Percussion Stuff!

Feb. 2-12

Out of Class stuff. . .

Tuesday, Feb. 9: Girls Pep Band vs. Fox, 5:30 game, 4:30 arrival (only 3 left)

Friday, Feb. 12: No School-----Boys Pep Band vs. Lindbergh, 7:00 game, 6:00 arrival (2 left)

Feb. 15: No School

Feb. 19: Last Pep Band-Girls vs. Marquette, 7:00 game, 6:00 arrival

Feb. 20: Symphonic Band Day for select students

Parents--begin looking for appropriate clothing for percussion ensemble. This year it looks like we will be wearing dress clothes in the color combination of black and green. Dress clothes mean: avoid tennis shoes, t-shirts and denim. We allow students to choose their dress as long as it meets these simple guidelines. If students choose to abuse this privilege, then we will go back to a more strict uniform.

In Class. . .

We will warm-up each day with Great Hands for a Lifetime, adding the Singles and Doubles to Basic and all paradiddles and 3 stroke ruff for Intermediate.

Playing tests/rehearsal in the following order: Breakfast at Timpani's E - end Head Talk 115 - 130 Mercury Rising 142 - 150 and Ave Maria 33 - end

There is a Movenote due this week: Rockin' Rickie Rocket top - A

Long Range Planning

Feb. 20 (Sat) 11:00 am Symphonic Band Day (selected students)

Feb. 29-Mar. 3 TBA Large Ensemble Festival (selected students)

Mar. 5 (Sat) TBA Solo and Small Ensemble Festival (required)

Apr. 15 (Fri) 8-10 pm Orchestra Pops Concert Rehearsal (volunteer)

Apr. 16 (Sat) 7:30 pm Orchestra Pops Concert; (Rehearsal 1-4 pm, volunteer)

Apr. 29 (Fri) 7:30 pm TENTATIVE Spring Band Concert

Apr. 30 (Sat) TBA State Solo and Small Ensemble Festival,

University of Missouri, Columbia MO

May 9 (Mon) 7:30 pm South High Percussion Concert

May 13 (Fri) 7:30 pm South High Graduation, Queeny Park; Arrive by 6:00 pm

A Little Something Extra. . .

Ok, its not so little. I have returned from our State music conference. This is a 3 day event that is filled with concerts, clinics and exhibits from music educators around the state of Missouri. Parkway South had a Women's Choir perform on the conference, a great honor. Directors submit recordings of songs and are adjudicated and ranked by out of state volunteers (high level musicians) who choose what ensembles perform at the highest level. Those ensembles chosen get to perform on the following year's state conference.

About 5 years ago, our Percussion Ensemble submitted a recording for consideration. We were NOT selected but were told, privately, that the conference could not take 2 percussion ensembles and the University of Missouri had earned the top performing spot. Yes, we were out performed by a collegiate ensemble, as we should be. This was disappointing and encouraging all at the same time. I was disappointed to not get to take a great group of percussionists to perform, but to think we may have out performed other collegiate ensembles as well as high school ensembles. . . ?

In the Spring of 2017, I would like to submit another recording for consideration to perform at the 2018 Missouri Music Educator's State Convention. This will require us to go above and beyond what we normally do. We would have to make time in our schedules to have a recording session. We would have extra rehearsals, a lot of them. I would have to understand how to create the music in every piece and dictate to the students how to make that happen. The students would have an even greater responsibility--they MUST learn their notes and rhythms according to the created time schedule. I would really need the students to commit to me for the year, especially the 2nd semester. This would be on top of everything else they do for Parkway South. I know it is asking a lot, but the opportunity to perform for this specific audience is well worth the experience.

There will be tears, anger, frustration. . .but also , joy, bonding, relationship building and love of sharing this experience and music with others. Your students will hate me every once in a while, yet in the very next breath be so excited to perform some really cool music. I will cry, your students will cry, you will cry and possibly no one will understand why I will push their students so much. You won't until after the performance. Of course, that is if we are selected.

Our category is Collegiate and Small Ensembles. There are 2 slots for this category. All small ensembles, high school and college, are competing against each other. Our recording will have to be flawless and memorable. This why I want to have a professional recording experience. I don't know if it will be an evening or a weekend, right now I am open to discussion. Getting a quality recording will NOT be easy. Even if everything is flawless, we may not be selected. What, then would have been the point? Students will find out how good they can be and hear the fruits of their labors, the results of serious practice and rehearsal.

It is my desire, that every student hop on board for an exciting ride to greatness. I plan to be the best we ever have and will not let down. You have until August 2016 to get some sleep and be a little lazy. Next fall, we are going to hit it hard in anticipation of a great recording. I refuse to believe that other schools have "better" kids than I do. . .than we do!

Sorry this got lengthy, I want you to understand some higher expectations. We have always done well with "do what I ask you to do". Now I'll be asking more, but the greater the sacrifice the greater the reward.

If you have questions, concerns or whatever, please contact me through email or face to face. I really hate talking on the phone, if I can avoid it, I will.

To the Seniors of 2016 and 2017, although you will not get to perform if selected, remember, you were instrumental in raising those who came after you. Your worth is not just how good you were in the group, but how well you left it.


This got really serious fast. I still plan to enjoy the next few years, we're just going to amp up the expectations. Check out my website for college audition information and summer camp info. New is scholarship audition dates for Missouri Southern State Univeristy.

I also have to encourage you to look into a local summer percussion camp. You will get to play a variety of instrument and be introduced to some world percussion by some of our local greats. Check out the Strike Institute held right here in St. Louis. I will get more information ASAP.