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FlipFolderApp Changing the Game During Covid

Blue Line Media ImageAs the collegiate band world faced the reality of a fall with or without marching band, many directors looked for ways to keep their members together and safe.

The days of sitting packed together in a band hall are now a distant memory. Breaking out into squads and sectionals to share music notes or drill are more difficult as members have to be socially distanced. And managing time has become critical for directors to keep students engaged even virtually.

Enter FlipFolderApp.

Created in 2018 by Marcus Dubreuil a former member of the trombone section of the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band, FlipFolderApp has now become a "must have" app for college and high school bands across the country. 

Dubreuil double majored in computer science and music composition which perfectly positioned him to think about a way to change the marching band world forever.
He watched as the Pitt band began its evolution to a paperless environment and saw some major issues that all of his fellow band members were facing while trying to use their phones as a flip folder.

"When I first tried to use my phone, I very much disliked fumbling through the cloud storage music library, trying to find my part, opening up the PDF file and then having to zoom in to view the music, etc. It just wasn't fun, and removed my focus away from the game and everything else going on that I wanted to experience," said Dubreuil.

Blue Line Media ImageSo he decided to build an app that allowed the band directors to choose music and have it come up automatically on all devices. Gone were the days of members having to find their part. Share flip folders. No zooming in. No having to touch your screen every 5 seconds just to keep the phone from turning off. 

"In most cases, with FlipFolderApp, you don't even need to touch your phone as a band member. I made it easy for Pitt to switch to the platform by creating a bulk song loading platform that communicates with popular cloud storages, and uses pattern matching intelligence to match file names to parts that you define," explained Dubreuil.

Needless to say, Dr. Brad Townsend, Director of the Pitt Band and Matthew Alosi, Associate Director of the Pitt Band were sold, and FlipFolderApp was off to the races.

Blue Line Media ImageWith FlipFolderApp, you can connect your band together to change everyone's music and send important messages during performances. Conductors can select a song on their device, send the selection out to everyone through the app's proprietary networking technology that utilizes both Bluetooth and the internet together and in 2-3 seconds the music will come up on every device in the band. It works in huge stadiums, basketball arenas and even outdoors, all places where connectivity has always been an issue. 

FlipFolderApp is utilized by bands to save time and work more efficiently and effectively. It also allows bands to work without having to be close to each other. 

Blue Line Media Image"We unveiled a new system which allows music notation to be shared among parts. So student leaders, who would perhaps meet with the band staff in a smaller group, can take musical notes that will automatically share to the other devices who have the same part. This has a covid benefit, because it avoids needing to get the whole band in a group to distribute that info," said Dubreuil.

They have also rolled out a web based version of the app that allows members to use their desktops or laptops with larger screens to view music while perhaps quarantined at home.

"Directors and staff just can't hand out music as effectively as they could previously. Technology has definitely become a necessity for them anyway, and they needed a solution that worked across the board and in every scenario. Whether together, remote, socially-distant, or on separate sides of the country, and that's what we have," said Dubreuil.

Bands all across the country including some from the Big Ten and ACC have signed on to use the app with their bands.

"The FlipFolderApp has really revolutionized how we rehearse and perform. With the added constraints this particular year (2020), the app has allowed us to keep safe by not having to pass out music. Students are learning music faster and are always on task in rehearsal," said Jeremy Duby, Director of Bands for the Olivet College Marching Comets.

"My students have loved learning to use the app this year and it has been invaluable as a tool to keep the kids from sharing music and folders during the Covid pandemic," said James Caspar, Director of the Seneca High School Marching Band.

Covid-19 will eventually be another piece of history and bands will return to their normal operations again, but until then bands need solutions to keep members safe and improve rehearsal/performance efficiency. 

"Having worked closely with lots of directors this year, I can tell you I haven't talked to a single one that hasn't been constantly trying to find ways to keep their students safe, happy and engaged despite the pandemic. I'm privileged to work with all of them and very happy that we've been able to provide them solutions that help them accomplish these goals," said Dubreuil.

For more information on FlipFolderApp click HERE or contact them at support@flipfolderapp.com

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