Band Newsletter

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  • September 19, 2019

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 9/19/2019
    Hello Amazing Band Family!
    Here it comes -- the next three weeks are going to be awesome for band preparations and performances. Don't sweat it - with hard work and calm focus, we will rock this as a team. You should have already checked the Events page and Band Handbook for program info. Printed below are a few more specifics to help us all out. If you see a scheduling conflict, please contact me right away, and we will work out a positive compromise. Be proactive with your work schedules, too.
     
    Band Camp, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, at Big Sky
    Required for all band/percussion students. This is our only chance as a full crew to prepare for the UM Parade and BSHS Homecoming week.
    Remember your instrument, music (memorized, right!), a pencil, black marching shoes (issued this week), warm clothes, water bottle, and a lunch. We will have several guest coaches to help us out, too. Camp Schedule.
    Pizza lunch provided at 12:00 PM.
     
    Marching Uniforms Checked Out to Students
    We will check out band uniforms to all students this week. All band members and families need get their newly issued uniform home on the day it is issued to them. The band room is not to be used as a storage area for uniforms--please take great care. The marching uniform will be needed on September 27 and October 5, and will be returned immediately after the parade.
      
    Drumline Rehearsal (for all percussionists)
    Monday night, 6:00-7:30 PM, Sept 23rd and 30th
    We will be doing this rehearsal each week through Sept 30. This is a very young group this year, and I can't wait to hear their collective growth! They've already made huge strides. The drummers are the core of our Marching Band, so it's critical we all get together before the big performances. Our Monday night rehearsals are required of all band percussionists. Thanks for making adjustments to your schedules and making this the priority for the two Monday nights.
     
    BSHS Homecoming Week Schedule
    • Monday, September 23, Drumline practice (required), 6:00-7:30 PM
    • Thursday, September 26, 2:00 - 3:30 PM, Dress rehearsal for our halftime field show. All band/percussion.
    • Friday, September 27, Assembly:  Band will be meet at 11:40 AM to set up. Grab your horn, music, a stand.
    • Friday, September 27, Football game and halftime performance: 
      • 5:30 pm - report to band room in full marching uniform
      • 5:40 pm - final uniform and instrument check (hats checked out)
      • 6:00 pm - warmup and final rehearsal
      • 6:30 pm - begin pregame music in the stands
      • 8:00 pm - Halftime performance on the field
      • 9:00 pm - We did it! Congratulations, and enjoy your well deserved weekend!
     
    Discount Tickets to the Missoula Symphony Concert
    The awesome MSO still has tickets available for their upcoming Missoula Symphony concert weekend with Julia Tai conducting (September 28th 29th).  They will offer students a Saturday, Section 4 seat or a Sunday, General Admission seat for $8! To purchase, visit their website: missoulasymphony.org or call at (406)721-3194. It will be an exciting event!
     
    UM Homecoming Parade - Saturday, October 5
    All band/percussion members meet at BSHS in full uniform at 8:00 AM.
    Students will be bused to and from the parade route from Big Sky and are expected to use the school provided transportation. Any special travel situations need to be taken care of in advance of the parade.
     
    Schedule for October 5
    8:00 am - Arrive at the Big Sky band room by 8:00 am sharp with issued uniform and marching shoes.
    8:15 - Band photo at Big Sky
    8:30 - Load the bus, depart for parade route.
    9:15 - Perform in band circle (north Higgins) with UM Griz Band and other high school marching bands.
    10:00 - Rock the parade!
    11:00 - Parade ends near Bonner Park. Load bus.
    11:30 am or thereabouts - Return to Big Sky
     
    Band Parent Organization Meeting
    Wednesday, October 9, 6:00 PM in the band room
     
    Deadlines for Registration
    1. Friendly reminder that registration for the 2019-2020 All-City Jazz Program is online and ready! Deadline is Friday, September 20.
      https://allcityjazz.com/
    2. All-State Jazz Band (January 17-18), Auditions due October 21 (new date) (Audition Sheet Music)
    3. Western International Band (Seattle, Nov 22-25): Audition Recordings Due Oct 12
    4. UM All Star Band, November 8-10: Interested students must self-nominate here in order to be considered. Due September 27. More info about the event.
     
    Thank you everyone for helping each other through this busy season!
     
    All for now,
    Mr. Dochnahl
    Comments (-1)
  • September 5, 2019

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 9/5/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Hello Big Sky Band Family,

    First, thank you to everyone who attended the Band Parent meeting (and pizza) on Wednesday. If you missed it, we still need you! Any little bit of help is immensely appreciated. Send this volunteer form to BigSkyBandParents@gmail.com or send a copy to me. Thank you! -Doc

    Our next Band Parent Organization meeting will be Wednesday, October 9, 6:00 PM (band room) for ALL parents interested in getting involved. See you then.

