Thursday, March 29, 2007


Hello DGN Band members. This is Mr. Teague writing again from Germany.

On Wednesday morning I had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal of the Polizeimusikkorps Baden-Wurttemberg (the Police Band of the State of Baden-Wurttemberg). This is a professional band (each member is a professionally trained musician who has been selected to the band through an audition) that performs more than 70 concerts annually. The band also records many of the CDs that European music publishers send out all over the world to advertise their publications. The band was very good, and it was a real pleasure to observe them in rehearsal. It may be hard to tell from the vantage point of my video, but there are only 35 members in this ensemble. This number is dictated to the conductor by the state. For that reason most instrument sections are "one on a part." He uses two clarinets on each part, and only one oboe, one bassoon, and three French Horns. There are two alto saxes, and one tenor sax. The bari sax is only used on certain pieces, and a clarinet player moves over to bari for those works. The band only uses two full-time percussionists, so members of the trumpet section (there are five) rotate in to help as needed. Percussionists: you might notice that the timpani are set up in reverse order (high drums on the left). Germany and Austria are the only two countries in the world that have this tradition.

I was introduced to the band just before their break, and I then spent some time with the conductor. He offered to have the band perform a special clinic/concert for the District 99 Honors Band in June of 2008! I of course said "yes," and told him that I thought our students would really enjoy the chance to hear them perform. Interestingly, in looking at his musical scores, I noticed that he used the same score-marking system (specific colors and symbols) that I learned at Northwestern University. In speaking with him (Mr. Schiffer served as our translator) I learned that his conducting mentor once studies with my conducting mentor - Mr. Paynter. It was a very special "It's A Small World" moment.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Spring Break. See you soon,


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hello from Germany

Hello DGN Band members! I'm in Germany over Spring Break visiting Mr. Schiffer, one of the band directors of the Bietigheim-Bissingen Musikschule Band. Tonight I attended a rehearsal of the band as they prepared music for their upcoming tour to Downers Grove. The band will be with us in May. Many thanks to all of the families who have volunteered to be host families for this exchange.

The video clip below is of the band being conducted in rehearsal by Conductor Julia Schlag.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Winter Guard Advances to State in Two Events

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Winter Guard who have qualified for the IDTA State Competition in both the Tall Flag and Lyrical Flag categories. At the super sectional competition the Winter Guard came in third place for Lyrical Flag and second place for Tall Flag. We wish the team the very best as they prepare now for State!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

2007 IHSA State Solo & Ensemble Contest Scores

Please follow this link for scores.