BMS Bands

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The 6th Grade Beginning Band performs twice a year, at the Christmas Concert in December, and at the Spring Concert in April. Scroll down for our class syllabus. Instruments learned in BMS band are: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, and Percussion (snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, and bells/xylophone).

The 7th Grade Concert Band is our second year ensemble and performs four times a year. The Christmas Concert in December, Junior High Band Contest in March, the Spring Concert in April, and they perform for the 8th grade promotion ceremony on the last day of school. Scroll down for our class syllabus.

Students will be asked to participate in annual fundraisers to aid in program funding. Owning an instrument is required, but school instruments are available, with a paid yearly maintenance fee, for special circumstances.

The 8th Grade Concert Band performs four times a year. The Veterans Day Assembly, the Christmas Concert in December, Junior High Band Contest in March, and the Spring Concert in April. Scroll down for our class syllabus.

Students will be asked to participate in annual fundraisers to aid in program funding. Owning an instrument is required, but school instruments are available, with a paid yearly maintenance fee, for special circumstances. Students grades 8-12 will go on a trip to Disney World in June of 2021.

Don't purchase an instrument without consulting Directors!

It is required that all students own their own instrument, however check with the instructors about a school supplied instrument for special financial situations. Availability is extremely limited, the Directors choose what the student will get to play, and a maintenance fee is required. Email Director for details. Larger instruments like Tubas, Baritones, and Xylophones are school owned and purchasing a personal one is not necessary, however, the yearly maintenance fee will apply. Percussionists are determined by the Directors through testing and will still need to rent/purchase a practice pad/bell kit. We do not have school owned percussion kits.

As a new band family or a returning band family to our program, it is important to know some details about the 6th grade beginning band class. First, don't buy or rent an instrument until Directors have a chance to test students. We will be trying out instruments in class for about a week and a half. If you already own an instrument, let the band directors know and plan on using that instrument unless the student can not make a beginner sound on it.

Please be cautious about purchasing instruments from non-music stores and venues.

When it comes to instruments there is one question I always ask, can it be worked on? All instruments will have to be serviced eventually, woodwind keys can get knocked out of alignment and screws need adjusting. If you are buying online I would ask the customer service department how they will service the instrument. If they tell you that you have to find a shop to service it, I would call the local music stores in Springfield and ask if they can service that brand. I have seen instruments that the store could fix, and some that they could not even get parts for. We and many area schools partner with music stores because they sell brands that have been trusted for decades and that can be serviced.

It's not a matter of if, but when. It will need to be serviced.

Springfield Music, based in Springfield Mo, is our main source for instrument rentals. They will be at the Middle School in August just before school starts. We will have an evening meeting with them and you can rent/purchase from them if you wish. I recommend renting from them or a qualified music store because these stores will provide a quality instrument and be able to service the instrument when needed. If you have to cancel during the first year, they take the instrument back with no strings attached; you simply return it to the store and cease payments. See our BMS Calendar for the rental night. Springfield Music offers a "maintenance plan" that covers most repairs and even full replacement due to fire or theft. Please direct all questions concerning Springfield Music rentals and the maintenance plan details to the store.

5/13/19

Welcome to the Bolivar Band Program!

We are so excited that you are interested in joining our most talented and friendly class in the Bolivar School District! During the last few months each student was tested on different instrument mouthpieces to see what instrument fits them naturally. The students also listed their first and second choice of instrument. I am happy to say that every student’s first or second choice was filled and was the best, most natural fit for each child

If your child will not be participating on our team, please notify the BMS counselors. When your student enrolled in band, they were enrolled for ONE (1) full academic year. Classes will begin on the first day of school, August 15th, 2019. Please arrange for your student to acquire an instrument and the appropriate accessories (detailed on the next pages).

