When I started band in High School, I started in beginning percussion... then played drums in the concert band 2nd semester of my freshman year. My sophomore year, I played bass for the marching band and did my first year of jazz band... My junior year, I stayed in marching band, but I dropped jazz band first semester and covered tuba parts for concert band... then second semester I did both jazz and concert bands. This year, I started marching band... and quit a few weeks into the school year, but remained in jazz band. Why did I quit? Here is why... The original band director at my high school was Mr. Kuyper. He was in his mid thirties... played snare in numerous drum corps in his college days... He was young enough to be a huge fan of the 70s and 80s rock `n roll. The first year I did marching band, our show consisted of "Hot For Teacher", "Baba O'Reilley (Teenage Wasteland)", and "School's out for summer". My junior year, we did El Toro Caliente, Maleguena, and Habenera. Hot for teacher year, our band was 150+ horns strong... and we had some unreliable people. We didn't place very well at competitions, but our show was RAD and we were always the crowd favorite. Liberty High band nerds kinda became famous amongst our own... Every school knew our show was gonna kick ass. El toro year... I had my doubts. But the music turned out rockin'... We were still the crowd favorite, and we won too. We competed in the WBA circuit the first time that year. Most of the schools in the WBA are private... and their bands are perfect. We placed 3rd at finals. Kuyper was a drummer... So the drums always had super cool parts, and they were always the best line at the competition. He was also smart enough to let his better horn players worry about their sections... and it worked out fine. This new guy... Mr. McGuire... He's a bit of a kill joy. With kuyper, we had most of our music by the end of the june try outs... and had all of it mid way through band camp in june. With McGuire, we finally had all our music in early October. With Kuyper, we were competing the first week of october. With McGuire, they went to a competition the 3rd week of october. And still didn't know the whole show... Kuyper NEVER did any parts of his shows stand still at a competition. The only stand still we ever did was at the pre-season football game... And that was mainly to break in the freshmen. With Kuyper, drumline/pit practiced from 7 am till the end of first period at 9:15, and most days after school from 3:30 to 7. That is, until ONE kid's parents complained about the schedule because he didn't have time to do our line AND another private corp. Turd. In jazz band with kuyper, we rocked every song that could be rocked. His last concert with the school, he brought in Bill Lipton (sp?) and that was AWSOME. How many other directors bring pro's in? Now in jazz band, we get lame tunes over and over again... Blue Bossa, The Sermon, 'round midnight... a bunch of overplayed stuff. I like the tunes... but along with blue bossa, we have two other samba's with nearly identical bass lines... The only song we have that doesn't really sound like any other we have is Harmony Police... which is a jr. high level tune. Liberty has hosted a marching band competition every year but this one... McGuire's excuse was "I need to spend more time with my wife... I just don't have time for all this." That was also his excuse for no over-night trips during marching band. Lame. I talked to some parents from his old school... they don't like him either. This guy has no respect for us as musicians, either. He yells at us in the rythm section about needed to "tighten up" as a group... I'd say we are the tightest rythm section in the county... not only because we are the only full one, but because we have all played with eachother elsewhere and can almost guess what each is going to do. Our warm ups basically consist of me laying down a groove of some sort... or maybe playing something from a band we all like.... then letting the guitar and piano take turns soloing. He got mad at us one day and said "Stop playing that rock crap." I politely raised my hand... waited till I was called upon and said "Sir, Rock `n Roll isn't crap." He gets mad when a trumpet player adds a little jazz to a tune... "THATS NOW HOW ITS WRITTEN! GAR!" Yes, big mac... I'm sure miles davis is rolling over in his grave because a trumpet player saw a road, and took it. Last week, he was fumbling through some papers... so I started playing "baby got back"... the drummer came in, and the guitar player started rapping it. We did it up in till "you get sprung" and ended it there. HE STILL WASN'T DONE LOOKING FOR WHATEVER HE WAS LOOKING FOR. He founded it... packed up his stuff... and went in his office.. We're like "Whatever." Then started the next tune... jump o'clock one... then he comes back out, stops us, yells something about how if he isn't up there, we don't play and to pack it up. I realize we're probably kind of hard on this guy... But he took a competition winning band program, and ran it into the ground. The students don't like him.... the parents don't like him. Everyone has written numerous angry letters to the principal about how she is an idiot for firing kuyper... This guy, so far, has 15 stories about where blues comes from. Its ridiculous... We went from heavy metal... to some show about circuitry. and electrons. and the connection... seriously, google it. Those songs are CRAP. Jazz is about feeling and expression, right? Well, this guy's panties get in a huge bunch whenever we do anything outside of his box. "Derek, I don't like that scoop you do in your solo." "Mike, stay in one octave. I know there isn't a written line for this song... but ascending and descending to mark the end of the solo section sucks. And do you think you could string your bass with flats?" "Gonna buy them for me?" "No." "Well... quit crying." The bass I use in there is a peavey g-bass... graphite neck, 3 band active EQ... Not exactly a jazz bass... but I can still easily get a nice mellow tone out of it. He asked me not to use that bass. So I bring in my GL L-5000.. which has the sickest, meanest, gnarliest tone of any bass out there.... He didn't like that either. He then told me he wanted me to play either an upright, or a fender jazz. Neither of which he was willing to buy me. This guy is just a tool, plain and simple. Its getting to a point where I'm almost unwilling to play for him.