Middle School Band Program

Welcome

Welcome to the Lindbergh Schools Middle School Band Program. Brian Wyss, Director of Middle School Bands, is honored to work with the Lindbergh Band Staff instructing the 600+ middle school band students each year. Percussion students have the pleasure of working with Mr. Dan Arana. Woodwind students are taught by Mrs. Chelsea Silvermintz and Mr. Jeremy McMahon. Brass players work with Mr. Alec Patton and Mr. Brian Wyss. Additionally, the Lindbergh High School Director of Bands, Mr. David Wyss, also assists with our middle school band students. We take great pride in the fact the entire band staff works with each student throughout their middle school and high school years. On behalf of the directors, we are so excited your young musician is part of an incredible band program!

Our Philosophy - 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Concert Bands

The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade concert band classes meet daily at both Sperreng and Truman middle schools. We believe the decision for a young student to join band is one the most rewarding decisions of their life. Band goes well beyond notes and rhythms. While teaching music is the focus of the class, students learn and develop most from the behind the scenes work they do. When the newness of band wears off, self-discipline and responsibility become the pillars of music education. Despite any level of natural ability, hard work is inevitable. In a world where instant gratification becomes more prominent every day, mastering an instrument only comes with determination, practice, and time. Through this process we hope our students gain an appreciation for all types of music and a passion to perform. We also hope that above all, the students truly enjoy band and their band directors.

Extra-Curricular Groups and Activities

MS Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned band. Auditions will take place near the beginning of September. Students rehearse at 6:30 on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings each week at Sperreng and hold sectionals other mornings and after school. Members of the Jazz Ensemble are required to participate in the Jazz Band on Tuesday mornings. During Jazz Band seasons, Jazz Ensemble will only meet on Thursday and Friday mornings. The rest of the year they will rehearse all three mornings each week. The MS Jazz Ensemble has traveled to various competitions around the Midwest where they have received high honors for many years. They also perform at district and community events during the school year when schedules permit.

MS Jazz Band

The middle school Jazz band will begin during the month of October and will be open to 7th or 8th grade students who play a standard jazz instrument. Standard jazz instrumentation includes trumpet, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, piano, bass, vibes, guitar and drum set. Trumpet, trombone, and alto sax players must provide their own instrument. Piano, bass, vibes, guitar and drum set will be auditioned instruments. Those auditions will take place near the beginning of September along with the Jazz Ensemble auditions. The school owned bari sax and tenor sax will also be auditioned instruments. The jazz band meets October through December and March through May at 6:30 on Tuesday mornings. Rehearsals are held at Sperreng for both Sperreng and Truman Students. A shuttle bus is provided to take Truman students to school after rehearsal. The Jazz Band performs at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade band concerts in December and the 7th and 8th grade band concert in May.

Drumline

Drumline is for percussion students who wish to learn the fundamentals of drumline technique and prepare drumline music for performances. This group holds auditions for 7th and 8th grade percussion students in December, and meets after school on Tuesdays in the TMS band room during second semester.

Summer Band

For many students, band starts in the summer before their sixth grade year. At Lindbergh, band members may participate in a voluntary summer band program. This four week session consists of concert band, jazz band, jazz improvisation, and beginning band. Five teachers instruct nearly 400+ students in ninety-minute classes divided into brass, woodwind, and percussion. The camp culminates with a standing room only concert during the last week.

MS Winter Color Guard

Color Guard is for students who wish to enhance music through the use of equipment and body movements and learn the fundamentals of flag spinning. This activity prepares students for the LHS Spirit of St. Louis Marching Band's Color Guard. LHS Homecoming Color Guard (for 8th grade students only) meets in early September for only 5 practices after school at SMS. Winter Color Guard is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, with auditions in October. The Winter Guard season runs from October through March, with practice after school 1-2 times per week and regional competitions each season.

Other Opportunities

St. Louis Suburban Junior High Concert and Jazz Bands

The St. Louis Suburban Junior High Concert Band and Jazz Band are comprised of the best junior high band students in the St. Louis area. All 7th and 8th grade students are encouraged to audition. At the high school level students must successfully audition into one of these groups to be eligible for the All-State Ensemble auditions. It is to our young musicians’ advantage to participate in as many auditions as possible before entering high school. It is an honor to make this group. We are proud of the students who have been selected in the past and look forward to having many of our students represent the Lindbergh District in the future.