    Upcoming Events - See our Events Page, too
    • Friday, September 13, at 5:30 pm, all band members play in the stands for the football game vs Hellgate. No uniform will be needed - simply wear all the blue/gold you have. Arrive at 5:30 pm for rehearsal and snacks in the band room. Bring a water bottle and be ready for whatever weather shows up. Our job as the band is to bring music, heart, soul, and energy to the game. You are important!
    • NEW! September 18, 8:45 AM, all band members perform for an assembly.
    • September 21, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Saturday), Marching Band Camp:  All band members prepare for Homecoming gigs. Lunch provided.
    • September 27, 5:30 PM, BSHS Homecoming Football game, All Band Members, Field Show Halftime Performance
    • October 5, 8:00 AM (Saturday), UM Homecoming Parade (transportation provided), All Band Members, meet at Big Sky.
    • Thank you to everyone in advance for being flexible with the construction project at Big Sky. This impacts our concerts beginning in October. I will keep you posted should any locations and dates change.
     
    Drumline Rehearsals (for all percussionists)
    Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 11:15-11:45am (lunch break).
    In order to help the entire band to sound great and march effectively, the drum line needs to be polished!
    If you cannot meet at lunch, please let me know and arrange another practice/lesson time outside of class. Thank you.
     
    Big Sky All-State Honors Musicians for 2019
    Congratulations to the following band students for their acceptance into the 2019 All-State Honors ensembles. They were chosen for this prestigious honor through a competitive audition process held across the state. These All-State students participate in two days of rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors during the MMEA Convention in Billings, October 16-18.
    • Zadia Hughes - clarinet - Orchestra
    • Gianna Migliaccio - flute - Orchestra
    • Connor Stineford - trombone - Orchestra
    • Jaden Tooke - tuba - Orchestra
    • Freya Jones - flute - Band
    • Jack Van Tine - alto sax - Band
    • Savannah Holgate - clarinet - Band
    • Grace Daniel - trombone - Band
    • Ethan Haagenson - alto sax - Band (alternate #1)
     
    Future Honors and Community Groups to Join
    Consider pursuing the following opportunities. Go for it!
    • Missoula Youth Symphony (yearlong): Auditions at Big Sky. Sign up in the band room for a time.

    • All-State Jazz Band Auditions:  Auditions due October 7 (Audition Sheet Music)
    • All-City Jazz:  register and learn more today!
    • Western International Band (Seattle, Nov 22-25): Audition Recordings Due Oct 12

    • UM All Star Band, November 8-10: admission through self-nominations, due September 27. More info about the event.

      • Nominations are NOW OPEN for the 2019 UM High School All-Star Wind Ensembles weekend on November 8-10, 2019. In just five years the event attracted quality participants from over 100 different high schools in ID, MT, OR, WA, WY plus Canada. This year features guest composer/conductor Brian Balmages (Maroon Wind Ensemble), myself (Silver Wind Ensemble), and the faculty of the University of Montana School of Music. Selected students will rehearse and perform in one of two 75-piece ensembles in the 1,100-seat Dennison Theatre, work with Mr. Balmages in rehearsal, perform with the Grizzly Marching Band during pregame ceremonies against Univ. of Idaho, have sectionals and master classes with UM faculty, and hear the UM Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble.

    Comments (-1)
  • June 3, 2019

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 6/3/2019

    Hi Big Sky Band Family,
    Congratulations to everyone, especially our seniors, for your successful final concert. I hope it was rewarding for all to share and observe so much growth and success. Thank you to everyone that could celebrate the students at the Band Banquet, too. Your time, conversation, laughter, sustained support, and delicious food are immensely appreciated.

    Please review below the schedule, item returns, final assessments, and expectations as we near the end of the school year. Let's have a productive and focused home stretch before summer.
    I can't thank you enough! -Mr. Dochnahl

    Events at a glance

    • June 3, 1:30-3:00pm - Jazz vinyl listening field trip downtown
    • June 5 - Senior project (advocacy or composition) and all band items due. We will miss you, Class of 2019!
    • June 5, 9:30-11:10am - Wind Ensemble tour of the Kettlehouse Amphitheater backstage
    • June 6 - Last Jazz 2 class (zero hour). Final Project due (ear tune)
    • June 7 - All State Audition recordings due (grade 9-11)
      • Schedule a recording session if you haven't already.
    • June 8, 11:20 am - BSHS Graduation Ceremony at Adams Center (all band members grade 9-11). Details below.
    • June 12 - Musicianship Points, Final Exam/Evaluation due
    • June 23-29 - UM Summer Band Camp
    • July 29-31 - Jazz Workshop with Rob Tapper, 9am - 12pm, at Hellgate High School
    • August 1-2, 9:00am-4:00pm - Big Sky Summer Band Camp
    • August 6-12 - Work the Band's Nacho Booth at the Western MT Fair

     

    Graduation Band - Saturday, June 8
    We need all Band members in attendance at this important performance. It is our largest stage (it takes a lot of sound to fill up the Adams Center) and our largest audience. It is a required and honorable event for our band program. Please dress your best (think job interview or "Sunday Best," no jeans nor shorts). Percussionists, I will select 6 for this great opportunity.