Instrument Rental Night will be Tuesday, August 13th from 3:30-6:00 in the BMS band room during the BMS Open House. Please plan to attend! Springfield Music will be on hand to provide rental or purchase options that night. I highly recommend using them. They will make weekly visits to the school to pick up any repairs and drop off orders. No need for you to make that special trip to Springfield when a repair is needed! They also donate $10 back to the Bolivar Band Department for every rental. Please see the yellow flyer in this packet.

If you plan to purchase an instrument through other sources, please be EXTREMELY careful and cautious about the quality and condition of the instrument. It can have a HUGE impact on your child’s success. Cheaper is not a bargain if extensive repairs are needed, or the intonation, tone quality, and ease of playability of the instrument are an issue. Please do your own research through customer reviews, blogs, and talking with dealers or other musicians and teachers. If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is. Please double check with an instrument repairman that the brand and model has replacement parts and can be repaired. If you are in doubt, please contact us before committing to a purchase. However, we do not claim to know the entire market.

PLEASE DO NOT BEGIN INSTRUMENT STUDY IN THE SUMMER, OR TAKE THE INSTRUMENT OUT OF ITS CASE ONCE YOU PICK IT UP.

We are so excited that you are a part of our team!

See you at Instrument Rental Night, August 13th from 3:30 to 6:00 in the Middle School Band Room!

John Trew and Kelsy Whitacre, Directors

Questions:jtrew@bolivarschools.org or kelsywhitacre@bolivarschools.org

Renting to Own or Purchasing a New Instrument

Any full-service band instrument dealer will be able to offer instruments, accessories, and the Standard of Excellence books that are used in the Bolivar Band Program. These companies will have similar rent to own plans for instruments, although brands of instruments offered may vary. Full service instrument dealers in the area are:

Springfield Music Hoover Music Palen Music

3100 S Fremont Ave 440 S. Jefferson Ave 1560 E Raynell Pl.

Springfield, MO Springfield, MO Springfield, MO

(417)881-1373 (417)862-3573 (417)882-7000

Bolivar uses Springfield Music for repairs and small goods orders. They will be making weekly trips to pick up repairs. Their turn around for repairs is approximately 1 week. This will ensure that your student doesn’t miss out on important instructional time.

Most families purchase a beginning model instrument. However some families skip the beginning model and purchase an intermediate model. This avoids the “step-up” process that usually takes place at the 8th grade level, and the student will benefit immediately from better equipment. (Keep this option in mind if you are planning to purchase a used instrument.)

Purchasing a Used Instrument

If you are thinking of purchasing a used instrument, have a reputable repairman evaluate the instrument prior to purchase. There are many excellent used instruments for sale and you may be able to find a used intermediate model comparable priced to a new beginning model.

Instruments Currently Owned

Please arrange for any repairs to be completed by the first day of school.

If you already own an instrument, take it to a reputable repairman and get an estimate on how much it will cost to bring the instrument to “good playing condition.” Then make your decision on whether to fix-up that instrument or rent/purchase a different one. Typical repair and maintenance to older instruments includes pad and cork replacements and key and spring regulation on woodwind instruments; commercial cleaning and removal of slide dents on brass instruments. Please make necessary repairs as early as possible to assure that your child has a working instrument.


Students must have an instrument by Friday, August 23rd, 2019 to participate in band. If the student doesn’t not have an instrument they will be removed from the class roster at that time.

Financial Burden – If your child will not be in band due to financial problems, please contact Mr. Trew and Ms. Whitacre. It is possible that steps can be taken to secure an instrument for your child.

Brand Name Suggestions for Instruments

Though the market is constantly changing and this list is not comprehensive, the following companies have produced instruments with which students have had success with minimal repair expense and good availability of parts. If you rent, you can return the instrument. If you buy, you can often save money over the long run, but only if you buy well. Keep in mind that the more time an instrument spends in the repair shop, the less playing time your child is getting.

I encourage you to use as many resources as possible to assure that you are making a quality purchase. Talk to sales people at music stores, representatives at music stores, music teachers, and performers. Look at customer reviews on the internet or read blogs. Look for assurances of quality control, warranty, and return information. There are good repair services in the area so extra warranty purchases are likely unnecessary. Lastly if you are unsure, please email me and I will do my best to help you make a wise choice.

