Monday, September 03, 2018

Music and the Brain!

I love this video which summarizes the latest brain research and shows how learning to play music affects the brain in powerful and profound ways.  As I tell the students, every student should have a music class AND an elective.  The goal is not to prepare students for careers in music, but to develop well rounded scholars that excel in all areas of the curriculum.  Thanks for encouraging your child to study music!! 

Welcome to the 2018/2019 School Year!!

Welcome to another exciting year of music at Windsor Middle School.  The students and I are very excited about the year ahead.  The Honor Bands are really well balanced and talented.  We are already playing some challenging and wonderful music.  The Beginning Bands are off to a strong start with great instrumentation and some strong players.  We expect that they will be outstanding this year.  We're also very excited about the new Keyboard Lab.  Housed in room K101, the lab features 10 Korg Krome keyboards, 6 Korg Kross keyboards and the Kross GEC 5, group education controller.  This setup allows us to have two students on each of the 61 key stations.  With the GEC 5, the teacher can listen and talk to individuals as they are practicing.  What a wonderful setup.  Many thanks to principal Brian Williams and the Windsor Unified School District for their commitment to music education!  The students in the Beginning Piano class are already learning to read and write music notation and learning to play with two hands on independent parts.  We are looking forward to discovering all of the capabilities of this magnificent resource.

Important Dates 2018-2019


Sonoma Jump Start @ Camp CAZ                                                       9/28-9/30/18

Analy Fall Festival                                                                                10/26-10/27/18

Winter Concert                                                                                      12/13/18

Windsor @ Weill                                                                                    TBA 3/19

Town of Windsor Parade                                                                        5/4/19

Discovery Kingdom                                                                                5/11/19

Spring Concert                                                                                        5/23/19


Honor Band Syllabus 2018-2019


Dear Students and Parents -- Welcome to another tremendous year for the Windsor Middle School Bands and thank you for being part of our musical community!  I am looking forward to once again achieving our primary goal:   to have as much fun as possible, and to reap the many benefits of music education by creating outstanding performing ensembles!  This document should provide all of the information that you will need to have a rewarding and fantastic year!
What is Honor Band?
Honor is defined as “high respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem.”  We are happy that WMS can offer two sections of “Honor Band” this year.  The Honor Band is a specially selected group of 2nd and 3d year players.  Each group was carefully chosen to blend ability and instrumentation.  A great deal of effort was put into this process which will allow students to play in high quality groups while still taking advantage of the many other outstanding programs and course offerings at our school.  It is an honor for me to have you as students.  I know that you will honor me with your outstanding attitude, behavior and effort!
Attitude
Attitude is the most important thing in life, and certainly the most important thing in our bands.   Attitudes are contagious:  bad attitudes tend to spread to others and can ruin a group and the experience for every member.  Similarly, good attitudes can sweep through a group creating a feeling of connectedness and loyalty that can make good groups great.  As Charles Swindoll said, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church (a band)... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”  Your attitude and your behavior account for 1/2 of your grade in this course.  Please be here because you want to be here and participate in all of the fun things that we will do this year.  Students who develop an unacceptable attitudes or behaviors will be removed.                                                          
Community
Band classes are different from other classes.  In Band, we learn by working together to create something that none of us could create on our own.  Every person in the group affects every other person to a much greater extent than in other types of classes.  Each person’s behavior and performance directly influences both the quality of the music that we produce together, and the amount that we can learn.  Because we perform in public and represent Windsor Middle School, the quality of our work reflects the quality of our WMS community.  Each person in the group has a responsibility to every other person, and to the school at large,  to do their best, in class and in performance.   It is critical that we work together to create the best possible experience for ourselves, and an outstanding impression on the community.  You are a member of our team, and every other member of the team is relying on you to be there and to do your best every time we are together.
Behavior
Behavior in instrumental music classes presents a unique challenge for both students and teachers.  Think of it this way: the goal of our class is to create sound - beautiful, artistic sound hopefully.  We have large classes full of students who have instruments that can make a great deal of noise.  Because our classes are “electives”, students are more likely to be in groups with their friends.   (This is good, because we are creating a community, as noted above.)  The challenge is to enjoy the company of our friends and to create an environment that allows everyone to learn.  It is imperative that students have outstanding behavior in the classroom and in public performances. Please see the “Rules” sheet for specific rules and consequences. Parents can help by supporting our efforts to maintain high standards for behavior and performance.
Calendar
Here are the important dates for the 2018/2019 School Year

