11/18-11/26 - Thanksgiving Break
11/27 - 7th Grade Band After School Rehearsal 3:45-5:00 @WJHS
12/4 - Winter Jazz Dance/Concert @BHS with BHS Jazz Bands
12/5 - 7th Grade Band After School Rehearsal 3:45-5:00 @WJHS
12/6 - 7th and 8th Grade Bands Winter Concert at BHS
12/9 - All-Region Auditions in Harrison (required for 8th grade band and some 7th grade percussion. Optional for the rest of 7th grade students)
12/18 - Jazz Band plays for Ruth Barker Lunches
12/19 - Jazz Band plays for Old High Lunches
Greetings Wildcat Band Families,
Such an incredible weekend for band! The Bentonville Pride is the FIRST band in Arkansas to earn a place in the Bands of America Grand National Championships FINALS!!! This is HUGE for our program and should be celebrated as we are considered one of the BEST 10 high school bands in the country! To say I'm proud of the students, staff, directors and parents is a colossal understatement! Way to go Bentonville Pride!
Last time Bentonville went to Grand Nats was in 2021 (we are only allowed by the district to go every other year), we finished 33rd in Semi Finals. So in two years we moved up to 9th! Crazy thing is, every single student in the BHS program sat in the junior high band rooms in Bentonville and were asked to do the same things we are asking our students to do now. Those students didn't all practice or practice as much as they should. Those students had trouble getting homework completed. Those students argued with parents about practicing. Those students all struggled to turn in assignments on time. But, it is ALL worth it!
How do we move from 9th place nationally this year to the top 5 nationally in 2025?
Keep supporting your student's musical journey.
Insist they practice on a regular basis.
If they practice 100 minutes a week now, encourage them to do 120 minutes from now. If they practice 20 minutes a week now, make it an expectation that they will practice 30 minutes a week going forward. If they don't practice now, make it a requirement that they practice 20 minutes a week. It matters.
I always hear students say, " I just don't have time to practice..." This is simply an excuse. Every student has time to practice. The students who are involved in multiple activities, after school expectations, church, weekend commitments are the ones who typically turn their assignments in first. They are the ones who also practice more than the bare minimum and consistently sign up to do optional things while still having time to simply be a kid who plays videos games, watches "TV", hikes, fishes, etc...
Great for those who are injured or traveling and can't use the instrument.
We get better a little bit every single day. We don't need to be perfect. We just need to be better than we were yesterday by 1%.
A cool factoid: The majority of students graduating from the BHS Band program go to college to play in the band for scholarship money BUT don't major in music. The top 3 degree plans are: Medical, Business and Engineering. Band helps them to not take out a student loan. It helps to give them weekly spending money. It gives them experiences like the U of A Marching Band playing in the AT&T Arena in Dallas and so much more.
Why do I do what I do? Not to brainwash every band student to be in band and do band for the rest of their life. I do it to help create the next generation of humans who will find the cure to cancer, craft treatments for illnesses, be the next CEO to make a corporation better for the planet and its customers, to help others, to protect others, to build things, and the list goes on. All in all, to help these young students be a better them tomorrow than they are today. Band is just the vehicle in which we try to accomplish that monumental task. I tell students all the time that I will only ask them to do things that make them a better person or a better musician. Sometimes, they won't like what I'm asking them to do but have to trust that it is what's best for them.
Wanna see behind the scenes of BHS Band and how all your directors share the same belief? Join the BHS Pride on the Road parent group on facebook.
Thank you to everyone who donated snacks and came to the watch parties. It was a ton of fun hanging out and watching band on Saturday with you all!
This is the final week before Thanksgiving Break. When we return we have one week and then concerts and all-region auditions. It is imperative that your student be in class if they are well. Band is a team activity without any subs. Every single person playing their part to the best of their ability 100% of the time is required for the band to have a successful performance. When students miss class or "forget" their instrument they are losing an opportunity to get better on their part.
7th Grade Tuba Players MUST find a way to get their tuba home for Thanksgiving break so that they are able to practice. The tuba can be picked up as early as Thursday morning at 10:00am and as late as Friday afternoon at 5:00pm. Tubas MUST be returned Monday morning after break so they have their instrument for class. I am more than happy to meet anyone at WJHS on Sunday afternoon to return it to make it easy on everyone. I can be there at 5:00pm on Sunday, Nov. 26th. We are working to get more tubas in so they can have a school and home tuba. Supply chain issues are slowing this down. Last I heard, we should have new at home tubas available in January with any luck.
Monday is the last day to order candles so we can get them in on time. Poinsettias can continued to be ordered through Thanksgiving. We still have 248 poinsettias that we HAVE to sell by delivery. These make incredible decorations and gifts.
Special shout out to 2 incredible Wildcat Band Members!
Henry Cooper performing in the all-region symphonic orchestra. Way to go!
Leo Arivett for finishing second in the Back 40 Race!
