Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Memorial Day and End of Year Details

As I begin writing this, there are officially only ten (10!) more mornings to wake up before school is done for the year.  It seems like it was only a couple weeks ago that I was writing the first post for fall marching season...

Anyway, here are some pertinent details you'll need for Memorial Day and the end of the year.

  • DATE:  Monday, May 30
  • TIME:  Report to Cityside MS by 8:30 a.m. - parade begins at 9:00 a.m.
  • The HS BAND ROOM will be open by 7:45 a.m. for people to get uniforms and instruments.
  • IN CASE OF RAIN the parade has been canceled in the past.  Please pay attention to the band's website, student/parent email, Twitter, and Facebook for updates.  The parade is rarely canceled before 8:00 a.m., so you will most likely already be starting your preparations for it if they do cancel.  Right now the weather forecast looks good.
  • Following the parade, the SYMPHONIC BAND and WIND ENSEMBLE students will proceed to the cemetery for the memorial service.  We will play America the Beautiful, Battle Cry of Freedom, and the national anthem.
  • Immediately after the parade the Concert Band students will return to the band room to turn in their uniforms.  ALL uniform parts should be accounted for, including pants, coat, hat, and hanger.  You may keep your shoes for next year.
  • Immediately after the memorial service the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will return to the band room to turn in their uniforms, including TUXES and DRESSES.
  • ***We still need parent volunteers to help collect uniforms after the parade!  Go to to sign up.***
  • SENIORS who choose not to march are expected to email Mr. Walker and let him know, though this should have been done by last week at least...
  • SENIORS who choose not to march are still responsible for turning in their equipment BY MONDAY, MAY 30.  This year we are not collecting donated shoes from seniors.
Other end-of-the-year items:
  • School instruments MUST be returned next week for check-in and inventory.  Students will be able to check out instruments for summer use after final exams.
  • Band lists for next year will be posted later today (Wednesday, May 25).  All three bands look great for next year. Balanced instrumentation, etc.  Numbers also look good in each ensemble, although there will never be enough low brass.
  • The band final exam grade will be the Memorial Day parade performance.
  • Percussion Ensemble students must complete their level of "belt testing" by exam day.  These may be submitted via video if desired.  (I will make a Google Classroom assignment to make that easier).
  • GRADUATION MUSICIANS ARE NEEDED on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.  Details have been passed out in class.  Please encourage your child to participate and help us out.  We need about 40 people, with representation from all sections.
  • COLOR GUARD auditions for 2016-17 will take place on Monday, June 6 beginning at 3:15 p.m.  Current members are expected to attend and learn the tryout routine and demonstrate proficiency.
  • DRUMLINE auditions for 2016-17 will take place after school on Tuesday, June 7.  Current members of the HS drumline who wish to move to a different instrument must attend this audition.  Audition materials were passed out in class this past Monday.  
I think that takes care of everything, but I usually manage to think of one or two other items after I publish these...


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tulip Time 2016

Here are (hopefully) all the (hopefully) final details you should need for the Tulip Time performances to be successful and efficient.  Everything starts next week!

Tuesday, May 10 - "Dazzle" show at Central Wesleyan Church.  This is for jazz band only.  Rehearsal Tuesday morning at the church.  Meet in the band room at 7:15 so we can load the bus and leave by 7:30.  Show time Tuesday night is 8:00 p.m.  Jazz band plays the first half, so you need to be at CWC by 7:30 p.m.

PARADES on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday:

We will be at school each day dressed and ready to go by 12:45.  Please allow yourselves plenty of time to arrive at school, find your uniforms, and get dressed.  Students may elect to stay after school on Wednesday and Thursday until the buses leave, but I would honestly prefer that they don't.  On Saturday the building will be open by noon for students to arrive and get dressed.

Lineup information can be found here:
 - Wednesday:
  - Thursday:
  - Saturday:
On Wednesday and Thursday the band will be meeting in the general vicinity of Columbia Avenue and 9th/10th Streets for those, such as Dutch Dancers, who need to meet us at the start of the parade.  On Saturday we line up on the north side of 8th St again, next to Pizza Hut.

  • In case of inclement weather, only the Thursday parade has an option for being rescheduled to Friday.  Wednesday and Saturday parades are held unless there is severe weather, in which case they are canceled without a make-up date (I don't recall this ever happening in the 30 years of parades I've done...).

If you are driving YOUR child and YOU are present at the end of the parade, all you need to do is find me and check out your child.  If you are driving OTHER students, THOSE STUDENTS must have a permission slip on file with me stating that they may ride with you.  Students may also choose to meet family members back on the parade route in the audience.  I attached the electronic file to the email for this blog link, and it can also be found here -  

  • DUTCH DANCERS should not be considered part of the transportation stuff - I consider Dutch dancers to be "on their own" due to all of their other time and travel commitments, so they are responsible for getting themselves to and from the parades and dance venues on their own unless they tell me otherwise.
  • If in doubt, fill it out!  Better to have too much paperwork than too little in this situation.

There are several folks who are indeed missing a parade in order to participate in an athletic event.  I have heard from MOST of you - please do not assume that because one person on your team is excused, that I know that you are on the same team.  Special kudos to the West JV softball girls who have been on top of this situation for a few weeks!  Great job helping me plan for absences and make adjustments.  You are all set.  If you have not spoken to me or emailed me about this, it's very likely that I don't know what you are thinking.  Might be a good idea to double-check with me in the next day or two...

As we have discussed in class, you are representing yourselves, your band, your school, your community, and in some cases the State of Michigan.  Remember that an interaction that you have with a tourist or community member may be the only one they have with Zeeland.  Make a good impression!  

  • Your uniform is to be completely ON or completely OFF after the parade.  No unzipped coats (take it off if you're too hot) or other variations of the uniform.  Hats and gloves may be removed without concern.
  • If you are walking back on the parade route to meet someone after the parade, make sure to walk behind the audience.
  • Plan to transport your instruments to the parades in their cases.  Uncased instruments on the buses invite damage and unnecessary temptation to play them, both of which would be bad.
  • ALL BAND MEMBERS need crew-length WHITE socks.  
  • I strongly recommend that all students wear earplugs during the parades.
That should cover it, I believe.  If you have questions, please feel free to email me -