Volume 33, No. 2
In this issue:
- Fifth grade year-end information
- Middle School Band updates
- High School Band updates
Fifth grade band members combine for year-end concerts
As we begin to wrap up a successful year, it’s time to make arrangements for our year-end fifth grade concerts. As we have done in the past, the five elementary school bands will combine into two larger groups. The two combined bands will perform in the Ames Middle School Auditorium. Each band will have two combined rehearsals before their performance.
The combined rehearsals are vital to the success of our concert performance. Attendance at our combined rehearsals is mandatory if students want to perform in the combined concert. Please view rehearsal and concert information below, including drop-off, start, and end times. Please drop off your students at the main entrance of the middle school before the combined rehearsals and concert. Drop-off times have been set to allow band students plenty of time to assemble instruments and find their seats in the combined setup. If students are getting a ride from their elementary school, they need to be at their elementary building by 7:15am. At the first combined rehearsal a designated parent will be present in the hallway at Ames Middle School, directing students to the auditorium. After rehearsal, students will be bussed back to their respective elementary school buildings.
Students should wear nice clothes for the concert. Clothes that are appropriate for a wedding or religious service would be good for the concert. Please avoid jeans, shorts, and tennis shoes. Since we’ll be up on a stage, we suggest dress pants, long skirts or long dresses for ladies.
Fifth grade: Combined Rehearsals and Concert Schedule - Edwards, Mitchell, Sawyer
Fifth grade: Combined Rehearsals and Concert Schedule - Fellows & Meeker
Fifth grade: Final Rehearsals, matinee performances and final lesson dates for each school
We will have a matinee performance at each school in the gym as listed below. On the day of the matinee, our rehearsal will be in the gym. Students can wear normal school clothes for the matinee. The matinee is free and open to all to attend.
Students will continue to have weekly lessons until the date listed for the final lesson. We appreciate your support this year with getting students to rehearsals on time and encouraging them to practice!
Middle school students collaborate for Ensemble Festival
Nearly 330 student musicians performed in the Ames Middle School Band Ensemble Festival on March 12, 2019. Students performed with their lesson groups. Each lesson group had been preparing their music since January.
Small ensembles require individual preparation as well as a high level of collaboration within the group. Each ensemble was challenged with not only performing the music accurately, but expressively. Performances were judged based on categories such as tone quality, phrasing, dynamics, and presentation.
Judges for the event were all veteran band instructors: John Gosnell and Arkay Brown of Ankeny, and Steve McCombs of Pella. In addition to verbal and written comments, judges also rated each group with a I+ (Superior), I, (Excellent), I- (Good), and II (Fair). Of the fifty-six performing ensembles, thirty-two earned I+ ratings, twenty earned I ratings, and four groups earned a I- rating. No II ratings were earned.
Special thanks to all parent volunteers and audience members; and congratulations to all our student performers!
Thank you, Mrs. Fritcher!
This May, we will say goodbye and thank you to a beloved teacher and colleague. Mrs. Deb Fritcher will retire after a twenty-nine-year band teaching career, with the last thirteen years as seventh grade band director at Ames Middle School.
After studying at the University of Iowa with legendary clarinet instructor, Himie Voxman, Mrs. Fritcher began her teaching career in the Grand Community school district. She also taught at St. Edmond Catholic School and Prairie Valley High School before joining the AMS staff. While at AMS, she earned National Board Certification in recognition of her teaching accomplishments.
Mrs. Fritcher’s devotion to her students has always shown through in her students’ performances. She has a knack for selecting high quality music literature that fits her ensembles. She also works tirelessly to bring out the best in her concert band and to get seventh graders off to a successful start in jazz band.
We will be sad to see her go, but we are grateful for the time we’ve had to work with and learn from her. She leaves a legacy of excellence. We wish her all the best in retirement. Congratulations, Mrs. Fritcher!
Middle School jazz recap
AMS Jazz Bands have wrapped up another successful year. Jazz band is an opportunity to not only learn a different style of music, but to play with instruments not in concert band, and to learn to play improvised music!
Their performance season kicked off with a jazz clinic in January. Both bands performed informally in the auditorium, then worked with AMS alum Louis Dupuis (pictured above left). Mr. Dupuis is now serving as an assistant band director at Urbandale High School. In addition to the full group session, each section of the band also worked separately with ISU jazz students.
The bands next performed on a February concert, then concluded their year with a concert on April 8.
Finishing the year for middle school band
Please mark your calendars for the final middle school band performance of the year on Tuesday, May 7 at 7pm in the middle school auditorium. The concert will feature the concert bands from 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade.
