The YHS Wind Ensemble earned a superior rating at the Rhythms International Music Festival in Montreal during the weekend of April 5-7. The Wind Ensemble earned 13 out of 15 possible superiors. One of the adjudicator called the ensemble the best high school band he'd ever heard.
By now I’m sure you have heard a bit about our Montreal trip; maybe you’ve seen pictures of our city tours, listened to your student talk about our festival performance, or (if you’re lucky) tasted a Canadian chocolate bar. We had a fabulous weekend and I wanted to be sure to let you know how proud I am of our Wind Ensemble students!
It was a pleasure to spend the weekend with your students! Not only did they perform beautifully at the festival, but they were also model citizens and musical ambassadors throughout our stay in Canada; polite and respectful to the festival and hotel staff, punctual to all events, and helpful to each other. Everywhere we went, event staff complemented our students on their good manners, and the manager of our hotel was incredibly impressed as she inspected each room during check-out; often smiling from ear-to-ear as she entered yet another neat and tidy (and often creatively adorned) student room.
In addition to the unique musical experience, these festival trips are also special because of the friendships and “band family” bonds that are formed/reinforced. I still smile when I think of Sunday’s awards ceremony and banquet. The evening started with a jazz-combo performance during dinner; the perfect opportunity for our YHS kids to have fun showing off their swing dance moves. Later, some of our students got their instruments and joined in a “jam session” with other students from the festival. After dinner, the DJ kept everyone dancing until 11:00pm. It was the perfect way to celebrate our student’s superior performance both on and off the concert stage!
Special thanks to Mr. Altman, Mrs. Scinto and Mrs. Smith for chaperoning our trip, and thank you all for your help and support! The students and I are looking forward to performing our festival selections for you at our Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 13th!
1. Students are asked to arrive no later than 6:00am on Saturday morning 4/5. We will meet the bus outside the band room.
2. Packing Reminders:
· A photo ID (your school-issued student ID or driver’s license)
· A passport OR you a copy of your birth certificate
· A working watch.
· Cell phone and charger.
· Money for meals and souvenirs. (Canadian currency)
· Your band t-shirt to be worn on travel days.
· Regular school clothing for sight-seeing and travel. Please be sure all wardrobe choices are appropriate for a school setting. Please bring warm clothes for our out-door tours. We are in CANADA after all!
· Bathroom items (shampoo, hair dryer, deodorant, etc…)
· Concert attire AND a “nice” outfit for attending the Montreal Symphony (no jeans/sneakers).
· Semi-formal Banquet attire
o Ladies: appropriate semi-formal dress, or nice skirt/dress pants and blouse.
o Gentlemen: suit and tie, or dress pants, long-sleeved button down shirt and tie.
o NO jeans or sneakers.
· Your instrument, music, mutes (trumpets!), cork grease, valve oil, extra reeds… anything you may need to keep your instrument in prime playing condition.
· Your smile, terrific attitude and musicianship!!
Our three festival adjudicators are world-class musicians and music educators! You can find their bio’s here:
John Phillips (trombone): http://www.nationalmusiccamp.com/conductors-john-phillips
James Lebens (trumpet): http://jamesclebens.ca/bio.php
David Parker (sax): http://davidparkersax.com/index/
The First Nighters are again offering a generous scholarship for summer music study. Also, WCSMA (Westchester County School Music Association) is also offering a scholarship. The applications can be found here and copies can also be found in the band room.
An interesting, 1 page read. Check it out here.
If your student is looking for a good tuner app for their smart phone, “Tonal Energy” is a good choice.
Our first-ever band bowling social outing was great fun! Last Sunday, about 30 YHS Band students enjoyed an evening of bowling and pizza at JV Lanes. Thanks so much to Concert Band President Becky Kaplan for organizing this event!
A recording of today’s rehearsal is available in the Google Drive. Go to Wind Ensemble Downloads and documents, then Montreal Trip, then Festival Music, then Holst Second Suite in F, and you will find our recording.
Please listen to the recording this weekend and analyze it for places we can improve as a band, you can improve as a section, and you can improve as an individual musician.
It’s hard to believe that our Montreal Festival Trip is in 2 short weeks! Some highlights will include: participating in a band clinic at Vanier College, being judged by a panel of nationally and internationally recognized music educators, and attending a Montreal Symphony concert. As we make our final preparations, here are some reminders and information:
1. The Montreal Trip Handbook was distributed in class on Friday. Please review the information with your student and return the THREE documents listed below on Monday 4/24.
a. Medical Form
b. Xerox copy of their Medical Insurance Card
c. Trip Handbook Guidelines and Expectations
2. The chaperones for our trip are: myself and Mr. Altman, and parents: Mrs. Scinto and Mrs. Smith
We are all looking forward to a fun, safe, and musically rewarding experience!! Please contact Mrs. Kluga here with any questions.