Greetings Wildcat Band Family,
Your children continue to absolutely amaze me! I find myself blessed to work with THE BEST humans in the school each and every day. They continue to improve themselves through hard work and perseverance.
The 7th grade rehearsal last week was absolutely AMAZING and I am pumped to share their progress with you at the concert this week!
The 8th grade band is on fire and playing well above what is expected of them!
Jazz Band..wow, just wow!!! They gave excellent performances at Old High and Ruth Barker Middle Schools last week playing our setlist 4 times in a row. Talk about having students rocking out in the aisles!
Our 8th grade clarinets did an OUSTANDING job showing off their mad skillz at the middle schools as well! I've hard from the band directors at both schools how excited the 6th grade band students are to continue playing clarinet and some want to join jazz band.
If you see Mr. Sparacino (principal) or Dr. Reynolds (Director of Performing and Visual Arts), or Dr. Morswaski (Executive Director of Middle Level Education) please feel free to let them know that you appreciate them and all they do to support music. We could NOT provide the experiences and opportunities for your students without their support.
We CAN'T wait to see everyone Tuesday night at the Arend for a night of awesome seasonal music performed by amazing human beings!
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 done in person during priority on Tuesday.
No instruments on Wednesday, December 23rd.
All assignments turned in as of 10:00am Saturday, December 19th have been graded and put into HAC.
Grading Reminders (Click to expand)
"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. When growth happens via feedback, the grade takes care of itself.
THIS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21ST
5:30p - Jazz Band Arrives to setup
6:00P - 7th Grade Percussion Arrives to setup
6:15p - 7th Grade Band Arrives
6:30p - 7th Grade Band Warm-ups up on Stage at Arend Arts Center located @BHS
6:20-6:40 - Jazz Band Performs in Lobby
6:45p - 8th Grade Band Seated in Audience as a band (1/2 of the grade for the evening)
7:00p - 7th Grade Band Concert Begins (7th grade must stay and watch 8th grade performance. 1/2 of grade for evening)
7:40p - 8th Grade Band Concert Begins
8:10p - End of Concert
ALL 7th and 8th grade students must help strike the stage. Parents and older siblings may come on stage and assist with moving equipment back to band room/loading into truck. NO ONE SHOULD LEAVE EARLY. WE ARE A TEAM AND WE ALL HELP UNTIL IT IS ALL DONE. THE MORE HANDS WE HAVE THE FASTER THE WORK IS DONE.
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.
Concert Black Ideas from Local Stores and Online
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:
long sleeve button up black shirt for as low as $7
black belt for as low as $3,
black dress pants for as last as $12
black socks for as low as $3.20
Black Dress for as low as $15
with black leggings for as low as $5
Black top for as low as $12
Black leggings for as low as $6.39
Black pants for as low as $14
Black belt for as low as $12.80
Black dress shoe for as low as $20
Black shoe for as low as $13
Black shoe idea #2
Black Flats for as low as $20
Black shirt for as low as $12
Black pants for as low as $18
Black pants #2 for as low a $13
Black dress for as low as $12
Black belt for as low as $8
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.
No Sectional until January
It is also important to review our calendar dates for the spring. The most updated calendar can be found linked here.
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! 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 www.fundshine.org,support the band and make sure your pantry is always stocked!
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!