Band Newsletter

  • Check in regularly to stay up to date with our exciting year in music. Thank you!

    If you are not receiving regular email notifications regarding band news, please contact the Big Sky main office to update your contact information:  406-728-2401

  • News for June 11, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 6/11/2021

    Hey Band Family, 

    Thank YOU for being an important part of the band program. Our best efforts, time, conversations, laughter, sustained support, resilience, and MUSIC are exactly what the band family and school community needed... and will continue to need. I simply cannot wait for all of us--YOUR BIG SKY BAND--to take over the world next year--full steam ahead!

    Nacho Booth Fundraiser, Western Montana Fair
    August 10-15, 2021 – All Band Members & Parents can work shifts to earn easy money for your student band account, which helps pay for the Hawaii trip, lessons, music equipment, etc. Use the online signup form here. Please limit yourself to one shift per day. AND we will put together a Fair Pep Band to play every day. Keep an eye open for more details.

    Big Sky Summer Band Camp! August 2-4

    • 9:00am-2:00pm @ the Big Sky Band Room
    • All band/percussion students, grades 9-12, should plan to attend!
    • Get a head start on your musicianship, connecting with friends, and learning new music before school even starts. This is the year of the comeback! Your first day of school will be a breeze thanks to 3 fun days of playing music with your amazing Big Sky band. See you there!

     

    Give the Gift of Private Lessons this Summer!  This is the absolute best time to take lessons with an inspirational expert. You don't want to lose those skills and myelin! Please visit the handbook for a list of teachers, or send me an email. Don't wait - set up a regular, weekly lesson with me or a private teacher. You'll find yourself having more and more fun as you improve. Achieve new heights, build confidence, and maximize your potential.

    Band Tour to Hawaii:  Watch those deadlines so we can make this exciting trip happen for each and every Wind Ensemble member. Permission Contracts were due May 17. First payments were due May 24. Email with questions.

    BSHS Music Department Fundraising:  In addition the incredible work our Band Parent Org is planning for next year (by the way, we're now officially a non-profit!), a rad team of choir/band/orchestra student leaders are organizing fundraising opportunities just for you. Join the Remind contact list to stay in the loop and earn cash for Hawaii. (Remind link)

    Big Sky Events Schedule for 2021-2022:  Take a look at the exciting band events expected for next year (link).

    Thank you for all you do.  Keep playing!

    -Mr. Dochnahl

    Teacher-Conductor, Big Sky High School Bands

    jedochnahl@mcpsmt.org

     

    (Band and Orchestra Seniors, Class of 2022!)

    class of 2022 musicians

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  • News for June 2, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 6/2/2021

    We're almost there! Please check and double check every detail to be sure we finish this year right. Check your grades on Q and Google Classroom for missing assignments, visit with questions. Keep up the great momentum and build on our tradition of excellence. I appreciate you! -Mr. D

     

    Wind Ensemble Finals:  All-State Recording Schedule -- First, thank you for investing your best efforts. I really believe each of you have the potential to be an All-State musician. Keep up the determination and daily drive! 

    All Wind Ensemble members will record All-State auditions next week (our "last" week of school), June 7-11. Schedule your recording time wit me if you haven't already. And keep practicing, helping each other, and visiting for lessons. Let me help you!

    Meetings to Support the Band

    Band Parent Organization Meeting, Monday, June 7, 5PM -- All band/percussion/jazz parents are invited to attend this meeting in the band room. Find out how you can help our band kids get more out of the program. We will plan for future events (Nacho Booth at the Fair, fundraising for Hawaii, summer camp, etc.), connections to make, and plenty of insight to gain from our graduating parents before they escape! Band room.

    General Fundraising Meeting for Music Department, Tuesday, June 8, 6PM - A few dedicated music students are planning new fundraising ideas for all band, choir, and orchestra students. Students (and parents), please consider attending to see how you can join the student-centered fundraising opportunities. Band room.

