Hello everyone, I just accepted my first job as a high school band director and for the most part, things are going wonderful. The kids are wonderful and have been very receptive and welcoming to me. I've been teaching for about 6 weeks now and I couldn't be happier. However, my program does have one big problem that I need to figure out how to fix. My school is a 5A school in texas. We have an enrolment of about 1,500 students. However, my band size is about 12 people. The band has always been successful in the sense that they receive 1's at UIL and advanced to area competition last year. I started with much more kids though. I had a good 15 freshman when I first started school, however, I lost about 8 of them in an instant the moment I mentioned before/after school rehearsals. The percussion tech which has been there for the past 6 years tells me "This happens every year" I am now down to 2 freshman. The excuse for quitting is always the same "I'm too tired with all the extra rehearsals". The thing I'm sure that all of you know about marching band, is that those extra rehearsals are absolutely necessary. There's no way we could put a show together with only the little class time given to us. I'm even staying UNDER the 8 hour rehearsal rule in texas. There's other bands in my city that are even breaking this rule and they have no problems in regards to their band size. So here's the thing, I am under a lot of pressure to not only maintain the reputation of quality that this program has had, but to also grow the program tremendously. And I think it's more of a culture thing. The students in my band are incredibly hard working and love this activity to death, however, the majority of the students at this school do not know how to work hard at all. What can I do to generate more interest in band and to maintain a competitive program at the same time?