losing My Ability to Concentrate During Band Rehearsal Thinking about the tasty chicken wings I am going to eat after rehearsal and missing an entrance.

    Best Shocking Revelation that Rocked My World My college fight song was lifted from another university about 70 years ago.

    Best Pressing Question “What will I do when I can’t blame the pandemic for something anymore?”

    Best Small-Town Discovery Visiting the Gainesville, Texas Morton County Museum and learning about the Gainesville Community Circus and its band.

    Best Book Series for Escapism The Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson.

    Best Teaching Tip to Improve Technique That I Need to Use More Have students alter and practice the rhythms of rapid eighth, sixteenth, and triplet note patterns before returning to the original rhythm. (See Alternative Practice Strategies by Andrew Allen, October/November 2021 Instrumentalist)

    Best New-to-me Reason to Use an Alternate Slide Position Timbral consistency: Since the position closest to the first ordinarily yields the fullest sound, there are times when a lighter sound is wanted, and this is most easily achieved in an outer position.

    Best Term Most Likely to End Up in Student Excuses for Absences from Now On Mental health.

    Best Sign That All Is Well with the World Football players and cheerleaders attending a marching contest to watch the band.