    Instrument returns/rentals: Rental fees or returns are due on Friday, June 4. (or return after you record your All-State audition)

    • Summer Rental:  For students who want to keep their instrument for the summer (which is awesome!), the rental cost for the summer is $30.  Please make checks payable to “Big Sky Bands” and I will have you fill out the attached rental form.
    • Returns:  Please make sure your case and mouthpiece are cleaned.  If you caused major damage to instrument due to neglect (dropping, adding dents, bent rods, etc), please repair the instrument prior to turning it in with your own funds (Music Medics or Morgenroth).  If an instrument has minor wear and tear, the district will pay to get the instrument repaired over the summer.
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  • News for May 7, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 5/10/2021

    Mark Your Calendars!

    Jazz 1 gig at Auberge Senior residence - Wednesday, May 12 during class. Bus leaves at 12:40pm.

    Pep Rally @ UM Griz Stadium - Friday, May 14th, 6:30PM!
    The Big Sky Wind Ensemble, drumline, and pep band members will join forces with Hellgate and Sentinel Bands for a collective throwdown of music on Friday, May 14th. We will meet at Griz Stadium and all perfom together. More details coming in a separate email ASAP.

    Women's Jazz Day - Monday, May 17:  9AM-3:30PM at Big Sky. Students already have the itinerary and music. Email with questions. Looking forward to it!

    Videos! Check out the 4/22 Wind Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble Concert:  Watch and share the videos here

    Virtual District Music Festival - Members of the Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble prepared ensembles/solos and video recorded them for feedback. Check your emails for helpful professional feedback in the next few days.

    Band Banquet and Awards Picnic - Monday, May 24, 6:00 PM, BSHS south soccer field:  Bring your family and your picnic dinner to help us all celebrate our band students and seniors! Lettering, awards, senior farewells, and more. All band, percussion, and jazz families should attend this celebration and awards event outside. (auditorium in the event of poor weather). Music provided by our awesome jazz bands.

    All-State Band Auditions Set B - Get your copy of the music NOW if you haven't already. Prepare and record your audition to be a member of the most prestigious group in the state. It’s a 2 day event in October. Being able to state that you “submitted an All-State audition in 2021” on your college applications will be almost as awesome as being able to say “I was an All-State band member in 2021”! Both of these are awesome resume builders and help set you apart from the crowd in the college application process.

    We will record All-State auditions during the first week of June. Start now, visit me for lessons, go slow and build the exercises accurately. Totally doable for you hard working people!

    Band Tour to Hawaii, March 20-25, 2022 - Letters and emails were sent with trip details, contracts, and payment information. Watch those deadlines and let's make this exciting trip happen! Permission Contracts are due Monday, May 17. Email with questions!

    UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA CAMPS ARE BACK...AND NEW!
    I am very happy to let you know that UM is holding their Band Camps. Plus the *Brand New JAZZ CAMP this summer. Both of these will be great daytime experiences for local student musicians and the cost will be very affordable. We are excited to add the new Jazz Camp with daily masterclasses for every instrument, warm-up sessions, improv classes, small groups (combos) and big bands with UM Jazz Faculty as mentors and coaches. All to help your students develop more confidence and skills.

    UM BAND CAMP
    June 20-22, 2021

    UM JAZZ CAMP
    June 23-25, 2021

    ELIGIBILITY
    Both Camps are available for students entering 8th Grade through entering College (2021 graduates). Limited spots available, so register soon!

    COST (lunch included)
    $250 for BOTH camps (What a deal!)
    $170 for each camp separately
    *Scholarships available!

    REGISTER FOR UM CAMP HERE

    Split the Pot Success - We raised $760 and the winner received $380. Thanks for your support! Your dedication to the arts in school is greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Sid Kaste and Sid's Pool Care for sponsoring the minimum pot. The funds raised will go directly to support the needs of the Big Sky Bands programs. Big Sky Band Parents Rock! -Liesel & Tait Brink and Big Sky Band Parent Organization

    The Band Parent Organization Needs You

    • Band Parent Organization Officers - Please join the board! The Big Sky Band Parents is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the bands in every way so that they enjoy a successful year. This year was quiet for us, so let’s make a loud comeback for next year! We provide meals to students at band functions, refreshments at concerts, coordinate fundraisers, and crew volunteer opportunities. For more information, please contact the Board President at bigskybandparents@gmail.com and/or Mr. Dochnahl. Thank you for supporting our musicians!

     

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  • News for April 15, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 4/15/2021

    Mark Your Calendars!

