Monday, September 21, 2015

Week of September 21

"It's not raining 'til I say it's raining..."  What a damp debut for our new uniforms!  The good news is that they seem to have held up extremely well and actually dried pretty quickly.  Things are almost even smelling OK in the band room this morning, and usually by now the old suits had the room in kind of bad shape.  The material in the new ones is much lighter and water-friendly as well as being much more comfortable (with the exception of the stiff collar around the neck, but they'll get used to that).

Overall I thought Friday went about as well as it could have - we have tons to work on as the season progresses, but given the conditions, the feel of new uniforms for every student (no one in the drumline, for instance, has ever been in a full uniform that is the same as everyone else), and the first time in front of a home football crowd, I am pretty happy with where things are right now.  I will try to post video (thanks, BJ Meyaard!!) to the Facebook page and YouTube sometime later today or so, though admittedly that is not a high priority this early in the season.

Speaking of thanks, a HUGE thank you to all of the parents who helped out Friday with everything - photography, videography, uniforms, drum major podiums, donating water, being unused on the plume detail (good call on not using them - thanks to Brent Deters for that final call), etc.  It takes a village to raise a child, but a pretty strong force of parents to make them all look good in front of a crowd.

On to this week:

TONIGHT: Monday rehearsal at the stadium, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday: Color guard rehearsal, dance studio, 7 - 9 p.m.
Friday: West Homecoming, FULL BAND again, 5:45 p.m. report

Upcoming events for your future planning:
 - Monday, Sept. 28 - Monday rehearsal at the stadium.  This may be a very crowded evening with an event going on in the auditorium.  Students are not excused from rehearsal for that event; there is another showing of this film in the Holland area this week.
 - Saturday, October 3 - Pumpkin Fest parade.  Parade begins at 3 p.m. in front of Cityside MS.  

ABSENCES...
This can be a touchy subject for various reasons, so I will be as careful as possible, but no promises to not step on any toes.  

On Friday night there were over 20 students absent from the performance for one reason or another.  I am happy to say that the vast majority were pre-planned, excused reasons (varsity football, family weddings, a concert where tickets were purchased many months ago, etc.).  And since it was the second week of school, the illnesses started up already, so we had a few people who were ill.  There were also a couple out with concussions...

My point is this: it's important to have everyone at every performance and rehearsal.  And clearly, based on the above items, it's also virtually impossible.  I can't stress enough how every person is important to the band's final performance and look, whether it be a lowly freshman on the back hashmark on the 10-yard-line or a drum major.  Everyone has a place to be.  Please make every effort to have your child participate - the course description states that "rehearsals and performances outside of the school day will be required."  I think Friday's 10% absentee rate set a record, and it's one that I hope to never break.  I think that once in a while the feeling might get to a "hey, there's 225 kids, they're really not going to miss one" sort of thing, and that is definitely not the case.  I appreciate your efforts to help your kids fulfill their commitments!

That should do for this week.  Look out for some emails/surveys/signups for assistance at this week's game, the upcoming mattress sale, and helping to run the MSBOA marching festival.

KW