“The opportunity to adjudicate and teach music ensembles on this grand of a stage is not very common,” said Bailey, who was invited to judge the 31st Annual Thailand Royal Cup Marching and Concert Band Championships, an international three-day music contest that features the best marching and concert bands in Asia. “I was very humbled to be granted this opportunity. Members of the Thai government and royal family were in attendance throughout the competition.”
Along with the judging opportunity came an invitation to be a guest speaker at the 1st Annual Thailand Marching Band Clinic.
“Speakers at this event included individuals who are associated with some of the best music ensembles in the United States and I made it a point to feature the Spirit of Northwestern Demon Marching Band several times throughout this clinic,” he said. “During this clinic, I was asked to engage in several open forums in which band directors and students ranging from ages 12-21 were able to ask me and the other panelist questions about how to make their marching bands more successful.”
He also presented a clinic on singing in the classroom.
“The topic was ‘Bands Can Sing…Yes We Can!’ The crowd certainly got a kick out of the title. The discussion was centered on the importance of singing for the members of any music ensemble,” he explained. “I very clearly laid out the correct techniques needed to obtain the best results and prepared numerous handouts for each attending participate. The packet included a list correct ways to approach singing and also some common faults to be mindful of both as an instructor and student. Also enclosed were ways to achieve good classroom management skills and how to keep students engaged and active while teaching your ensemble how to sing. All 125 participates actively showed off their vocal abilities at the end of the lecture by demonstrating the examples I provided in the packet. It was well received by all the attendees and my fellow colleagues.”
A Shreveport native, Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in music at Northwestern State, where he played euphonium in the Spirit of Northwestern Demon Marching Band. While at NSU he was an active member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
“My involvement with these groups allowed me to become a great team player and also helped to develop good management skills,” he said. “My relationship with my primary professor, Dr. Masahito Kuroda was very helpful to me. Dr. Kuroda was born in Japan and understands the Asian culture very well. We exchanged many phone calls and emails about what to expect from the students and teachers I would be dealing with on a daily basis. I was more prepared because he took the time out of his busy schedule to discuss these topics with me and for that I am so grateful to him.”
Bailey credits contacts developed through his involvement with summer drum and bugle corps, competitive marching units that consist of percussion and brass instruments and color guard, for generating the opportunity to teach and lecture in Asia.
“I received a call from Stephen Mason, a graduate assistant for the UCLA marching band who I met in 2010 when I hired him as an instructor for The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. We worked together during those summer months and instantly had a mutual respect for one another,” Bailey said. “I also contribute my relationship with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps as a reason why I was hired. I worked with this group during the 2011 season. The Cavaliers are seven-time Drum Corps International World Champions and this marching unit consists of some of the best instructional staff and college-aged musicians in the world.”
In the wake of these opportunities, Bailey’s most meaningful experience came working for Yamaha Band Instruments of Thailand for 10 weeks, during which time he traveled across Malaysia and Thailand teaching a total of 1,100 students.
“I gave clinics on how to play instruments starting from a basic level leading up to an advanced level. A company translator accompanied me for almost my entire trip. The students’ attitudes were always positive and they were ready to meet their goals every single day. The main group I instructed was the Horwang Marching Band from Bangkok, Thailand. This group is made up of 70 marching members who perform at a level I have never seen before from such young students. We spent a total of 8 weeks putting a marching band show entitled ‘Currents…Air, Water, Electric on the field.”
The performance of the show took place after Bailey returned to the United States in June and began preparations for graduate school. The Horwang Marching Band placed 2nd at the National Indoor Championships.
“I could not have done these jobs at a high level if I did not have the proper training from the amazing faculty at Northwestern State University,” Bailey said. “Their diverse knowledge of every single music ensemble available allowed me to have all the tools necessary to approach the challenges that faced me with the highest amount of confidence. Being a music major at NSU definitely help my experiences in Thailand and Malaysia. It was because of the training I received from these outstanding professors that I walked into this opportunity feeling confident about my abilities. The music faculty at NSU is awesome and is lead by one of the best educators I know, Mr. Bill Brent. My experiences with them have always been positive and encouraging. Anytime I needed a pat on the back or a little tough love they were always there. Never for a moment did I feel alone.”