Reminders for the start of Spring '19Posted by Andrew Ellis on 1/3/2019
Welcome back everyone! I hope you've all had a nice rest and a wonderful holiday season. Here are a couple quick reminders to get us started with the new year:
- New events for this year:
- February 18, MPA Mini-Camp: We've been blessed this year to be able to line up several professors from Troy and Huntingdon Universities, as well as graduate and undergraduate music students, to come work with our various instrument sections. Additionally, I've been talking with Mr. Adam Murphy (Huntingdon Assistant Band Director), who has agreed to come (or send one of the other college directors from Huntingdon) to come work with our band. We're going to be having a mini-camp with these folks on Feb 18 (THIS IS A HOLIDAY). This is an all day, required event for all members of the Varsity concert band (everyone who is still rehearsing after school). This is an excellent opportunity for us, so we must all jump on board fully to make the most out of it.
- March 1, Pea River Concert Band Festival: Elba HS hosts a concert band festival that we will be attending this year as a warm-up for MPA. This gives us an extra opportunity to play for qualified concert band adjudicators and a leg-up on our performance at MPA! This will most likely be during the school day, and is held on March 1.
- If you're planning on attending any Honor Bands, please make sure you've got everything you need ASAP. Look at the calendar on this site or the Facebook page if you need to reference dates. Come talk with Mr. Ellis (or email/message him) if you need help finding anything.
- All-State: Please let Mr. Ellis know ASAP if you are planning on trying out for All-State/District Honor Band. We have to get everyone registered next week (Jan 7-11).
- Jazz Band: All those interested in participating in jazz band should plan on staying for rehearsals every Monday from 3-5 (starting Jan 14).
- BAND TRIP: The band trip is only a couple months away! If you did not make a December payment, you must make one for January! ****IF YOU ARE HAVING ISSUES MAKING PAYMENTS, COME TALK TO MR. ELLIS. IF YOU BACK OUT AT THE LAST SECOND, YOU ARE HINDERING EVERYONE ELSE THAT SIGNED UP TO GO.**** Parents, please keep an eye out for statements that will be coming home the first week back in school.
- New events for this year:
Rehearsals Through The Final Band ContestPosted by Andrew Ellis on 9/27/2018
Parents and Students:
Between the weather and our issues with rehearsal location, we are extremely behind this year in terms of being prepared with the show. With the way things are looking schedule-wise for the coming weeks, we will NOT be able to finish the show (much less be fully prepared) for the Little Bighorn Band Competition in Opp. With this in mind, I have decided to add a bit of rehearsal time for the next couple weeks. This applies to VARSITY BAND ONLY, there is NO CHANGE to the JV Band rehearsal schedule.
- All regularly-scheduled rehearsals for the weeks of October 1, 8, and 15 are extended to 6:30 (this includes Monday rehearsals). This is only 7 rehearsals since we lose the 8th and 9th because of fall break. We need this time to make up for all the moving we have to do to get equipment out to the elementary school and the football practice field. We will be going to the elementary school on these Monday rehearsals, as well.
- ONE extra rehearsal on an off day will be called. We will choose from one of the following dates:
- Saturday, October 6
- Wednesday, October 10
- Saturday, October 13
If you/your family have any already-booked conflicts with any of these dates, please let me know. My intent is to have this rehearsal in the morning (probably 8:30 - 11:30), so afternoon Doctor's Appointments and the like shouldn't be a problem. I hate to schedule an extra rehearsal during fall break, but we really (REALLY) need it. I will announce which day we will be practicing on this coming Monday (October 1). This rehearsal will be REQUIRED and will be subject to the same rehearsal rules as regularly-scheduled rehearsals.
- We will have no more Monday rehearsals following the Opp Contest, and Tuesdays will release at 5:00. After our last football game (Luverne, October 26), there will be no more JV practice and Varsity band practice will be over at 5:00 both days. Next semester, we'll drop down to one after-school rehearsal a week (Tuesdays) that will release at 5:00.
Check Out ProceduresPosted by Andrew Ellis on 8/30/2018
How to check your child out from a football game or band competition:
1. A "check out" form must be filled out and turned in prior to each event you would like to check your student out from. These are due by Thursday morning (after 2nd period band, I won't take any more) prior to football games. For band competitions, these forms will be due by 2nd period the Friday prior to the competition. NO late forms will be accepted.
2. After football games: Parents must be present to check out their child. The parent and child must BOTH (1) check out with a school administrator (Mrs. Hand or Dr. Adams) and (2) let Mr. Ellis, Mrs. Wright, or a designated chaperone know that they are checked out (so that we can remove them from the bus roster). After both these things are completed, the student may leave with his/her parents.
After band competitions: The procedure is the same as football games, however no student will be allowed to checkout until after the competition has ended completely.
In the event that no administrator is present at the conclusion of a game or competition, an alternate administrator will be determined ahead of time.
