Last Saturday, West Salem celebrated their 8th 6A State win, but I’m not here to talk about that! I am here to talk about Eric Russell and Maria Rivera, the fabulous Kappa class members who helped run the entire show. Yep that’s right folks; for four days, Eric and Maria ran the great race, the state band festival race.
You may remember that Mary Marshall held the main festival position last year, but this year she has been away on an internship. Eric said that “the hand-off from Mary was nice.” The set-up was pretty nice: Mary was still in town for the first festival, so she was able to guide Eric though the process of getting volunteers for the festival. After that smooth test run, Eric was off to the races.
To have a successful festival, Eric has these pointers:
Time slots need to be assembled onto a volunteer sheet that align with the schedule of the festival
Send the list out to those in chapter, and others in performing ensembles.
Send out an email to those who sign up so they know what to expect during a festival
This includes job descriptions, dress, and key-point adults to coordinate with
Even though things seemed to run smoothly, there were some rough patches. "Usually when things don't work out, it’s because there are holes in the schedule where no one signed up. When this happens, [volunteers are asked to] multi-task and cover the missing position." This situation is "not easy," and it is the most likely time for miscommunication between volunteers.
After this year, Eric is going to help Bob Schapper write up job descriptions. Rather than having to type up the same thing every time a festival comes around, future coordinators simply have to ctrl+c, ctrl+p in emails. It will also help at the festival, since a physical copy of job descriptions will be found at the check-in table for people to be reminded of what their position entails.
The moral of the story? "When everyone shows up and the festival stays on schedule, it is a blessing in disguise" --Eric Russell