A band director frequently works for a school, college, or similar institution. He or she helps to select and develop student musicians for music performance in bands at the school. As many schools have multiple bands for varying purposes and skill levels, the band director helps to audition and place student musicians according to skill level and aptitude. He or she then selects pieces for the bands to play and leads them through rehearsals before conducting the bands in performance.
A band director at a grade school or middle school will likely be working mostly with beginners on various instruments. In this case, the band director must work to help educate each young musician on the fundamentals of tone and executing basic notes. In high schools or band camps, the band director will likely focus on tonality, as well as playing multiple parts in counterpoint and harmony. Some schools will have marching bands under the direction of the band director, who may also have to work with choreography. The band director may also have jazz bands, pep bands, and smaller ensembles. It is almost always incumbent on the band director to choose music that is suited to the purpose and skill of the musicians he or she is leading.
Most band directors are considered regular faculty at the schools where they are employed. They typically will hold a degree in music, music education, or a similar field from a university. Most band directors work fairly long hours and must be well-organized. Band directors typically work early mornings through evenings in classrooms, music halls, and/or auditoriums.
Band Director Tasks
Assist musicians in interpreting music and playing on tempo.
Direct and organize bands for schools, colleges, or professional groups.