Click to visit the Palen Music Center websitePalen Music Center Quick Note

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome. Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues.

The Quick Note Is Back!

Last year, the PMC Quick Note went out to over 500 band directors each week. We have been very pleased with all of the positive feedback and want to continue to offer this helpful service. If you have a helpful tip you would like to share, or have a topic you would like us to explore, please let me know. We appreciate your business very much and ask for your continued support. Together, we can touch thousands of students' lives and bring the joy of music to our communities!

Photo courtesy of maynardferguson.comMaynard Ferguson 1928-2006

Maynard Ferguson passed away on August 23, 2006 at the age of 78. For a full official press release, click here or visit You can also read a great column by David Von Drehle in the Washington Post entitled Maynard Ferguson's Horn Screamed With Vulgar Passion. There will be a Maynard Ferguson Tribute Concert on September 20, 2006 in St. Louis at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri – St. Louis. More information will come as details are made available.


Here is a wonderful note from Matt Keller, the webmaster (used with Matt's permission):

I was 15 when I first heard a Maynard Ferguson recording. I had been involved with my school's music program for several years, but it was beginning to bore me. An upper-classman handed me his copy of "Live From San Francisco" and told me to listen to it. My first thought was, "Maynard Ferguson? Odd name."

That night I first heard the tune "Coconut Champagne". I've never looked at the trumpet the same way again. Hearing Maynard Ferguson play for the first time is a unique experience for a trumpet player. It's as though the world was in black and white before...and suddenly you can see colors. I joined the jazz band and was playing lead trumpet a year later.

Maynard's unique style has spawned hundreds of imitators over the years. Many were able to hit the same high notes that became Maynard's trademark, but none seemed quite as proficient at transmitting the sheer joy and positive energy that Maynard put into every single one of his performances.

Many styles of music conjure up various images and descriptions, but to me, Maynard's approach to music always brought to mind one word: Triumph. Maynard's music is nothing less than triumph personified. When Maynard was on stage, and he planted his feet and lifted his horn straight up into the air, every fan in that concert hall knew what was coming: Triumph.

The number of lives that Maynard touched over the years is truly immeasurable. How many young people got the message that music was fun, not just practicing scales, from Maynard's music? How many small towns packed their high school auditoriums to hear a "big time jazz artist" play? And how many thousands of autographs did Maynard sign with a smile on his face? Maynard wasn't only one of the best musicians I ever heard, he was one of the most positive, kind, and generous people I ever knew.

I'll miss you, Boss.

Matt Keller

Lengthening the Life of a Rifle: The Importance of Taping Rifles by John Sullivan
With rising costs and limited budgets, it is important to stress upon your color guard members to properly tape their rifles before ever spinning the equipment. All performers will occasionally drop their rifle and beginners even more frequently. As much as catching the rifle improves the performer's level of achievement; unfortunately, dropping the rifle is also a part of the growth process when a student is learning this difficult piece of equipment. By taping correctly, the “life” of a rifle can be extended, which will benefit both the student and your budget!

Photo courtesy of WGI.ORGSUPPLIES: Rifle (of course!), screwdriver, strapping tape, white tape (I prefer vinyl tape)


  1. Remove the rifle bolt, swivels, and strap.
  2. Wrap the strapping tape in three places on the gun:
    • butt of the rifle…
    • area when the bolt rests on the rifle…
    • barrel of the rifle.
  3. Cover all these areas with the white tape.
  4. Replace the rifle bolt, swivels, and strap.

After this project is complete, your color guard members can spin to their “hearts delight” and you can relax your fears of the rifle breaking in two pieces. Remember, dropping is “part of the growth process” to helping them become “rifle divas” , but the investment from your budget will see longer dividends in the end by taking the time to tape your rifles.

John Sullivan has been the color guard instructor and winter guard director at Missouri State University since 1992. Since joining the staff, he has instructed the color guards that are a section of the PRIDE Marching Band and have performed in such national and international venues as the Tournament of Roses Parade, MACY'S Thanksgiving Day Parade, Bands of America Grand National Championships, and London New Year's Day Parade. John is a frequent color guard designer and adjudicator. He is a founding member and executive board member of the Mid-Continent Color Guard Association, and has a featured flag collection with American Band Accessories. John can be reached by email at

Need Some Sousaphones?

We recently aquired a matching set of seven used Yamaha brass sousaphones (model YSH411WC). Six of them have the new molded plastic cases with wheels and all instruments are in wonderful condition. They are between five and twelve years old. We are offering a special discount for anyone interested in purchasing them as a matched set. The instruments have all been brass serviced and chemical dipped and are ready to go. Please contact your PMC road representative for more information.

Online Rental Portal Available

If you have students who miss the instrument display night, you might direct them to the Palen Music Center Online Rental webportal. The parents can specify an instrument of choice, fill out the information, and we can deliver the instrument to the school. It is that easy! Just visit and click Online Rental.


DCI on ESPN2 on September 7

Did you catch it last year? Did you see a corps show this summer? Be sure to check out the rebroadcast of the Drum Corps International Summer Music Games on ESPN2 on Thursday, September 7th at 7:00pm central time. The finals took place in Madison, Wisconsin on August 12, 2006. If you want to cut to the chase and see the final scores, just click here.



Did You Catch Us In 417 Magazine?

Check us out in the latest edition of 417 Magazine. They published a photo of Mike Brown, Nathan White, Casey Tillman, and Eric Matzat on a Palen Music Center church-building mission trip to Brazil. For more photos, check out the website.


Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins and Mike Brown
Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Burl Williams
Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades
Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp


If you would like to submit material, make changes or corrections, give comments, or wish to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Eric Matzat.