Blanchard MS Bands

September 2015 Newsletter

Check your forms!

Now that we've got things up and running again we need you to check and make sure that your student has turned in his/her band handbook and medical forms (6th through 8th grades). Please make sure you check on Charms to see if your student has returned his/her handbook and medical forms. These are counted as a grade and are very important. On Charms, go to the "Forms Collected" area and you should be able to see these two forms.

Prep band parents, please get on Charms or the band website to print off your prep band handbook form and get it turned in. We will have your student do a medical form if he/she switches bands in December.

5th grade parents, we will send info out on your handbook and form later, so no worries now!

Charms information for everyone

If you're new to our band (5th grade and Prep Band parents) or just didn't use Charms that much last year, please take the time to get acquainted this year. This is a system we'll be using for years to come and it makes everything super easy for everyone. We will again be taking all of our tests on Charms, so students need access at home via a computer or a smartphone or tablet. If you don't have internet, have your student contact a director so we can get you a hard copy of the newsletters and make sure we know that your student will be taking tests in class.

Go to and get going! Our school code is BlanchardBands (one word) and the password is the same as last year (or whatever you changed it to). It was originally set to your last name capitalized correctly, though some people had a first initial with a last name. If you need us to reset the password, just let us know!

5th grade parents, we'll be sending this information home next month so you'll be able to get up and running as well. If you'd like to check it out sooner, shoot us an email and we'll get you the login info.

5th Grade & Prep Band Parents

Congratulations! You've made it through the hardest part of band, and that's the very beginning! Everyone now has their instrument, knows what they're playing, and are taking small steps every day to learn about their instrument and the first notes. The process will be faster in prep band, as it's a smaller class with older students, but the 5th graders are doing great too! It just takes a little longer with 50 kids who we only see 3 days a week. Please stay patient with us as we make sure everyone knows all the basics before we send instruments home. Our goal is to get every student set up for success, and that takes a little time. As for a specific date when instruments will go home, we don't set that. We wait to see what the needs of the students dictate and go from there. If you have any other questions, please touch base with us and we'll get you set up!

Calendar of Upcoming Events (always available on Charms!)

  • September 7th, No School
  • September 11th, Honor band entries & money due! (7th & 8th grade only)
  • September 18th, No school (Parent/Teacher conferences)
  • September 25th, All 8th grade band students participate at HS football game!
  • September 26th, Mason's Breakfast fundraiser for all Blanchard Bands
  • September 29th, Band Booster meeting; 7:00pm in the HS band room

Otis Spunkmeyer & more fundraiser

Thanks to everyone who supported our first band fundraiser! Items will be delivered the week of September 24th. Details will be sent out once we have them!

7th & 8th Grade Band T-Shirt Designs

The 7th & 8th grade band is putting together a t-shirt that they will use for all of their events (pep rallies, a parade, HS football game (8th grade), and more!). The designs are due by Thursday, September 10th. The winning design gets a free t-shirt! Encourage your student to submit an entry.

Honor Band Entries & Money for 7th & 8th graders

During 7th & 8th grade students have the opportunity to audition for two honor bands, All-Region (SWOBDA) and Shortgrass. Honor bands are when students take part in an audition process, much like a huge chair test, and if they earn a seat they get to take a trip (Friday & Saturday) to participate in rehearsals, fun and games, swimming, bowling, and a concert. The rewards are awesome, but a lot of work goes into making an honor band.

Because we want everyone to audition, the music for honor band auditions will be used in class for tests. This will give students extra time to work on the music and get feedback on their progress.

The cost to audition is $10 each ($20 total if you do both) and can be sent to school with your student. Checks need to be made out to Blanchard Bands. A student is signed up when he/she pays, and all money is due by Friday, September 11th.

Background checks for volunteers

Remember that background checks for all volunteers who want to work directly with the students are required. For MS that primarily means our trailer pullers and our hotel chaperones for honor bands. The band has a background check that costs $12.50 and requires you to give us a copy of your driver's license. If you would like to volunteer with the band, please fill out the background check (found on on the forms page) and send it in with a copy of your license. We can also make a copy for you if necessary. We still need lots of parent help, so please don't let this safety measure deter you!

MS Band Students of the Month!

Our MS Band Students of the Month for September are Paige Dewberry, Reed McKenzie, Bailey Adams, & Danielle Burrows!

  • Paige is in the 7th grade and plays percussion. Paige has done amazing job this year with being prepared. She has made sure the back of the room is always cleaned up. Being in percussion, she and the other percussionists always have to make sure they clean up all of their equipment. This past week, the band has been rehearsing for our pep rally and the amount of equipment in the back of the room has doubled. Paige is a leader among her peers and always makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. Thank you for being a boss, Paige!
  • Reed is in the 8th grade and plays the trumpet. Reed has improved as a musician and stepped up for his 8th grade year. He not only is a leader for his section in the 7th/8th grade band, he also is a leader after school as well. Reed has taken it upon himself to help clean up the band room after school. He is a wonderful student who is well mannered and is always on top of his work. Thank you for being such a wonderful role model for the entire 7th and 8th grade band. Keep it up, Reed!
  • Bailey is a 6th grade clarinet player and is doing incredibly well at the start of this year! Her tone is amazing which shows she's practicing regularly, and she is always paying attention in class. On our recent chair test she played almost perfectly and earned a top chair. Outstanding work by an outstanding young lady! Great job, Bailey!
  • Danielle is also a 6th grade clarinet player who is rocking it at the beginning of the year! She is always focused and attentive, volunteering to answer questions or read aloud in class. She plays really well due to all of the hard work she has put in over the last year. We're really proud of you, Danielle!

How to get credit for your monthly newsletter grade! Due by Wednesday, September 23rd!

The purpose of the monthly newsletter is to make sure that students and parents are all on the same page and know about all band activities. To get credit, a parent needs to send an email to Ms. Kauffman that has the following info: student name, grade, parent name, and that the newsletter has been read. This earns you 100%! If you don't have the ability to email, please have your student get a hard copy from a director and it can be signed and returned for the same grade.

Remember, newsletters are only accepted during the month of the newsletter. Once the month has passed, that newsletter can no longer be submitted.

Big image