This is Mr. Whitcomb, and I just want to say WELCOME BACK to all our students here at Montrose! The school year has officially begun, and we’re already almost a week in.
I wanted to send a note to everyone involved in the music department to get out some information about upcoming events, classroom procedures and expectations, and opportunities that we have on the horizon.
There are many ways you can see what the Montrose Music Department has going on. Here’s an outline:
The music department website (https://montrosemusic.wordpress.com/) is designed to give parents and students a chance to subscribe to updates by simply adding their email addresses to our mailing list. At the bottom of the home page you’ll find a place to add yourself to that list. You’ll receive any site updates via email. Some of the updates will be news updates like this one, and others may be student-specific updates, such as assignments or reminders. You can unsubscribe at any time as well.
Through Remind.com, we have an awesome text and email system that allows students and parents to get instant updates on their phones without having to share numbers with the director. This means safe, simple, and secure communication. Remind also allows those with smartphones to start chats with the instructor so that questions can be answered and the teacher can communicate with parents instantly. If you are a parent and want to join our lists, go here and follow the simple instructions or text “@mhsmuspar” to 81010. If you are a student and want to join our lists, go here and follow these instructions or text “@jwallmusic” to 81010. We will also use Remind for Honor Band and Honor Choir in the high school.
in-class rules and expectations
For our 4th grade through 12th grade students, we have a few simple rules and expectations to follow in order to build a supportive and successful program.
- Respect. We respect each other, the instructor, the materials, and the classroom.
- Safety. We guard each other’s feelings, honor each other’s emotions, and treat each other as we would want to be treated at all times.
- Teamwork. We work together to meet common goals. We are an ensemble!
- Responsibility. We prepare for class through practice, we arrive at class ready to learn, and we keep track of the materials and tools needed to be successful during class.
Throughout the year, our students will participate in performance opportunities that support our school and our program. A list of the events can be found under the Events page. High school students are required to participate in all pep band performances unless a sport conflicts with the performance. 7th and 8th graders are encouraged to participate but are not required. All students are required to participate in the two concert events during the year.
Beyond our standard high school choir and band, students have the opportunity to be part of Honor Choir and Honor Band (both through the Big East Conference). Students are selected as members of these esteemed ensembles through merit, auditions, ability, and/or effort. Contact Mr. Whitcomb for further details.
Students also have the option of participating in small ensemble and solo contests, both for voices and instruments, in grades 5 through 12.
All-State events (chorus, band, jazz band, orchestra) are available via audition. Contact Mr. Whitcomb for more information on these events.
band trip fundraising
In June 2017, we are planning to take the high school band (students who have completed grades 9, 10, 11, 0r 12) on a trip to Minneapolis, MN. In order to provide opportunities to earn money for this trip, the band does several fundraisers throughout the year.
- Fruit Sales: Fresh fruit, sold in November and delivered in December. This is our largest fundraising effort.
- Shirt Sales: Custom-designed band shirts, sold either in the fall or in the spring. This is a smaller fundraiser.
- Yankee Candle Sales: Yankee Candles and accessories, sold in late January/early February. This can be a good fundraiser for students needing an extra boost.
- Birthday Calendar Sales: Community tear-sheet calendars with birthdays, anniversaries, and varsity schedules, sold in May and delivered in August. This has been a large and well-received fundraiser.
We also encourage a general fundraising effort through Box Tops 4 Education. Our program earns $.10 per box top sent our way (find them on General Mills, Ziplok, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Kleenex, Betty Crocker, and several other brands). With this fundraiser, we support honor ensembles and marching band students with free meals during events. You can make a difference quickly and easily, and at no cost!
The key to an awesome school year is looking through the lens of opportunity. Students must see their experience in music as an opportunity to a well-rounded world view that brings them closer to the world around them–not just a chance to sing or play instruments. With your support, we can guide our young students to a life full of opportunities through unique and fascinating experiences.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email any time.