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A Drill Designer’s First Thoughts – Dame HS

Scott Kurtzweil

A Drill Designer’s First Thoughts

2009 Drill Design
Scott Kurtzweil, Kurtzweil Designs

When writing for a new band, it is integral to the success of the program to gather as much information about the band’s history, style and strengths. Another key factor is to establish a strong understanding of the expectations of not only the director but also the school’s administration and the all important audience.

In my initial conversation with Pam Potter, Director of Bands at Quincy Notre Dame HS, I was able to obtain several key bits of information that will help me tailor a visual package that will meet the director’s needs, encourage her students to grew musically and physically as well as match the expectations of the band’s community and fans. Important information gleaned from this first conversation includes:

Band Size: The Quincy Notre Dame program is fairly small averaging between 40 and 50 members.

Performance Expectations: The Notre Dame band is not a competition band and performs only for home football games. Because of this, the show design will be geared toward student growth and entertaining a football audience as opposed to BOA sheets and a judging panel.

Color Guard: Unfortunately, the band will not be fielding a guard in 2009. Because of this, all visual interest will have to be handled by the band proper.

Staff: Though the program is small, director Pam Potter does have a strong and experienced staff. I look forward to working with them to put this show on the field.

I’ll soon be sending Pam requests for more defined information including exact numbers, phrasing charts and a current strength and weakness evaluation of her band by section. Also, as I do with all new bands for which I write, I have requested a video sample. This gives me the strongest idea of the band’s core competencies as well as audience reaction to design elements used in previous shows.

I’m greatly looking forward to working with this new band in 2009 and can’t wait to get writing.

Scott Kurtzweil