Each grade will continue through the rest of the year with rehearsals and lessons. Eighth graders will work on high school marching band music, seventh grade students will work on “Canon” projects, and sixth graders will get a taste of marching band.
Really? A mattress fundraiser?
The Ames High Band hosted a one-day mattress sale on Saturday, February 9. With a showroom set up in the cafeteria, anyone could buy one of over twenty-five name brand models in all sizes, made to order, with factory warranties. Students will use referral money towards the spring 2021 band trip, with the remainder of the money being used for capital outlay (new instruments). Band director Chris Ewan said, “Going into the sale, we did not have any idea of what this fundraiser would yield, so we did not have a specific goal.” But he was pleasantly surprised. At the fundraiser's conclusion, Custom Fundraising Solutions cut a check for over $11,000 that was placed in the band’s activity account.
Professor to share his expertise with AHS Bands
Ames High Bands will host Dr. James Patrick Miller, Director of Bands at Gustavus Adolphus College, on Thursday April 18. Each band will have a ninety-minute clinic with him on their spring concert music. This is a unique opportunity for our students to learn from a highly respected teacher, and we thank the high school staff and administration for their support. Plan to attend the concert on Thursday April 25, when the bands will show the results of their work with Dr. Miller. For more about Dr. Miller click here.
AHS musicians earn selection to SCIBA Honor Bands
Eighteen AHS band students successfully auditioned for positions in the 2018-19 South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band. Auditions were held Thursday, November 29 at Des Moines Roosevelt High School. The selected students rehearsed at Ankeny High School on Saturday, January 5, with a festival concert that evening. The guest directors for the honor band were Dr. Danny Galyen of UNI and Dr. Mark Whitlock of University of Minnesota Duluth. The following Ames High students were selected:
Sophia Cordoba – Flute – 9th Chair
Ben Kim – Flute – 10th Chair
Jerry Han – Clarinet – 1st Chair
Emily Peters – Clarinet – 3rd Chair
Oscar Lenkaitis – Bassoon – 3rd Chair
Ling Bai – Horn – 2nd Chair
Kailyn Thompson – Horn – 7th Chair
Madelyn Timmermans – Trumpet – 2nd Chair
Mario Napolitano – Trombone – 1st Chair
Carter Peterson – Trombone – 4th Chair
Andres Cordoba – Clarinet – 15th Chair
Jasper Shogren-Knaak - Trumpet – 7th Chair
Ryan Lin – Trombone – 2nd Chair
William Brumm – Trombone – 3rd Chair
Connor Schroeder – Euphonium – 3rd Chair
Evan Uhlmeyer - Tuba – 4th Chair
Aidan Diggins-Kennedy – Percussion – 2nd Chair
Taka Furukawa – Percussion – 6th Chair
Students work to improve their musical skills through Solo and Ensemble Contest
The Ames High School Music Department participated in the Ames Solo and Ensemble Contest on Saturday, March 9 at Ames High School. A special commendation to each student who prepared music for contest and who improved their own personal performance skills. The following students/groups received Division I (Superior) and Division II (Excellent). No Division III, IV or V ratings were earned.
Division I (Superior) Ratings
Piccolo Solo: Corinne Colburn
Flute Solo: Arunadee Fernando, Lyd Grawe, Ben Kim, Caleb Kong
Bb Clarinet Solo: Carl Balvanz , Moriah Conner, Andres Cordoba, Kayley Helmer, Kai Johnson, Lillian Montabon, Sofiya Palasyuk, Sarah Song, Jacob Xing
Bass Clarinet Solo: Carl Balvanz
Alto Sax Solo: Daniel Yakobson
Bari Sax Solo: Zac Mueterthies
Trumpet Solo: Arthur Lubberstedt, Loretta Ostermeier, Jasper Shogren-Knaack, Avery Suza, Madelyn Timmermans, Emma Todey
Horn Solo: Isabelle Anderson, Ling Bai, Anna Cullinan, Kailyn Thompson
Trombone Solo: William Brumm, Alex Buttermore, Adam Eichhorn, Ryan Lin, Mario Napolitano, Alex Read
Tuba Solo: Nitzan Friedberg, Peter Jaynes, Evan Uhlmeyer
Marimba Solo: Rachel Bennett, Ezekiel DeBoest, Quinn Harbison, Dominik McDonald
Snare Solo: Ava Chopskie, Carter White
Tenor Solo: Ella Chopskie, Taka Furukawa, Nick Sulzberger
Clarinet Duet: Lillian Montabon & Moriah Conner
Tuba Duet: Peter Jaynes & Nitzan Friedberg
Flute/Tuba Duet: Caleb Kong & Nitzan Friedberg
Clarinet/Violin Duet: Lillian Montabon & Kira Davis
Tenor Duet: Nick Grandgenett & Ella Chopskie
Snare Duet: Ava Chopskie and Elizabeth Orth
Flute Trio: Kylie Edwardson, Payton Gallt, Mackenzie Grim
Trombone Quartet: William Brumm, Adam Eichhorn, Ryan Lin, Madeline Taylor
Percussion Quartet: Eric Paskach, Dominik McDonald, Aidan Diggins-Kennedy, Nick Sulzberger
Division II (Excellent) Ratings
Flute Solo: Corinne Colburn, Sarah Rundall, Alanna Schroeder
Clarinet Solo: Andrew Sullivan
Baritone Solo: Daniel Brumm, Connor Schroeder
Snare Solo: Emma Dorhout
Pep Band Cheers on AHS and ISU teams
The 2018-2019 AHS Pep Band had a full schedule with appearances at several home basketball games, an ISU women’s basketball game and the Boys State Tournament. A wide variety of up-tempo, spirited music makes this a popular organization at Ames High. Thanks to the students for their efforts!
