Re: band camp, Macy's, Friday Nights, bus trips
DK wrote:"SBOTS Members: After all these years, I must confess the bandâ€™s positive impact on the football programâ€™s success. Winning 90% of our games over 3 seasons would not have been possible without the presence of the SBOTSouth. Iâ€™d es"
Interesting article from www.wgi.org :
About 30 miles away from Fort Walton Beach is Pensacola, Florida - home to the Tate High School Chaparrals. Founder Bill Slayton is something of a legend in the band and guard activity in the Northern Florida "pan handle," having founded the Tate winter guard in 1973, five years before Winter Guard International even existed. When he arrived at Tate as band director in 1972, he realized that starting a color guard was a quick way to increase his band membership. Slayton says, "The band had only about 90 members, so when you add 20-30 girls in the guard, all of a sudden you have a sizeable band. And it brought in great girls and parents."
He goes on to describe the early days of the Chaparrals, saying, "We were looking for the type of student who was representative of the area…hard working, a mixture of farm folks and people moving away from the city. The school was growing fast, and we could offer them something different and unique, and the Chaparrals really became the signature of the band. They've always been beautiful girls, and since I'm a very demanding disciplinarian, we always taught them to be classy and act like young ladies. They were and still are important to me, the school and the community."
Having served as band director till the late 80's (during which time Tate won the Bands of America National Championship), Slayton has since gone on to become Principal at Woodham High School in Pensacola. He still serves as a consultant for the Tate band and is an avid fan of the winter guard activity. He believes that the parental and administrative support of the winter guard has been the key to the Chaparrals' longevity, saying, "The parents still believe in hard work and discipline. It's nothing for 150 parents to be at a booster meeting. The guard continues to hold that particular mystique. I don't believe that kids are lazy - they like to be a part of a good product."
Although the guard is a perennial WGI finalist (taking the gold medal in 1989), to instructors who aspire to lead a program with a legacy such as Tate, Slayton says: "Remember that you are doing it for the kids. They deserve more than one season, so don't let the competition be the driving force. Do it because it's good for the kids. Whether they make finals or not, you'll get more out of it."