Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Semester, New Updates!

It is late January already!  The bands and ensembles had a great concert a few weeks ago; I hope you were all able to attend and enjoyed the afternoon of great music.  The ZHS Video Production class filmed the event for us, and I have added the YouTube links for you to view at your leisure.

I'll get to the "good news" section right away here so you can start the week on a happy note:  the ZPS school board recently approved a very large expenditure for new band uniforms for next fall!!  This is a very exciting development, especially considering that our current uniforms are 15 years old and seeing some serious wear and tear.  

These new uniforms represent a step forward in several areas: they are of a more modern design (the current ones are more of a "classic" design that is still in style), there are fewer parts for everyone to keep track of, and, most cool, there are built-in snap systems to adjust the length of the pants and sleeves!  No more sewing parties!  Things should be able to easily snap into place and be ready to go, meaning that the usual freshman growth spurt over the winter (usually the boys) will not be as terrifying for our uniform crew!

A separate but somewhat related issue: don't forget that on February 24 the district is asking voters to consider a bond issue.  This proposal could impact the band, since the proposed bond has funds designated for band and orchestra programming.  Please get out and VOTE on Tuesday, Feb. 24!!

There have been some calendar updates and additions!  Please see the calendar page HERE and download the new document.  At this time the Google calendar hasn't been updated, but it will be very soon.

The first NEW calendar addition is NEXT WEEK Monday and Tuesday, when the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band join our middle school 8th and 7th grade groups in a pre-festival concert at DeWitt.  This will be a very short presentation for the HS bands; each group will only be on stage for about 10-12 minutes.  Specific details will follow via email by Wednesday of this week.

Speaking of festival, there are TWO coming up: District Ten Solo and Ensemble is THIS SATURDAY, January 31, at East Kentwood HS.  Students will be given complete details Tuesday morning.  They already have been informed of their performance times, so hopefully you know those already.

       ****I could really use a volunteer or three to assist with moving virtually ALL of our percussion equipment to EK this Friday afternoon, as well as some folks to help reload, etc. on the way home on Saturday!  Please send me an email if you can assist with driving a truck, etc.****

Our second festival that's approaching is District Ten Band Festival.  The bands haven't been to this performance in many years for many reasons, chief among them the time of year that festival occurs: it is earlier this year than ever!  In consultation with students, middle school band staff, and administrators, however, I have decided that the time may be right to go back and see how things go.  Tentative dates at this point are either February 25 or 26; we should know in a week or two which of those dates we are assigned.  (As a comparison, this festival used to be the second week of March.)  We will be performing at either West Ottawa or Grandville, and at least one group, if not two, will be performing during the school day.  More details will be sent as soon as they are available.

Finally, there is a group of parents interested in forming a group similar to a band boosters organization that has met; a second meeting is coming up on Tuesday, February 17.  If you would like to come and see what the group is trying to establish, you are welcome to join us at 7 p.m. in the band room.  We promise not to put you in charge of any committees or anything!  At this time we are looking for a firm purpose and direction as well as how formally structured the group needs to be.  So far the decision has been made that "formality" will not be a requirement - this will not be an official organization with officers, etc., but rather a group with committees and chairs to provide assistance to the band program via fund raising, volunteers, etc.  The focus and formality may change over time, but right now that is where things stand.

Thanks for reading!  As always, if you have any questions, send an email to kwalker@zps.org.