Junior High Band
Organizational Tips

Manage the Band Budget

Not having enough money is a problem for most band directors. Instruments are expensive, instrument repair is expensive, music is expensive, and budgets are small. One solution is the fundraiser. We tried a variety of fundraisers at the high school. Most of them did not work for us. Once, our profit was a practice room full of chocolate bars. We took the bars on tour and had the students leave them with their host families as thank-you gifts. I eventually considered "fundraiser" to be a bad word.

At the junior high one year we played a piece that featured vibraphone. We borrowed a set of vibes from the high school. During the concert I thanked the high school band director for his generosity and mentioned that some day we would like to have a set of our own. Shortly thereafter a generous parent donated the money to purchase a vibraphone.

After the Christmas concert one year I found an envelope with a $5,000 check in it. The principal knew who the donor was but I did not. I wrote a thank-you letter and sent it through the principal. I explained how grateful we were and how desperately it was needed. For the rest of my career, at least 10 years, the check showed up every year. To make a $5,000 profit with a fundraiser you would have to sell $12,500 worth of product.

The bottom line here is you don’t have to do it all yourself. Let the parents help. I never organized a “Band Boosters” group but I wish I had.

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.