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It’s hard to put in to words the experience I had being part of the “Band Directors Marching Band”. Marching front rank and center of that amazing block was just the icing on the top. For me it was time spent with fellow music educators; people who understand why I do what I do. It was an opportunity to be re-energized, re-focused and re-dedicated to giving my students the best that I can. During our time together someone said, “at some point someone changed YOUR life and that’s what led you here. Through this experience, and when you return home, YOU will change someone else’s life”. I needed to hear that. I often feel like I don’t have enough, know enough or give enough for my students. This experience told me I am where I need to be and doing what I need to do. Thank you Saluting America's Band Directors! I needed this!!
Local paper! Even made the front page. So excited I got to be a part of this amazing group of people! I hope you are all adjusting back to real life well!
Proud to have played alongside all these Artists of "god's instrument" (according to Mozart). So many compliments. My favorite was "the trombones were SIZZLING!"
The very first rehearsal in the ballroom was amazing. All you heard was trombones for days. We created a new dynamic level Fortississississsississississimo. Lol. It was so cool meeting all of yall
It was an honor and a privilege to be part of this ensemble. Thanks to all of you and the people that made this all possible. My legs are sore, my back needs adjustment, but my heart is full!
Franklin F. Gomez
One aspect of the trip I appreciated and learned much from was the service projects and the loving directors like the legacy of Michael Sewell and others like John Cisetti "Band makes us strong"
I just want to say Hola! It was truly an honor to March with all of you!! This was an Unforgettable Experience!! I teach the MV Mariachi Program in Mount Vernon School District Washington State. I was one the presenters on Mariachi Education Friday Night. Gracias Ramón Row V Saluting America's Band Directors.
How are each of you using this experience to better your teaching and Professional Development? How are each of you using this experience to help your students and yourself stay motivated? Finally, how are you using this experience to advocate for your program and music education? I genuinely want to see how we can further the work we have begun!
Hayley Titus Winslow
We should do Saluting America's Band Directors Concert/Symphonic band performance at Carnegie Hall.
Jeffery D. Groth
Miss all of you fantastic people so much.
Many have already amplified my same thoughts from this incredible experience, but for me it was made even more special by who I met! Last school year I threw out an idea to create a virtual band penpal experience with my 5th graders. Since remote learning was especially tough on our students I wanted to give them something they could be excited about. Jen Fletcher, another 5th grade band director in Maine reached out in response to my search. Shortly after we began Zooming to develop our joint project for each of our schools, we quickly realized that we would both be marching in the SABD marching band! All year I’ve been looking forward to meeting her in person and it finally happened! For me, this experience came full circle!! Besides meeting Jen, I enjoyed meeting and hearing your words of wisdom for a young 3rd year band director like myself. Thank you for sharing your stories and lifting up others around you! Best of luck to a great rest of the school year!
I shared some of our videos with my 7th and 8th grade band kids today. Half of them came up to me afterwards and said they were inspired to continue playing in high school and into college with the hopes of maybe marching themselves one day. My heart is full.
Two years ago I was excited to march in the Rose Parade. Two years later, I am grateful for the friends I have made, memories gained and the motivation to keep being the best band director I can be.
I am terrible at live interviews, but our local news station just interviewed me about the experience and it gave me the opportunity to talk on air about the importance of music education in our schools, and in the lives of our students. This truly has been a remarkable experience that I believe checked every box that Mike Sewell wanted it to. Thank you all so much!
I was sitting in LAX when a family approached me and asked if I was in the parade because I was wearing the quarter zip. I said yes and got to talking. All three of their kids were in band and they were all impressed by how well we performed. The dad then says, “Hey, I recorded you guys as you went by. Would you like me to send the video to you?” And of course I said sure!
Hopefully this won’t come off as a “woe is me” kind of post. Without this experience I was a nobody, small town director looking for any chance to play and march again. Now I’m somebody who has made history with everyone. Loved every moment of the past week. Happy for all of the experiences we have had together and hope that one day we can get together and play again. Now getting ready to be a “nobody” in my small town knowing that I will be somebody. Thanks for everything you do as educators, family members, and as human beings to make everyday a better day. Love you guys and thank you for putting up with my outgoing behaviors for the last week. Hope to hear from you guys as the year(s) go on!
Thank you to everyone for this amazing experience. Special shout out to the rowdy back half of the band. I appreciated all the laughs, sarcasm and banter that we all shared!
There just aren’t words to describe the last five days, so I won’t try to find them. All I can say is thank you to all of you—for the laughs, for the encouragement, and for reigniting the fire that had dimmed during the pandemic!
Anyone else sitting in their Band Room this morning thinking, "Did that really just happen?"
Hope everyone has a great week. Almost home and still seems very surreal to me what we did! I really hope this is done again in the future!
Never forget how important and what we do every day is. We may have lost some inspiration over the last couple of years, but after this past week, I know that I am on fire to get back to doing what we do best.
It was a privilege and honor to march with you all. You’re all an inspiration to someone. Keep going. Keep working. Keep teaching music and life. We make a difference one kid at a time.
What a great way to start second semester!! What a recharge!! These last four days have been incredible and what an honor it was to march with all of you!!! Can't wait to do it again!! Have a great second semester to all of you!!
Distinguished members of the inaugural SABD Marching Band, I can’t thank you all enough for an incredible few days in Southern California! I wish I could have met everyone and swapped stories with all of you, there just wasn’t nearly enough time with the whirlwind going on! I cherished every moment of this experience, because I’m sure I’m not the only one in this group that has an uncertain future in education, and may not be a band director the next time this happens. These last couple years have drained my emotional well-being, to the point where teaching in a school doesn’t thrill me like it used to. I’ve spent nearly all of 2021 looking for a new career, but I’ve already committed to at least the rest of this school year before contemplating my next move. Seeing all of these band directors with such big hearts, such a commitment to education, and are clearly so fun-loving make me so proud to be a part of this band director fraternity. Hopefully I can ride this wave through the rest of this already tough school year that I stick with it. When we decide to do this event again, hopefully I’ll be able to join you all! Please keep in touch! The biggest fan of all of your band programs will be me. I cannot wait to hear all about the adventures your bands get to embark on with you as their director. Every one of your students are so lucky to have you all!
I would like to echo others as well in saying thank you to all for a fantastically fun and rejuvenating experience together. I am honored to have been a part of this ensemble with every single one of you!
Saluting America's Band Directors is a project of the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation.
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