Blanchard MS Bands

February 2016 Newsletter

February is a busy month!

February starts our spring contest season. The 7th & 8th grade band will have the most activities this month including pre-district contest and district solo & ensemble contest. Then March starts out with their district contest! Please help your student make sure to come in early to get help on solos, ensembles, and any other music that might need it. We're here to help and are glad to do it, but when students are waiting until the last minute it is causing us a lot of issues. Thank you for your help!

Calendar of Upcoming Events (always available on Charms!)

  • February 4th, Parent-Teacher conferences (directors unavailable)
  • February 5th, Parent-Teacher conferences (directors unavailable)
  • February 5th-6th, All-Region Honor Band; Weatherford (7th-12th grades)
  • February 15th, No School
  • February 17th, 7th & 8th clinician Mr. Charlie Bartrug (in class)
  • February 19th, Pre-district Contest @Edmond Santa Fe HS (7th/8th & HS band)
  • February 21st, Mattress Sale
  • February 22nd, 7th & 8th clinician Mr. Seth Boothby (in class)
  • February 24th, Solo & Ensemble pass offs due
  • February 27th, District Solo & Ensemble Contest (7th-12th grades)
  • March 4th, MS District Contest @Edmond Santa Fe HS (7th/8th)
  • March 14th-18th, Spring Break
  • March 24th, Tecumseh Honor Band (6th grade)

Honor band hotel fees

If your student is a member of All-Region, you should have received an itinerary filled with info, so please read it carefully! There is a $25 hotel/dinner fee for All-Region members that is due by the first day of the honor band, February 5th, or anytime beforehand.

Solo & Ensemble Reminders

Solo & ensemble rehearsals are well under way! Students playing a solo and using one of our accompanists should have already signed up for rehearsal times (check with your student). Soloists using an accompanist need to bring $20 to offset the cost of the accompanist. This is due by the day of solo & ensemble, Saturday, February 27th.

If your student is in a large ensemble, we are rehearsing one day a week in class but they should be working on their music independently as well. Students in smaller ensembles should be working on their own outside of class time and are welcome to come to the HS for extra help.

All students participating in solo and ensemble need to play for a lesson teacher or a director in order to pass off and participate at contest. This should be scheduled for before or after school by February 24th.

And remember, parents, friends, and family are encouraged to come to solo & ensemble on the 27th at Norman HS and watch your student compete! Students usually perform in a more intimate setting, like a classroom or band room, and you can watch the entire performance and judging process. It's much different than our large competitions and it's nearby so make plans to come check it out! We'll have a scheduled itinerary to you as soon as we get it.

Instrument Step-Up Night

Come check out the next level of instruments for your student on Tuesday, March 8th from 6:30-8:00pm at the HS band room! Ada Music will be bringing in all kinds of intermediate instruments for our students to try out. If you'd like to see a specific instrument, let Ada Music know and they'll do their best to get it here. The instruments will be in the band room all week for students to test (with their own mouthpiece!). If you rent from Ada you have options for applying some of the money you've paid towards your current instrument to a new one. And if you're not in the market to go all the way for a new horn, come check out the nicer mouthpieces they'll also have available. A new mouthpiece is a great way to improve your sound if you're not ready to commit to a new instrument. If you have any questions about instruments, mouthpieces, or financing, give Ada Music a call - 580-436-0838.

Guest clinicians for 7th & 8th grade band!

On February 17th & 22nd the 7th & 8th grade band will have two hour rehearsals (during school) to work with two awesome teachers from our area. First, Mr. Charlie Bartrug will be here. He is retired and most recently worked at Yukon HS as the head band director. He's one of the smartest dudes around! Second, Mr. Seth Boothby from Tuttle will work with our students. He is also the president of our All-Region band and has been named the band director of the year. He's awesome! We look forward to having these guests work with our students so they can learn, and so can we!

Mattress Fundraiser Reminder!

Remember to spread the word about our upcoming mattress sale that is happening this month on Sunday, February 21st, 10am-5pm in the HS Commons. We will be sending home flyers with students on the 10th and we have yard signs available in the band room that students can pick up for you. Thanks to the parents and friends who came to the meeting and earned the band $165!

