The Secret for Winds!
Professor John Madden, Michigan State Marching Band
What would happen if we all used more air? Could we get that clarinet over the break easier? Could we get that brasswind up to high F or even G? We may question the lack of beautiful tone created when using more air. When we apply more air to the instrument, the ability to control it instantly creates havoc, but it’s OK to sound like cats in a fight. There’s a process taking place. As we learn to control the air, our sound will improve. [...] A six month gig at Bowsher High School in Toledo was next. I interviewed for the job and said I would get the band an award if hired. So it was that I inherited a really bad political situation, but a really great band. I shared with them that really great bands used a lot of air. The Bowsher Band was invited to an elementary school rededication; the band was going to show me I was wrong about air. When it came time for the National Anthem, they planned to put as much air as possible through their horns. You guessed it: U.S. Representative Margie Captor came up after the show and said, “That was the best high school band rendition of the anthem I ever heard. I am going to give your kids an award!” I was able to say I kept my promise.
from Miracle in Music by Donald “Doby” Dobrosky