Mokena Meteor Music

August 3 - 10, 2018

What is happening in the music department?

In just a few short days, the schools will be welcoming back students from the summer. The Mokena Meteor Music Department is excited to begin our musical journey this year. There have been a lot of changes over the summer and I will do my best to explain everything to our families in our weekly newsletters. This year I am hoping to send out the Newsletters every Friday afternoon so please watch your email!

Important and Exciting Changes to the Band Program!

During the last school year a school board committee was formed to analyze the status of our instrumental music program. The committee considered the quality of our band programs, our desired outcomes, how we compare to our neighbors, and what we could do to develop the highest quality band program possible for our students and the Mokena community. After a great deal of deep consideration, the committee made a recommendation to the administration to make some significant changes to the band programs at Mokena Intermediate School and Mokena Junior High School. The administration has agreed with their recommendations, and we are moving forward to seek out qualified individuals to fulfill the needs of what we believe will be a fantastic band program. We plan to bring our recommended individuals to the August board meeting in order to implement these changes this fall.

The most important change to the program is that we believe students need more time with direct, guided instruction. In many schools this comes in the form of band sectionals taught during the school day by a dedicated band teacher. Currently, there simply is not enough time in small groups to work with students during the morning whole group band time. Students need this regular feedback to improve their skills. Therefore, starting in fourth grade and continuing through eighth grade, we are adding sectionals to the way we instruct our band students.

The way sectionals work are that the students will be separated into small groups according to instrument and will be assigned a thirty-minute session each week. Students will come at their assigned time for specific instrument skill instruction. Students will be rescheduled for sectionals if they are going to miss a test, quiz, or some other major instructional activity. The schedule of sectionals will rotate in a way that makes it so no child should miss the same class more than once a quarter except in very rare occasions. Each grade will have a designated sectional day so both students and staff can plan ahead. Sectionals are not optional and will be a part of the student’s band grade.

A second major change is that band will be an academic elective course that is equal to our other exploratory classes like computers, communications, art, general music, and Spanish. Students will be graded on their performance, attendance, participation, and other curricular measures within the whole band lesson and during sectionals.

Whole group band class will remain during its normal time before school. We will continue to participate in the contests, parades, and concerts as we always have. We confidently believe that the changes to the program will enhance these activities and provide our children with the full, rich instrumental band experience that we expect from our Mokena bands.

If you have any questions regarding the changes in the band program, you can contact either Dr. Rolinitis at or Mrs. Bussean at

Welcome Ms. Taylor Beekman to the Mokena Meteor Music Department faculty!

The Mokena Music Department is excited to welcome a new staff member to the Mokena music family this year! Ms. Taylor Beekman will be joining our team to work with many of our musical groups.

Taylor Beekman is a Frankfort native and proud Lincoln-Way alumnus. She graduated Northern Illinois University in December 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Her ensemble experience on trumpet ranges from small chamber groups to jazz ensembles to orchestras. While at NIU, she had the opportunity to perform as principal trumpet of the NIU Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble, and Wind Symphony and participate in masterclasses with Chris Martin, Bill Denton, and Brandon Ridenour. Ms. Beekman also performed with the NIU Jazz Lab Band and Latin Jazz Ensemble. While at the University of Illinois for part of her degree, Ms. Beekman was a student of Charles Daval and Tito Carillo and performed as principal of the Philharmonic and Harding Symphonic Band and as a member of the Marching Illini, Wind Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble III. At Lincoln-Way East, Ms. Beekman directs the Football Band and Pep Band, coaches the Madrigal Instrumentalists, and is a co-director of the Pit Orchestra. In addition to these ensembles, Ms. Beekman also directs the Lincoln-Way Central Jazz II and is a staff member with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band. This past school year she was an Elementary General Music teacher in Joliet Public School District 86 where she taught K-5 general music to students across six buildings throughout the district.

Ms. Beekman will be the General Music teacher at Mokena Elementary School teaching Pre-school through third grade general music. In addition, she will be directing both the Beginning Band and Concert Band and assisting Mrs. Bussean with Sectionals at MIS.

We are excited to have Ms. Beekman join the Mokena Music Department to share her musical knowledge and experience with our students. Please help us in welcoming Ms. Beekman to our department!

What is Charms?

Please watch the video below for information about what Charms is all about! Below that is a form on how to log in to Charms for the first time using your child's student ID number (available on Skyward or on their student ID card).

Important Information

When do rehearsals begin?


Friday, August 24 First Day of Concert and Symphonic Band (7:00 – 7:30)

Monday, August 27 First Day of Cadet Band (7:50 – 8:20)

Tuesday, September 4 First Day of Beginning Band (7:50 – 8:20)

Remember students should be dropped off NO EARLIER than 6:40 at the Junior High and 7:35 at MIS. The exterior doors of the buildings will be locked until those times.


An informational meeting for new members will happen in the first few days of school. Rehearsals will start after Labor Day (please listen to announcements for information).

IBA Fundraiser - Dollars for Dogs!

The first IBA (Individual Bank Account) Fundraiser of the 2018-2019 school year will take place on Saturday, August 18th. All profits will be split evenly between 20 student volunteers and placed in their Charms account (more information on what money can be used for will be in a future newsletter). Shifts will be from 10:45 am -12:30 pm and 12:15 pm -2:00 pm. Students may sign up for one shift only. We are also looking for two adult grillers per shift.

Please visit the Charms website at the link below to sign up.


The fundraiser will be held at Whitmore Ace Hardware at 11600 Francis Road in Mokena.

The spots filled up quickly last year so we are including a waiting list in case there are cancellations. Please be sure to contact Mrs. Dion at ASAP if your child cannot attend so we can make the spot available to someone on the waiting list.

Please note that we will be having other IBA fundraisers this year in case your child cannot attend this one.

Big picture

August and September, 2018

8/6/18 - Music Booster Meeting 6:00 at MJHS

8/23/18 - First Day of Concert and Symphonic Band

8/25/18 LWMB Marching Band Step-Up Night (Concert Band/Symphonic Band/Guard Only)

8/27/18 - First Day of Cadet Band

8/27/18 - First Day of 8th Grade Sectionals

8/29/18 - First Day of 7th Grade Sectionals

8/30/18 - First Day of 5th Grade Sectionals

8/31/18 - First Day of 6th Grade Sectionals

9/2/18 Frankfort Fall Festival Parade (Concert Band/Symphonic Band/Guard Only)

9/4/18 - First Day of Beginning Band

9/5/18 - First Day of 4th Grade Sectionals

9/29/28 ILMEA Auditions (6/7/8 Band or Choir Students - Optional)