Solo and Small Ensemble

Solo and small ensemble is one of the most valuable performance opportunities offered to young musicians. This gives any student or group of students a chance to choose their own piece of music to perform and be critiqued and rated by very experienced adjudicators. We highly recommend that your 7th or 8th grade student participates in this important event. This is another event that includes an All-State level festival in high school.

Why Participate in Band?

Music Hones the Brain

Studies show that the brain of a musician is far more developed and contains more complex connections than the brain of a non-musician. The action of creating music involves using parts of the brain that are not usually reached by a single school subject. While playing a musical phrase, the brain is required to recognize variations in pitch and articulation (language skills), detect intonation issues and how to fix them (sound physics and problem-solving), divide and multiply fractions (math skills), and concentrate on a single part while fitting into the larger sound of the group; and the brain has to do all this in a split second. Studying an instrument sharpens the brain’s ability to do these things, which translates into their other subjects. Participation in band enhances a child’s brain development and sets them up to use critical thinking for the rest of their lives.

Check out this amazing video! How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

Music is an Achievement

Music requires practice and dedication. Students spend hours developing their skills to create a pleasing and beautiful work of art. Students get the opportunity to showcase their hard work in concerts. Participating in concerts boosts the student’s confidence, helps to eliminate stage fright, and creates a sense of accomplishment when they hear the audience applauding for their work. Giving a student something to strive for enforces a good work ethic and sense of accomplishment.

Music Fosters Friendships

Participating in an ensemble like band or orchestra brings students together to develop lasting friendships. In the often tumultuous years of adolescence, students need friends to lean on for support and acceptance. Participating in a music activity fosters support, and team cooperation. And, it’s fun! Students get to spend time with their friends while participating in something that they love. Music is an excellent opportunity to create wonderful memories with wonderful people.

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” Billy Joel

Article: Is Music the Key to Success?

Classroom Expectations

In an effort to provide the most successful learning environment for our band students, the following expectations must be observed on a daily basis.

Rehearsal Expectations:

  1. Be on time.
  2. Sit with proper posture and playing position. Stay in your seat.
  3. Only speak/play at appropriate times.
  4. Be respectful to teachers and classmates.
  5. Food/drinks/gum are not allowed in the band room.
  6. Restroom and drinking fountains should be used before entering the band room. Students will not be allowed to leave the band room at the beginning of class.
  7. Conduct yourself in a manner that allows directors and classmates to trust you.

Academic Expectations:

  1. Students must have their band binder with all materials (book, pencil, music, handouts).
  2. Students are expected to bring their instrument to class everyday in proper working condition along with all required accessories (accessories may include: mutes, valve oil, tuning slide grease, slide cream, reeds, cork grease).
  3. If a student is unable to play their instrument for any reason, parents must provide a note on the day the student is without the instrument. The note must be signed by a parent.
  4. Students will turn in practice minutes with a parent signature on a weekly basis. Forgery will result in an immediate principal referral and will be dealt with according to the school handbook.

Consequences:

1st Strike — Warning
2nd Strike — Warning
3rd Strike — Call home
4th Strike — Principal referral ISS (1 day)
5th Strike — Principal referral ISS (2 days)
6th Strike — Principal referral OSS (1 day)

Strikes will be kept in a log and will start over each quarter.

If a student reaches four strikes in two quarters of the same school year, at the conclusion of the semester, the directors, principal, student, and parents will decide if further participation in band is recommended.

The band department takes great pride in further developing caring, trustworthy, responsible, and respectful young musicians. The image our band portrays to the public is more important than anything they achieve on stage. These expectations are meant to support our efforts to raise outstanding musicians and more importantly, wonderful people.

Grading

Each student’s grade will be made up of three different categories: Check-offs, Practice Time and Concert Attendance. Each category will be weighted differently. The majority of their grade will come from the student’s ability to complete all of the required check-offs for each quarter. Students will receive the entire year’s check-off assignments during the first week of class. Students are encouraged to work ahead in their check-offs if they feel ready to move on. The other portions of their grade will come from Practice Logs and Concert Attendance (see below for more details).

