When people think of Jacksonville State University, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Marching Southerners’ trademark sound.
One of the keys to building that powerful sound is the use of proper equipment. No one expects you to use a professional-level horn on the field, but it is essential that your marching horn play in tune and be in good working order. A visit to your local repair shop this summer might be a wise investment.
Have your horn checked for leaks, and get those sticky valves or missing pads repaired before you show up the first day of camp. Clarinet and saxophone players should plan to have a supply of quality reeds on hand throughout marching season. Go ahead now and throw out all those useless, worn-out reeds! Finally, even if you don’t already make cleaning your horn a habit – and you should! – please take the time to clean your horn thoroughly before you arrive at band camp!
All these factors – leaky, misaligned horns, cracked, worn reeds and nasty, gummed-up instruments – wreak havoc on your individual playing and diminish the quality of the full band’s sound.
Each section has additional guidelines, listed below, to ensure that no one arrives in camp using improper equipment. While by no means comprehensive, these guidelines have proven over time to be the best choices for most people. As with everything, of course, there may be exceptions.
If you don’t see your preferred mouthpiece listed, don’t panic; just ask your section leaders about it. Generally, it boils down to how you sound when you play on that mouthpiece. Simply put, if you find that you’re sacrificing tone for a few notes of extended range or a few more decibels of volume, it will not be accepted in the Southerners. Tone, control, and intonation are everything!
Some sections will have mouthpieces provided by the University that every member will play on. This helps in a uniform sound and consistency.
Your section leader will have the final decision about any equipment not listed below. Remember, if you do have to get a new mouthpiece, it may take some time getting comfortable with it, so please don’t wait until August to start playing on it!
Those auditioning for piccolo will need to have a plastic horn and should practice with a tuner all summer, since the auditions will be with tuners.
Horns should be plastic. The University has a limited number of plastic clarinets available for checkout during camp for those who need them.
Selmer C* or similar symphonic mouthpiece preferred, but sound quality is most important. Rock, fusion, or jazz-style mouthpieces are acceptable only if you can consistently achieve good intonation and a warm, controlled tone.
Bach 1.5C or 3C or equivalent are encouraged. “Lead pieces” are discouraged, and will require approval from the section leaders.
Mouthpieces are provided by the University bands. No Trumpet mouthpieces allowed.
Bach 5G or larger; Shilke 51D or larger. (Large-bore horns with F-attachment are preferred and encouraged.)
Mouthpieces are provided by University Bands.
Custom mouthpieces are provided by University Bands.