On Saturday, February 3rd, well over 100 students showed up at Coppell High School to participate in a new leadership and conducting clinic for the Marching Arts: Silent Command.
THE START OF SOMETHING NEW
Created by Samuel Crawford and Claire Albrecht, Drum Majors of the Bluecoats and Cadets, respectively, Silent Command aims to bring the experience and expertise of Drum Corps leaders to High School Students across America.
“I started giving private lessons around Christmas of 2016 to local students preparing for drum major auditions. It really look off in the fall of 2017 and that’s when I started to get the idea for Silent Command” stated Samuel.
Now as 2018 begins, there are Clinics taking place across the US in Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, and California, with the most recent taking place here in Texas.
After registration and check-in, the clinic attendees got started with a few ice-breakers, followed by a lecture and group discussion about the importance of promoting empathy and inclusion from a leadership role.
During each lecture segment, students had the opportunity to learn from each other as they brought real world examples of leadership scenarios from their band-programs to the table.
Samuel had more to say regarding student interactions throughout the day. “We want to get away from the “sage on a stage” mentality. Instead of having the kids sit in a room and be talked to for 6 hours, they can listen to what their peers are facing in their band programs.”
Off the Field and On the Podium
While the first half of the day was focused primarily on leadership, following lunch the students broke off into 3 groups to work on various conducting topics with each clinician.
Kendall Stevenson, former Drum Major for The Cadets, walked each group through fundamental score study techniques and fixed point conducting. The information provided was incredibly practical, giving the attendees tools they could take back to their own programs right away.
C.C. Waggoner of The Blue Devils lead a discussion about musical interpretation and style, in addition to providing some insight on Seperated Beat conducting patterns.
The camp finished with a short study of Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome,” and each group of conductors went on to “perform” for each other while conducting along to a recording of the piece.
WHATS IN A NAME
”We like to say that the meaning of Silent Command is that a real leader can send a message without saying a word.” Samuel Crawford said of the clinic's name. “Real leadership is not about having a title, its about doing the right thing always, and letting those actions speaker louder than anything you say. That’s what we believe in”
In addition to local clinics, Silent Command offers an online subscription streaming service containing several hours of educational content for aspiring leaders and conductors. They also offer virtual private lessons via Skype from your choice of 7 Staff Members.
If you’d like to learn more about Silent Command, check them out at SilentCommand.org