Winter Park High School Band Notes

August 12, 2018


Dear Band Families:

Congratulations and thank you to everyone on a terrific Marching Band Camp! As I said Thursday night, this is easily one of best sounding marching bands in my six years at Winter Park, and I am very excited to hear (and see) them get even better as the "marching band season" progresses!

I'd like to thank Mr. Matt Arnold and Mr. Paul Maldonado for attending our camp Preview Show on Thursday night! Mr. Arnold caught me outside the Band Room on Friday morning and wanted to make sure that I thanked our outstanding parent volunteers on his behalf! He also wanted to thank and acknowledge our incredible drum majors: Topher Adams, David Johnston, and Colin Urbina!

I also want to echo something that Mr. Arnold commented on during our Preview Show on Thursday, and that is the idea that our Band students are student-musicians. Band, Choir, Orchestra - they are all curricular classes, not "extra-curricular." They all have assessments and curricular objectives, and, along with the other five or six class periods during the school day, they all have the expectation that students will keep up on the progress of their instrument. I strongly encourage daily practice time - even if it is only for 15 or 20 minutes on the more busier days. Consolidating practice into long periods of time, or only on weekends, will not allow the student-musician to grow musically. Shorter bursts of concentrated practice time each day will produce much better results, not only for the individual student, but for the Bands as a whole. I encourage everyone to take a moment and check-out Wynton Marsalis' "Twelve Ways to Practice" article.

When students continue to strive for excellence in their own daily music habits, the Winter Park Band Program can continue to flourish as an outstanding example of music education in the state of Florida - a 79-year tradition!

Next, in school on Monday, students will receive a hard copy of the 2018/2019 Band Handbook. This handbook serves as the Band's "syllabus" for the school year, and it is important that both students and parents read it carefully as there have been some changes made from last year. There is also a Band Handbook Acknowledgement Form that is due by this coming Friday, August 17, however, you are welcome to print this off tonight and bring it in to school on Monday if you'd like!

Finally, while the first week of school is a very exciting time for all of us, I know that it can sometimes be a little stressful - especially for our new members. Please read through all of the information below, and do not hesitate to contact me or Mr. Clemente if you have any questions or concerns!

Thank you, and All the Best!

Mr. Blackmer


First, with regards to bus transportation for our Freshman Band students. Students/parents will want to refer to 2 different pieces of route information - the morning route (from home to the Ninth Grade Center) and the afternoon route (from the WPHS Main Campus back to home). Depending on your location in relation to these two buildings, you may or may not have a route available in the morning and/or afternoon, it just depends on how far away you live. As related to transportation, they really do function like two separate schools. Click HERE to "find your bus." You will see that there are two school options for Winter Park.

Second the Freshman Jazz Band has been moved to the Ninth Grade Center, and will meet during 4th Period on that campus each day. Band students will now be transported over to the Main Campus just prior to either 6th Period (Wind Symphony) or 7th Period (Concert Band).

Third, Freshman Band students will store their instruments/music in the Music Room at the Ninth Grade Center during the school day, and retrieve prior to boarding the shuttle bus to the Main Campus. There are no individual lockers like at the Main Campus Band Room, however, there is plenty of shelf space to store everything. Please consolidate space on the shelf as much as possible (keeping everything neat, organized, and off the floor), and make sure that everything is clearly identified with the student's name!


The University of Central Florida's Music Department will be holding their annual "All-State Preparation Clinic" on Saturday, August 25. This is a FREE clinic, but students do need to register at All Winter Park Band students who will be auditioning for the Florida All-State Band are strongly encouraged to attend, and even those who are not auditioning for All-State Band, remember that the All-County Band auditions are based on some of the same music as All-State!

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The Marching Band does not traditionally perform at the pre-season football game if it is held away from Winter Park, however, we have been asked to try and bring a pep band to this year's away pre-season game at Edgewater High School. If students are able to attend the game on Friday, August 17, at 7:00 PM, they are asked to complete the Google Form found HERE! If students are going to play at this game, please sign-up by Wednesday, August 15!


Volunteers needed this week for Concert Uniform Fittings! No experience necessary. If you have a flexible day schedule on Thursday or Friday, please help us out.

Volunteers are needed Thursday, August 16, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM for the freshman Band class. For Friday, August 17, we need volunteers from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM, and then again 12:15 PM to 2:20 PM.

You can volunteer for all shifts or partial shifts. To volunteer, go to and choose the “Calendar” quick link at the right side of the page. Choose the "helping hand" icon on the day/time for which you can volunteer to sign up OR contact Sharon Flood at if you can assist. We need you!


The Winter Park Bands will be hosting their 2nd annual Mattress Sale Fundraiser on Saturday, September 29 in the East Cafeteria! This is a great way for students to earn credit into their Band account, and there is a Facebook event page found at Please share this event on your own Facebook page, and encourage others that you know (even if they are not part of the WP Band Program) to share as well!

We will have our kick-off meeting for parents/students on Tuesday, August 21 at 5:00 PM in the Band Room. This meeting will last 30 minutes or less, and Custom Fundraising Solutions will be donating $5 to the Band Program (and ultimately into student accounts) for each parent in attendance!

Look for additional information coming in a specific mattress sale e-mail later this week!

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Please see the picture below depicting our Marching Season Parking Routine. Following these rules will allow our tractor trailer to easily maneuver out of the bus loop before the Band buses depart. It will also allow us to safely park the trailer for easy unloading upon our return. Thank you for your help with this!

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We are seeking volunteers to help out at our annual Trailer Work Day on Saturday, August 18. Volunteers are needed to help with pressure washing and detailing. We are in need of some folks with access to a pressure washer. Please contact Willson McBurney at if you can assist.


Even though the holiday season is past us, this is still an excellent tool to raise money for the Band every time you shop at Amazon. The Winter Park High School Alumni Band Association is a registered charity on, so please remember to use this unique link to shop at Amazon every time, and a small percentage of the sale (at no cost to you) will automatically be sent quarterly to the WPHSABAA account and then donated to the Winter Park Band Program. If we all use this link every time, we can raise funds on an ongoing basis to help the band!

If you have any questions, contact Jane Claus at

First Tuesday Marching Band Rehearsal

Tuesday, Aug. 14th, 2:45-5pm

2100 Summerfield Road

Winter Park, FL

First Wednesday Marching Band Rehearsal

Wednesday, Aug. 15th, 1:45-5pm

2100 Summerfield Road

Winter Park, FL

Meet the Cats "Pep Rally"

Thursday, Aug. 16th, 6-8pm

2100 Summerfield Road

Winter Park, FL

The uniform for this event is the "Summer Uniform." The 2018 show shirt, tan shorts (with belt), and athletic shoes - the same as what students wore at the Preview Show last Thursday.

Pre-Season Football Game (Pep Band)

Friday, Aug. 17th, 7pm

3100 Edgewater Drive

Orlando, FL

Sign-up to participate HERE.