Cavalcade of Bands

The Cavalcade of Bands, what's it all about? 40 years ago, in a smoke filled back room of the Collegeville Inn, the Cavalcade was born. Its birth was a necessity because a few far-sighted band directors, in the area, recognized their bands and the related music and marching programs, a competitive atmosphere had to be created. They realized that a healthy and competitive arena was a sure road to success, but they were not certain as how to approach it. They did know, however, that the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association was active, at the time, in judging the Catholic high school bands in Philadelphia, and were instrumental in developing professional judging techniques as they related specifically to bands, as opposed to drum corps, and there is a significant difference. So they, the band directors, reached out and contacted the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association and asked for help. Hence, our first meeting (late 50's) at the Collegeville Inn. Judging techniques were discussed, score sheets developed, judges' qualifications established, administrative responsibilities assigned, and we were on the way.

The very first contest took place under the auspices of the Cavalcade of Bands at Boyertown High School in 1959. Mr. Arlen Saylor was the Boyertown Band Director at that time. It was the only Cavalcade Contest that year. But, the following year, in addition to Boyertown, Springford hosted a contest. After that, it was Wilson, and the Cavalcade was moving. As the Cavalcade grew in members and contests, the judges were required to progress even more to establish a rapport and mutual respect between the judges and band directors. Sometimes strained, but always professional, the rapport and respect increased until an extremely cohesive relationship developed between the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association and the Cavalcade of Bands. This respect, in my opinion, was the foundation necessary to solidify the Cavalcade. Two organizations working together, each with their own responsibilities, toward one common goal. Years went by, years of changes in score sheets, personnel, instrumentation, and members. All these changes were handled gracefully because of the intensity and desire to perpetuate the Cavalcade. Meeting after meeting, phone calls, parking lot discussions, arguments, disagreements, letters, more meetings, all served to establish a sound organization.

As virtually a new generation of band directors began to emerge, it became evident that a significant change had to be made. There was some unrest concerning the feeling that the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association controlled the Cavalcade. Internally, we knew that this was not true. But to the outsider, vast throngs of spectators not attending the Cavalcade contests, it appeared the bands were under the control of the judges. Both organizations were aware that the time had come to make the split. But to do it, and do it gracefully, and to serve the best interest of both organizations, was a treacherous chore and required the utmost diplomacy. A committee was formed, officers elected, and the transition began. And because of the professionalism and dedication alluded too earlier, the separation of organizations was handled gracefully. Somehow, the marriage that existed between the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association and Cavalcade continued, only under separate names, the result being that the Cavalcade had its own identity and Mid-Atlantic personnel continued to judge the Cavalcade contests identified as Cavalcade of Bands Judges. Now the responsibilities for score sheet development, clinicing, administration, judges' selection, finances etc., became the sole responsibility of the Cavalcade. And, again because of the dedication of certain individuals, the Cavalcade continued to progress.

We are now operating under an executive committee that is elected by the body for a two-year term. Vested in the executive committee are all the total administrative and policy making procedures.

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