Thursday, 24 November 2016

One Week Before Concerts!

Congratulations to all Junior Winds and Jazz Band students on a very nice concert.    Thank you for all your time and thank you to all who came to listen. 

- Grade 7 and 8 Concert - Monday Dec. 5 - 7:00p.m.   Students are asked to meet at Campbell at 6:30p.m.  
- Grade 6 Concert - Tuesday Dec. 6 - 7:00p.m.   Students are asked to meet at Campbell at 6:30p.m.  

In Grade 6 Band
We are in final concert preparations.    Grade 6's have been asked to practice our pieces that we will be performing at the concert.   These include:
-Theme From Beethoven's Ninth
- Let's Go Band
- From our book - Jingle Bells (Page 120, Old MacDonald (p.11), Shark (p.11), and Star Search (p.12)
- The twelve bar blues and the "head" to C Jam Blues

In Grade 7 Band
The Grade 7's are working on final concert preparations.    They have been asked to practice:
- Starry Night - measures 25 - end
- Argosy - flutes and clarinets - beginning, everyone else 51 -end
- Frosty - measures 15-23

In Grade 8 Band

We've worked on Amen up to measure 58 and now we have to work on 58-82.  We've also brought back Canticum for our December concert and are putting the finishing touches on A Quiet Song and Sleigh Ride.  In addition to the pieces, we've practiced our chromatic scale up to 16th notes.  We'll keep working on this to increase our speed.

Concert Coming!

Thank you
- Thank you to all the students who participated in the Dr. Tim Lautzeinheiser clinic

- Band room Concert - Nov. 23 - Jazz Band and Junior Winds.  Students are asked to meet at 6:30p.m. The concert will begin at 7:00p.m.   The concert will be held in the band room.   All parents and friends are welcome.   Students are asked to wear their band t-shirt, dark pants, dark shoes and dark socks.    Students are asked to bring one dozen treats to share after the concert.

This Week in Grade 6 Band
We are now into concert preparation.   Students learned a Concert E natural and have been working on slurs.     We are continuing to work on playing with lots of air and be careful of keeping fingers close to the keys when playing.    We listened As the weather changes brass players are reminded to make sure they are putting slide grease on their tuning slides and oil on their valves.   At this time of the year instruments will dry out more quickly.    Reed players are reminded to be putting cork grease on their corks and to make sure they have a few reeds on the go.  

Students were asked to practice:
1.   Beethoven's 9th - measures 13-21 mesures 21-29 and measures 33-37
2.   In our book some students moved on to Page 13 - 2.11
3.   Students are encouraged to continue experimenting with their compositions

This Week in Grade 7 Band
We are continuing to work on our chromatic scale at the same time as expanding our range.   Students are encouraged to use their fingering charts and work their way up and down.   Many students have been surprised at the notes they did not realize they could play.    We worked at Starry Night measures 25 - end.   This is in the key signature of Concert Eb.  This piece has two key signatures and so we worked on making sure we knew where it changed.   We also worked on 51-end of Argosy.   Students have been surprised with how at first it looked hard, but with all the repetition it is becoming easier than they originally thought.   In Frosty we have been working on first and second endings.   

Students were asked to practice:
1.  Starry Night - they will be tested on measures 25 - end
2.  Argosy 51 - end
3.   Some students were asked to practice assigned lines in their orange book.  

Short Week

- Junior Winds and Jazz Band Room Concert Wed. Nov. 23
- Grade 7 and 8 Concert - Mon. Dec. 5 - 7:00p.m.
- Grade 6 Concert - Dec. 6 - 7:00p.m.

This Week In Grade 6 Band
With this week being a short week we did not see all the Grade 6's.   For those that we did see, we learned a new note   (Concert E)  and began working on Let's Go Band.   Students continued to compose duets.   We asked students to think about "major" and "minor" sounds and added the word "cluster" to their musical vocabulary.   We continued to work on our Concert Bb scale and did this at various speeds.    Grade 6's are reminded that the first day back after the long weekend is a Day 3 and so they should have their instruments at school.
Grade 6 's were asked to Practice:
1.  2.11
2.  Beethoven's Ninth
3.  Let's Go Band - for those who started it. 

