BAND NEWSLETTER VOL 1 January 23 2015

The purpose of the RPEMS Band Newsletter is to keep you informed of what is happening in the band program for 7th grade percussion, 8th grade band and 7/8th grade jazz band.

7th Grade Percussion

Here is what's happening...

Right now the 7th graders are working out of the red band book and every night they have lines assigned to work on for next periods class. We are also getting ready to begin a percussion ensemble for our final concert in May (more details to come for concert information).

The students were given a bi-weekly practice log to filled out as they practice at home; it has a calendar where students can record the number of minutes they practice each day. The first practice log is due January 25/26 (depending on which day your child has percussion class) with a parent signature.

Also, if you could please help in reminding students that they must have their class supplies for percussion class every single class. Leaving percussion items at home is becoming an epidemic in my class and I would appreciate your help at home in trying to cure this problem.

8th Grade Band

We're preparing for big things ahead...

Right now the 8th graders are preparing for their first adjudicated performance festival being held at Blue Springs High School on Saturday, February 28th. The actual performance times have not been given as of yet, but I have requested an AM performance slot (doesn't mean we will get one). However, I do want to invite all of you to the performance to cheer on our fabulous group!

Also, 8th grade band students are preparing for HS band auditions with the Missouri All-State Band Music. All Missouri high school band kids use this material to audition with every year for All-District band in November; if a child makes the All-District Honor Band then he/she is able to audition for the All-State Band (ASB) in December. The Missouri All-State Band is the top HS band in the state made up of 106 chosen out of 1,200 kids. Ray-Pec HS has had 7 kids in the ASB for the last 2 years and 55 kids in the All-District Band this year alone. It is exciting to see the program growing in great ways!!

For our Ray-Pec HS band auditions (Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band & Concert Band) we will use smaller portions of the All-State Band music, as well as scales, to help place students in the appropriate level of band. The auditions will be held by myself, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Jarrett and our student teacher within the semester. Mr. Wilson is still deciding which portions of the ASB music they will need to prepare.

Very soon I will be sending out your username/password to you individually so you can see how much money has been put into your child's HS band account. This process will take me a few days to complete, so please hang tight. We use a system called "CHARMS" and through my emails you will have directions on how to logon and view your respective account(s).

High School Scheduling is Happening Now...

Your child is currently learning the importance of enrollment at the HS level. Here are some things to consider reminding/discussing with your child:

  • they don't have to take every single class their freshman year
  • they can take Personal Finance and Physical Education during the summer
  • quitting band for a year and then returning their sophomore year doesn't usually work
  • we want kids to be involved in our program and support them if they want to do theatre as well (we work closely with that department, as we share many kids)
  • marching band is crazy-fun, they should be in it--especially if they are not in a sport :)
  • they must be in a regular band during the school day in order to participate in marching band
  • marching band is not a requirement
  • students desperately need a place to belong when they reach HS, band is a great family to be a part of
  • there is an IB track for students who want to be in band and do IB at the same time; students do NOT have to quit band in order to be in IB

How do I know which band my child should choose for his/her schedule (we haven't auditioned yet)?

Please have your child put the band that he/she feels like they would want to be a part of. We will hold auditions soon and make necessary adjustments to your child's schedule on their behalf, if changes become necessary. I.E. Bobby Jones chose Symphonic Band, but he auditioned and made Wind Symphony (we will make this change for Bobby Jones, his parents will not need to worry about this step).

What is the marching band schedule like?

Please check out rpbands.com/calendar for a detailed calendar

My child wants to be a part of Color Guard in the marching band, what should he/she do?

Auditions for this group will be held in the spring. We recommend all band students interested in auditioning for CG should audition for marching band. Auditions for marching band will happen prior to CG auditions; if your child doesn't make CG then he/she will have marching band to fall back on. Mr. Cecil Short is the CG coach and he would be the one to speak to if your child has interest. Cecil.Short@raypec.org

**If you were not able to attend the meeting in December regarding HS band, this sums most of it up. If you have further questions please email any one of the directors.

Director of Bands John.Wilson@raypec.org

Assistant Director Jennifer.Gibson@raypec.org

Assistant Director Dillon.Jarrett@raypec.org

7/8 Jazz Band


This group is AMAZING! I can't even tell you how much they eat jazz band up! For a beginning jazz ensemble, they are doing pretty amazing. We are having so much fun and learning lots of music. Our first concert will be held in the Flex Theatre on February 26th @ 7pm; the HS jazz groups will be joining us as well and it is my wish that you & the kids are able to stay and listen to them as well. It's so good for them to hear what is ahead.

I apologize for all of the changes in the schedule of our jazz festival, we just kept running into stumbling blocks with the calendar. However!! We did find one on Friday, March 6th at Pitts State University. This is the first adjudicated festival any RPEMS jazz ensemble has attended and I'm excited to take the kids. Your child should have handed you permission slip to be assigned to attend this event. March 6th is not a regular school day, so students will need to be brought to school. Departure/Performance/Arrival times are To Be Determined. **Permission slip is required to attend.

Our performance on March 6th will be the official end of jazz band. I have had so much fun with these kids, I'm super sad to see that the end is nearing.

*Monday, I will be serving pizza to the kids (Just for fun) before we begin rehearsal. They are welcome to bring a drink to school/alternative snack that afternoon.

What's New this Semester?

Or should I say, "Who's new?"

This semester, Ms. Kelsey Kurdle, is student teaching with me at Ray-Pec. She is amazing and I am really enjoying having her around. She is showing big signs of being an awesome teacher. She comes from the University of Central Missouri and is extremely knowledgeable, has an eager mind for learning and is FABULOUS with the kids. Soon, she will be teaching solo for me and I have no doubt she will do very well. I have included both of our bios at the bottom, just for fun.

Kelsey Kurdle, Student Teacher

Kelsey Kurdle is a trombone player from the University of Central Missouri. In high school, Kelsey participated in All-District Band (four years), Missouri Fine Arts Academy, and served one year as a Drum Major. While at UCM, she enjoyed participating in various ensembles, including Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensembles 1 & 2, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and serving as Senior Assistant in both Marching and Pep Band. She was a member and President of Sigma Alpha Iota professional women’s music fraternity as well as participating in various other campus organizations and honor societies. Her favorite hobbies include swimming, reading and playing board games. She is very excited to have the opportunity to student teach at Raymore-Peculiar this semester.

Jennifer Gibson, Assistant Director of Bands

Jennifer Gibson began her career as a teacher in 2002 in the Ray-Pec School District. She holds a Masters in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. During her tenure as a teacher her sixth grade choir was recognized through performance at the Missouri Music Educators Association in 2009. She was a Ray-Pec Teacher of the Year top 10 finalist in 2009 and 2012. As a director in the band program, her groups have received superior ratings at festivals. She is a member of professional organizations such as the National Association for Music Education, Missouri Women's Band Director Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Missouri Band Masters and Missouri State Teachers Association. Currently, her duties include high school Symphonic Band, beginning band, 8th grade band and 7th grade percussion.