Monday, October 14, 2013

MB Wrap-up

Wow!  What a week...  Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support and getting your kids where they needed to be and all of the stuff required to have a 3-performance (and one evening rehearsal) week!  

This post will serve as a wrap-up of the general marching band activities and help you navigate as we move into concert band preparations.

First of all, we did a GREAT job at Grandville on Saturday!  We won the Class AA portion of the show (tough competition...), but most importantly?  Of all of the bands that performed at both Kenowa and Grandville, ours was the only score that went UP.  Every other band that played both of those shows ended up with a lower score than they had two weeks ago.  And with the Grand Champion (Portage Central) receiving an 89, our 82.4 looks very good.  (Two weeks ago our score of 80.7 was well below the high score of 95.0.)  So it was a great end to a fun season of competition.

My apologies for the delay in returning on Saturday.  The process for re-loading our equipment was not well thought-out (the equipment vehicle was far away from the buses, so the travel to and from the trailer was excessive), and we ended up about a half hour behind schedule by the time we fought traffic out of the single driveway exit.  In the event that we perform there again in the future I will have a different plan.

THANK YOU also to the nearly three dozen parents and students who helped out with hosting marching festival last Tuesday.  We couldn't have done it without you!  We received many compliments about our facilities and our volunteers.

This week will be much more relaxed; we have a game Friday night for West and that is about it!

"NOT A FUND RAISER" update:  so far we have collected over $1,000 in our fall "Not a Fund Raiser" campaign.  While we would like to get this wrapped up as soon as possible, I believe in the motto of "we'll take your money any time."  Our goal this fall is $6,000.00, and we'd like to have it done by the end of this week if at all possible.  Thank you in advance for your generous contributions. 

"What happens next?"
 - Well, this week begins our transition period to what some of the kids like to call "sit-down" band.  By the end of the week we will have the list of Symphonic Band students posted, and we will begin as early as next week meeting as two separate concert organizations.  (Students were offered the opportunity last spring to audition for Symphonic Band; those who chose not to will be placed in Concert Band.  Not all who auditioned will be guaranteed placement in Symphonic Band.)
 - Students will be learning/reinforcing concepts of tone quality, intonation, and technique that may be different from our marching unit.  We will be utilizing the iPad to download and read scale and technique exercises as well as warm-up chorales, etc.  Our first concert performance is Sunday, January 12 at 2 p.m. in DeWitt Auditorium.
  - The two groups will split the 4th hour/lunch period time between 11:02 and 12:31, with each band rehearsing about 43 minutes per day.  This year we will be alternating some of the days the groups meet so we can accommodate rehearsals for the HS orchestra, which uses some members of the Symphonic Band.  The new schedule will take some getting used to, but the kids always manage.
 - FOOTBALL playoffs are also on the horizon...  West has qualified already (with a 6-1 record), and East needs one more win to make it to post-season play.  Sometimes we do track band, sometimes full band, depending on the schedule.  In general the band does not travel to away playoff games, but we do provide something for the home ones.  In the event that a team makes it to Ford Field, we get to play there as well!  
 - EXTRA OPPORTUNITIES are also available.  MSBOA Solo and Ensemble Festival is in February.  Solos and small groups perform for a judge for a rating.  Also coming up later in the semester is a chance to play in the pit orchestra for the March musical "The Wizard of Oz."  This group begins meeting in January and works through early March providing live music for our stage production.  A very taxing musical experience, but one that is unforgettable as students perform a fully-produced Broadway musical.  

That should take care of things for this week.  This post may be the last official "weekly" one now that things are slowing down.  I will use it to post details of whatever we're doing for the post-season games, or if I find an interesting article or link for you to peruse.  As usual, if you need to contact me please use kwalker@zps.org and I will get back to you as soon as I can.