The concept of the Honor Band originated during the term of Joe Frank, Sr., who served as Band Division Chair from 1958 to 1960. The purpose was twofold. Many educators believed that through the process of hearing and observing the results of quality teaching, directors could develop their own instructional skills to a higher level. In addition, selection of an honor band in each classification recognized communities and school systems that successfully supported music in education through their instrumental music programs.
Through the years, participation has been active and the recognition of exemplary programs through the Honor Band selection process has become a most sought after goal by many directors. As a result, the quality of honor groups has remained high and the original purpose of growth and development through observation of superior teaching and performance has been addressed annually and maintains its validity. Teachers throughout the state have definitely had the opportunity to learn from master teachers by attending honor band performances and clinics.
In 1958 a set of rules and regulations was developed for the selection of Honor Bands. While these guidelines have been refined on several occasions, the original policies to protect the integrity of the competition have remained intact. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the participating director and administration to maintain the integrity of the Honor Band process. In order for the selection system to accomplish its purpose, all involved must honestly adhere to established procedures and share responsibility for maintaining high ethical standards. In the final analysis, preparation and participation must be consistent with worthwhile educational goals without exploitation of students or the system.
The many outstanding bands that have followed established procedures through the years and emerged as TMEA Honor Bands are evidence of the strength of the concept and regulations. It is the responsibility of all music educators who participate in the honor band selection process to model their preparation and participation after these exemplary programs.
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