Check-offs

Check-offs consist of exercises from the Standard of Excellence books, scales, and additional materials provided by the director. When students attempt a check-off with a director we are looking for an overall understanding of the concepts required to successfully perform the exercise. We are not looking for perfection. If a student demonstrates understanding of these concepts they will pass the check-off and move on to the next one. If corrections and additional practice are required, the student simply performs the check-off at a later time. Check-offs are pass only. A letter grade is not assigned to a check-off. Students are not allowed to move to the next check-off until they pass the one they are on. The majority of check-offs are completed within our class time on check-off days. If a student is practicing and keeping up with the class pace they will be able to complete all of their check-offs in class. If a student falls behind it might be necessary to schedule additional time with a director before or after school. Students may also work ahead of the class pace and potentially pass all of the check-offs before the school year is over. In this case, we have advanced check-offs and other supplemental materials that will challenge students and allow them to continue progressing on their instrument. Any time a check-off opportunity presents itself a student may play as many check-offs as they have prepared!

Practice! Practice! Practice! [ Practice Logs]

You have often heard that anything worthwhile takes time and effort. That is especially true when it comes to mastering a musical instrument. There is no substitute for practice! We will spend a great deal of time teaching our students correct practice habits. The truth is that your support and guidance will be the key factor in establishing the practice schedule insuring the attainment of musical goals. We require 120 minutes a week of dedicated quality practice time. We suggest that you and your young musician agree on a practice time and a special area of your home designated for their area of musical study. A final five-minute recital is extremely effective in building performance responsibility and a great opportunity to show your support. Your positive reinforcement and encouragement is the most effective communication you can share with your child’s journey towards musical excellence. Although many new concepts are taught during band rehearsals, the limited time does not afford the personal attention that is vital to developing the technical facility required for the upcoming years of musical exploration. Grading criteria for practice time is explained at the bottom of each student’s practice sheet. Every Friday PRACTICE LOGS will be checked in class for total practice time and a parent’s signature.

Practice sheets will not be accepted without a parent’s signature.

Rehearsal Etiquette

Band students are among the best students in the school. Given this, we set extremely high standards in the classroom. To utilize rehearsal time to the utmost and to provide the students with the most effective atmosphere conducive to learning in our large class sizes, we require 100% attention. Simply put, we have adopted the policy of silent rehearsals. Students who are continuously distracting from the task at hand will be dealt with quickly. Band is a team effort, however, unlike many sports teams, no one sits the bench in band. It is simply impossible to progress as a band unless everyone is focused on the goal that is trying to be achieved. It is also imperative that our students come to class prepared. This includes having instruments, books, binders, music, pencils, and all of the accessories required to play their particular instrument. Coming to class with all of these items will result in efficient and effective rehearsals.

Concert Attendance

It is pretty unbelievable to think of how many hours our young musicians spend practicing and rehearsing between concerts. There is no greater feeling as a director than seeing the students walk off the stage knowing that all the hard work in previous months just paid off with an outstanding performance. As parents, we hope you will be part of that experience too. Our bands’ performance schedule and concert dates are listed below and included on the LMS Band Calendar. Barring a school cancellation or inclement weather conditions, these performance dates will not change. More information will be sent home about Jazz Band performance dates as well as any other important dates that might come up as soon as they are determined.

Please make every effort to clear these dates on your calendar immediately. Any conflicts that may arise with these dates will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If there is a conflict with a performance, Mr. Brian Wyss needs to know at least two weeks in advance. He would prefer to know immediately. An unexcused absence will result in a reduction of one full letter grade for the quarter. The only excused absences will be an illness requiring a doctor’s note, a family emergency with a note from parent or guardian, or an arrangement previously made with the director. Please plan to attend these special events with your young musician.

6th Grade Concerts
December 3, 2019
April 29, 2020

7th and 8th Grade Concerts
December 11, 2019
May 6, 2020

Middle School Accessories Needed for Band

ALL BAND STUDENTS NEED:

  1. An instrument in good playing condition
  2. 3-Ring binder
  3. Standard of Excellence Book
    1. 6th grade-book 1
    2. 7th grade book 2
    3. 8th grade book 3
  4. Pencil
  5. A folding music stand to hold music while practicing at home

ALL BRASS STUDENTS NEED:

  1. Valve oil for valved instruments: trumpets, baritones, tubas, French horn (rotor oil)
  2. “Super Slick” slide cream with water bottle (mist), piece of soft cotton cloth for cleaning slide for trombone
  3. Mouthpiece brush – all brass instruments
  4. Slide grease (for tuning slides) – all brass instruments
  5. Flexible cleaning brush

ALL WOODWIND STUDENTS NEED:

  1. Flute – cleaning rod, small lint free rag, or swab
  2. Clarinet – cork grease, swab, Mitchell Lurie reeds-strength 2 ½ – 3 (at least three playable reeds at all times), Rovner ligature
  3. Saxophones – (grade 7-8) cleaning swab, Rico Royal reeds-strength 3 – 3 ½ (at least three playable reeds at all times, a C-star mouthpiece is recommended but not required)
  4. All double reed players will receive specific information for instrument needs after being selected

Percussion students will be contacted by Mr. Arana concerning instrument needs.

