From the Desk of Mr. Vitale

Band Students, Band Boosters, and Band Families,

I am writing to you now to give you an update on what the remainder of the year and what the month of May will look like. This series of announcements comes as a result of working closely with Mr. Osborne, Mr. Gurka, and the entire administrative team. I assure you that these decisions have been very difficult to make and these decisions did not come easily. I would like to move chronologically through the month of May, in our Band Calendar, and explaining and updating changes and decisions that have been made:

Uniform and Instrument Turn-In - 

We are going to start the process to collect the concert tuxes and concert dresses as well as any school-owned instruments. This process has been carefully crafted by the band staff and administration to make sure that social distancing procedures are being followed and to spread out the collection process over a long period of time to keep numbers low.

On your assigned day, students will follow the following procedure :

  • Students will enter the back lot through Drive #4, and drive around to the back HS door by the Green Band Room (Custodial Doors)
  • Student will hang up their Tuxedo or Concert Dress on the rack set up outside at the drop-off location
  • Student will leave their school-owned instrument on the curb
  • Students are not to enter the building, and if there is a car already at the drop-off location for uniform/instrument turn in, the next car should wait so only one student is putting materials on the curb at a time
  • If a student wishes to sign out a color guard silk for auditions, students should take one from the bin on the curb, and sign the clipboard next to the bin to sign it out.
  • Band Staff will move the instrument/uniform from the rack/curb after the car has departed.
  • There will be no interaction with other students or staff members in the Turn-in process
  • If their school-owned instrument is still in the band locker, they should remove it when they clear out their band lockers on May 18-21. Students will not be allowed into the building.
  • If a student cannot get a ride to drop off their instrument/uniform, it can be dropped off by a classmate if social distancing guidelines are followed. So you do NOT need to drop off your instrument/uniform in person – someone can drop it off for you 

Monday, April 27 – Flutes 
Thursday, April 30 – Clarinets 
Monday, May 4 – Alto and Tenor Saxes 
Thursday May, 7 – Trumpets 
Monday May 11 – Horn / Trombone 
Thursday, May 14 – Baritone / Tuba / Percussion 

The times for all Uniform/Instrument Turn-In is 10:00AM-noon

All school-owned instruments, and uniforms, and color guard silks should all be returned by the end of the day on 5/14. A list of missing items will be turned in the administration by 5/15 so that the administration will know what seniors are not “cleared” for graduation, and what underclassmen will own fines/fees for unreturned school-owned equipment. If any non-senior wants to hold on to their school-owned instrument to continue private lessons, audition for OMEA All-State or CYWS, please Email Mr. Vitale directly, and those individuals can hold on to their school-owned instruments. 

Royalette/Royalaire/Percussion Auditions  –

there will not be any “in-person” auditions, and all auditions will take place using Google Classroom to communicate with applicants. Through Google Classroom, students will use video clinics and video audition methods to audition. Percussionists will use both video audition and Smartmusic software to submit audition passages. Information regarding the audition process will be posted on the Band Website and specific details for each group will be posted in the Google Classroom created for each specific group. It will be the responsibility of students to “join” each Google Classroom so that they get information on how the remote auditions will take place during the month of May. The Google Classrooms for each group will go active on May 1 st . The classroom codes for auditions are:

Royalette Auditions: bvhlhfx
Royalaire Auditions: bksjw2k
Percussion Auditions: 7j45k6q

Band Banquet  –

this has been a particularly difficult decision. I have had several meetings with the Booster Exec. Board and Mr. Osborne, and we understand how important a night this is for us, particularly our graduating senior class. We looked at many many contingency plans. However, ultimately, the decision was made to eliminate the Band Banquet gathering in a physical space. This decision was made in an abundance of caution – and seeing the reality that it will not be safe to meet in a group of this size (whether indoor or outdoor) and delaying the banquet will not help, as the situation is not expected to improve in a matter of weeks. So, on Thursday, May 21, I invite all Band Families to log into the Band Website, where we will have our own “Virtual Band Banquet.” Here posted at exactly 7PM, there will be video clips of the following to watch together as a family:

  • Acknowledgement of outgoing Booster Chairs and Committee heads – by Mr. Vitale
  • Acknowledgement of Staff, Advisors, administration, and school board – by Mr. Vitale
  • Reading of All Senior Band Members’ names and their accomplishments – by Mr. Vitale
  • Presentation of Formal Band Awards – by Mr. Vitale
  • Senior Band Memories Video – put together by senior band members
  • Presentation of silly Superlative Awards – presented and announced by video – by Band Council

Seniors will be able to pick up their Senior plaques, and Commemorative Fleece Blankets from the Boosters, on the following day, Friday, May 22, when they come into school to clean out their hall locker. The plaques, blankets, and awards, will be outside my office, for students to pick up. Again, this probably not what seniors (and parents of seniors) wanted to hear, however, we as a band staff and administration are working hard to preserve the importance of this event, even though we cannot gather together in the same physical space.

Band-a-Rama  – 

The Band-a-Rama Concert has been canceled, as in-person classes have been canceled for the remainder of the year. 

Band Locker Clean out  –  (May 18-22)

Band members should follow the prescribed days and times from Mr. Osborne when they should clean out their hall locker – this is the same day/time to clear out your band locker

  • Students should remove EVERYTHING from their band locker, and take their instrument home (if it isn’t already at home
  • There will be bins outside the band office to return: Jazz Band I folders, Jazz Band II folders, Jazz Band II Books. As each individual returns the jazz band music, you will be asked to check your name off the roster on the list next to each bin to confirm all materials have been returned
  • All locks should be removed from your band locker – any locks left on lockers after May 29 th ,will be cut off and removed at the student’s expense

Memorial Day Parade 

The Memorial Day Parade performance has been canceled, as in-person classes have been canceled for the remainder of the year.

Band Final Exam & Field Commander Auditions  – 

There will not be Final Exams for any classes concluding the 4 th  quarter of distance learning. Field Commander Auditions and voting will take place in Google Classroom in the month of May. Details regarding the audition and voting process will be posted on the Band Website and Google Classroom

Grad Band  – 

While there hasn’t been a decision about a formal Commencement ceremony in-person yet – if it turns out that there will be commencement ceremony on June 28 th , Wind Ensemble members will play at the commencement ceremony. There will be no rehearsal ahead of time. Because there is no rehearsal, there will be no pre-commencement concert by the outgoing seniors. The Grad Band will perform only the National Anthem, and Pomp and Circumstance.

June 1 st  and Beyond  – 

Right now,  we as a Band Staff are not prepared to speak about meeting or rehearsing in any capacity in the months of June and July at this time. We invite all band families to have a copy of the Band Calendar, and Band Camp Calendar and make sure it is posted on your refrigerator or shared electronically on your shared family calendar. For incoming 8 th  graders, it is important to know that there typically is a lot that happens during the summer to prepare for the upcoming marching season and school year. Some of the things that are “scheduled” to happen on June 1 st , 2 nd , 3 rd , include a Leadership clinic, music distribution sectionals, instrument distribution for school-owned instruments, shoe distribution for shoe orders, T-shirt and Polo shirt pick up, etc. At this time, we cannot say with any certainty if we will be meeting in any capacity in the month of June. We respectfully ask everyone to keep the dates clear on the Summer Band Calendar and Summer Band Camp Calendar - and as the situation progresses and we get more information, we will share more details with you about what the summer, band camp and fall will look like.

Stay Safe,

-Mr. V.