Sonoma Jump Start             9/28 to 9/30 2018

Analy Fall Festival            10/26 or 10/27 2018

Winter Concert            12/13/2018

Windsor at Weill Hall            TBD (3/19)*

Discovery Kingdom             5/11/19*

Spring Concert                        5/23/19
* This date has not been confirmed.

It is my hope that with this advance notice you will be able to keep these dates in mind as you plan your other activities.  The Winter and Spring Concerts and the Fall Festival are curricular events and are considered part of the student’s grade.  Unexcused absences to the Concerts including Windsor @ Weill will cause a student’s final grade to be reduced by one letter grade for that term.  Failure to attend the Fall Festival will result in a 250 pt. fine.  Bonus points will be awarded for attendance at our important cocurricular events that take place outside of school hours.  It is important to remember that our ensembles are communities in which every person contributes to the work that we produce together.
Performance Attire
We ask that students wear black long pants, or skirt a white long sleeve button down shirt or blouse that will be tucked in (for guys),  and black shoes.
Grading
Fifty percent of a student’s grade is based on behavior, attitude and participation in class.  These will be listed as “Behavior” points.  Fifty percent of their grade is based on work they do outside of class, or on demonstrated service to the group.   These points will be listed as “Academic” points.   Options for earning “Academic” points include documented practice time, written reports on composers and performers, written music theory assignments, musical or concert reviews, directed composition projects, music careers research projects,  solo and small ensemble performance projects, extra or cocurricular performance or fundraising opportunities.  There are points available for playing in extra curricular ensembes, serving as a Band Officer or other service to the “musical community”.  There are 900 points per term available for behavior and participation in class and 900 “Academic” points available for work that is done outside of class, or for extra service to the group.  The final grade is calculated as an average of the two scores described above.  Students who earn less than 540 points in the “Academic” category, can still get a “C” if they have outstanding classroom behavior and participation.  Students who earn more than 900 points in the “Academic” category will not be able to subsidize poor scores in the “behavior and participation” category.  Student scores are posted by “code name” in the room, so students will know how they are doing at all times.  The Academic portion of the course is “self-directed” in the sense that students choose which assignments they would like to do and when they would like to turn them in.  This gives students the freedom
to plan their homework around their individual schedules, but adds the responsibility of making sure that they have the points that they need for the grade that they want to earn by the time the term ends.  The grading rubric is as follows:



Grading for Windsor Middle School Bands
 
Behavior Points available per quarter:  900
Behavior points available per day:     20
Academic points available per quarter:  900
Your grade will be based on the “Average” of your “Behavior” and your “Academic Points”
       810 - 900               = A          
       720 - 809              = B
       630 - 719              = C
       540 - 629              = D
       below 540 - does not     earn a passing grade
Ways to earn points:
  • Practice during flex – 200 points
  • Practice – 1 hour – 100 points. 
  • Playing tests – 50 – 100 points depending on difficulty.
  • Research papers on Composers or Performers – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Performance Review – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Composition projects – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Music Theory worksheets - 50 points per sheet (4 available per term)
  • Music Careers research projects -50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Band Officer – 500 points (President, Librarian, Treasurer, Sound Tech)
  • JB or EC ensembles – 50 points per session – 250 pts. per performance
  • Fill an Instrument vacancy (low brass/low winds) – 500 – 750 points
  • Numerous other incentives that make it easy for you to get the "A" such as "signing bonuses", "character bonuses", bonus questions offered. 
If you have less than “540 points” in the “Academic” Category on the last day when the grading period is over, 539 points is added to your “Academic” score.  This will bring your average up.  If you have more than “900 points” in the “Academic” Category, your “average” is calculated based on 900 points and not your actual total.  This keeps well behaved students who have not done enough work outside of class from failing, and poorly behaved students who get a large number of “Academic” points from automatically earning a good grade.
Instruments
Windsor Middle School has been fortunate to be able to loan instruments to students over the last few years.  As our program grows, though, it has become increasingly difficult to provide instruments for Honor Band students while continuing to supply our Beginning groups with adequate numbers of instruments to play.  It is sometimes possible to buy used instruments at very reasonable rates.  I frequently buy used instruments off of Craigslist to add to the WMS instrument inventory.  In addition, there are reputable dealers who offer good quality refurbished instruments at reasonable rates.  Please be careful about buying poor quality new instruments that are often available at Costco, Sears or online.  If the price seems to good to be true, then the instrument is probably not worth the money you are going to pay for it.  (These cheap instruments have come to be called “Instrument Shaped Objects” by music teachers.  I often ask the repair techs at Stanroy for advice about instrument quality because there are so many instruments out there with so many different names.)  If you have any interest in buying a new or used instrument for your child to use, please let me know.  I can give you more information and suggestions about how to go about it.  Also, if you or anyone you know has an instrument they would like to donate to our program, we are always happy to give generous tax deductible donation letters.