*I do my very best to recognize all the awesome things our band students do. If I miss something, or there is something your awesome student did, please reach out to Mr. Jones to have added to this next section of the weekly newsletter.
Please be sure to carefully review our calendar for activities in the coming weeks, especially as we get into the holiday season mid-November. I work hard to make a schedule that does not conflict with other WJHS activities. With our incredible students involved in so many, it is not an easy task. :) It is important that there not be any planned/regular appointments during an event as an absence is not excused per district policy. Since the calendar went out in July, that provides ample opportunity to reschedule any possible conflicts fairly easily.
Concert Black Reminder
It is also time to start, if you haven't already, getting concert black for the Winter Concert. We have several concert black outfits available free of charge in the band room. Please let me know if you would like me to get your student one of these outfits. Just tell me who your student is and what sizes they need.
Orders DUE NOVEMBER 13TH
Our Winter Fundraiser for Poinsettias and Candles is NOW online!!
These beautiful Poinsettias were grown locally at Westwood Gardens. Students earn $10 per poinsettia sold towards their band related expenses.
The Annie Dee's Candles are made to order locally in Jane, MO. These are 100% Soy and smell incredible! Students earn $6 per candle sold towards their band related expenses.
The order form is located here: https://form.jotform.com/232875252423153
Online payments are now accepted! No need to send in cash or check. :)
Poinsettias will be delivered the week after Thanksgiving.
Candles will be delivered the first week of December.
Any extra funds raised will roll into next year. 8th grade credits roll into BHS Band.
Order Deadline is November 13th
Thank you to everyone who has been sending in the band supply fees! That is a huge help! Band Supply Fees are all setup in MyPayments Plus and are available if you prefer to pay online. If you do this, you will have to search for 'WJHS Band' and find the appropriate fee. Fees SHOULD be modified accordingly for students on free or reduced lunch. If that is not that case, please email me so I can look into it as we have had a couple of coding issues in the system to show you the correct fee. You can still send in cash or check made out to "WJHS Band." Thank you for your help!!
I greatly appreciate everyone getting signed up for your group the last couple of weeks. Right now we are missing quite a few 8th grade and jazz band students who need to sign up. Parents have signed up but students with phone access need to sign up as well. STUDENTS REALLY NEED TO BE ON THIS APP AS WELL.
Click the appropriate link(s) to download the app and join our groups (Bands).
8th Grade Families - https://band.us/n/aba79ez9XbYfi
7th Grade Families - https://band.us/n/acae96z4X2Y47
Jazz Band Families - https://band.us/n/a7ab96zbYaJeY
Please take a few moment to review the information below so you are fully prepared for the week ahead.
Monday -"A" Day (Classes 1-3, Advisory, 4)
7:45a - Band Room Opens
4:30p - Band Room Closes
Good luck Basketball! Beat Oakdale!!!
Tuesday - "B" Day (Classes 5-7, Priority, 8)
7:45am - Band Room Opens
Priority Time - Open Practice for Woodwinds
4:30pm - Band Room Closes
Wednesday - "A" Day (Classes 1-3, Priority, 4th)
7:45am - Band Room Opens
Priority Time - Open Practice for Brass, Percussion and Saxophones
3:45p-5:00 - Advanced Jazz Band Rehearsal
5:00p - Band Room Closes
Thursday - "B" Day (Classes 5-7, Priority, 8th)
7:45a - Band Room Opens
Priority - 7th Grade Band Leaders Rehearsal
4:30p - Band Room Closes
Friday - "B" Day (Classes 5-7, Clubs, 8th)
7:45a - Band Room Opens
Priority Time - Band Leadership Meeting
3:45-4:45 - Advanced Jazz Band Rehearsal
5:00pm - Band Room Closes
I know we JUST finished the first quarter but I want to put a few AWESOME summer band camps on your radar as it seems we all begin planning and booking vacations earlier and earlier each year. :)
Typically 2nd Week of June - University of Central Arkansas Dixie Band Camp in Conway
June 10th-14th - Bentonville All-City Band Camp (1/2 Day in the morning) at BHS
June 10th-14th - Bentonville All-City Jazz Band Camp (1/2 Day in the afternoon) at BHS
July 7th-12th - University of Arkansas Band Camp in Fayetteville
Also, for our 7th grade families to plan, we will have required summer band rehearsals approximately 2 weeks before school begins. I will be able to give exact dates once the 2024-2025 calendar is approved later this semester; usually around October. The past several years it has been the first week of August.
PRIVATE LESSONS ARE AWESOME! They are designed to be fun, engaging, supportive and focused on the individual student.
We have an awesome partnership with Arkansas Music Conservatory where your student can take a lesson or two on US to see what private lessons can do for your band student!
Who should take private lessons:
Advanced students who need to be pushed and challenged
Students who need some 1-on-1 assistance to learn and master concepts covered in class
Students who missed substantial class time due to illness
Students who just began playing this year
Students who want to get better
If you have any questions or concerns, please never hesitate to reach out. We are partners in your student's growth and need to work together for them to be as successful as possible.