This Week In Grade 7 Band
We have begun preparation for our Dec. 5 concert.   We worked on Argosy from 15-51.   After doing this section we discovered we will basically know the entire piece.    Students were asked to practice 51-end.     We also were given the music to Frosty the Snowman.    We read it through and were reminded of first and second endings.    Starry Night is our third piece we will be performing.   In this piece there are many accidentals and so we worked on this immediately after working on our chromatic scale.   Many of the grade 7's are stretching their ranges by not just playing the chromatic scale in one octave, but by playing the entire fingering chart.   
Grade 7's were asked to Practice:
1.   Argosy 51-end
2.  Starry Night - all
3.   Chromatic Scale (using the fingering chart)  

Friday, 4 November 2016


- Congratulations to all Grade 7 and 8 band students on a very nice concert.   Thank you for your work! 

- Winter Concerts are quickly approaching
Dec. 5 - Grade 6 Concert - 7:00p.m. at Campbell
Dec. 6 - Grade 7 and 8 Concert - 7:00p.m. at Campbell

This Week In Grade 6 Band
This week in Grade 6 Band, we put our first seven notes together to create our Concert Bb scale.  As we did this we talked about as our notes go higher how our air gets faster.   As we go lower our air is slower.    We also worked on sustaining our notes for full value.   To do this we wind patterned Ode to Joy and made sure we always felt the wind on our hands.   We listened to the difference between major and minor.   We learned that when we put notes 1, 3, and 5 together we get a major sounding chord and when we put notes 2, 4, and 6 together the chord sounds minor.   We began experimenting with these combinations as some of us began composing a duet.   As well this week we received our first piece of sheet music.  
Students were asked to practice:
1.  Jingle Bells (both parts) - P. 12
2. In their book the first line of P. 13
3.   Compose a four measure duet. 

 This Week In Grade 7 Band
This week was the first time all the Grade 7's played together.    We were quite excited to hear everyone and we are looking forward to our next opportunity to have everyone together at once.   After our concert we began handing out holiday music.   Students received a copy of Frosty the Snowman.   As students receive it, we will be figuring out the form first and then practicing the "A" sections.    Students also played Starry Night beginning to end and worked on measures 15 -51 of Argosy.   Students were asked to practice:
1.   Starry Night - all
2. Argosy - 15-51.  

This Week in Grade 8 Band
This week we started working on Amen up to measure 58.  We also are bringing A Quiet Song back into our repertoire.  Next week we'll be getting one more piece for our December concert.  We also are working on the chromatic scale in eighth notes.

Friday, 28 October 2016

- November 1 "sharing" concert for Grade 7 and 8 band.   Students are asked to meet at 6:30p.m. at Campbell
- If you have not already paid for the band t-shirt, please go online and pay.

Coming Up
-Nov. 1 - Grade 7 and 8 performance at 7:00p.m.
-Nov. 23 - Junior Winds and Jazz Band concert
- Dec. 5 - Grade 7 and 8 Winter Concert
- Dec. 6 - Grade 6 Winter Concert

In Grade 6 Band
This week in Grade 6 band we learned two new notes.   These notes we put together with the other five notes we have already learned to make a scale.    We have begun practicing writing these notes.   We have been trying to get students, to hear it,  play it, see it, write it, and then create their own composition with these notes. 
Students were asked to practice:
1.  Page 12 - 2.7 and 2.10

In Grade 7 Band
This week we are putting finally polishes on Daybreak as well as starting new music.   Students were asked to work on dynamics in Daybreak.   Clouds still has one problem section at measure 40.   Students were asked to practice this section.  We continued to work at phrasing and we continued to work at developing the style of the pieces we are performing.   Students have been working on Solfege sheets.   As we have explained to students, the more they learn to sing something, the better they will be able to listen to group balance and blend. 
Students were asked to practice:
Daybreak - run through
Clouds - measure 40 - 46
Starry Night - m. 1-25
Argosy - m. 15 - 43

In Grade 8 Band
This week we kept working on Canticum for our concert on Tuesday, Nov. 1.  We've especially worked on the transitions and continue to work on shaping our phrases.  We've also began working on Amen.  This piece is tricky because of the time signature being 2/2.  It's a new way of counting but we're getting more comfortable with it.  We've taken a bit of a break on the other pieces but will get back to them after the concert.

