Professional Music Design for the Evolving Music Program

Great news for the 2014 season!

Eight 2 Five is pleased to announce a collaboration with Jason Palmer of Palmer Concepts. Tom and Jason have worked together on some projects in the past with great success and will continue into this next season. This partnership will allow ensembles the option of adding Jason’s outstanding percussion and drill to any Eight 2 Five show. Our mission is to bring the most personalized experience to your group and this cooperation will allow us to do that even better!

cache_4087373375

Here is Jason’s bio:

Jason Palmer is one of the freshest personalities in the pageantry arts.  Palmer is a successful music designer, drill and body movement designer, as well as, a set designer for drama productions and the pageantry arts across the country. Palmer’s goal is to create beautiful works of art musically, visually, and conceptually.  Palmer teaches visual arts at Lebanon High school in Lebanon, TN and is the percussion director at Mt. Juliet High school from Mt. Juliet TN. Other groups that he has been involved with include: Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment Phantom Drum and Bugle Corps, Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps; Colts Drum and Bugle Corps; Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps; Music City Mystique; Gateway Indoor Percussion Ensemble; Middle Tennessee State University Drumline and percussion ensemble; University of Northern Alabama Drumline; and was previously director of percussion of Fred J. Page High School 2001-2010.

Check out his website: www.palmerconcepts.com

How Customized Warm-ups Can Help Your Group Excel

No doubt that everyone is in the full swing of concert band season. I always have numerous people come up to say “You must be happy marching band is over with! Now you can relax!” I wish this were the case! Just like most other directors my group has been elbow deep in refining their technique and chipping away at what will be our spring concert. I used to have a tough time finding a great band development book that is unique to my group and what we are playing.

I have found creating something customized for what we need to work on allows me the luxury of spending more time on our weak attributes but also pushing their abilities in other skills. For example, we have some double tonguing passages in one of our pieces. The double tonguing passages only happen in the trumpets, but why waste the time of all the students while I only work with the trumpets? Instead, I created a set of 4 warm-ups designed for the entire band to slowly develop their technique while maintaining good habits from the start. This has helped immensely when we work on our sight-reading because now all instruments will have had some time practicing the skill. There are so many other techniques that can be effectively rehearsed this way.

I also like to pair up certain skills so that the entire group isn’t working on an exercise that isn’t the most efficient for particular students. For instance, I will pair up lip slurs in the brass with fast chromatic passages in the woodwinds. This allows both sections to independently develop skills most beneficial to them and develop their full band performance techniques by lining everything up in terms of intonation and timing.

If this customized warm-up program is something that interests you, please contact Eight 2 Five and we can setup your own personalized warm-up to help your group perform at a higher level: tom@eight2fivemusic.com

How Customized Warm-ups Can Help Your Group Excel

No doubt that everyone is in the full swing of concert band season. I always have numerous people come up to say “You must be happy marching band is over with! Now you can relax!” I wish this were the case! Just like most other directors my group has been elbow deep in refining their technique and chipping away at what will be our spring concert. I used to have a tough time finding a great band development book that is unique to my group and what we are playing.

I have found creating something customized for what we need to work on allows me the luxury of spending more time on our weak attributes but also pushing their abilities in other skills. For example, we have some double tonguing passages in one of our pieces. The double tonguing passages only happen in the trumpets, but why waste the time of all the students while I only work with the trumpets? Instead, I created a set of 4 warm-ups designed for the entire band to slowly develop their technique while maintaining good habits from the start. This has helped immensely when we work on our sight-reading because now all instruments will have had some time practicing the skill. There are so many other techniques that can be effectively rehearsed this way.

I also like to pair up certain skills so that the entire group isn’t working on an exercise that isn’t the most efficient for particular students. For instance, I will pair up lip slurs in the brass with fast chromatic passages in the woodwinds. This allows both sections to independently develop skills most beneficial to them and develop their full band performance techniques by lining everything up in terms of intonation and timing.

If this customized warm-up program is something that interests you, please contact Eight 2 Five and we can setup your own personalized warm-up to help your group perform at a higher level: tom@eight2fivemusic.com

Why it’s important to hire an arranger/composer rather than buy a stock chart.

Many people ask me why they should hire someone to arrange/compose their marching band music when they could save money buying a pre-arranged chart from a major publisher. While I do respect the writers that put their time and effort into those pieces and the publisher for making available a wide assortment of music available inexpensively I can’t recommend it for most groups. Eight 2 Five works a little bit differently by discussing instrumentation, strengths, and the vision of the ensemble with the directors and crafts a show based on those ideas. I personally understand that no two band programs are the same and groups shouldn’t have to suffer because they do not fit the mold of what the predetermined standard is. Events happen that make it difficult to have a strong section some years and sometimes you can’t control that.

There will never be a show we sell that is taken off the shelf and handed to someone without reevaluation. The cost of our shows and music includes customization for every group. Groups feeling comfortable with us taking the responsibility of writing your music is a top priority. The same goes for winterguard soundtracks we work on. Our cost is at a price point that every group should be able to afford and still get a personalized show from someone who knows that activity.

Your group is unique and you deserve unique music.

Thanks!

Wow!

And here we are on another Sunday following a full Saturday of competition. I would like to congratulate all of the Eight 2 Five groups who competed yesterday: Spring Hill High School, Fulton High School (Southern States Group 3A Champions), Southwestern High School, LaVergne High School (Southern States Group 4 Open Champions), and Brentwood High School (Southern States Group 5 Open Champions). All groups have great students and instructors and deserve every award they received! Congratulations!!