    April 22, Live Band Concert for Wind Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble:  Please review the letter sent last month regarding our unique, in-person concert on Thursday. It's also posted below in the Newsletter. Get those details dialed in and email me with any questions.

    Virtual District Music Festival - Members of the Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble are preparing ensembles/solos and will begin video recording today. Double check your recording time with your group and/or accompanist. The judges will send us feedback by the end of the month. Thanks to everyone for your excellent independent preparations.

    Band Banquet and Awards Picnic - Monday, May 24, 6:00 PM, BSHS south soccer field:  Bring your family and a picnic dinner, sit outside, and help celebrate our band students and seniors! All band, percussion, and jazz families are encouraged to attend this celebration and awards event outside. (auditorium in the event of poor weather).

    NOW! - Split the Pot Fundraiser for the Band - Use this form to buy in, help the band program afford their basic needs. Minimum winning is $250! Share, share, SHARE to help our musicians. Thanks to Liesel, Tait, and the Band Parents for putting this together.

    All-State Band Auditions - prepare and record your audition to be a member of the most prestigious group in the state. This is required of all Wind Ensemble students because I believe everyone can make it with daily effort! Practice, take lessons, and represent the tradition of excellence for Missoula’s musicians. It’s only a 2 day event in October and a really big deal on your resume/college applications. Don’t you dare hesitate - just do the thing and give your daily best. Due June 4.

    Congratulations to Gabe Lippy and Connor Stineford for their acceptance into the 2021 All-State Jazz Band! Their recordings were selected among the best high school jazz musicians in the state. Thanks, gentleman, for striving for excellence and representing Big Sky so well!

    Band Tour to Hawaii, March 20-24, 2022 - Aloha and Mahalo because we deserve it. I am currently applying to bring the Wind Ensemble, with every single member, to the Pacific Basin Music Festival in Honolulu, along with the choir and orchestra. Check your email and mail in the next week for specific details and payment information.

    The Band Parent Organization Needs You

     

    • Band Parent Organization Officers - Please join the board! The Big Sky Band Parents is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the bands in every way so that they enjoy a successful year. This year was quiet for us, so let’s make a loud comeback for next year! We provide meals to students at band functions, refreshments at concerts, coordinate fundraisers, and crew volunteer opportunities. For more information, please contact the Board President at bigskybandparents@gmail.com and/or Mr. Dochnahl. Thank you for supporting our musicians!
    • Nacho Booth Coordinator - We need a parent(s) to coordinate the band’s Nacho Booth fundraiser for the Western Montana Fair this summer. Contact Mr. Dochnahl to find out more about this fun and important role. And our past-coordinator will be there to help you along the way.
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  • Live Concert for April 22, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 3/26/2021

    Live Band Concert on April 22 for Wind Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble

    Dear Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and families,

    The Big Sky music department is seeking approval by the administration and Health Department to provide a safe, live concert experience for you on Thursday, April 22. We are planning to hold the concert in the brand new, spacious Big Sky auditorium. Therefore, each band member is allowed to have three family members attend the concert. These family members will sit together in designated seating in the auditorium.

    Everyone will need to adhere to the policies and schedule as summarized below.

    Concert Info

    • 6:30 PM - Musicians arrive - go to the band room.
      • Percussion Ens - prepare to perform on stage.
      • Wind Ens - sit in a designated pod on the auditorium floor to observe.
    • 6:30 PM - Families arrive and check in to the auditorium. Reminder: three family members per student.
    • 7:00 PM - Concert performance begins
      • Percussion Ensemble performs 
      • Quick set change, sanitizing protocol begins on stage.
      • Wind Ensemble performs
    • 8:00 PM - Concert Concludes and Attendees leave the auditorium through the east door. Air exchange and sanitizing protocol begins.
    • All performers, conductors, and audience members will be masked.
    • Audience will enter from the main entrance, North Auditorium doors (by food service) and exit on the opposite, southeast side.
    • There will be a video recording of this concert for family members to watch later. A youtube video link will be sent within a week or so after April 22.

     

    Reminders for the musicians:  Concert attire is your new blue band shirt and nice pants. Pick your shirt up immediately if you haven’t already. Please mark your calendar and communicate with whomever needs to know (family, work, etc).