Friday, 21 October 2016

- Junior Winds - Clinic at the University - Riddell Center - meet at 10:00 on Sat. Oct. 22
- Nov. 1 - concert for Grade 7 and 8 band students

- Congratulations to all Grade 7 and 8 woodwind students on a nice morning at the University on Wednesday.
- Congratulations to Junior Winds Students on a good clinic on Friday morning.

This Week in Grade 6 Band
This week in Grade 6 band we continued to work at long tones, tonguing and our first five notes.   We continued to work on whole, half, quarter, and eighth note rhythms.   We worked very hard at playing together by subdividing beats.   
Grade 6's were asked to practice:
1.   1.25, 1.26, 1.27 and 1.31.
2.   Experiment with notes on fingering charts
3.   Compose with our first five notes

This Week in Grade 7 Band
We are in the process of preparing for our Nov. 1 concert as well as our December concert.   For our November concert students will be performing Daybreak.   They are asked to make sure they have all notes and rhythms worked out.   As well we began working on sections of Argosy.   Students were asked to practice measures 15-35.  

This Week in Grade 8 Band

Most students have done their playing test on the first 25 measures of Canticum.  Some will finish next week.  We started paying through our other pieces: Amen, Resplendent Light, and Marche Diabolique.  We will continue to add these pieces to our repertoire.

Friday, 14 October 2016


- Grade 7 and 8 Woodwind Days permission forms are now due
- Junior Winds needs to meet at the University at 10:00a.m. on Sat. Oct. 22 at Riddell Theater.   They will be finished at 11:30a.m.    -

Coming Up
-Woodwind Days - Oct. 19 - Grade 7 and 8 flute, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone players will be bused to the university at 9:30a.m. on Oct. 19.   Students need to bring a lunch.   They will participate in clinics, and be treated to a concert.   Students will be bused back at 12:30p.m.  
- Junior Winds Clinic - Oct. 21 - 9:30-10:30a.m. at Campbell. 
- Junior Winds at University Sat. Oct. 22 - 10:00 meet at Riddell, will be finished at 11:30a.m. 

This Week in Grade 6 Band
We are continuing to work on our breathing, and continuing to work on our first five notes.   Brass players are working on lip slurs.  Woodwind players are working on long tones.   Percussionists are working on sticking on mallets.    Everyone is working on rhythm reading.   We have read whole, half, quarter, eighth, and some of us even have tried sixteenth notes.    When we first begin  reading music is an obstacle for some students.   We are using our composition books to practice writing and naming our first five notes.    Students who found this very easy were asked to instead write their own composition using the first five notes.   We practiced composing using scale numbers and volunteer composer/conductors came up to do an on the spot composition.    We also learned the twelve bar blues and started learning the jazz standard C Jam Blues. 

Students were asked to:
1.  Practice - 1.21, 1.22, 1.23, 1.24
2.  Experiment - by looking at their fingering or rudiment chart on p.55
3.  Create - their own composition using 5 notes

This Week in Grade 7 Band
We are working very hard at subdivisions.    Many of us seem to struggle with keeping the same pulse!   Students are encouraged to download a free metronome app to help them keep a steady pulse.   We also began working on chromatic scales.   We explained the importance of chromatic as practicing these not only helps with hand position, but it reminds us of fingerings.   We began practicing the chromatic scale first by using our fingering charts and moving up one "box" in our chart at a time.  We have also been experimenting with matching sounds.   Students were asked to take ownership of bringing their section in, and then attempt to create a unison pitch.   Students are in the process of playing 40 - end of Clouds for us.   We are getting ready to move on to new music and so students need to make sure they have Clouds and Daybreak learned. 
Students were asked to:
1.   Practice 40 - end of Clouds
2.   Practice their chromatic scale

This Week in Grade 8 Band
This week we had a great clinic with Mr. G at the U of R.  Mr. G talked about adding emotion to the music as well as shaping the phrase and we sounded really good by the end of it.  Both pieces are coming along nicely but we still need to work on the fine details.

The next piece we are going to start on is Resplendent Light.  This piece is not technically too difficult but is incredibly hard in regards to the emotional element.

The next playing test is on the first 26 measures of Canticum.