ACTIONS: - Get together your VISUAL IDEAS AND CONCEPTS FIRST - before Custom Music. - Then get your Visual and Music concepts in a working timeline by the end of March. A spreadsheet or organizer that the entire design staff can use together.
REASON: - Most of the coordinative decisions start with a Visual idea. The music should be coordinated with the mood of the show you want the audience and members to experience. Having a great visual palette is always inspiring to a music arranger!
ACTIONS: - CUSTOM MUSIC planning is done between JANUARY-MARCH. Learn from last season's mistakes or capitalize on recent successes. - Set Deadline to have all Custom Music done by June 1, if not sooner. If the music is late, the drill will be late along with the color guard work being late. Get Ahead. - CATALOG MUSIC (a pre-finished Show) can be a great choice, but should still be in hand before the school year ends. - Play samples of the music during the Spring (before school lets out) to help evaluate the needs of the ensemble and make any adjustments early.
REASON: - The advantage of having Custom Music is being able to tailor a product specifically for your performers. Give your designers everything they need to make your group successful - Strengths, weaknesses, prop and uniform budgets, size of rehearsal space, number of members, music and visual deadlines, etc.. - Catalog Music gives you the benefit to get it inexpensively, when you want it, and complete! Look for companies who give you the music files and allow edits. - Having MUSIC IN HAND BY JUNE 1 allows for more time to clean and embellish the musical program as needed. More importantly, it gives the Visual Design team a little more time to get things done and provide a product that isn't rushed.
SOUND DESIGN: ACTIONS: - Make sure Sound Design is complete as early as possible (or even with the initial music design) so that the Visual design can incorporate coordinated effects.
REASON: There are few things worse than Sound Design being added without purpose and coordination. Typically, you would want the Sound Design to be integrated into the initial design.
PLANNING & STAGING: ACTIONS: - Set Deadline for Visual Design and Staging with most Choreography on the field by the END OF SEPTEMBER or EARLY OCTOBER. This is set for a schedule that ends at the end of October or Mid November. - Leave the last 4-6 weeks of the season for adding small choreography and making the needed small adjustments.
REASON: - With most of the heavy lifting done, this will give you plenty of time to continue to develop choreography to keep it fresh while cleaning throughout the remainder of the season. Plan ahead early, manage your time and make the ending of your show as strong as the beginning!
UNIFORMS: ACTIONS: - Start the new Marching Band Uniforms or Costumes process during MARCH-JUNE. - Do your Uniform Sizing as soon as possible, even before your group is finalized. Springtime Recruitment/Interest meetings are a great time for this.
REASON: - Expect about 6-12 weeks for shipping after design approval. All companies are different. If you want the biggest bang for the buck on uniforms and be able to use them for every show, we suggest ordering when you have your sizes ready to go or by early July at the latest. This will put you around September 1 for expected delivery and should give enough time for alterations if needed.
PROPS & FLAGS: ACTIONS: - Start the Flag and Prop design and ordering process in JULY. - Ordering in JULY-EARLY AUGUST is a good goal. Most companies can produce these in 2-3 weeks after art approval and order confirmation. - Make sure your designer understands the size of the props along with placement and use on the field. This information will help them understand perception of the viewpoint along with getting the right scale for a better presentation.
REASON: - The art process for flags and props should take about a week. You should order a month before you need it so you can have time to apply it to the product and rehearse with it. Ordering in July or early August is a good goal, but ordering early will insure your production is ready to go on time! Different companies offer different materials and means of attaching the printed coverings.
ACTIONS: - Match your Timeline with WHEN and HOW you will be PAYING for the products for your production. - If your school or district has a lengthy purchasing procedure, get the ball rolling early.
REASON: - Most suppliers will not ship your products until you have paid in full. - You do not want to delay your production while waiting on a check to be mailed.
There is no "one size fits all" plan for every Marching Band. Hopefully this will help you move in the direction for success. We hope you will consider using SYNCED UP DESIGNS for all of your upcoming production needs!