Calendar of Events
As we transition from marching band to concert bands, now is a good time to revisit the band calendar of events to ensure that upcoming performances of concert bands, jazz bands, and solo festivals are correctly entered into student and family planners. The calendar is available under Quick Links on the band’s homepage
Reminder: “subscribe” to the UHS Band Calendar electronically by following the instructions, which are also under Quick Links on the band’s homepage.
Solo / Ensemble Festivals
If your child is interested in participating, here are his/her basic responsibilities:
- With the help of a teacher, pick out appropriate solo music
- Fill out the online sign-up form (also linked on band website) by 4:00 p.m. on Nov. 17th – Hard Deadline.
- Pay the participation fee by Dec. 8, 3:30 p.m. – hard deadline. (Invoice will be handed out on or near Dec. 1st)
- Order an original print of their solo music (Rieman’s or other)
- Practice with and pay for their accompanist (all rehearsals and performances generally total app. $60). We will assist the students by partnering them up with an accompanist.
Fee: Solo = $15; small ensemble = $10 per person in the group.
Performances will be on Thursday, Feb. 8th at Urbandale High School (in the evening) and Saturday, Feb. 17th at Perry high school in the morning &/or afternoon.
Want to play at an “All-State” level?
Bottom line – do these 3 things.
- Seek private lessons from a local professional on the same instrument
- Play on a “professional” quality instrument (& mouthpiece)
Click here for a list of great instrument makes/models
- Practice daily with a disciplined approach
Also To Excel
It’s never to soon to plan ahead for a life-changing summer experience. For students wishing to excel in music and leadership, we encourage them to broaden their horizons by attending the “Music For All” Summer Symposium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. (Many UHS students have attended in the past.)
Congratulations to everyone who auditioned for All-State. Your efforts help the entire program get stronger.
Here are the results.
SCIBA Honor Band
Participating students will audition for the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association (SCIBA) Honor Band on the evening of November 30, 2017 at Roosevelt High School. If accepted, students will perform a concert at Ankeny High School on January 6, 2018. More details will be published separately on this page.
How to Letter in Band
Click here to see this year’s lettering guide and Op. Ed.
Reminder: Nov. 29 and March 28; 2:30 – 3:30 PM; UHS PAC
All students in activities are expected to attend. The staff will be in attendance also; band students and staff will work together to apply the day’s topics to our work in the band program.
From the Staff
I am excited for the concert band season to begin! We have only met a handful of times so far, but I can tell this is a great group of students! We have been sight-reading some songs in an ascending level of difficulty so we can figure out what music is attainable, and yet challenging in all the right places!
We are doing some sight-reading using the AP “Sight-Reading Factory” to help us build independence and accuracy, and to help us later on in band placement auditions for next year. We are also studying scales to help gain technical proficiency on their instrument.
We will start talking about the Perry Band Olympics which is a solo and ensemble contest that our students can get involved in. Playing a solo or small group is a great way to have fun making music with your friends, and to learn a lot about your instrument. It takes teamwork, preparation, discipline, and social responsibility to prepare and perform a solo or ensemble. I am sure you can relate all of those skills as being important to your job as well. It is a great way to exercise those skills early on in the kids’ development and will better enable them in becoming a valued employee!
I’m very excited to begin concert band season after a successful marching band season. The students have expressed a lot of enthusiasm in the rehearsals we’ve had in the past two weeks. We have read four different works that are being considered for concerts and contests. There is more literature on the way!
We have also spent a large portion of time on blend, balance, tuning, and scales. My musical philosophy is that if a student understands their instrument, they can play any type of music they want. We’ve also been addressing the larger picture of music education: the human side. Watching TED Talks and having class discussions, we’ve been learning about performing, listening, and enjoying music.
The jazz bands would like to invite the band family to the following jazz band performances:
Monday, November 20 w/ Middle School Jazz Ensemble @ UHS PAC
Saturday, December 9 SCIBA District Jazz Contest @ Waukee High School
Wednesday, December 13 w/ Des Moines Big Band @ Noce Jazz Cabaret
The Wind Symphony students are exploring new music. Our goal is to have a majority of the music for the whole school year into the students hands as quickly as possible. As the group is primarily in “reading mode” right now, students are also working to refine several core ensemble playing skills such as tone-matching and non-verbal communication skills.
In addition to the 4 concerts that all bands will perform this year, the Wind Symphony will also share a concert with the 5th grade band on January 18th and will do an exchange/joint concert with the Johnston High School Wind Symphony on April 12th (@ Johnston HS).
The success of the J-Hawk Bands program depends on support from the families of its members. Many of the events throughout the year can only happen with help from dozens of band family volunteers. Thank you for donating your time and effort to the J-Hawk Bands program! – Cindy Miller
General volunteer slots for 2017-18 events
Be sure to check out what slots will be coming up in future months!