Find a sense of belonging within marching arts

May / June 2019 Publisher's Letter

In May my son began practicing with the local high school marching band as a rising freshman. For four days, he attended a short icebreaker camp. More camps will follow later this summer.

Because he started watching high-caliber marching ensembles when he was 2 years old, you would think that he would be excited to join their ranks. However, he was far from looking forward to the experience.

Due to his inside look at the activity, he knew the hard work that these groups put into their craft. Therefore, he felt that marching band would take up too much of his free time. Frankly, he’s right about the time-consuming aspect of band. But I’m hoping that he learns to love it.

I’m hoping that he continues to build lifelong connections with existing friends and gains new ones, that he embraces the value of perseverance and teamwork, that he gets pumped up by school spirit, that he becomes a great leader, and that he enhances his love of music and sense of identity.

We all know that being involved in the marching arts can change you. It can make you stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically. It can give you a home away from home. It can sustain you when other life situations bring you down.

This issue of Halftime Magazine has several articles that focus on finding that sense of belonging within the marching arts.

We take a look at the journeys of LGBTQ+ musicians and how organizations have become more sensitive and inclusive of their needs.

We also interview the outgoing director of bands at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and chronicle the band program’s successes as it continues to recover from the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting.

In our Behind the Baton column, a guard captain at Diamante Winterguard expresses gratitude for the close-knit family that can be formed by being in a top Independent guard.

In addition, we bring you our 12th annual feature on WGI gold medalists. This year’s winners explored a range of thoughtful topics including fostering relationships and pursuing passions. We hope you enjoy our annual coverage.

As for my son, his story has only just begun, and I’m looking forward to seeing it unfold.

Keep on Marching,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

About the author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman has played the flute since the age of 8. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry as a writer and editor and helped launch Play Music, a magazine for recreational musicians, sponsored by American Music Group (now Music and Arts Center). In the summer of 2006, Christine worked at Yamaha where she interacted with staff and students in various marching bands and drum corps. Christine earned her MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in May 2007.