Here is a flyer to distribute to everyone you know! Also, you can text "Blanchard" to 405-531-9744 to get a direct link to the event (the most texts you will receive in response is 2, so you won't be bombarded!).

Background checks for volunteers

Please remember that if you didn't fill out your form with Brenda at uniform checkout and get her a copy of your driver's license, you'll need to get that done prior to volunteering. The cost of the background check is $12.50 and is required if you want to work directly with our students. For more information, contact Brenda at

MS Band Students of the Month!

Our Blanchard MS Band Students of the month for February are Jasmine Lehman, Gabriel Rodriguez, Axzandrea Jolliff, Kevin Zheng, Madison Burch, Chloe Utley, Connor Lange, & Matthew Tange!

  • Jasmine is in the 7th grade and plays the trombone. Jasmine is part of a section that has struggled since the beginning of the year. The trombone section has become rockstars and has improved a tremendous amount. Jasmine is a extremely thoughtful and helpful young lady. She stays every day after class and cleans up the extra stands that other students have not put away. Jasmine cares for others and makes everyone feel great about themselves. Thank you, Jasmine, for being a great role model and a wonderful helper in our band!
  • Gabriel is in the 8th grade and plays the clarinet. Gabriel has come a long way as a clarinet player since last year. He continues to improve on the clarinet and as a musician. Gabriel is also friendly to everyone and extremely helpful. Gabriel stays after class with Jasmine and helps put away all of the music stands. When anyone in his section needs help, he stops to help them. Gabriel continues to impress us with his attention to detail and how he cares for others. Way to go, Gabriel, and thank you!
  • Axzandrea is a 7th grade trombone player in the 6th grade band. She participated in band as a 5th grader but had to start over this year in prep band due to missing her 6th grade year. She has worked very hard to catch up and be right on track! On her first chair test she was at the top of a section of 12 students! Her determination is admirable and we are so impressed with her dedication. She may be quiet in class, but watch out when she plays! Keep up the great work, Axzandrea!
  • Kevin is also a 7th grader in the 6th grade band. He joined prep band this year and chose to play the trumpet and has gone from knowing absolutely nothing about the trumpet in August to now being caught up to the 6th grade band and sitting at the top of the section! Kevin is a very focused student and he absorbs anything and everything we tell him. He goes home, practices what he's learned in class, and comes back to school everyday a better player than the day before. Thank you for always giving your very best effort, Kevin!
  • Madison is in the 5th grade and plays the clarinet. Madison has improved a stupendous amount since the beginning of the school year. She continues to practice and improve. Madison is extremely hard on herself and constantly wants to get better. Along with her impressive musicianship, she keeps everyone else on their toes. Madison makes sure everyone around her is following instructions and staying on task. Keep it up, Madison!
  • Chloe is in the 5th grade and plays the clarinet. Chloe has recently received 1st chair on our last chair test. Chloe is a very hard worker and is a responsible young lady. She practices regularly and works extremely hard to improve at her craft. Chloe is very sweet and friendly to everyone around her. If something needs to be taken care of before or after class she is one of the first to volunteer. Thank you, Chloe, for being amazing!
  • Connor plays trombone in the 5th grade band and has improved so much! He works hard in class and always has a smile on his face and a good attitude, even when he's had a long weekend and doesn't feel great. He works hard in class and shows that he's learning and progressing on his instrument steadily. Connor is also always willing to help out with anything, including the not-so-fun tasks of stacking chairs and putting away stands. He jumps in to help anyone and we appreciate his kindness. Thank you for making our class smile, Connor!
  • Matthew is an outstanding young man who plays the trumpet in the 5th grade and on the last two chair tests has earned first chair. There are times he is very hard on himself and that's hard to watch because clearly he has an amazing talent that we see everyday! Our favorite days are the ones where Matthew has a smile on his face, he works hard, and he plays well. And when he laughs, it's the best laugh ever and always makes us smile! We can't wait to see what awesome things are in store for Matthew as this year progresses and as he moves into the middle school band program. We think you're awesome and we're so glad you're part of our band, Matthew!

How to get credit for your monthly newsletter grade! Due by Friday, February 26th!

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 the Blanchard Band directors 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.

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