Thanks again for encouraging your child to play music and thank you for supporting music at Windsor Middle School!  As always, you can reach me at 837-7737 ext 8134 or by mail:  smitchell@wusd.org


Thank you very much for being part of the Windsor Middle School Honor Band!  By participating in our group your are demonstrating that you are a person of character and depth who cares about your education and your future.  Every year, the WMS performing groups draw the finest individuals in the school and this year is no exception.  Thank you. 






























































Beginning Band Syllabus 2018-2019


Dear Students and Parents -- Thank you for being part of the Windsor Middle School Musical Community.  Music enriches our lives in many ways, and the work that we do together enriches the overall climate and culture of Windsor Middle School.  Consequently, we have a responsibility to our selves and to our school to live up to our potential and to create the best bands that we possibly can!  I know that the students in this year’s bands are capable of great things.   I truly believe that we can create some of the best music ever produced at Windsor Middle School, and I look forward to working together, having fun, learning many things and taking advantage of your abundant talent.  This document should provide all of the information that you will need to have a rewarding and fantastic year!
Attitude
Attitude is the most important thing in life, and certainly the most important thing in our bands.   Attitudes are contagious:  bad attitudes tend to spread to others and can ruin a group and the experience for every member.  Similarly, good attitudes can sweep through a group creating a feeling of connectedness and loyalty that can make good groups great.  As Charles Swindoll said, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church (a band)... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude..I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”  Your attitude and your behavior account for 1/2 of your grade in this course.  Please be here because you want to be here to participate in all of the fun things that we will do this year.  Students who develop an unacceptable attitude that affects other members of the group will be removed.                                                          
Community
Band classes are different from other classes.  In Band, we learn by working together to create something that none of us could create on our own.  Every person in the group affects every other person to a much greater extent than in other types of classes.  Each person’s behavior and performance directly influences both the quality of the music that we produce together, and the amount that we can learn.  Because we perform in public and represent Windsor Middle School, the quality of our work reflects the quality of our WMS community.  Each person in the group has a responsibility to every other person, and to the school at large,  to do their best, in class and in performance.   It is critical that we work together to create the best possible experience for ourselves, and an outstanding impression on the community. 


Behavior
Behavior in instrumental music classes presents a unique challenge for both students and teachers.  Think of it this way: the goal of our class is to create sound - beautiful, artistic sound hopefully.  We have large classes full of students who have instruments that can make a great deal of noise.  Because our classes are “electives”, students are more likely to be in groups with their friends.   (This is good, because we are creating a community, as noted above.)  The challenge is to enjoy the company of our friends and to create an environment that allows everyone to learn.  It is imperative that students have outstanding behavior in the classroom and in public performances.  A list of Band Room Rules was sent home with a section to be signed by both the student and the parent.  Please consult the “Rules” sheet for specific rules and consequences.   Parents can help by supporting our efforts to maintain high standards for behavior and performance. Students who develop an unacceptable pattern of behavior that affects other members of the group will be removed.
Calendar
Here are a list of the dates that we have on the calendar for the 2018/2019 school year:
Winter Concert            12/13/18
Windsor Day Parade           5/4/19
Spring Concert             5/24/19