    • 11:20 AM – arrive early (parking is always an issue)
    • 11:30 AM – seating and warm-up
    • 12:00 PM – Graduation ceremony begins
    • 1:15 PM – estimated ceremony complete

     

    Return Your Band Stuff
    Return the following; avoid fines or unnesseccary fees! Parents, please help with follow thru.

    • Return school instrument. Complete a summer rental contract by June 7 if you’d like to play over the summer (and I expect nothing less from you). Or return school instrument at your final exam time.
    • All sheet music, books, and music folders
    • Uniform. PLEASE make sure you have all parts of your uniform, your uniform hanger and your uniform bag with you. We will then carefully check each number to make sure that our inventory is correct and you are clear to check out of school (Seniors, this should already be done).

    Grade Reminders: Final Project, Final Exam, and Musicianship Points
    Final Project (All-State audition) is due June 7. Final Exam/Evaluation and Musicianship Points are due June 12. Just as we've done all year long, turn in your signed score card, along with all assignment sheets, practice journals, etc. Visit Musicianship Points and Resources. Document your individual practice time by turning in a practice record.

    All-State Honors Band Auditions - Do the thing!
    Acceptance into the All-State Band is one every state's most prestigious accomplishment. Audition tracks are due June 7. Students already have the audition music. Practice daily--and wisely--with a solid plan for improvement (lessons, regular practice, etc). Help sessions will be every day after school. Parents, please encourage your musician to get after this opportunity. Our main objective is to achieve collective excellence so that Big Sky music improves overall AND is better represented at All-State next October in Billings.

    Nacho Booth Fundraiser, Western Montana Fair
    August 6-12, 2019 – All Band Members & Parents can work shifts to earn money for your student account, help pay for future trips, lessons, etc. Online sign-up will be emailed to you soon.

    Big Sky Summer Band Camp: August 1 and 2, 9am-4pm, at Big Sky. What better way to catch up with friends, welcome the new freshmen class, learn new music, refresh your marching steps, and hang aftwards at a BBQ?!

    Comments (-1)
  • May 5, 2019

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 5/3/2019

    Hey Band Family,
    Thank you, everyone, for the opportunity to teach and make music with you. Together we have accomplished so much this year. With only a few weeks left, let's all give our best--together--to successfully wrap up this very special year.

    Upcoming Events at a glance

    • May 8, 7:00 pm - Kaleidoscope Concert (Wind Ensemble and Jazz 1)
      • Our annual showcase for Big Sky's top musicians from choir, band, and orchestra. This year we perform music of the Beatles!
      • Band, wear a colorful top and dark bottoms for this concert
    • May 9, Seniors return entire band uniform
    • May 16, Seniors turn in Senior Story and pics (more info below)
    • May 21, 1st period - Percussion Ensemble excused for dress rehearsal with Symphonic Band.
    • May 21, 4th period - Wind Ensemble and Jazz 1 excused for Dress Rehearsal with orchestra (Snarky Puppy project)
    • May 21, 6:00 pm - Band Banquet, BSHS cafetorium - A celebration for ALL band students and families. More details below.
    • May 21, 7:30 pm - Final Band Concert (full concert uniform except for seniors)
    • May 22 - Return entire band uniform
    • May 24 - Tryouts for Wind Ensemble and Jazz 1 finished (everyone should be trying out!)
    • June 7 - All State Audition recordings due (grade 9-11)
    • June 8, 11:20 am - BSHS Graduation Ceremony at Adams Center (all band members grade 9-11)
    • June 12 - Musicianship Points and Final Project Due

     

    Band Banquet and Final Concert, May 21, 6:00 PM

    Our Annual Band Banquet and Final Band Concert is Tuesday, May 21, starting at 6:00 pm in the Big Sky Cafetorium. The entire Big Sky Band Family will gather to eat and celebrate an incredible year. We will hand out awards for Lettering, honors groups, District and State Festival, Pep Band, leadership, Most Valuable Performers, and more. We take time to honor our senior class who will be performing in their final concert at Big Sky High School. It's always a joyful evening of memories and music. ALL Big Sky Band members and family members should be in attendance.

