Berrien Springs Band News

6th Grade Welcome Letter

Welcome to Band!

We are excited to begin another year of music at Berrien Springs!


If you are receiving this email, your student is enrolled in 6th grade band for the 2017-2018 school year and you have registered your email with the school. Welcome to our new families and returning families! We appreciate your support of the arts at Berrien Springs.


Every week you will receive an email from the band program. These weekly newsletters will have information about upcoming performances, student successes, reminders, and will often include pictures of rehearsals/performances.


You can reply to these emails if you need to contact the band directors or at the contact information found in the "Contact Us!" section of the newsletter.


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Beginning Band Meeting

6th grade band students and parents will have a Beginning Band Night on Wednesday, September 12th at 6:30pm in the Middle School Cafeteria. There, we will give you information on our band expectations, performance schedule and we will have Meyer Music on hand to rent and sell instruments. You are not required to rent from Meyer Music, but they do service our school weekly for supplies and repairs. All students must have an instrument by Monday, September 17th to be in band. We have a very limited supply of instruments available from the school on a need-basis. Please contact a band director for more information.


The 6th grade band's 1st performance will be on Tuesday, October 30th at 7pm at the Berrien Springs High School.

What do I need for Band Class?

Band does require additional supplies than the "regular" classroom. This year, your student will receive his/her band book from the school or from your rental company (Meyer Music/Quinlan & Fabish). You will need to provide your student's instrument and the supplies listed below.


Required Supplies

For Every Class or Rehearsal: pencil, music folder/book (provided by rental company/school), instrument, instrumental supplies. Recommended instrument brands are in (bold-faced print).


For Practicing at Home: folding music stand, metronome, and tuner

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Flute (Gemeinhardt, Yamaha, Jupiter): handkerchief or bandana, tuning/cleaning rod


Bassoon (Fox, Yamaha, Schrieber): cork grease, cleaning swab, 3 reeds in reed case


Clarinet (Buffet E-11 or E-12, Yamaha, Selmer, Jupiter, Cannonball): B45 or 5RV Lyre mouthpiece, cork grease, cleaning swab, 3 reeds (2 1/2 strength) with a plastic reed guard


Alto Saxophone (Yamaha, Jupiter, Selmer, Cannonball): C* (or equal) mouthpiece, cork grease, cleaning swabs, 3 reeds (2 1/2 strength) with plastic reed guard, polish cloth, and a neck strap.


Trumpet (Bach, Yamaha, Eastman, Jupiter, Conn, Cannonball, Besson, Blessing, King): 5C mouthpiece (recommended), valve oil, slide grease, flexible cleaning brush, mouthpiece brush, polish cloth, cotton rag


French Horn (Holton, Eastman, Yamaha, Anthem): Holton Farcas mouthpiece (recommended), valve oil, slide grease, flexible cleaning brush, mouthpiece brush, polish cloth, cotton rag


Trombone (Bach, Eastman, Yamaha, Jupiter, Conn, King): 6 ½ AL mouthpiece (recommended), slide cream, spray bottle, slide grease, flexible cleaning brush, mouthpiece brush, polish cloth, cotton rag


Euphonium (Bach, Yamaha, Jupiter, Conn, King – if purchasing own; some euphoniums may be provided by the school): 6 ½ AL mouthpiece (recommended), valve oil, slide grease, flexible cleaning brush, mouthpiece brush, polish cloth, cotton rag

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Sometimes great instruments can be found online or in pawn shops, but please try to purchase “brand-name” instruments, such as the ones listed above. Off-brand instruments are less expensive, but they generally have a lesser sound quality, break easier and are not always fixable by our local repair shops. If you have a question about an instrument brand, please ask Mrs. Rosselit or Mr. Emeigh for clarification.


Please do not purchase "colorful" instruments. Often, they are a lesser brand and will not last through the "wear and tear" of middle school students. We request that all flutes be silver, clarinets be black, and brass instruments be gold or silver.

FAQ

Q: My student doesn't play an instrument, can he/she still be in band?

A: YES! Many of our students do not play any kind of instrument when they start. We help them learn their chosen instrument throughout the year.


Q: Do I need to enroll my student in private lessons?

A: No, but we highly encourage private lessons. Private lessons allow students to practice and gain musical concepts on a 1:1 basis that we can't always provide during school hours. A local list of teachers can be found here.


Q: What do the students wear for concerts?

A: 6th grade students wear a school-provided band polo (that they must return) and black pants or skirts, black shoes, and black socks or nylons.


Q: How many concerts will my student participate in?

A: 6th graders perform in 3 concerts during the year.

October 30, 2018

December 12, 2018

May 15, 2019

Please mark your calendar for these events. They are a requirement of our program.


Q: Does my student need to attend band camp?

A: Only students entering grades 9-12 need to attend band camp. Band camp is always the last full week of July. If you are super ahead planner - your 6th grader's first band camp will be July 26-30, 2021. :-)


Q: Does the band meet after school?

A: 6th grade students will not have mandatory after school rehearsals, however we do host "open band room" on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 3:30pm (unless there is a staff meeting). Open band room is a time for students to get extra help, practice, and work with other students on their music.


Q: We can't afford an instrument, can my student still be in band?

A: We have some instruments available to families that are in need. Please contact a band director for more information.


Q: My student wants to switch instruments. What can they switch to?

A: We do not encourage instrument switching unless the student is very unsuccessful at the instrument they were placed on or there is a particular need in the band. If you feel a switch is needed, please contact a band director so we can discuss the situation.


Q: My student wants to play percussion, but that doesn't seem to be an option. Why?

A: We do not start percussion instruments until November. We audition interested students and select 6-7 students to switch. Experience has shown that the simple drum parts of beginning band music easily bore students who already read music, and students who do not already read music have difficulty learning to read music from drum parts, not to mention the bell parts. If students are really interested in being a percussionist, we recommend that they start taking private lessons with a professional percussionist. Piano skills will be an asset for all potential percussionists, too.

Questions? Contact Us!

Kelly Rosselit, Director of Bands

krosselit@homeoftheshamrocks.org


Adam Emeigh, Associate Director of Bands

aemeigh@homeoftheshamrocks.org