Update for October 11

Friday, October 10, 2014

No Rehearsal on Saturday, October 11

Due to many of our schools participating in the soccer tournament in Neenah this weekend, we do not have band rehearsal scheduled for tomorrow.  In addition, the FVL FoxFest Dinner Auction is this Saturday.  There is an enourmous amount of set up for this event, and the Commons will be unavailable all day.  So the band students can sleep in and enjoy a day off (unless they are playing soccer!).

Rehearsals leading up to our November concert will be on the following Saturdays:

Ocotber 18 (Hansen's product DELIVERED to FVL), 25
November 8, 15, 22
November 23 - Fall Concert

Our Fall Concert will begin at 6:00 PM, and not 6:30 as it shows on our schedule.

Thanks for the Well-Wishes!

Many of you sent your best wishes on my son Jonathan and Brittany's wedding this past weekend.  Thanks so much!  It was an incredible weekend.  Although the weather was a bit cold and drizzly on Saturday, the joy of having family together and celebrating the beginning of a new life together more than offset the dreary day.  Thanks again to Mrs. Nogar for handling the entire rehearsal on her own!

SmartMusic - What is it?  And is it really that smart?

In a nutshell, SmartMusic is an incredibly powerful online interactive tool for practicing at home.  I began using SmartMusic in lessons over the past two weeks.  It has been fun for me and the students to use the program!  Hopefully your children have told you about it.  Not only is it fun to use - the benefits are extraordinary:

  • Choose to play along with thousands of pieces in the SmartMusic library
  • Learn how your part fits within the ensemble through accompaniment
  • SmartMusic listens as you play, giving you instant feedback on assessable files
  • Move at your own pace by controlling the tempo and clicktrack with subdivisions
  • Isolate difficult phrases of any length with the loop tool
  • Record and play back your practice sessions for self assessment
  • Send MP3 recordings to family members and friends
  • Solo repertoire accompaniment follows spontaneous tempo chnges

In addition to having the entire lesson series available in SmartMusic (the "Standard of Excellence" books we use for lessons), the program also has thousands of solos available for interactive practice and accompaniment.  One of the songs for Concert Winds - African Festival - is also in the program.  During lessons, we have been using SmartMusic to work on African Festival.  It gives us the ability to rehearse individual parts, with the added bonus of having the entire band playing along with us!  The assessment portion of the program is also very powerful, as it can immediately give the student feedback as to notes that were played correctly, and shows notes and rhythms that were incorrect.

Students in 7th and 8th grade will soon be getting their solos.  SmartMusic is a fantastic tool to assist in learning a solo.  Not only can the students set the accompaniment to play with them, but they can also listen to their part being played, as well as set the tempo slower or faster to accomadate their skill level.  SmartMusic can also be used the day of the solo festival to accompany their performance.

There is much more to the program than I can post in this space.  Go to the SmartMusic link to see for yourself.  On their website you will see a short demo video that shows the program in use by students, as well as other links to more information.

SmartMusic is also available to you!  Although it is not free, it is VERY inexpensive at just $40 for a one-year subscription.  It is also very simple to begin using SmartMusic.  Simply download the program to any computer, tablet, or laptop and you can start enjoying its benefits immediately.

If you would like more information about SmartMusic, please don't hesitate to contact me.

My guess is that if you purchase SmartMusic, your child will practice MUCH MORE than they currently do.  That is always a good thing!

Concert Dress for the November 23 concert

So that you have adequate time to prepare, here is a summary of what our students need to wear for our concert in November (Both Cadet Band and Concert Winds):

Ladies should wear black dress shoes, black socks or black hose, full length black pants (not faded), and a white button blouse with long sleeves. No tennis shoes, leggings, or capri style pants. Do not wear black skirts.

Gentlemen should wear black dress shoes, black socks, black belt, black pants (not faded), and a white dress shirt.

The Cadet Band members will wear a sweater vest for their performances. The vests will be handed out prior to and collected immediately following the concert.

Concert Winds members will receive a vest and bow tie before their performance.  Vests and bow ties will be handed out prior to and should be returned immediately after the concert.


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