Bison Band May Newsletter

May 2020

Band Family Updates

Dear Band Families, Students, and Friends,

It has still been hard adjusting to life without students on campus and now it is already time to wrap up the year. I am sad that we will not have the opportunities to say goodbye to our class of 2020 and our other students in person. I’m not sure if any of our digital efforts have had the same meaning, but we hope that families and students have recognized how much we have missed them.

Parents, I hope you are looking forward to the summer where your role as a parent will be somewhat normalized and you take a much needed break from being both a parent and teacher. Students, I wish you a rested and reflective summer season too!

As we mentioned in our last correspondence, we are continuing our discussions with Fenton on how to move forward with summer and fall planning. I am actively working with our administration team to develop solutions that will ensure student safety but also minimize the impact to our program when we do eventually return. Please note that there will be changes. There will be adjustments. But there will also be MUSIC.

As more specific information becomes available, I will reach back out and share it with you. In the meantime, please know that I am thinking of, and thankful for, you. Hang in there and rest assured that we will have our Fenton band students back to making music together as soon as we can.

Please read this entire newsletter for important information regarding the numerous band events and connections for this upcoming summer.


Garett George

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The Music Department Awards Program was virtually presented to our students this past Tuesday night. Click here to access the many achievements by our music students. This includes our senior Spotlight video.


Congratulations to our 2020-2021 Band Student Leadership team! They worked hard interviewing other leaders, putting together creative videos, and assembling their band resumes. Drum Majors interviewed and auditioned for their positions. Click here to see next year’s student leaders!


As of right now, Fenton HS is recommending that all school owned materials held by freshmen through juniors be returned in the fall. There will be a process for that collection, and once we learn what that is, we will share that information.

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Considering joining the band next year but aren’t sure? It’s not too late. Join us for a trip to Disney, a potential Illinois Music Education Conference performance, and much more. Email your counselor and or Mr. George and request your recommended band. It’s always easier to drop a course than it is to add!


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Memorial Day Parade is cancelled.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all in person gatherings at Fenton H.S. for the summer of 2020 are cancelled OR must happen remotely. We are looking to see what interest there may be in small group lessons/masterclasses. This will be our only way to offer this program. Please fill out the Google From here so that we can assess our community’s interest in this program. Note: The “Mentor” band is available to all band students in Bensenville and Wood Dale entering grades 7-12. Alumni are also welcome. Mentor Band would start remotely June 15th.
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Are you in need of a band instrument, percussion instrument, Fenton Chromebook, or other learning tool to help you with summer music making? Please reach out to Mr. George as soon as possible so arrangements can be made at or text him via Remind.


Interested in joining the 2020 Fenton Marching Band? Click here for our digital and paper Marching Band Commitment form. Next year’s show will feature the music of Fenton, showcasing the music of the people of Fenton H.S. This is a custom designed halftime just for us! We are very excited about this creative endeavor. We hope you can join us!

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all in person gatherings at Fenton H.S. for the summer of 2020 are cancelled OR must happen remotely. We have modified our summer schedule to accommodate this situation. Please click here for dates and times of remote marching band rehearsals.

Please click here for our 1st Summer Marching Band Letter. This has important information for all involved.

Join the 2020 Marching Bison Band


Color Guard tryouts will happen remotely June 3-5 at 5:30pm. Ms. Donath has created videos for students to learn the tryout routines. Interested students should:

  1. Complete the Marching Band commitment form (above)

  2. Contact Ms. Chamberlynn Donath, our Color guard coach, at

  3. Watch the drop spin video, the pole hit video, and the School Song video.

  4. Record yourself performing the drop spins and pole hits.

  5. Share those videos with Ms. Donath at her email above.


Drumline tryouts will happen remotely June 3-5 during the marching band rehearsals. Mr. Collins will be creating tryout videos (coming soon) for students to learn the music. Interested students should:

  1. Complete the Marching Band commitment form (above)

  2. Contact Mr. Brian Collins at

  3. Watch the tryout videos (coming soon)

  4. Learn the snare exercise (No. 9) and the mallet exercise (reading) at this link.

  5. Do your best and be ready to play for Mr. Collins on June 3-5

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all in person gatherings at Fenton H.S. for the summer of 2020 are cancelled. Therefore, the Fenton Marching Bison Band will be unable to attend the parade this year.


Thank you goes out to our music boosters who have supported our students and programs this year! They have given out over $2000.00 in scholarships, helped fit students for uniforms, and fed the band several times in one way or another. They have provided fundraising opportunities to students and have hosted several others to offset costs. Thank you to our board: Mrs. Tellez-Lara, Mrs. Martinez, Mrs. Dye, Mrs. Kirsch, and Mrs. Niehoff for making this happen!

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Mrs. Jackie Dye, our outgoing Music Booster Vice President. Mrs. Dye has given her time, energy, effort, and love of music to all of our students. Her efforts will be sorely missed.

Please know that our Music Boosters are always looking for help. We would love to have you, our band parents, step up into the many roles available that are sent out via sign-up genius. You can also come to a meeting or reach out to Mr. George if you would like to help out.

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In Closing...

We are all very much looking forward to sharing our music with our students and you as soon as it is safe to do so. Please know that while this situation may not be ideal, at home music can still be made. Students can continue to develop their individual skills, grow, and develop. Furthermore, the most powerful performances they can give are the ones they do for their family. Most importantly, we need to stay connected with each other. I encourage all of our students to attend band Zoom meetings that are scheduled so we can continue to develop relationships and grow the band family. We hope that you can help us by supporting your son or daughter in this endeavor. This will allow you and your family to hear all of the great things our students are doing.

As things continue to evolve, we will make every effort to keep you informed. Please let us know what questions you may have.

Have a great summer and be safe!

Musically yours,

Garett George