It is my hope that with this advance notice you will be able to keep these dates in mind as you plan your other activities.  The Winter and Spring Concerts are considered part of the student’s grade.  Unexcused absences to the Concerts will cause a student’s final grade to be reduced by one letter grade.  Failure to attend the Windsor Parade will result in a 250 pt. fine, but extra credit work will be available for any student who is uanable to attend. 

Performance Attire
We ask that students wear black long pants, or skirts a white shirt or blouse (tucked in for boys), and black shoes. 
Grading
Fifty percent of a student’s grade is based on behavior, attitude and participation in class.  These will be listed as “Behavior” points.  Fifty percent of their grade is based on work they do outside of class, or on demonstrated service to the group.   These points will be listed as “Academic” points.   Options for earning “Academic” points include coming in during Flex Time, documented practice time, written reports on composers and performers, written music theory assignments, musical or concert reviews, directed composition projects, music careers research projects,  solo and small ensemble performance projects, extra or cocurricular performance or fundraising opportunities.  There are points available for playing in extra curricular ensembes, serving as a Band Officer or other service to the “musical community”.  There are 900 points per term available for behavior and participation in class and 900 “Academic” points available for work that is done outside of class, or for extra service to the group.  The final grade is calculated as an average of the two scores described above.  Students who earn less than 540 points in the “Academic” category, can still get a “C” if they have outstanding classroom behavior and participation.  Students who earn more than 900 points in the “Academic” category will not be able to subsidize poor scores in the “behavior and participation” category.  Student scores are posted by “code name” in the room, so students will know how they are doing at all times.  The Academic portion of the course is “self-directed” in the sense that students choose which assignments they would like to do and when they would like to turn them in.  This gives students the freedom
to plan their homework around their individual schedules, but adds the responsibility of making sure that they have the points that they need for the grade that they want to earn by the time the term ends.  The grading rubric is as follows:

Grading for Windsor Middle School Bands
Behavior points available per quarter:            900
Daily points available per day:              20
Academic points available per quarter:            900
Your grade will be based on the “Average” of your “Behavior” and Your “Academic”

810 - 900                         = A          
720 - 809                        = B
630 - 719                        = C
540 - 629                        = D
below 540 ---- does not earn a passing grade

Ways to earn points:
  • Practicing during Flex 200 pts.
  • Practice – 1 hour – 100 points. 
  • Playing tests – 50 – 100 points depending on difficulty.
  • Research papers on Composers or Performers – 100 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Performance Review – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Composition projects – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Music Theory worksheets - 50 points per sheet (4 available per term)
  • Music Careers research projects - 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Band Officer – 500 points (President, Librarian, Treasurer, Sound Tech)
  • Jazz Band or EC ensembles – 50 points per session – 250 pts. per performance
  • Fill an Instrument vacancy (low brass/low winds) – 500 – 750 points
      (The points awarded for filling instrument vacancies will be negotiable.
      We clearly have a need for some instruments more than others.)

If you have less than “540 points” in the “Academic” Category on the last day when the grading period is over, 539 points is added to your “Academic” score.  This will bring your average up.  If you have more than “900 points” in the “Academic” Category, your “average” is calculated based on 900 points and not your actual total.  This keeps well behaved students who have not done enough work outside of class from failing, and poorly behaved students who get a large number of “Academic” points from automatically earning a good grade.

