Dear Parents and Students…

Band Assessment Results
What a crazy week it’s been! Firstly, congratulations to the 7th Grade band for getting straight “Superior” ratings at our band assessment/festival. We were the only middle school to do so! We’re super proud of you!

Unfortunately 8th grade will not get their chance to shine as their trip was supposed to be Friday. It’s unlikely that the event will be rescheduled at this point. Hopefully they will get their chance to show their amazing skill, which leads me to…..

Where do we go from here? What about concerts and trips?
The band has a ton of stuff schedule in April. (you can see the full schedule here http://bit.ly/33vIQAV) Including our spring concert, 6th grade performances for 5th graders, instrument tryout night for 5th graders, Kings Dominion for 8th grade, and Party in the Park with all grades. 

It is not clear what is on and off the table at this point. We’ll have a better picture in a couple weeks. This whole thing could start to wind down, or perhaps not. Currently the CDC is recommending schools close to 2-4 weeks in areas with low numbers of confirmed COVID. Safety of the students is first and foremost the main priority. (for example, we’re currently re-thinking how to approach things like instrument tryouts for 5th graders to adapt to the situation.) We’ll await guidance from the superintendent on these matters. 

Are we planning on teaching online?
Currently the district has not formally asked us teachers to prepare anything just yet as the state mandated closure largely overlaps with our spring break. This could change however. SO…….

Please pickup your instruments!
On Friday afternoon we got wind that we would be out this week and we had all the 6th graders take instruments home. We didn’t get a chance to tell 8th and 7th grade. In the event that we’re closed for a long period of time, we will possibly be asked to prepare work to send home. If a student doesn’t have their instrument, they can’t do much. Not to mention if a student doesn’t play their instrument for longer than a week, they start to lose the ability to play with good tone (and play high notes for brass). 

To make things enjoyable, I plan on putting together a packet of pop, rock, and rap song transcriptions for the kids to learn while we’re out. I’ll send out a PDF to all the parents and students. We’ll play these songs together upon returning to school. I’m also asking the students to periodically play their concert music to keep it fresh. It’s possible that once this thing blows over, we won’t have much time to prepare for a the final spring concert. 

I will be at SMS tomorrow (monday) from 11am-Noon for instrument pickup.
If you plan on coming, please shoot me an email so I have an idea of how many people to expect. If you absolutely can’t come at that time, send me an alternate date/time and I’ll see if I can be there (i live pretty close to the school)

Students, we already miss you tons. Can’t wait to bring the band family back together again.

Charlie Nesmith