    Attendance at this concert is required for a grade. Treat it like a fun and rewarding final exam. Concerts and performances are an extension of the band class and the learning that takes place every day. Music was created to be shared and not performed in isolation (or in the band room only). For this reason, we need to perform for an audience in order to share the wealth of learning that has taken place. This sharing helps the students to bring closure to the learning process and also propels them towards the next step. Student participation in concerts is vital to the success of all the students involved. If you have a good reason to miss the performance, please contact Mr. Dochnahl as soon as possible to receive an alternative assessment.

    I cannot wait for our musicians to share their progress and music with an actual audience. It will be a very special evening. Email with any questions or concerns.

    Thank you for all you do!  Keep playing! -Dochnahl

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  • News for February 18, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 2/18/2021

    Dear Band Students and Parents,

    Here are a few important updates, additions, and reminders for you. Thank you for your great work and involvement. Every little bit helps.

    Live Band Concert March 4 for Symphonic Band and Jazz Bands!  Read this letter for schedule and details.

    Pep Band/Drumline this week

    • Next game Friday, Feb 19, 6PM for a 30 min rehearsal, start playing around 7pm.
    • Pep Band Schedule
    • Parent Help - Snacks for Pep Band:  Parents, thank you so much for generously providing a few snack foods so far.  Simply drop the snacks off at the table outside the band room.

     

    Band T-Shirts:  Pick up your band shirt now. I had one made for every band/percussion/jazz student, so please get yours now!

    Coffee Sale Fundraiser - Due Friday, Feb 19:  The money you raise goes directly towards your individual student band account, which pays for future trips, lessons, equipment, etc.

     

    Thank you for all you do!  Keep playing!

    -Mr. Dochnahl

    Comments (-1)
  • Live Concerts on March 4

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 2/18/2021

    Dear Symphonic Band, Jazz students, and families,

    The Big Sky music department is seeking approval by the administration and Health Department to provide a safe, live concert experience for you on Thursday, March 4. We are planning to hold the concert in the brand new, spacious Big Sky auditorium. Therefore, each band member is allowed to have two family members attend the concert. These family members will sit together in designated seating in the auditorium.

    Everyone will need to adhere to the policies and schedule as summarized below.

    Jazz Bands 1 & 2 Concert Info

    • 5:15 PM - Jazz members arrive - go to the band room. Prepare to perform in auditorium.
    • 5:15 PM - Jazz families arrive and check in to the auditorium.
    • 5:45 PM - Jazz 2 (zero period) Performance Begins
      • Upon finishing, band cleans their space, exits to seating off stage seating.
    • 6:00 PM - Jazz 1 Performance Begins
    • 6:15 PM - Concert Concludes and Attendees leave auditorium through east door. Air exchange and Sanitizing protocol begins.
      • EVERYONE EXITS @ this time.
    • All performers, conductors, and audience members will be masked.
    • Audience will enter from the main entrance, North Auditorium doors (by food service) and exit on the opposite, southeast side.
    • There will be a video recording of this concert for family members to watch later. A youtube video link will be sent within a week or so after March 4.

     

    Symphonic Band (2nd period) Concert

    • 6:45 PM - Symphonic Band members arrive - go to the band room. Prepare to perform in auditorium.
      • Students help set chairs, stands, and stage.
    • 6:45 PM - Symphonic Band families arrive and check in to the auditorium.
    • 7:00 PM - Symphonic Band performance begins.
    • 7:30 PM - Concert Concludes and Attendees leave auditorium through east door. Air exchange and Sanitizing protocol begins.
    • All performers, conductors, and audience members will be masked.
    • Audience will enter from the main entrance, North Auditorium doors (by food service) and exit on the opposite, southeast side.
    • There will be a video recording of this concert for family members to watch later. A youtube video link will be sent within a week or so after March 4.

     

    Reminders for the musicians:  Concert attire is your new blue band shirt and nice pants. Pick your shirt up immediately if you haven’t already. Please mark your calendar and communicate with whomever needs to know (family, work, etc).

    I cannot wait for the band to share their progress and music with an actual audience. It will be a very special evening. Email with any questions or concerns.

    Thank you for all you do!  Keep playing!

