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"Common Times" Weekly Newsletter 11/29-12/4

Greetings Wildcat Band Family,

I hope everyone has had a restful and relaxing Thanksgiving Break! It was sure nice to get away for a few days and just be around family and have time to reconnect.

Poinsettia pickup will be TUESDAY 2:45-5:30. This is a change from our supplier as they are unable to deliver them on Wednesday. Please make plans to pick up your orders during that time.


As we prepare for the upcoming weeks please be sure to take a look at the events below. It is important for students to stay focused and organized. All classes are wrapping up the semester meaning that all assignments are due before Winter Break that begins on December 23rd. Any missing band assignments must be turned in no later than December 18th so we have time to grade them before going on break.

Most classes had an assignment due prior to Thanksgiving Break and are listed below. There were NO assignments given, including practice records, over Thanksgiving Break.

Assignments Due:

All assignments turned in as of 8:00am Friday, November 19th have been graded and put into HAC. Please note that this quarter students can only turn in the initial assignment 3 weeks after the due date.

  • "N" =I have received nothing from the student on that assignment. It factors as a zero but the student can still turn it in.

  • "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:

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

    • 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


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:

I've done some searching this weekend and found the following ideas at various stores. Some require shipping and are contingent on Black-Friday/Weekend deals. Hopefully you will find this helpful.

Belk ideas:

Khols ideas:

Walmart ideas:


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 -Trumpets, Horns and Tubas 3:45-4:30

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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