I think most of you are aware that our numbers in the hornline this year are smaller than we had hoped and smaller than previous seasons. I’m not entirely sure of all the factors that have gone into this (I’d welcome your thoughts!). In general I think the external environment has changed a bit with Chops increasing their recruiting efforts and River City Rhythm on the scene. I think the late date of Labor Day and our overlap with school calendars (particularly for folks who want to march in their college marching band) has created a challenge for us. And finally, I think some of our veterans from previous years have chosen for any number of reasons not to march this year.
Last week, Joel, Katy, Paul, Scott and I met to discuss the hornline numbers. Our challenge is always trying to balance the need for realistic recruiting goals while maximizing our presence on the field. We are very much aware of the difficulty learning and marching the show with holes. That sucks for everyone.
So . . . we’re planning to write the show for 48 horns this year. We are feeling pretty good about filling all of our high brass spots. Our tuba line is solid at 7 currently so we’ve got a few folks to find there. The biggest challenge is in the bari/euph line. We will also want to make sure we are ready to field a significant guard this season as well. Your color guard friends will soon be ending their winter season and we hope lots of them will want to keep spinning all summer long. We’re doing all we know how to do in terms of social media, calling and reaching out to prospective names. But our most valuable recruiters are you . . . our members.
Quite simply, there is nothing more meaningful than when a member brings a friend or calls someone they know to join us. Your personal contacts and your network are our best resources for filling the hornline this year. We’ve put a $50 incentive on the table which of course helps. But your real incentive should be what we can accomplish when we fill all these spots. Your experience at every rehearsal and our collective performance will be so much better when we are full.
Take a moment right now. Think of three people you can talk to–via text, phone or in person. Contact them. Let’s capitalize on the momentum, the positive vibe and the promise that this show has. Let’s get (at least!) 48 horn players ready to march at our first camp. I know we can do this.