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"Common Times" Weekly Newsletter 11/15-11/20

Greetings Wildcat Band Family!

It's been a wonderful week of growing as individuals and young musicians. Individual technique, tone, responsibility and concert music is coming along quite well! The number of students turning their assignments and practice records in on time has doubled in the last 3 weeks. Let's keep that trend going!

Assignments Due:

All assignments turned in as of 3:00pm Friday have been graded and put into HAC. If an assignment shows an "N" that means I have received nothing from the student on that assignment. It factors as a zero but the student can still turn it in. Please note that this quarter students can only turn in the initial assignment 3 weeks after the due date. Grades that show a "Z" mean the student turned something in but it was either the wrong assignment or did not meet minimum expectations to earn credit. If your student desires to raise their grade they can do 2 things:

1) Turn in missing assignments. EVEN FROM 1ST QUARTER.

2) Redo assignments with lower grades and turn back in. EVEN FROM 1ST QUARTER.

Students should ALWAYS read/watch/listen to feedback. Great care is taken to help each and every student grow from where they are. MANY times, I provide specific examples and exercises or additional resources for individual students to use to improve themselves. This is THE purpose of assignments.\; for students to get better as an individual through specific feedback. The grade in and of itself is irrelevant. If I could give feedback without a grade, I absolutely would. Individual student growth is the only thing that matters.

-Mr. Jones


The Bentonville Pride Marching Band just wrapped up the final two weeks of its marching season with two very significant events. First up was the Arkansas Marching State Championship competition on Tuesday, November 2nd. For the third year in a row, the Bentonville Pride earned top honors as the 7A State Champion performing their program, Opus 48, to a large crowd at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Each band member will be presented with a State Championship medal to recognize this year's accomplishment. The final event of the 2021 marching season took place just this past weekend, November 11-13. The Bands of America Grand National Championships were held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and featured preliminary performances from 99 bands from 18 different states over the first two days, with semi-final and final rounds on day 3. The Bentonville Pride were scheduled an early performance time on day 1 and treated the audience at Lucas Oil Stadium to one of the best performances of Opus 48 of the band's entire season. You can view it HERE. The ending of the show powerfully represented the impact of composer Ludwig van Beethoven's hearing loss as a saxophone quartet closed the show while the rest of the band "played in silence". A truly memorable finish to a very special show. Despite such a strong performance, the Bentonville Pride‘s score narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-final round which speaks to how strong a competitive set was involved this year, especially with last year's event being canceled. The Broken Arrow High School Marching Band took home top honors as the 2021 Grand National Champion early Sunday morning in Indianapolis.


Required Concert Attire for 7th and 8th grade bands. This uniform look takes the focus off of the individual performer to allow the audience to see and hear the ensemble as a unit. This concert attire is the same as all 7-12th grade bands in NWA and helps to create a more polished and professional look while giving students some choice in design.

Here is a fantastic option from Amazon:


Instruments go home every single day and that it's vital for student progress to practice no less than 15 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Please help your band student find time at home to practice and beef up their musical muscles! Students are welcome to practice in the band room before school on A days as early as 7:30am (just come knock on the back band room door) and can stay any day there is a scheduled after sectional until 4:30 to practice in a practice room.

Great video on how to practice:

HINT: Students have SOMETHING to practice and prepare for every class even if it isn't a playing test. To be successful, students should be practicing regularly.

What a 15 minute practice session should look like:

  • 2 minutes - Long Tones (F-Remington, Scales in whole notes, pg. 7 of Embouchure Boot Camp)

  • 2 minutes - Lip slurs and buzzing for brass instruments. Chromatic scales or finger exercises for woodwinds.

  • 2 minutes - scales for accuracy and increased speed with great tone.

  • 7 minutes - assignment (focus on a small goal to noticeably improve a difficult part)

  • 2 minutes - pick ANYTHING you enjoy playing

For a 30 minute practice session the above times can simply be doubled

If your student is "bored" with what we are currently doing in class and wants more of a challenge, reach out to me and I will get them some more challenging material to work on.

If your student is struggling with what we are doing in class, please reach out as I have many resources available to assist students at all levels.


All-Region Sectionals

Flutes Monday - 3:45-4:30

Saxophones - Tuesday Priority Time

Clarinets - Tuesday 3:45-4:30

Trombones and Percussion - Wednesday 3:45-4:30

Thursday - Euphoniums Priority Time

Friday - NO SECTIONALS due to jazz band clinic

It's time to start looking ahead to January. In January we regroup our sectionals to make it more helpful to students. This schedule is based upon the responses back August. Please take a look at it to update your student's schedule for January.

It is also important to review our calendar dates for the spring. The most updated calendar can be found linked here.


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! We have set aside $1000 for lessons this year. We can also help pay for additional lessons and offset the cost of lessons for families who need financial assistance in this area.

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 were not in class the last year and a half due to covid.

  • Students who just began playing this year

  • Students who want to get better


To sign up for a free lesson:

  • Contact Mr. Jones so he can track who is taking the exploratory lessons

  • Contact Arkansas Music Conservatory to setup a lesson 479-268-3307 call or 479-430-2226 text


Support the WJHS Band AND make your life easier! It's a win-win for everyone. Fundshine is an online service that allows you to purchase paper and plastic goods that will shipped directly to your home. Spot checking prices come in a little cheaper than from local stores plus a portion of sales comes back to the band twice a year. Even better, you can sign up to have recurring shipments so you get set it up and forget about it. Also, family and friends can use this service anywhere in the US! :)

Check it out by going to,support the band and make sure your pantry is always stocked!


To stay in the know be sure to follow us on your social media platform of choice: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - @wjhswildcatband and/or at

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.

Have a band-tastic and short week everyone!

Musically Yours,

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