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!