Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week of 10-31-16

Hello again from the band room - 

It is officially official - the marching band season is done and we have no more performances until the Christmas parade on Monday, November 28.  All of the concert organizations either have been or will begin preparing concert literature in earnest at this time; the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band have a concert on Thursday, November 17, and the annual winter concert for Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble is on Sunday, January 15.

Please consider a contribution to our annual fund raiser.  The fall patron drive is a little behind this year, and we are hoping it picks up this week.  If you would like to contribute online via credit or debit card, you can go to and scroll to the Zeeland High School Band link and enter the amount you would like to contribute.  Since the "quantity" is set at $1.00, you would enter the amount you'd like to give in that box.  So if you're giving $50.00, you would purchase 50 units of $1.00 each.  OR...  Send me a check :)

The past few weeks have been very busy for all of us.  Thank you for getting your kids where they needed to be at the times they needed to be there.  Please use this few minutes of down time over the next week or two between sports seasons and such to get together as a family and see what your kids have been up to.  One of the things I miss about having my kids around the house is family dinners and other family time.  Dana and I had a great time with our son in East Lansing the past couple of weekends (day trips are fun!), so we should probably head to Chicago and see Erin soon as well.  As for me, my goal for this week is to recharge a little - I need to get home earlier in the afternoon because I need to do a few more things before my mountain bike race next weekend.  (Some day I will beat Mr. DeKuiper, but alas this is not going to be the year...)

Have a great week.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns -


Monday, October 24, 2016

Week of 10-24-16

Well, the regular football season has come to an end.  As I start writing this on Sunday afternoon there is no word yet on where the teams will be playing for the first round of playoffs next Friday, but I will keep an eye out and keep everyone posted.
   ***EDIT: BOTH teams will be "away" on Friday, so we will all enjoy a well-earned weekend away from marching.

I will keep this very brief, because it is truly the first week of the year where we have nothing at all on the schedule!

We are hosting All-State auditions this Thursday and Saturday.  Information for the people auditioning has been emailed to them; please check with them regarding times, locations, etc.  I also sent out a student SignUp Genius page to get some extra hands setting up and tearing down, etc.

Infinite Campus should be basically up-to-date now.  I do have to check a few absences, so one or two performance attendance grades may change, but I believe I have filled in all of the performances with grades now.

The Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band have a concert coming up in a few weeks.  More word on that soon - the date is giving us some difficulty due to hunting season...

The ANNUAL FUND DRIVE is happening!  Make sure you send in your donation so we can keep doing great things here.  We are a little behind our usual pace so far this year, so please consider giving to the fund.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week of 10-17-16

Here we are in mid-October and it seems like band camp just ended a couple weeks ago.  The time flies in the fall season; starting this week we begin to settle into a different routine for a few months.  There are still plenty of marching band details over the next couple of weeks, so I will keep this post to those items.

This FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 marks our last "official" full band performance of the season.  It's the East/West game, and always proves to be lots of fun for the whole community.  It is also the night we will recognize our seniors.

Post-season play?  As I said above, this week is the last "official" game.  After this week's game the teams enter the playoff rounds, and we sort of play it by ear, as they say.  If the teams travel to an away site, the band does not travel.  If the teams are home, we at least have a pep band at the games.  If a visiting team brings their band to a ZHS game, then our band will be at the game in uniform as well.  I totally understand the schedule conflicts at this point, so just keep me posted as things come up if your son/daughter has to miss a show.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 is our mattress sale in the East cafeteria.  We've done two of these over the past year and a half and raised over $10,000.00.  The money raised from this sale will go into the band trip account and be credited to individual students.  This is a great fund raiser because it is so easy and can make plenty of money.  Your child will be credited with a sale when a customer brings in the coupon that students were given last week.  We keep track of this and students are given credit via our accounting system.  It's SO simple.  Students and parents may even text or email the coupons to prospective customers.  We also have dozens of yard signs available if you would like to pick one up for your property.  This sale works best through word of mouth, so get the info out!  Here is a link to the Facebook event - - please join it and invite others as well.  Sheets and pillows will also be available; order sheets through the link on the Facebook page.  Another way to join the event is to text "Zeeland" to 616-201-2030.  You will receive an auto-reply message that you can forward to your contacts.  Mattresses will be delivered to people's homes; you do not have to worry about any delivery or other issues whatsoever.

ALSO on October 22, Cindra Zwart will again be hosting a Life Expressions Decor sale.  Buy some great stuff for your house and paint it in the colors you want, and while the paint dries you can shop for a mattress.  These signs make great gifts and are reasonably priced.  The Facebook event is here for more information -

We hope to see lots of you at these events on Saturday!  There will be a SignUp Genius email that outlines some opportunities for families to work a 1-2 hour shift assisting at the sale; students will earn extra money for working.