***Some 8th grade band students will also need a flip folder and music lyre. We will let those students know when we begin our marching band unit***

LMS Band Calendar

August
 
8/23 First Day of School!!! - Please do not bring instruments to school this day.
September
 
9/24 Homecoming Football Game - 8th Grade (approx. 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
9/? (TBA) 7th & 8th Grade Jazz Ensemble and rhythm section auditions will be held after school.
 
October
 
10/? (TBA) 7th & 8th Grade St. Louis All-Suburban Band/Jazz Auditions
December
 
12/?(TBA) 6th Grade winter concert in H.S. Auditorium (Sperreng 6 p.m.; Truman 7:30 p.m.) Jazz band will also perform at each concert.
12/?(TBA) 7th & 8th Grade winter concert in H.S. Auditorium (Sperreng & Truman 7th Grade at 6 p.m.; Sperreng & Truman 8th Grade at 7:30 p.m.) Jazz band will also perform in between the two concerts.
January
 
 1/?(TBA) All-Suburban Concert
February
 
 2/? (TBA) 8th Grade Jazz Ensemble Auditions (after school) 
 March
 
 3/?(TBA) 8th Grade Large Ensemble Festival (during school hours at LHS)
April
 
 4/?(TBA) 7th & 8th Grade Middle School Solo/Small Ensemble Festival. Students who choose to participate in this event are expected to fulfill their commitment. Participation is free of charge, however, SLSMEA does impose a fine for cancellation after a certain date. We will communicate that date to students well in advance.
 4/?(TBA) "Night of Jazz" (MS Jazz Ensemble Only)
 4/?(TBA) Middle School Night of Percussion in HS Auditorium (6:00 p.m.)
 4/?(TBA)
 
6th Grade spring concert in H.S. Auditorium (Sperreng at 6:00 p.m.; Truman at 7:30 p.m.) Jazz Ensemble will perform at each concert.
May
 
5/?(TBA)-5/?(TBA) 8th Grade "Worlds of Fun" Band Trip. This is not a required trip. However, proper instrumentation must be achieved for the trip to proceed. We leave on a Saturday morning, stay overnight in a hotel, and return home on Sunday. More information will be forthcoming as we approach this event.
5/?(TBA) 7th & 8th Grade spring concert in H.S. Auditorium (Sperreng & Truman 7th Grade at 6:00 p.m.; Sperreng & Truman 8th Grade at 7:30 p.m.) Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble will perform in between the two concerts.
5/?(TBA) 8th Grade Marching Band Mini-Camp. This fun event takes place from 8:00am-noon. Our 8th Grade band will unite with the high school "Spirit of St. Louis Marching Band" to get a rehearsal preview of their upcoming marching show music. 8th graders leave this mini-camp even more excited about marching band. While this is not a requirement, we strongly encourage all 8th graders to attend this important event. It's a blast!
June
 
 6/1-6/25 Current 6th & 7th Graders Summer Band Camp (M-Th)
July
 
 7/?-TBD 8th Grade LHS Marching Band Camp! This camp is mandatory. Please schedule vacations outside of these dates. Exact dates and times will be sent home as soon as information becomes available.