****IF ANY STUDENT LEAVES WITHOUT HAVING COMPLETED ALL THESE REQUIREMENTS, THAT STUDENT WILL NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO CHECK OUT FROM ANY EVENT. IF IT BECOMES A PROBLEM, NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO CHECK OUT ANYMORE****
Pizza Kit FundraiserPosted by Andrew Ellis on 8/25/2018
Important Info for the Pizza Kit Fundraiser:
Fundraiser ID - 355657
Pizza Kits Due Date - September 10 24 (***DO NOT BE LATE WITH YOUR ORDER FORMS, I AM PUTTING ORDERS IN THAT EVENING***)
How It Works - Individuals may place in-person orders with our sellers. Orders are paid for up front and each buyer's order should be recorded on order forms. Please be sure to FULLY RECORD EACH ORDER'S INFO ON THE FORM ***AND*** TOTAL ALL YOUR ORDERS. Fill the form all the way out, and PUT YOUR NAME ON IT!!!!!! If no name is on an order form, I won't waste time trying to figure out whose it is, so your money will not be attributed to your band account.
In addition to in-person orders, buyers may purchase pizza kits online at the link below. Be sure to have them select "Ship My Order To Me", input the Fundraiser ID above, and notate the student with which their order should be associated. If the last two of these items are not done, the band and/or student may not be credited the money from these orders.
If this link gives you trouble, go to www.pizzakit.com ->products->shop
- Once we take delivery (tentatively Wednesday, October 3), students/parents will need to come pick up their orders and distribute them to buyers. We DO NOT have freezer space to hold it for you and this stuff will not keep very long outside the freezer. Therefore you MUST arrange for these items to be picked up the day they are delivered.
AU Marching Honor BandPosted by Andrew Ellis on 8/25/2018
Several things to consider for the AUMHB:
- The event itself is on September 8 at the AU vs Alabama St game in Auburn.
- Payment and waiver is due TO AUBURN (not me) by this Friday (Aug 31). Follow the link below to do all this stuff.
- On the honor band web page, make sure you click the "acceptance packet" and (if you are an auxiliary member) the flag/majorette info link. These are the first two links you'll see under the banner.
- You will find links to other information; such as drop off procedures, maps, music, auxiliary routines, etc. on the webpage as well. Please click through these and pull out what applies to you/your student.
- Tickets: The honor band will sit in the section 35 and 36 area. My suggestion to parents is to buy tickets in sections 34 - 37. 31-34 tends to be where the visiting team sits, so I'd avoid those. Seats in the endzone are pretty good and are fairly close, as well. Those will be in the upper 30's and through the 40's. Lower row numbers are closer to the field. I believe the band sits between Row 25 and 50, but don't quote me on that one. Don't freak out if it looks like there are none available. They come and go as the game gets closer. This should be a pretty easy game to get tickets for. Be careful if you find someone on Facebook or somewhere less official, $50 a ticket is very expensive for this game (unless you're in the lower level on the $50 or something). You should be able to pay $30-40 apiece (maybe less) without too much issue for seats in the area we want. I just bought TWO tickets for $60 total (after all the "fees") in section 37, row 60. The best place to buy them is StubHub. Just Google "Auburn Football Tickets" and click the link for StubHub.
Concessions Stand NeedsPosted by Andrew Ellis on 8/20/2018
You can help us out tremendously by donating the following goods to be used in our concessions stand at home football games! These items help to reduce our overhead and maximize profit for the band boosters!
Dawn Dish Detergent
Individual-sized bags of chips
Industrial-sized trash bags
Updates, week of 7/30Posted by Andrew Ellis on 7/30/2018
Schedule for the week:
Rehearsal Monday (3-5) and Tuesday (3-6). NO rehearsal Thursday (both Varsity and JV). Come by and see me Thursday night at open house!
We're about to finish up placing all our orders for shoes/bibbers and pep rally stuff. If you(r child) needs new items (all students need 2 band shirts!), I need to know by TOMORROW, Tuesday 7/31. The kids have been reminded numerous times to try these things on.
We've got the opener and half the second tune on the field and pretty solid. I'm so excited - and I think the kids are too - to show them off at the first game! The show this year is much different than what everyone is used to!
Please don't forget about concessions stand supplies. I'll do another blog post listing items we need for reference this week.
We are doing flip folders or the students to use in the stands. They are $5 each and are required. This will go into the same category of item as reeds and valve oil as they will have to add pages over time. That's why they were not listed on the fees sheet.
Sell! Sell! Sell! We've got a good fundraiser, so let's get as much product sold as possible!
Students need to have black socks to wear with their uniforms. They have to be calf-length (so just well above the ankles, not baseball socks) and have NO visible logos on them (logos in the shoes are OK).
Don't forget to look at the band calender (it's on this website, to the left of this post). All rehearsals and performances will be on this calendar.
ALL band Remind101 classes have been deleted, with the exception of the Tiger Band remind and the Tiger Band leadership remind. 95% of messages will go out through the Tiger Band remind. Text @shstb to 81010 to join.
Aub/Ala/Troy FundraiserPosted by Andrew Ellis on 7/25/2018
Our students should have been sent home today with fundraiser packets. Here's some info regarding this particular fundraiser.
- ALL profits from this fundraiser will go directly toward our potential trip. So, if a student sells 6 items that average $15 PROFIT, that student would have $90 applied to their trip.