2018-2019 Pep Band personnel:
Outstanding Winter Season for AHS Jazz Bands
The jazz bands at AHS have had a successful schedule this winter competing in several festivals. Jazz I placed 9th in their class and Jazz II placed 2nd in their class in December at the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association Jazz Festival. Both bands also participated in the Urbandale Jazz Colloquium in early February. These festivals provide students an opportunity to receive verbal critiques by professional jazz educators, to participate in clinics following their performance, and to hear bands from other schools. Locally, both bands performed several times in Ames, including at our home jazz concert "Jazz Encounters" in February. Sawyer and Meeker elementary schools had the opportunity to hear Jazz II. Spring Jazz Band has also now formed and will perform at the Spring Concert on April 25.
Alto Saxophone: Lydia Linch *, Cassidy Peterson *
Tenor Saxophone: Evan Lewis *, Laura Kerton
Bari Saxophone: Zac Mueterthies *
Trumpet: Arthur Lubberstedt *, Andrew Sailer * Emma Todey *, Sam Taylor
Trombone: Adam Eichhorn *, Ryan Lin, William Brumm *, Madeline Taylor
Guitar: Evan Uhlmeyer *
Piano: Aubree Litster *
Bass: Brennan Seymour
Drums: Dominick McDonald *
*Spring Jazz Band Member
Alto Saxophone: Daniel Yakobson, Ethan Schneider, Hailey Sibbel
Tenor Saxophone: Sofiya Palasyuk *, Sarah Rundall, Owen Riker
Bari Saxophone: Erik Nelson
Trumpet: Avery Suza *, Luke Grandgenett, Andrew Debner, Karsten Holm
Trombone: Mario Napolitano *, Rob Arbuckle, Avery Mosher, Alex Buttermore *
Guitar: Ava Chopskie
Piano: McKenzie Flemming
Bass: Ella Chopskie *
Drums: Carter White
Dallas Brass performs at AHS
The AHS band hosted the Dallas Brass for a concert on Tuesday, February 12. As a part of the program, The Dallas Brass performed with the Freshman Band and the Wind Symphony. In addition, the group presented a clinic to all the high school band students during the school day. Since its founding in 1983 by Michael Levine, the Dallas Brass has become one of America’s foremost musical ensembles. The group has a unique blend of traditional brass instruments with a full complement of drums and percussion, which creates a performing entity of extraordinary range and musical challenges. The Dallas Brass repertoire includes classical masterpieces, Dixieland, swing, Broadway, Hollywood and patriotic music. According to Mr. Levine, "a Dallas Brass concert is intended for the entire family. Our ideal audience has a range in ages from 5 to 95. Our goal is to entertain and enrich by playing great music, while showing our audience how much we enjoy what we do."
MARCHING BAND WORKSHOP
All incoming 9th-12th grade students are required to attend the marching band workshop to learn and review the fundamentals of marching band. It is scheduled for August 15-16, 19-21.
August 15-16, 19-21 | TIMES TBA – due to field availability |
AHS Band Room | Grades 9-12
Ames Band Staff
Andrew Buttermore, Ames High School
Chris Ewan, Ames High School
Ron Ferneau, Ames Middle School, 8th grade
Deb Fritcher, Ames Middle School, 7th grade
Tascha Hauber, Ames Elementary
Paul Tallman, Ames Elementary
Peter Thompson, 6th grade and Ames High School