2009 director’s feature-Streator Township
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 7:00 am

Streator Township is next on the director’s feature.  We hope you are enjoying this look into bands across the state.

Streator is located about 20 miles from Pontiac, and 45 miles from Bloomington/Normal.  Streator High School has an enrollment of a little over 1,000. Streator is  currently in the NCIC conference in which out of 12 schools, 4 bands compete.

Today we talk with Tim Karth, director of bands at Streator.

Illinois Marching Online: What is your prior directing experience?

Tim Karth: Prior to Streator, I student taught with Jim Tallman in Washington, and then worked in the Morton School District filling in for a maternity leave. I was teaching K-6 General music, a 5th/6th grade choir, and junior high choir. After the end of that school year (2003-2004) I moved to Streator and have started my 6th year this year.

IMO: Who is on your staff?

TK: Color Guard: Tracy Justice, Drum Line: Brandon Cinotto (former Streator student who is marching at NIU, and Brass: Jaime Allman.

IMO: What is your 2009 show about?

TK: Our show is the music of the Beatles. It was really funny to me to go to Washington (our first competition) and hear that other bands were doing Beatles music. I could not for the life of me figure out why? Then I remembered the digital versions of the music as well as Rock Band. Honestly, when I chose this show I did not have any of that in mind. Every year it is at the top of my list for show ideas…it just so happened that a couple of my seniors are huge Beatles fans. It is that reason that we picked the music for this year.

IMO:How do you arrive at your show themes and musical selections?

TK: Typically when deciding the show there is a thought process that has to happen.

1. Will the music picked allow me to teach some kind of musical technique?

2. Will the show picked entertain our home crowd? (This is very important to me)

3. Can I find/arrange music that will be “marchable?”

4. Is it going to be fun?

IMO: What are some things to look for in your show?

TK: I always try and do something just a little different. I have some very strong seniors this year and I try to get them each a solo/duet either in the form of transitions or solos. Also in our last tune, we put the instruments down and do a little singing to get the crowd into it. The tune is very familiar and we hope that everyone sings along with us.

IMO: What is the instrumentation/guard breakdown for 2009? (pit/winds/brass)

TK: Pit: 6, Drum Line: 14, Guard: 9, Winds: 26, Brass: 26

IMO: About how big is the preferred size for your band? Why?

TK: I would prefer about 100 students. I think that is just the right size to really get into some drill, but not so big that it is too crowded on the field.

IMO: Is your band volunteer or mandatory for students enrolled in concert band programs?

TK: Our band is mandatory. If you sign up for band you are in the marching band. Hopefully if we stay on our current trend of getting bigger I can move to a volunteer band.

IMO: What is your rehearsal schedule like from beginning of the season to the end of the season?

TK: We start with a few rehearsals in June, right after school lets out. Then we have camp for 8 days at the end of July. Once school starts we have 8am rehearsals (band is first period) every day as well as Thursday nights from 6-9pm. The only time we deviate from that is homecoming week as our big bonfire night is Thursday night so we go early Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

IMO: What does your competition schedule look like?

TK: Washington 9/12—Pontiac 9/26—Metamora 10/10—U of I 10/17

IMO: What do you look for when you choose a competition for your band to attend?

TK: I look for a competitive class so that we can really see where we are at. I also consider the schedule as I have made the mistake once of doing a competition on Homecoming week and that will never happen again. I also look for competitions that are going to offer parades. We have many parades in our town so we might as well compete in them.

IMO: What are some of your favorite memories from being a director at the bands that you’ve directed?

TK: My very first competition is a memory that I will never forget. I was so uptight I thought I wasn’t going to make it through. I also will never forget when I told the band we were going to Disney the first time. It was the first time Streator had taken a trip in over 30 years. I don’t believe the seniors that year (who did not go on the trip) spoke to me for quite a while.

Illinois Marching Online would like to thank Mr. Karth for answering our questions, and would like to wish Streator Township good luck the rest of the season.

(full article)