A letter submitted by John Norton (AKO ’66-’72)
In 1971, the original Articles of Incorporation of the Auburn Knights Orchestra stated several purposes of our organization. Among these were to “…assist the succeeding generations of musician-students who shall constitute the Auburn Knights Orchestra”, “…assist said orchestra in perpetuating itself as an independent student organization on the campus at Auburn University”, and “assist in protecting the traditions created by the Auburn Knights Orchestra…”.
The AKAA and the Auburn Knights Orchestra have recently cooperated in a couple of activities that we believe will help fulfill those purposes, and, as Chairman of the AKO Board, I wanted to share a few details with you.
On January 19th and 20th, the Auburn Knights exhibited for the first time ever at the Alabama Music Educators Conference in Montgomery. This annual event attracts almost a thousand music teachers, band directors, administrators, and students from all over the state. During the two days, our exhibit was manned by a total of four current AK’s and six alums, who registered attendees, promoted the AKAA Scholarship Program, and distributed a new AKO brochure, which was produced with the assistance of our own Jana Calano (see related post with links to brochure and flyer).
Of the several dozen registrants, there were 4 graduating seniors who asked for more information on auditioning with the AKO and 23 educators who were interested in having the Knights present a program at their school. Interestingly, there were many educators who were not familiar with the AKO at all, so our presence at the conference was useful in building awareness of the band.
We felt that some kind of follow-up was important, so the AKAA Board authorized additional funds for a mailing to 369 high school band directors who are members of the Alabama Bandmaster’s Association. The mailing included the new brochure, as well as a flyer suitable for posting on school bulletin boards. Thanks again to Jana for her help with the flyer and the brochure!
While these activities should certainly be useful, I believe that the best way for us to promote and support the AKO is by our individual efforts in our local areas. For example, John Conner asked for additional flyers which he hand-delivered to two high schools in Nashville that have exceptional jazz band programs. Kudos to John for taking this initiative and I encourage all of you to look for similar opportunities in your local schools.
If you would like additional copies of the brochure or the flyer, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The PDF files for these documents are posted on our website, so you can also download and print for yourselves.
Thanks for your support, see you in July, and long live the Auburn Knights!