DCI's Commitment to Excellence program is psyching up thousands of band students around the country. Check back with DCI.org next week when we unveil a new "Commitment to Excellence" section of this Web site. Matt Harrod, a band director at Fishers Junior High School in Indiana, sent this note in:

The Fishers Junior High Band
"All of my students sat in stunned silence. They were silent because they were in awe of the program. I think they were literally "blown away" with the expertise and precision of the performers and groups as a whole. They enjoyed in particular the segment on the guard captain from the Blue Devils. "I think it is a 'current' program and very accessible to adolescent kids. They really related well to the participants and, I believe, could identify with their behavior on the bus, warming up, summer practice, etc. I pointed out to them the speed with which the Cavaliers were moving across the field and I also highlighted some of the drillwriting by pointing directly to the monitor screen when some amazing drill writing 'unfolded'. "I have a band program with 380 students (6th-8th) grade participating. Our high school program is excellent and a consistent finalist (even past champion) in the concert band contests in Indiana. Our marching band is excellent but not a big or overly popular program. I think this will help to serve as a lure to get more students to commit to marching.

"I really appreciate the human aspect of the program. It is not merely a forum for showing the top shows of finals, but more of a presentation of rewards for being a part of DCI. I have no connections with DCI other than I am a casual fan and have attended finals once. "Thank you for sending this to me to present to my students. It was a highly worthwhile program that presents good character skills to my students. I only hope you repeat this offer in the future. If not, I'll continue to show the 2002 DVD! I've attached a photo of my band which was a featured performing group at the Indiana Music Educators Association State Convention this past January."

With appreciation,

Matt Harrod Interested in the Commitment to Excellence program? Send a note to excellence@dci.org with your band director's name, your school name and address and we'll set you up.