Welcome UHS J-Hawk Band Family! We are glad you are joining us for the 2023-2024 season.
A calendar of all activities for the UHS band can be found at the top of the band website (jhawkbands.urbandaleschools.com). We’ve taken every opportunity to ensure the accuracy of the calendar to help avoid or resolve conflicts with work, vacations, and other activities prior to the event.
Marching Band T-Shirts
All students will be required to wear the official “Urbandale J-Hawk Marching Band T-Shirt” under their uniform for all performances throughout the summer and fall. Incoming students have already submitted orders for a shirt (no charge). Additional/replacement marching shirts are $10 (billed in August).
July Fourth Parade
You will also find linked information on the band website regarding the Independence Day Parade. As you know, Urbandale and Independence Day go hand-in-hand. The community has tremendous pride in the J-Hawk Band. This is a great time to show them our appreciation and provide an excellent community service. Plus, it’s a great way for new band members to meet and work with the older students before the school year begins. Please read the information carefully and let us know if you have any questions. Uniforms will consist of khaki shorts, tennis shoes, and the white “UJB” T-shirts. Shirts will be handed out to new members on the morning of the parade (sizing only guaranteed if pre-order form was submitted).
New Marchers and New High School Band Parents
Please see our calendar for a few activities designed just for you.
- June 29th – New Marcher Orientation – 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
- June 29th – New Band Parent Meeting – 5:30 pm
All activities will be in the UHS Band Room.
Band students in high school, especially those in the advanced ensembles (or aiming for the advanced ensembles in the future) are highly encouraged to step up from their beginner instruments to “professional” level instruments. We’ve compiled a list of quality instruments, which is posted on the quick links section of the band website. Please feel free to e-mail the directors for further advice when preparing to shop for a new instrument. It is one of those occasions when you truly get what you pay for and we’d love to help ensure you get the most for your investment.
All band students and parents should bookmark the band website jhawkbands.urbandaleschools.com. All letters, forms, and other documents will be posted there. Please take the time to explore our website and get to know our program and policies.
Band is a performance class. Attendance at rehearsals and performance is expected. Students who elect to be in band are electing to attend all events according to our calendar.
During July specifically, students who are in town should make plans to attend rehearsals. Please communicate with jobs / schedulers accordingly. Students who are on family vacation or working at camps out of town are not expected to alter their travel plans. Beginning in August, attendance at all camp rehearsals is expected and necessary for students and the ensemble to succeed.
Over the course of the school year, the students will be asked to help with some of the unique expenses relating to their experiences in band.
Music Lyre and Flip Folder
- Purchased from local or online music stores: $10-$15
- Instrument specific lyres and flip folders
- Talk to a director for additional information
Marching Band Uniform – Gloves and Shoes
Along with a music lyre, flip folder, and marching band t- shirt, students must also have marching gloves and shoes. Incoming students will be provided gloves free of charge. Shoes will be ordered on August 5h after being fitted for a uniform. Lost, damaged, or outgrown items must be purchased for returning students through the Activities Store that will go live in August. All students will be guided through the fitting process for both gloves and shoes in August on our Uniform fitting day.
- Marching Band Shoes (specific shoes purchased at school) $41
- Marching Gloves (Purchased at school) $3
- Marching Band T-Shirt (“UJB” Shirt) $10
Students interested in auditioning for Instrumental All-State are reminded to:
- prepare 12 major scales 2 octaves & full range chromatic scale
- prepare 60-80 seconds of solo literature
- study with a local professional on your instrument
- develop fundamental skills such as tone quality, range, endurance
- set and stick to a regular practice routine throughout the summer
- play on the best instrument you can afford
On July 20th, www.ihsma.org will post the additional audition etudes.
Jazz Band Rehearsal Schedule
Every student interested in Jazz Band should plan on attending Tuesday night rehearsals for the first three weeks of school (August 29, September 5 and 12) from 6 to 8pm. These three rehearsals will serve as auditions. With Mr. Breese joining our team, we are starting fresh and everyone will audition regardless of what band you were in last year.
We are aware that jazz band and show choir meet at the same time at the beginning of the school year. We regularly communicate to avoid conflicts.
After September 12, Jazz Band placements will be announced. To have the least number of conflicts with Show Choir, Jazz II will meet Monday nights and Jazz I will meet Tuesday nights from 6 to 7:30 pm beginning September 18th through October 17th
After Marching Band is complete, the jazz band rehearsal schedule will be:
Monday after school/evening TBA, Tuesday evening 6 to 7:30 pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning: 7:00 a.m. – 7:50 a.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday,, Friday morning: 7:00 a.m. – 7:50 a.m.
Thursday mornings 7:00 a.m. – 7:50 a.m.
“The President’s Own” Marine Band Performance
We’re excited to host The President’s Own Marine Band on Thursday, October 12, 2023. Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. More information regarding tickets will be announced early next fall.
We encourage students to seek private lessons with local professionals on the same instrument – both during the summer and during the school year.
The Reality: With the limits of student and staff class schedules, the high school lesson program allows for a 20-minute lesson every week. To be honest, this is a bare minimum to ensure students are able to move forward in their skills, but it falls quite short of helping them fulfill their maximum potential.
Weekly 30-minute private lessons with a local professional is the standard for students who wish to excel. We are happy to help students find the perfect private teacher. Let us know when you (your child) are ready.
*Lessons At School
Lessons will cover a combination of concert repertoire, method books, and solo literature.
Percussionists: Book(s) will be determined on an individual basis at your first lesson next year.
- If a student has finished Volume I, they should move to Volume II.
- If a student is studying with a private teacher, he/she should continue using whatever technique book is being used in those lessons.
*If a student is taking private lessons during the school year, they may opt to “vouch” out of lessons at school.
Have a great summer!