Parent’s Visiting Friday’s Contest Performance

Please note the the following message is for eligible students and parents of the Symphonic Band and Beginner’s Ensemble only:

Since Friday’s contest is free and open to public at the Belton HS PAC, the high school principal wanted me to pass along the instructions for parents who wish to attend this performance:

Parking will be tight, but parents can park in either the front parking lot or the baseball parking lot.  Please do not park in a spot that has been painted – these are reserved for students.  We may get a map that I will send out later this week.  Parents will need to enter and exit through the PAC/Gym doors off the main student parking lot.

Symphonic Band will perform at 12:20pm, and the Beginner’s Ensemble will perform at 2:30pm.  All parents are welcome to attend.

Instrument Check-In

This message is only for parents of band students who play a school-owned instrument:

As we get closer to the end of this school year, we need to have all school-owned instruments (including home instruments) brought back to school no later than Wednesday, June 2

We also still have some students/parents who have not finished paying the rest of the usage fee.  Please take care of this by this date as well by paying via cash or check made out to BMS with a valid phone number.  The front office can accept these payments as well if that is more convenient.

We will inspect each instrument and decide if it needs to go to the shop for summer repair/flush cleaning, or if it can be checked out to a student for the summer.  We do not charge a fee for instruments to be checked out over the summer.  If you would like to bring back home instruments earlier, we will start accepting these starting next Monday, May 24.  If it’s more convenient for you to bring the instrument back during the school day, feel free to just drop it off in the front office anytime during normal school hours.

If your student would like to have an instrument checked out for the summer, please email Mr. Pulley and we will do our best to accommodate this request.  This will be done on a first come, first serve basis.  Thank you for your help as start to close out this school year!

Jazz-O-Rama Concert next Monday

Click here to find the itinerary and information for our Jazz-O-Rama Concert this coming Monday, May 10 at the Belton HS PAC.  This also serves as our semester exam for Jazz Band.  Please plan on having your student stay for the duration of the concert, plus we need help putting away stands and chairs afterward.  This should be done by 8:00pm.  This is a concert you don’t want to miss!

8th Grade Reminders

A couple of reminders for this coming week.  First, 8th Grade Shirt designs are due to Mr. Pulley by this Friday, May 7 by 4:00pm.  They can be hand-drawn, traced, or computer-generated, but they need to be submitted as a hard copy so students can see them and vote for their favorite.  The artist of the winning design gets a free shirt, and the design does not necessarily have to be band related.  It does, however, have to be appropriate for school.  The back of the shirt will feature all of the 8th grade band students with their surprise nicknames! Please contribute to start this new tradition!

Also, video submissions for the M100 Auditions are due to the M100 Google Classroom no later than Sunday, May 9.  Feel free to send a pre-audition video ASAP to either Mr. Pulley or Mr. Trahan via Schoology if you would like some constructive feedback on your preparation.  Don’t wait to the last minute to submit your video!  Ask a director if you have any questions.

Wind Ensemble’s UIL Results

I am proud to report that the Belton MS Wind Ensemble received straight first division superior ratings at the UIL Concert & Sightreading Evaluation recorded a few weeks ago! This continues Belton’s long-standing tradition of excellence in wind band performances at UIL. The judges were very positive and supportive in their comments, which included: “Overall, really good sounds from all players; “Very energetic and exciting – well done; “Nice, mature ensemble sound that is well balanced; and “This was a very well prepared performance – good teaching and learning are taking place in spite of a challenging year.”

We want to thank everyone for your support during this difficult year.  You only have a couple of more chances to hear our students perform this year: Jazz Band Concert on Monday, May 10 at 6:30pm AND all of the concert groups (Beginner’s Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble) on Friday, May 21 at 7pm, both in the Belton HS PAC.  Hope to see you there!

M100 Save the Dates

Below please find all of the important spring and summer dates for M100 that should be added to your calendar at home. 

Remember that M100 audition videos should be submitted to Google Classroom by your student during the week of May 3-9.  These include both major scales and the 2 etudes that we have been working on in class for the past couple of weeks.

Please contact Mrs. Gill at shannon.gill@bisd.net if you have any questions.

EOY Placement Audition Information

As we look forward to the next school year, here is information about our annual end-of-year placement auditions.  Auditions will be held during your child’s band class from April 26 to May 7.  All current 6th and 7th grade band students are required to participate as part of their spring semester exam.  This audition serves as the individual assessment of each student’s musical skills mastered from this school year.  Think of this as the individual STAAR test for Band.

The concert portion of the Belton Middle School Band consists of 3 ensembles: the Beginner’s Ensemble, the Symphonic band, and the Wind Ensemble.  This audition serves as the placement exam for students into one of these 3 groups.  Students in the Beginner’s Ensemble are from grades 6-8, while students in the advanced groups (Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble) are from grades 7th and 8th only.  Placement in these advanced ensembles is based on ability and musicianship, not grade level.  Much like when students from 6th to 7th grade, Symphonic Band serves as the natural next step in the progression from Beginner’s Ensemble.  Wind Ensemble serves as the premier group, and students in both groups participate in concert, contests, and other public performances.

For all students, the audition material consists of scales and sightreading.  Percussion students will audition with Mr. Smith on their material.  Audition music can be found on this website: https://tinyurl.com/bmsbandauditions, and detailed information has already been provided directly to students.  Each audition will last no more than 5-10 minutes.  Students in the Beginner’s Ensemble will audition on Level 1, while Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble students will audition on Level 2.  Students will play their audition only once, and will not be allowed to redo it.  Auditions will be audio recorded for directors’ reference, not for public distribution.

Students will earn a separate score and grade for their audition.  Scores determine ensemble placement, and grades are earned based on each student’s individual audition preparation, performance, and potential.  As part of the semester exam, only the following grades will be given: 100, 85, 70, and 50.  Any student who earns a grade of 50 will be required to repeat Beginning Band next year if they wish to remain in the Belton Middle School Band program.  

For interested saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion students, this audition also serves as placement into our Jazz Band.  No additional music is required to prepare for this ensemble.  Not all students who audition for Jazz Band will earn a spot in this group.  Students must be concurrently enrolled in either Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble, and use 2 elective choices in order to participate in this elite group.

Audition results are final and will be posted on Friday, May 14 at 8:00am in the Band Hallway.  These results will be sent to our school counselors for next year’s scheduling.  Those students choosing to NOT remain in Band next year will not have their results posted.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this letter to ensure a smooth audition process.  As always, if there are any questions, please contact one of the directors.  Thank you for your support of the BMS Band!