    Jesse Dochnahl

    Teacher-Conductor

    Big Sky High School Bands

    jedochnahl@mcpsmt.org

     
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  • February 8, 2021

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 2/8/2021

    Dear Band Family, Lots of things to celebrate and prepare for this week. Thanks to band parent Kelley Hirning for the awesome senior posters (above). Thanks to everyone for all that you do for the program, your classmates, the music, and the school. The more we give, the more we gain.

    Pep Band/Drumline this week:

    • Next game:  Thursday, Feb 11, 6PM for a 30 min rehearsal, start playing around 7pm.
    • Pep Band Schedule
    • Parent Help - Snacks for Pep Band:  Parents, thank you so much for generously providing a few snack foods at the last game. Please consider to donate snack food for the pep band again! Simply drop the snacks off at the table outside the band room. Thank you again.
    • A huge thanks to and applause for Mason Shimek, 9th gr., for the creative, generous custom masks! They are, without a doubt, amazing.

     

    Band T-Shirts:  Our annual band shirt will be available any minute now. I’ll let you know when yours is ready for pick up, hopefully this week. Then it's time we represent! If you didn’t turn in your $30 supply fee earlier this year, you can still bring $10 for your shirt. Or turn in your long-overdue supply fee of $30! I have the list if you can’t remember—check with me. Rad design by junior Sophia Casey.

    Coffee Sale Fundraiser - Due Feb 1:  Raise money for our next band adventure to Los Angeles/Las Vegas in March/April, 2022. This week we start our annual coffee sale. Big Sky band is selling Copper Creek Coffee. Sell as much as you can!  The money you raise goes directly towards your individual student band account, which pays for future trips, lessons, equipment, etc.

     

    site-logo

    In the News - Check out this Jan 27 article in the Missoulian featuring our very own students and their important, relevant work.

    What if I have other questions?

    Please know that I am here to answer any and all questions that you may have.  Please email me at jedochnahl@mcpsmt.org. If you would like to talk over the phone or in person, let me know when is a good time to meet/call.

    Thank you for all you do!  Keep playing!

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  • Congratulations to Zadia!

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 1/25/2021

    Zadia Hughes

    Congratulations to outstanding senior musician Zadia Hughes! She was accepted for the 2021 NAfME All-Northwest Honor Band! This recognition is an opportunity to celebrate her excellent audition in this most challenging year. We're very proud of everyone's positive persistence and musicianship in the face of so many challenges. Congratulations, Zadia, for making it to All-NW for a 2nd time!

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  • December 18, 2020

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 12/18/2020

    Dear Band Family,

    With winter break and the solstice on our door step, I wanted to share a short video message just for you, in addition to a few exciting announcements for 2021.

    And recording of me playing four carols for you, just in case you need more music (and bari saxophone) in your day. FYI, I used Soundtrap, and you can, too!

    Pep Band 2021 - Please read and print this link for the schedule and expectations. After careful discussion, we have been given permission to play pep band for a few basketball games starting at the end of January. Bottom line…..WE NEED YOU TO PLAY IN THE PEP BAND!!! Thank you for joining this privileged opportunity to play. Don't forget to read the schedule and details.

    Practice-a-Thon Fundraiser:  We are preparing for our first Practice-A-Thon Fundraising event, January 18-25. A practice-a–thon is similar to a run-a-thon. Students safely ask individuals (friends, family, neighbors, people from church/gym/etc) to sponsor them for each hour they practice, for a maximum of 16 hours. Students may have as many pledges/sponsors as possible. I've mailed you details, sponsorship forms and a sheet so students can document their pledges. Here is an online copy of the letter.  Remember, prizes will be awarded to students with the most documented practice hours and sponsorships! Now go earn money and get better at your instrument with one easy fundraiser.

    MCPS Showcase Video featuring Big Sky Monday Band

    Give the Gift of Private Lessons!  Since we still don't have band daily, this is (still) the absolute best time to take lessons with an inspirational expert. Please visit the handbook for a list of teachers, or send me an email. Don't wait - set up a regular, weekly lesson with me or a private teacher. You'll find yourself having more and more fun as you improve. Reach your potential, achieve new heights, and maximize your potential.

    I appreciate you! -Mr. Dochnahl

    Teacher-Conductor, Big Sky High School Bands

    jedochnahl@mcpsmt.org 

    Comments (-1)