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

Due to the unique circumstances we are in, the band program will look slightly different for the 2020-2021 school year. Here are some highlights of some of the more important changes to note:

  • Band will continue this year with small group lessons in the band room.

  • Unfortunately, there will not be any morning band ensemble this year. The regulations from SED require that all students be spaced 12 feet apart from each other when playing an instrument. This limits the capacity in the band room to 5 students. Additionally, all after school and before school activities have been cancelled for this year and that would include band rehearsals.

  • There will not be any concerts this year.

  • Students who are learning remotely will receive lessons via Google Meet.

  • Students will continue to use the Google Classroom updates and home interactions.

  • Students will not be having lessons with students from other classrooms. Only students from the same class will meet together. This may cause many lesson groups to have mixed instrumentation.

  • Safety protocols will be in place when entering the band room such as: sanitizing high touch surfaces after each lesson group, 12 foot spacing, hand washing, ventilation and other mitigation strategies for brass players' water keys.

  • Students will be spaced 12 feet apart from each other and the teacher and capacity will be limited to 5 students at a time in the band room

  • Students who would like to join band as 4th graders will be able to do so during the month of September. Mr. Phillips-Burdge will demonstrate the instruments to all students in their classroom or virtually. Parents will receive an email with links to register online.

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 and the Fall Creek Brass Band. 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!