Middle School Performance Groups / Dates

  • September – MS Winter Guard is for students who wish to enhance music through the use of equipment and body movements and learn the fundamentals of flag spinning. This activity prepares students for the LHS Spirit of St. Louis Marching Band's Color Guard. LHS Homecoming Color Guard (for 8th grade students only) meets in early September for only 5 practices after school at SMS. Winter Guard is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, with auditions in October. The Winter Guard season runs from October through March, with practice after school 1-2 times per week and regional competitions each season.
  • September – Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned band. Auditions will take place near the beginning of September. Students rehearse at 6:30 on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings each week at Sperreng and hold sectionals other mornings and after school. Members of the Jazz Ensemble are required to participate in the Jazz Band on Tuesday mornings. During Jazz Band seasons, Jazz Ensemble will only meet on Thursday and Friday mornings. The rest of the year they will rehearse all three mornings each week. The MS Jazz Ensemble has traveled to various competitions around the Midwest where they have received high honors for many years. They also perform at district and community events during the school year when schedules permit.
  • October 4, 2019 – This will be the 28th consecutive year our 8th Grade Band will be involved in the Homecoming Game activities at Lindbergh High School. We will have been rehearsing music and learning marching fundamentals to prepare for this exciting evening. The students will be performing with the Lindbergh High School “Spirit of St. Louis Marching Band” during the pre-game ceremonies, as well as playing pep music and cheering the team on to victory in the stands. I hope to see you there!
  • October – Jazz Band will begin during the month of October and will be open to 7th or 8th grade students who play a standard jazz instrument. Standard jazz instrumentation includes trumpet, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, piano, bass, vibes, guitar and drum set. Trumpet, trombone, and alto sax players must provide their own instrument. Piano, bass, vibes, guitar and drum set will be auditioned instruments. Those auditions will take place near the beginning of September along with the Jazz Ensemble auditions. The school owned bari sax and tenor sax will also be auditioned instruments. The jazz band meets October through December and March through May at 6:30 on Tuesday mornings. Rehearsals are held at Sperreng for both Sperreng and Truman Students. A shuttle bus is provided to take Truman students to school after rehearsal. The Jazz Band performs at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade band concerts in December and the 7th and 8th grade band concert in May.
  • October, 28, 2019 – The St. Louis Suburban Junior High Concert Band and Jazz Band are comprised of the best junior high band students in the St. Louis area. All 7th and 8th grade students are encouraged to audition. At the high school level students must successfully audition into one of these groups to be eligible for the All-State Ensemble auditions. It is to our young musicians’ advantage to participate in as many auditions as possible before entering high school. It is an honor to make this group. We are proud of the students who have been selected in the past and look forward to having many of our students represent the Lindbergh District in the future. Auditions will be held on October 28 at Clayton High School. All-Suburban Concert will be held January 12, 2020.
  • December – Drumline is for percussion students who wish to learn the fundamentals of drumline technique and prepare drumline music for performances. This group holds auditions for 7th and 8th grade percussion students in December, and meets after school on Tuesdays in the TMS band room during second semester.
  • April 4, 2020 – Solo and Small Ensemble is one of the most valuable performance opportunities offered to young musicians. This gives any student or group of students a chance to choose their own piece of music to perform and be critiqued and rated by very experienced adjudicators. We highly recommend that your 7th or 8th grade student participates in this important event. This is another event that includes an All-State level festival in high school. Solo and small ensemble takes place at Holman Middle School in the Pattonville School District.
  • June 1-June 23, 2020 – Summer Band: For many students, band starts in the summer before their sixth grade year. At Lindbergh, band members may participate in a voluntary summer band program. This four week session consists of concert band, jazz band, jazz improvisation, and beginning band. Seven teachers instruct nearly 400+ students in ninety-minute classes divided into brass, woodwind, and percussion. The camp culminates with a standing room only concert during the last week.

Summer Band

The Middle School Summer Band session meets Monday through Thursday for four weeks during the month of June. (2021 Dates: June 7th through July 1st).

Please look at all course descriptions below before choosing time slot(s) for your student. All classes meet on the Lindbergh High School campus in the music room. Students must provide their own instruments and transportation needs.

There is a $120 enrollment fee for one class and a $180 fee for two classes. Enrollment and payment instructions will be posted soon.

Please email Brian Wyss at bwyss@lindberghschools.ws with any questions.

ENROLL IN SUMMER BAND

Sections and Times

  1. Section 1 meets from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
    1. Beginning Brass and Percussion (for incoming 6th Graders next Fall): This class is for students who are planning to take beginning band in 6th grade during the Fall of next school year. Class instruments for this class include trumpet, trombone, and percussion.
  2. Section 2 meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
    1. Beginning Woodwind (for incoming 6th Graders next Fall): This class is for students who are planning to take beginning band in 6th grade during the Fall of next school year. Woodwind instruments are the flute and clarinet.
    2. Jazz Band: This class is only available to students who will be in 7th and 8th grade next school year who play instruments found in standard jazz music. These instruments include saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass guitar, electric guitar, piano, vibes, and drum set.
  3. Section 3 meets from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
    1. Advanced Band: This class is for all band students who will be in 7th or 8th grade next school year and wish to perform popular concert band music in the full band setting. During the past years students have enjoyed playing more pop oriented pieces such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Theme from Harry Potter.

LINDBERGH HIGH SCHOOL - MAP FOR BAND STUDENTS