DES Bands


Welcome to the DES band program! Students in Dryden may enter the band program beginning in fourth or fifth grade. The program has two elementary bands: the Cub Band (first year students) and the Lion Band (second year students). Approximately 50%--60% of fourth and fifth graders participate in the band program. Students receive one small group lesson each week with other similar instruments. Students also participate in full ensemble rehearsals before school at 7:50 AM. The Lion Band performs three concerts and two assemblies throughout the year while the Cub Band has one performance in May. Please click on the links in the navigation bar to learn more about the program.

COVID-19 Updates (September 2021)

Welcome back everyone! Please see the information below regarding the 2021-22 school year.

Cub Band and Lion Band will be back in full swing this year. If you are new to the band program and curious about joining band please click on "Joining Band" in the navigation bar.

Band Rehearsals

  • Morning band rehearsals will resume this year! Lion Band students will rehearse two mornings a week on Monday and Wednesday from 7:50--8:40.

  • Cub Band rehearsals will begin sometime in January are will take place one day a week on Tuesday or Friday from 7:50--8:40.

  • Students can be dropped off at the DES main entrance at 7:45 or take the bus. If students ride the bus they would need to contact the bus garage to determine when and where the MS bus comes to their neighborhood. They would ride this bus to the MS and then transfer to a shuttle bus which would bring them to DES by 7:45.

  • Morning band rehearsals will take place in the upstairs gym which is located above the band room. This space will allow students to be spaced over 6 feet apart and provide proper ventilation.

Small Group Lessons

  • Lessons will take place in the band room with 6 foot spacing between students.

  • Lessons will rotate throughout the day just as they did last year for in-person lessons. For example, if a student has a lesson at 9:05 on Monday their lesson the following week would be Monday at 9:40. This ensures that students aren’t missing the same subject each week to attend lessons. The starting date is to be determined and I will notify all students in the Google Classroom and with a hard copy delivered to their classroom.

Mitigation Strategies

  • We will be following all of the same practices that students would follow in their classrooms.

  • Due to the unique nature of playing an instrument we will also be incorporating additional strategies. We will be following the guidance of the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study. You can find more information by clicking this link.

  • Based on that study, the following instruments will use bell covers: clarinet, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone and tuba. The school will provide bell covers, however, those that are interested in purchasing their own can do so at Hickeys Music or other online retailers.

  • This study has stated that masks are optional while playing. If you choose to wear a mask it would need to be altered by cutting a slit in the mask to allow access to the mouthpiece. This can be done with cloth reusable masks or disposable ASTM F2100 or similar masks.

  • Brass players will empty their water keys on paper plates and then dispose of them at the end of rehearsal.

Start Dates

  • Lessons for Lion Band students will begin in September and morning band will follow the week after.

  • Cub Band registration take place the last two week of September followed by lessons starting in October.

Thank you all for your patience, understanding and support of the band program as we work to provide the best possible experience for the students.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

A message from Mr. P,

Now that all of the logistics are out of the way, I want to let you all know how important it is, now more than ever, to have your child enrolled in band. So many aspects of their lives right now involve sitting in front of a screen and disconnecting from friends. Band continues to be a safe nurturing environment for students to experience life through music. Learning a band instrument engages the brain, body and soul in unique ways that doesn't involve plugging anything into an outlet and checking the wi-fi connection. I believe we can all participate in band this year while also mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19. I have fun music planned and I look forward to building positive relationships with everyone as we navigate this school year together.


Mr. P

Mr Phillips-Burdge Bio

Mr. Phillips-Burdge has had the privilege of serving the students as band director of Dryden Elementary School since the fall of 2005. Prior to teaching in Dryden, Mr. Phillips-Burdge taught in Columbus, Ohio and also Wappingers Falls, NY. He graduated with honors from Ithaca College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Music degree and again in 2005 with a Master of Music degree. He resides in Freeville with his wife Ellie and their son Brenden. Mr. Phillips-Burdge maintains an active private studio in addition to performing on trombone with community groups such as the Grass Roots Chamber Orchestra, the Fall Creek Brass Band and City Limits. He has guest conducted honor ensembles around the state and enjoys inspiring young musicians from the podium.

Mr. Phillips-Burdge participates in many activities outside of music including: fishing, swimming, biking and camping. He also holds a private pilot certificate and is a member of the East Hill Flying Club. Keep a look out for Mr. P playing at local festivals or perhaps look up and you might see him flying above you!