- There are freebie "rewards" for any student that sells a particular amount of items, with various tiers. There's a sheet in each student's packet that outlines these.
- The due date for all packets is August 15th.
- We should take delivery of the items approximately 3 weeks after we turn in our documents to Screentech.
I will update this page with additional information as I get it (or as I remember what I've forgotten!).
Notes from the DirectorPosted by Andrew Ellis on 7/23/2018
Our new SHS websites affords us the opportunity to use a bit more attractive and user-friendly platform with which to communicate information and distribute things. I hope to use this blog system (we'll see how long it lasts) to maintain a more frequent update on my own goings and comings, as well as that of the band and its various sub-groups. Hopefully, this will help to head off some of your questions before you have them and will remind parents and students of more distant considerations.
Beginning of year updates:
The show is well on its way to being ready to go. The band can already play and march the first tune, and the other three tunes are in development now. Some band camp scheduling considerations to get us through to the start of school are below.
- JV band reports (with Varsity) on Tuesday at 8 am. JV releases at lunch and Varsity returns at 1 pm. We finish at 6 each day, unless we release early. We have an agenda for each rehearsal and I don't hold the kids the full time if we've achieved our goal for the session.
- Pictures are Wednesday (7/25) at 8 am. It is IMPERATIVE that all students arrive BEFORE 8:00, in the proper attire. Colorguard will wear either last year's pep rally shirts, or we will lend them band shirts (depending on if we can find enough of last year's). We will provide shirts to JV students (yes, JV will be in our pictures). Colorguard and instrumentalists should wear khaki shorts. If you do not own any khaki shorts and cannot get any before wednesday, wear BLUE jeans. Majorettes will wear their outfits from the Troy summer camp this year (get together and pick a variation out).
- We will be doing another run of band shirts in the next couple weeks. I am requiring all students to have two (2) band shirts in total. Students' cost for a band shirt is $12. I understand that many students wanted to go up a size from last year. This is their opportunity to do so. I would keep the smaller shirt as the backup shirt and have the new one be the larger size, but students will be allowed to purchase two entirely new shirts, if desired.
- Auxiliaries: Pep rally attire will be a baseball-style jersey and your black show leggings. Our company is working on the design now. The same jersey will serve the majorettes as during-school uniforms, as well as a cover-up when in uniform. The majorettes' pep rally attire will be black leggings and tank-tops (similar to last year's).
- Calendar considerations: I am in the process of determining important dates like contests, band concerts, and potential fundraising dates. We will use the embedded calendar on the SHS Band website, as it is linked to my Google calendar and is a bit less work for me. Also, it allows those of you who wish to link it to your smartphones. Please check out this calendar and review it frequently for important dates.
- Performance stuff: We're going for a win at Little Bighorn this year. We'll be dropping down to 1A (we were almost 1A last year), and will subsequently be extremely competitive for best in class in nearly every area. That being said, this is only possible if we have the utmost participation and attendance by all our Varsity band students!
- Fees: Please look at the documents page on this site, or the handout that was sent home for an outline on fees. The totals presented on this document is BEFORE any funds your child may have earned through fundraising. So, subtract whatever is in their account. The band boosters are working on these totals this evening, so we should have an exact amount owed this week to give everyone. Please not that the FEES sheet DOES NOT INCLUDE school instrument rental, which is an additional $50. We have to collect this money to keep our school instruments maintained. We just spent around $700 to get instruments ready for football season, and that only included about 10% of our inventory that needs work done!
- JV, Varsity, what? If you're confused about the new band setup, here's the rundown: Varsity band is what you think of as the "Tiger Marching Band". It will be at all football games, home and away, all band contests, will march in all parades, participate in Music Performance Assessment (MPA) and will be the ambassadorial group we send to other events that we're called upon to participate in. The JV Band consists of 7th grade students only (those that were not pulled up to Varsity, they know who they are). This band will only be required to participate in pregame performances at home games (so no halftime), and it will have slightly more relaxed rules regarding attendance to other in-town events. JV will have zero performances outside the city of Samson.
- Other stuff on the horizon: Don't forget about honor bands and All-State auditions. There are two marching honor bands that are due very soon (Auburn and USA). Students interested in participating in these events should check out the Facebook page for links. Also, don't forget about the Troy honor band (SEUS, both middle and high school). Go ahead and start hitting your scales now. Finally, district/All-State audition materials should start coming out soon. When they do, I'll upload them here. For now, you can be hitting all twelve major scales, as well as your chromatic and two minor scales. If you'd like materials to practice sightreading, I can give you those, as well.
Final notes from Mr. Ellis:
I very much consider last year to be a complete success. I could not have imagined my first year going so well, in any way. The band grew more than I thought was possible for a group to do in one year! Let's take the success of last year and improve upon it. Remember our mantra for this year's endeavors: "Excellence Through Selflessness" Don't want to practice? Be selfless. Don't want to run the vacuum? Be selfless. Don't want to come to practice today? Be selfless. If we can make this change in the culture of our organization, we will excel everywhere we go! Trips and games are fun, but being awesome is better! I promise!
"Excellence Through Selflessness"