Speaking of seeing lots of you, it was awesome to have such big crowds Monday and Tuesday evenings last week.  The kids really needed an audience on Monday night, and hundreds of people helped out.  Tuesday wasn't as successful as we had hoped, but it's been a very different season in many ways; we've discussed it at length and are ready to move on and make a few changes.  It's always fun to perform for a big crowd, and both nights were well attended.  Thanks for coming out.

I will finish up a few other blog updates I've been working on and get them out soon.  They deal with topics like private lessons, new instruments, how we select students for various concert band groups, etc.  Each and every one is an exciting page-turner you're sure to read over and over again...

Enjoy your week!  Things are definitely slowing down here for a bit: one fall athlete said to me on Friday that now that soccer and band are winding up he is getting a little bored and needs something to do!  I told him to go practice.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Week of 10-10-16

Believe it or not, we've made it to the end of the competition season; tonight is our final Monday rehearsal and tomorrow is MSBOA festival.  Hard to believe that band camp ended two months ago.

Only a few things for this week, but it's an important week!!

TONIGHT is our final Monday rehearsal from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the stadium.  I know that some sections are planning earlier times so they can work on things together before full band.  Don't forget that you and your friends and neighbors are all invited to view our final run-through at 8:30 or so as well.

TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 11, is our festival performance.  Here is a link to the details that I sent out last week:

We still need a couple volunteers for tomorrow night as well.  A few more band guides and we will be all set, I think.  Please go here to sign up.

Things are sounding very good lately.  We still have a bit to go on our visual presentation, though!  Tonight's rehearsal will be vital to our success.  

FRIDAY, October 14 - East home football.  THE EAST CROWD HAS NEVER SEEN OUR SHOW!!  Last time we were scheduled to perform for them with the full band we got rained out.  It will be nice to have a whole show ready for them this week!!

Saturday's performance at Grandville that was on the original calendar has been canceled.

Looking forward to a great week!  See you tonight.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

MSBOA Details

Here are final details for Tuesday, October 11 MSBOA Marching Band Festival:

We will be hosting festival here at Zeeland Stadium again.  Our band performs at 8:30 p.m. and is the last band of the evening.

  • REPORT TO SCHOOL to dress by 6:45 p.m.
  • We will walk over to the stadium together at 7:25
  • Our warm-up time is 7:45
  • Our performance time is 8:30 
  • After the ratings have been announced, students will return to the band room to change and put away equipment
YOU should volunteer to help out!  Here is a link:


Thanks - let me know if you have any questions.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Week of October 3

I am not a superstitious person.  Seriously.  Not at all.  I promise.  But I AM beginning to wonder just a little...At least Friday night's rain was gentle and not a soaking deluge like Sept. 23.  And Saturday's rehearsal (in which we accomplished a lot of really good things) was just fine.  When the band left Zeeland for Hastings Saturday afternoon I even thought maybe we'd beaten the whole weather system, since it was raining behind us, and Hastings looked clear.  Until we arrived.  Of the 24 or so bands that performed on Saturday, only the last six were rained out.  The stadium was evacuated due to lightning and the crowd and the competition were moved inside.  It's almost like the storm found us and was angry that we tried to get away...

Due to the competition being inside, all of the judges scored the bands for music only; we ended up with a 77.7, which is right about where I figured we would be.  I really wanted some marching scores, but more importantly a video of the performance so kids can see where things are going wrong and can be fixed.  We desperately need to perform in front of a dry, quiet audience at some point, but alas, that may be next Tuesday at festival!

Anyway, this week we are putting the final touches on the show for next Tuesday, which is MSBOA Festival already, and we have plenty of things to do in order to make that a successful night.

TONIGHT: Monday, October 3 - Rehearsal at the stadium 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 4 - Color Guard practice 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 6 - West Homecoming pep assembly (daytime)

Friday, October 7 - West Homecoming Football - FULL BAND required performance

Saturday, October 8 - POSSIBLE rehearsal 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. at the practice field.  This may or may not happen - we definitely need the work, but there are many athletic events, etc.  I will make a concrete and final decision after tonight's rehearsal and let folks know.  (Please do not reply regarding schedules yet; I know there will be conflicts.)  If we do have a rehearsal, I will schedule a bus or two to take us to the parade route after we are done.

Saturday, October 8 - Pumpkin Fest Parade - 3:00 p.m. - FULL BAND required performance


Monday, October 10 - FINAL Monday rehearsal of the season

Tuesday, October 11 - MSBOA District 10 Marching Band Festival at Zeeland Stadium
 - There will be plenty of opportunity for you to volunteer for this event.  Look for a SignUp Genius email in the next day or so.

REMINDER...  The East/West football game on Friday, October 21 was originally INCORRECTLY scheduled as a track band night.  Several weeks ago I sent a calendar correction - that night will be FULL BAND - REQUIRED.