Instrument Selection
It is very important that beginning students select the correct instrument when they are starting out.   A student is much more likely to be successful and reap the benefits of studying music, if they choose an instrument that they are well suited for.  Each person’s body and face is different and most people will find that they have an easier time with some instruments than with others.  Many students already have an idea of  what instrument they would like to play, or the student’s family has an instrument that they can use.  Please keep an open mind about instrument selection.  Our goal is to have everyone be successful in their efforts to play an instrument.   The students in the Beginning classes will soon be trying out the different instruments mouthpieces to see which instruments will suit them.  A letter will be coming home soon letting you know how your child did on the instrument tryouts.
WMS Instruments 
We are fortunate to have a limited number of schools instruments that we will be able to loan to students for the year.  We are happy to loan the WMS instruments that we have for the year, and ask that families who are able donate $50 for  instrument maintenance so that we can insure that all WMS instruments remain in good working condition.  Preference for WMS instruments will be given to families that have a financial need to borrow one from the school.  All other WMS instruments will be distributed by lottery.  “Music for Schools” also has instruments to loan to those families that are unable to rent an instrument.  Once again, preference is given to those families with a financial need.   I have applications available for those interested in pursuing this option.  Rental instruments are available from several shops in the area including Stanroy Music Center and Santa Rosa Music Center in Santa Rosa.  
Percussion
Students who wish to play percussion instruments will be able to apply and audition for one of our percussion positions after our Winter Concert.  Our percussionists must be among the finest musicians in our group.  Not only do they need outstanding music reading and rhythm skills, they need to  be proficient in reading both treble and bass clefs.  They also must have outstanding classroom behavior, a strong work ethic and outstanding musicianship.  For these reasons, we wait until half way through the year to determine which students will be selected to play percussion.  A student who really wants to play percussion will have to demonstrate that they can play all of the material that we are playing on their first instrument.  Parents who would like to help their child become a percussionist can help by making sure their child is successful on their first instrument. 
Practice
 Beginning students will have the best success if they adhere to a regular practice schedule to develop the skills that are taught in class.   1 hour of practice time per week will give a student the 900 points required for an “A” in the “homework” portion of our grading system.  Students are always welcome to practice more than that, and they may need to at the beginning.  Students who do not practice outside of class will have a much harder time being successful in class and will be much more likely to want to quit.  10 - 20 minutes of practice 5 days a week will really help a student to pick up the skills that they need to be successful.  Parents can help by providing a quiet space and time for students to practice.  Listening to your child and providing a few words of encouragement can really help!

Thanks again for encouraging your child to play music and thank you for supporting music at Windsor Middle School!  As always, you can reach me at 837-7737 ext 8134.  It is often easiest for me to communicate via e-mail:  smitchell@wusd.org.  If you prefer to communciate via e-mail please send me a message so that I have your address in my address book.  Thank you !! 



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Congratulations and Thank You for a Great Job at Weill Hall


Congratulations and Thank you to all of the students and parent volunteers who made our performance at Weill Hall so successful this year!  I truly appreciate the many parent volunteers who made it possible for us to perform at this exciting venue.  I am also grateful for the students who brought their best performance skills and mature behavior to the show.  For me, this year's performance was even better than last year's.  Thanks for everything you do to support music at Windsor Middle School.  I truly believe that students that participate in a performing ensemble are getting something valuable that is not available to them in any other area of the curriculum.  

  • Research made between music and intelligence concluded that music training is far greater than computer instruction in improving children’s abstract reasoning skills. ~ Neurological Research, Vol. 19
  • Arts Education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate; the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence.~ Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Corporate Communications, Xerox. Corporation

Thanks again, SM :-)








Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Windsor @ Weill March 15, 2018!!


Windsor
Middle
School
Brian Williams, Principal Lisa Joseph, Assistant Principal
Windsor Middle School 9500 Brooks Rd. South
Windsor, CA 95492 Phone: 707.837.7737 Fax 707.837.7743 www.wusd.org/wms/
 
 
2/22/18

Dear Parents
Thanks for all that you do to support music at Windsor Middle School. The students and I are very excited about our upcoming performance at Weill Hall on March 15th, 2018. This is an amazing and wonderful opportunity for your child to play at a world class music performance venue! Performers will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Green Room for Weill Hall. We really need parents to serve as chaperones for the event. If you can help by being a chaperone can you let me know by sending me a message at smitchell@wusd.org?