Trusted Instrument Brands:

Flute, Clarinets, & Alto/Tenor Saxophones--

Eastman Buffet Eastman Yamaha Amadeus Armstrong Trevor James Bundy Selmer Signet

Evette Buffet Jupiter Emerson LeBlanc Conn Artley Noblet Olds Vito Powell Di Zou

Trumpets, French Horns, Trombones--

(Single french horn in F or double horn in F and Bb with string valves)

Bach Eastman Getzen Eastman Blessing Yamaha Besson Bundy Benge Conn

Holton Jupiter Olds King

Bolivar Band Department

Beginning Band Accessory List

(These items are to be purchased with the acquisition of the student’s instrument.)

Please place your student’s name in books and on a name tag for their instrument. Also record the serial number of the instrument and keep it with important papers. All items listed below are required for class.

Flute

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for flute and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Tuning rod (should be included when buying the instrument

  • Cleaning Cloth (1/2 of a soft cotton or silk handkerchief)

  • Polishing cloth appropriate for the lacquer of your horn

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

Clarinet

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for Bb Clarinet and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Reed Saver that holds 4 reeds

  • Cork grease (This SHOULD look like chapstick.)

  • Cleaning swap (should look like a piece of soft material attached to a string. Please get clarinet size, not alto saxophone.)

  • 6 – 8 Reeds (Strength 2.5 Rico or Rico Royal) Please do not purchase strength 2 reeds.

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

Alto Saxophone

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for Alto Saxophone and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Reed Saver that holds 4 reeds

  • Cork grease (This SHOULD look like chapstick.)

  • Cleaning swap (should look like a piece of soft material attached to a string. Please get alto saxophone s size, not clarinet.)

  • 6 – 8 Reeds (Strength 2.5 Rico or Rico Royal) Please do not purchase strength 2 reeds.

  • Padded neck strap (should be included with instrument)

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

Tenor Saxophone (borrow from the school with a maintenance fee $60 per school year is required to keep the instrument in good working condition.)

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for Tenor Saxophone and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Reed Saver that holds 4 reeds

  • Cork grease (This SHOULD look like chapstick.)

  • Cleaning swap (should look like a piece of soft material attached to a string. Please get alto saxophone s size, not clarinet.)

  • 6 – 8 Reeds (Strength 2.5 Rico or Rico Royal) Please do not purchase strength 2 reeds.

  • Padded neck strap (should be included with instrument)

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

Trumpet

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for Trumpet and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Yamaha 14B4 mouthpiece or equivalent (please request that the instrument dealer include this instead of the stock mouthpiece.)

  • Al Cass valve oil

  • Selmer Tuning Slide and Cork Grease (This container should NOT look like chapstick.)

  • Cleaning snake

  • Mouthpiece brush

  • Polishing cloth appropriate for the lacquer of your horn

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

French Horn (borrow from school with a maintenance fee $60 per school year is required to keep the instrument in good working condition.)

French Horns are either single F horns or double F/Bb horns. There is no reason not to start a beginner on a double horn. They are more expensive, but will last the student through high school, whereas starting on a single required a “step up” by high school. For those who choose to start on a single: please make sure if you rent or purchase a single horn, it is in the key of F.

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for French Horn and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • French Horn- Yamaha 30C4 (please request that the instrument dealer include this instead of the stock mouthpiece.)

  • Rotor oil

  • Selmer Tuning Slide and Cork Grease (This container should NOT look like chapstick.)

  • Mouthpiece brush

  • Polishing cloth appropriate for the lacquer of your horn

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

Trombone

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for Trombone and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Bach 6.5AL mouthpiece or equivalent (please request that the instrument dealer include this instead of the stock mouthpiece.)

  • Slide Oil

  • Selmer Tuning Slide and Cork Grease (This container should NOT look like chapstick.)

