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Common Times" Weekly Newsletter 4/8-4/12

Upcoming Events

4/12 - BHS Audition Recordings Due by 11:59pm in Google Classroom

4/12 - Silver Dollar City Permission Forms and Money Due (Trip is 5/25)

4/26-26 - 8th Grade Band and Advanced Jazz Band St. Louis Trip

4/29-5/2 - BHS Marching Band Auditions

5/1 - Spring Jazz Band Concert

5/21 - Spring Band Concert

5/22 - School Owned Instruments Due Back @WJHS

5/25 - Silver Dollar City Trip

Greetings Wildcat Band Family!

I think spring is finally starting to take hold for us. At least I hope so. This heater at night and A/C in the afternoon is getting old. :) For those traveling to see the Solar Eclipse in totality, I hope you all have a safe trip and we look forward to seeing you back on Tuesday!

8th Graders have their BHS Band Audition Recordings due THIS FRIDAY BY 11:59PM. They have been working hard on the material and are doing an INCREDIBLE job!! Students are encouraged to send me, Mr. Hendrix or Mr. Fernandez early recordings so we can provide feedback and help them out. Please note that the auditions are NOT about getting into high school band but making sure students are placed in the appropriate level band for their current ability level. BHS has 4 ability based concert bands:

  1. Wind Ensemble (97% juniors and seniors) 2 Freshmen are in it this year

  2. Symphonic Winds (75% juniors and seniors)

  3. Symphonic Band (equal mix of all grade levels)

  4. Concert Band (natural progression for the average 8th grade band student)

All 'A' day 7th grade classes did our first ever chair test this week and those who turned it in did a great job! HAC is updated with all current grades so if you see an "N" that's because nothing was turned in. Students who have accommodations of extended time for assignments/tests still have until Wednesday to turn in their assignment.

7th Grade High Brass Class (trumpets and french horns) have their chair test due in Google Classroom by Monday night. With the practice expectation of 30 minutes a night 5 days a week, this shouldn't be an extra time commitment to complete. Just simply video recording their playing of the assignment and uploading it to our google classroom.

We had a successful week of our Rehearsal Technique Assignment for the month. All students start with 100 points (20 points in 7th grade percussion) and can maintain their score by demonstrating proper rehearsal technique that includes:

  • Bring their instrument to class every day

  • Take their instrument home each day (Unless they have a track meet. Practices do not count)

  • Have THEIR binder, music and book in class

  • Have their instrument in proper working condition BEFORE class begins (oiling valves, greasing slides, greasing corks, having a usable reed on their instrument, etc...)  

  • Using the restroom and filling up water bottles before class begins

  • Have a sharpened or mechanical pencil on their stand at the start of class

  • Everything ready to play at the start of class

  • Talking only when appropriate to the success of the class

  • Fully and Positively Participating

  • Properly cleaning their instrument at the end of class (swabbing out woodwinds, cleaning off finger prints on brass with polishing cloth, emptying water out of instrument

  • Putting instrument back in assigned locker/place)

  • Clean up the band room after class (pick up any trash, properly stack chair and rack stands). 

I am continuing to offer FREE 20 minute lessons after school to help students who are struggling or to challenge those who are ready to be pushed.  Sign Up Here if interested


Calendar Reminder

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 - We need to do better on adhering to concert black for the spring concert. Please let me help you find the correct attire if you need assistance. No shorts. No Crocks. No White Shoes. No shirts with graphics or text. No Grey pants. No T-shirts/short sleeve shirts.

It is also time to start, if you haven't already, getting appropriate concert black for the Spring 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.

Practice Expectations and Resources

  • 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...

    • Article on How to Practice without your instrument. 

      • Great for those who are injured or traveling and can't use the instrument.

    • NPR Article and TED Talk on Practicing 

    • Check List on How to Practice 

  • 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.

Band Supply Fee Reminder

Thank you to everyone who has been sending in the band supply fees! We are currently short $3,500. Updated statements to only those who still had outstanding balances went out on Friday morning. 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!!


Please take a few moment to review the information below so you are fully prepared for the week ahead.

This Week

  • Monday -"A" Day (Classes 1-3, Advisory, 4)

    • 7:45a - Band Room Opens

    • St. Louis Bus Seat Signups Begin

    • Advisory

    • 5:15p - Band Room Closes

      • Mr. Jones has a PLC meeting via google meet. Students are welcome to stay until 5:15 to PRACTICE AUDITION music.

  • Tuesday - "B" Day (Classes 5-7, Priority, 8)

    • 7:45a - Band Room Opens

    • Priority Time - Talen Show Information Meeting in the Little Theater

    • 3:45-5:05 - Lessons with Mr. Jones

    • 5:15pm - Band Room Closes

  • Wednesday - "A" Day (Classes 1-3, Priority, 4th)

    • 7:45a - Band Room Opens

    • Priority - 7th Grade Band Mini Rehearsal (check RTI and have your instrument and music)

    • 3:45-5:00p - Advanced Jazz Band Rehearsal


    • 5:15p - Band Room Closes

  • Thursday - "B" Day (Classes 5-7, Priority, 8)

    • 7:45a - Band Room Opens

    • Priority Time - Symphonic Orchestra Rehearsal

    • 3:45-5:05 - Lessons with Mr. Jones

    • 5:15pm - Band Room Closes

  • Friday- "A" Day (Classes 1-3, Clubs, 4th)

    • Silver Dollar City Order Forms and Money Due (linked here, sent home in every class and extra copies available on stand beside band room door)

    • 7:45a - Band Room Opens

    • Priority - 8th Grade Band Rehearsal

    • 3:45-5:00p - Advanced Jazz Band Rehearsal

    • 5:30p - Band Room Closes

    • 11:59pm - BHS Band Auditions DUE


Click the appropriate link(s) to download the app and join our groups (Bands).

8th Grade Families - 

7th Grade Families -

Jazz Band Families -  





PRIVATE LESSONS ARE AWESOME! They are designed to be fun, engaging, supportive

and focused on the individual 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



To stay in the know be sure to follow us on your social media platform of choice: Facebook or Instagram - @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.

Musically Yours,

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