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9 May 2006

JSU Band Director Bodiford Conducts Alabama All-State Band

Jacksonville State University Spirit and bands director, Kenneth G. Bodiford, was chosen to organize one of the 2006 Alabama All-State Concert Bands.

The Alabama All-State Bands are composed of the most talented high school band students from programs across the state of Alabama. The students who are chosen have to go through a rigorous audition process. Students with the highest scores earn positions in these very prestigious bands.

A native of Alabama, Bodiford earned his high school diploma, with honors, from St. Clair County High School in Odenville, Alabama. After graduating from high school, he attended Jacksonville State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in music education with special honors in music. He then chose to continue his education after being awarded a full graduate assistantship to East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. While at East Carolina University he earned his Master of Music degree in music education and wind ensemble conducting.

"I was very excited to have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented band students from the state of Alabama," Bodiford said.

According to Bodiford, there are several former drum corps members who are major forces in the world of music education today. Some of the most exceptional band literature composers as well as many of today's leading performing artists have a drum corps background.

The modern drum corps movement began with a rich history. The first drum and bugle corps signaled units within the military through the American Civil War and sustained to live during World War I.

In the end, the instruments were sold or donated to a variety of American legions who played mainly the same signals used in battle, but over time, as the instruments developed and competitions were shaped, regular music was added to their repertoire.

Today's modern drum corps are becoming more established and esteemed as advocates in the music education movement. "It's not just about playing loud anymore," said Bodiford.

According to Bodiford, drum corps are having a very positive impact on the up-and-coming young band directors of today. The young people who choose to participate in drum corps are getting outstanding instruction as well as extreme amounts of discipline through the activity. Both outstanding instruction and discipline are two of the main components needed to mold successful music educators. Many of the attributes that are taught in a summer of drum corps translate directly to the concert stage: breath support, listening for good intonation, articulations, dynamic contrast and phrasing, to only mention a few.

"As a college band director, it is very obvious to me when a student returns from a summer with a positive drum corps experience," said Bodiford. "The student usually has much more discipline when it comes to practicing. Their rehearsal etiquette is much improved and their attention to detail is very much enhanced."

"I will never forget my drum corps experience with Suncoast Sound," said Bodiford. "I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to be under the instruction of both Frank Williams and Robert Smith, two huge names in the world of music education. They had a profound impact on my life as a musician. My drum corps experience definitely gave me the discipline that I needed as a young musician in order prepare me for a career in music education. I wouldn't trade my 1986 experience with Suncoast Sound for anything in the world."

For more information, you may contact Kenneth G. Bodiford at (256) 782-5175 or email him at

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