  • Cleaning snake

  • Mouthpiece brush

  • Polishing cloth appropriate for the lacquer of your horn

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice)

Euphonium, Tuba (borrow from school with a maintenance fee $60 per school year is required to keep the instrument in good working condition.

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for YOUR Instrument and a 1” 3 ring binder.

  • Please buy a mouthpiece. The size is listed below.

    • Euphonium - Bach 61/2 AL or it’s equal

    • Tuba - Bach 18

  • Al Cass valve oil

Percussion

Please rent or purchase a bell kit with a practice pad instead of a bell kit with a snare drum. We will rotate using the school’s snare drum and practice pads in class as it will save everyone’s ears. Student bell kit and practice pad will be for home practice and students will need all sticks/mallets with them daily (use stick bag). Students will play mallets all of 1st semester, and then rotate with snare for 2nd semester.

  • Standard of Excellence Book 1 for Mallets and Snare and a 1” 3-ring binder

  • Standard stick bag including Vic FIrst 5A drum sticks and Balter Unwound Series 91B Medium Hard Poly Mallets - Birch bell mallets (to store and transport to/from school and stay organized) These are required to play on the school’s instruments.

  • Collapsible music stand (to practice acceptable posture for at home practice. We will not use the stand that attaches to the bells as it promotes poor posture and set up.)

BMS Band Syllabus

Band Communication: We know that communication is essential for teachers, students, and parents to work together.

Our full Band Handbook is on the website. Please visit the website, read the handbook, and explore the site for important dates and information. Most of your questions can be answered here throughout the year as it is updated regularly for your convenience.

Website: https://sites.google.com/bolivarschools.org/bolivarbands

Facebook and Twitter: @BolivarBands

Remind Messaging: Text @bolbandsms to 81010

Parents please follow our Remind messaging system, our main communication tool.

Director Contact Information: Please add our emails to your email contact list so we don’t end up in the spam folder when we send a mass email to the entire class.

John Trew, Director of Bands - jtrew@bolivarschools.org

Kelsy Whitacre, Assistant Director of Bands - kelsywhitacre@bolivarschools.org

HS: 326-5228 / MS: 326-3811

Classroom expectations:

Safety First - Our first priority is a safe classroom, any behavior that jeopardizes safety will be immediately addressed, and if needed, consequences given.

Total Respect - Band students respect themselves, fellow members, instructors, and equipment.

Be Ready to Play - Band students will maintain focus at all times and are ready to perform on instruments by having their instrument, book and pencil.

Play It Right or Not At All - Band students are to use and perform with their instruments correctly and do not waste time.

100% Effort, 100% of the Time - Band students give their best, everyday.

Don’t Distract - Band students do not distract. Anyone. We stay focused on the task.

Put It All Away, The Right Way - When we are finished with tasks, everything has a place, and everything is put away correctly.


Grading System & End Of Course Expectations:

Grades are calculated using (but not limited to) rehearsals, playing quizzes, performances, and participation. Excessive disruptive classroom behavior will result in a lowered rehearsal grade and possible dismissal from future participation. BMS grading scale will be followed.


All first year band members entering second year band should be able to play select lines from our beginning band book. This will determine eligibility to advance to 7th grade band. All second year band members entering third year band should be able to play select line from our band books and/or Chromatic Challenge for Beginners, Golden Scales lines 2-4, Overtone Warm Up, and JH Band Warm Up with minimal errors. All third year band members entering High School should able to play all of the Overtone Warm Up, Chromatic Madness, Golden Scales, Essential Rhythms, and Key Signature Warm Up with minimal errors. All of these exercises are valid for assessment and will result in success at the next level of band performance.


Performance Dates: Please make sure your student is at the two required evening concerts, one per semester. These concerts are in the Auditorium at the High School.

  • Winter Band Concert December TBA

  • Spring Band Concert April TBA

  • 8th Grade Band Large Ensemble Contest (Spring TBA)