Band update all classes 2/28

Posted by Stephanie Linville on 2/28/2020

See below for specific updates
Jazz Band
I have received information about participating in the District Jazz Band MPA Festival.  This is the same type of Festival that the eighth grade and some of the seventh graders are participating in March, but this is specifically for Jazz Bands across the district.  This festival is on April 24.  I've spoken with the students in Jazz Ensemble about participating in this event, and they are very interested in going.  I told them I've never done this event before, and I was hesitant to go and risk not doing well because of my own inexperience with it, but they are still interested, so I am checking with administration to see if we can make it happen financially.  I will get back with you on this as soon as I know something.  This would only be for Jazz Ensemble, since this event is geared towards traditional Jazz Bands, and I don't think bringing the entire Jazz Band would be appropriate.  As far as rehearsals go, we are on regular rehearsal next week with Jazz Band on Wednesday morning (ensemble is not required to come) and Jazz Ensemble on Thursday.  If I hear that we can go to Jazz Band MPA, I'll have to add an extra rehearsal each week for Jazz Ensemble in order to make sure we are prepared.  This may also impact Jazz Band rehearsals, too.  Again,  I'll let you know when I have more details. 
Festival students
We will be having a guest clinician coming into eighth-grade class on Monday and we will be having a combined rehearsal for both encore periods.  Seventh-grade students will be attending this rehearsal as well as long as they have permission from their core teachers to do so.  This will be in preparation for Festival and to help us better prepare.  Because of this, there will be NO FESTIVAL REHEARSAL MONDAY AFTERNOON.  I'm sure the students will be tired enough without having another rehearsal later.  We WILL have rehearsal on Thursday afternoon as usual, and again need to have as many eighth-graders as possible attend.  It is extremely helpful for our seventh graders and I appreciate all of the ones that have been coming and getting picked up on time so well.  Thanks!!
Seventh grade
Seventh grade will be having their final playing test from book two on #137 next Tuesday and Wednesday.  We are working on this exercise in class and students should be prepared to play on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We have had several students in first seventh encore class show a severe decline in participation lately, ranging from not bringing instruments every day, not participating in class activities, even to refusing to play their playing test because they did not feel they were prepared.  I'm very concerned about these students and will be emailing parents individually today.  We had a long discussion yesterday about effort, and the fact that I realize the exercises can be really challenging for some of our brass students because the notes are getting higher.  But I reminded them that even if all the high notes don't come out, students can still demonstrate that they know fingerings, and rhythm, and the vast majority of the notes are notes that they can play.  Please listen to your child and make sure they are making the effort at home necessary to improve.  I don't expect anyone to sound like a professional musician by any means, but I do expect effort.  And most of the students can play most everything we are doing in class if they are putting forth the effort.  We will also begin in book three soon, so if you have not gotten your child's copy of Essential Technique for Band, please try to have it by the end of next week.  Finally, we will be having Theory Day next Friday and students will not be needing instruments in class that day.
Sixth grade
We are making great progress in the sixth-grade book.  The portion of the book we are in right now is mainly geared towards our clarinet players learning how to play high notes.  Our next playing test for sixth-grade will be on #132, but that won't be for a while.  Students can look ahead to that exercise if they wish in order to be prepared for it when we get there.  And sixth grade will also be having a Theory Day next Friday so students will not need their instruments that day, either.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and have a great weekend!