All non-performers will need tickets to the event. Tickets and parking are free, but you need to order your tickets before the event. They can be ordered at:
http://gmc.sonoma.edu/event/3671706-windsor-weill


It is really important that all of our band members attend this prestigious event. I have already had to submit a “stage plan” with the exact number of chairs and stands that will be needed. This event is considered a “curricular” activity. A failure to attend will adversely affect a student’s grade, but an academic bonus will be given to all participants. We have rehearsed all year for this concert. Your young musician has a responsibility to the other members of the group to be there and to play their best. This is an experience they may not get again in their lifetime.
Please check our website: wmsbands.blogspot.com, for the latest information. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your questions and concerns.
Sincerely 
Steve Mitchell 




Thursday, February 22, 2018

More Windsor @ Weill Information


INFO RE: WINDSOR’S PERFORMANCE AT GREEN MUSIC CENTER (GMC) ON 3/15/2018

1.   Teachers will be asking for parent chaperones.   Chaperones are to stay with their student group the entire time including releasing students to parents at the end of the concert.  Chaperones, please monitor your group and kindly but firmly ensure professional behavior. 

2.    Student performers and chaperones do not need a ticket.  Call time is 6:00pm.

3.    Please park in the main lot.  Parking is free for this event.  Student performers (in concert attire) and chaperones are to enter via the GMC Artist’s Entry.  ONLY student performers and chaperones may enter via the Artist’s Entry.  EVERYONE else is to have a ticket and enter GMC through the main doors.

4.    Have dinner before you get to GMC.  There is no food/concessions available this evening.

5.    Bring only what you need for your performance (instrument, music).   Bring as few personal items as possible   (Let your parent keep items or leave them in the car.).  Whatever you bring is at your own risk.  Definitely no back packs.

6.    No gum, food or water.  There are drinking fountains backstage.

7.    Do not touch photos on walls.  Treat the GMC building and furnishings with respect. 

8.    Walk.  Talk quietly in warm-up room.  BE SILENT IN STAGING AREAS.

9.   From Artist’s Entry, you will go to a warm-up room.  Stay in your warm-up room until directed. 

10.    At 6:50, High School students will be led by a docent to the Choral Circle where they will sit and watch the 1st half of the performance.  Middle School students will stay in warm-up rooms until led to staging area to enter stage and perform.

11.  There will be an intermission so that High School groups and Middle School groups can change place.  You are the performers and you must stay with your group backstage.  Middle School groups will be led to Choral Circle for 2nd half.  High School groups will be in warm-up rooms or on stage.  EVERYONE IS EXPECTED TO STAY FOR THE ENTIRE CONCERT.

12.   At the end of the concert, all student performers and chaperones will flow back through their warm-up room to pick up instruments, music and any personal items.  Chaperones will ensure that every student in their group is released to their parent.  Middle School groups will be released via the hallway door nearest to the GMC main doors.  High School groups will be released via the hallway door closest to the box office.

THANK YOU ALL for being good guests while we enjoy this world-class venue.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Yes Indeed! Field Trip 1/30/18

Dear Parents -- Thank you very much for encouraging your child to play music.  It is good for them and our school.  We're excited to be able to attend a show at the Luther Burbank Center called, "Yes Indeed".  Here is a description of the program:

Instill a greater appreciation, awareness, and understanding of the rich history of the blues in your students with this interactive program. Yes Indeed! demonstrates the blues’ roots in work songs, spirituals, hymns, field hollers, and chants of 19th-Century southern U.S. The blues is a distinct sound, but, essentially, it’s a creative expression for coping with hardships, persisting in the face of trouble, and prevailing over adversity. By discovering the blues as a distinct musical style, students will identify the blues as the core element of all indigenous American music, including R&B, funk, gospel, rock, and hip hop.

The program is on January 30.  Students will leave school at 10:30 and return to school at 1:30.  All WMS Band Students are invited to attend.  We are hoping that those who are able will send in a $9 donation.  Clearly, no student will be excluded because of an inability to pay.

Many thanks for encouraging your child.  We appreciate you sending in the permission slip they were given!  Best regards, Steve Mitchell