    Here's how the banquet works:

    • Families with last name A-N: please bring a main dish to share (large enough to feed a hungry family), and necessary service utensils.
    • Families with last names P-S: please bring a salad, side dish, or vegetarian dish to share, with necessary service utensils.
    • Families with last names T-Z: please bring a dessert to share, with necessary service utensils.
    • As with all Potlucks - MORE IS BETTA!!
    • The Band Parent Organization will provide the plates, silverware, and drinks.
    • We need all food to be at the school by 5:45 pm so we can start the service lines promptly at 6:00 pm.
    • Seniors and their families will start the service lines; everyone else join in after.
    • We will do our awards during dessert and plan to be done in time for the concert to start at 7:30 PM.

     

    SENIOR PHOTO and baby pic for the concert's slide show should be emailed to 19wiltho@student.mcpsmt.org ASAP. Turn in your Senior Story to Dochnahl by May 16. Parents, please help with follow-thru on this one!

    Senior Uniform Returns
    Seniors, it is time to return your band uniform items for a final time! Since District Festival and/or Washington, DC, our Seniors have used their band uniforms for the last time. Seniors, please bring your uniforms to school with you May 9 or 10 so we can get everything in and ready for your school check-out!

    Band Uniform Returns for grades 9-11
    Please bring all uniform parts and garment bag to school with you May 22 and 24 for official check-in. Remember, everything must be turned in or you will be charged fees for missing items.

    All-State Honors Band Auditions - Let's All Do This Together!
    Acceptance into the All-State Band is one every state's most prestigious accomplishment. Audition tracks are due June 7. Students already have the audition music. Practice daily--and wisely--with a solid plan for improvement (lessons, regular practice, etc). Help sessions will be every day after school. Parents, please encourage your musician to get after this opportunity. Our main objective is to achieve collective excellence so that Big Sky music improves overall AND is better represented at All-State next October in Billings.

    Graduation Band - Saturday, June 8
    We need all Band members in attendance at this important performance. It is our largest stage (it takes a lot of sound to fill up the Adams Center) and our largest audience. It is a required and honorable event for our band program. Please dress your best (think job interview or "Sunday Best," no jeans nor shorts). Percussionists, I will select 5 for this great opportunity.

    • 11:20 AM – arrive early (parking is always an issue)
    • 11:30 AM – seating and warm-up
    • 12:00 PM – Graduation ceremony begins
    • 1:15 PM – estimated ceremony complete

     

    Washington, DC Trip - Thank you!
    View and share your photos and videos in our shared Google Album. I will let you know as soon as I get the official photos and recordings.

    It was a absolute pleasure and an honor to take you to our nation's capitol and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to learn alongside you. Everyone should be immensely proud of how kind, courteous, enthusiastic, open minded, self-directed, smart, safe, funny, and curious our band students were on this big trip.  I consistently heard expressions of gratitude and congratulations for the BSHS band members from our tour managers, bus drivers, rehearsal partners from Australia, dinner/dance cruise buddies from El Cerrito, DC Central Kitchen managers, Carl Wittrock, and clinicians (including Mark Camphouse). Thank you for sharing in this incredible experience.

    Please help me in extending a special thanks to our chaperones for their tireless care and support during the entire tour. We couldn't have done it without them. Thank you so much Cheri, Jodi, Sara, Seth, Tom, Tracylee.

    District Music Festival Review
    A special congratulations to each student that took the initiative to perform at District Solo and Ensemble Festival on April 6. Please give a huge high five to everyone that represented Big Sky so beautifully. We will celebrate them at the banquet. Thank you to the great work crew that helped setup and teardown.  And thanks to every family that helped with the bake sale. All of western Montana appreciates you, Big Sky, as the Festival host. By the way, it's your job to quadruple Big Sky's participation and success at Festival next year. Start planning NOW. Private lessons for the summer!

    Comments (-1)
  • March 16, 2019

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 3/16/2019

    Hey Band Family!

    Big Sky has so much to celebrate from the past month! There's much more to come, so please read the following news carefully so that everyone can continue growing as musicians and people. I appreciate you!

    Celebrations

    (UPDATE March 19)
    Beatboxing Saxophonist Derek Brown visits Big Sky, April 2, 2:00 PM
    Thanks to help from the UM Saxophone Studio, the beatboxing sensation Derek Brown (30+ million views on social media) will be giving a saxophone masterclass at Big Sky. Tuesday, April 2, 2:00 - 3:00 PM, in the band room. BE THERE! Watch Derek do his unique thing first and be amazed!
     
    Band Photo Album
    View and share photos of our band students in action by sharing to our Big Sky Band Photo Album. Thank you!

     

    Wind Ensemble's AA Festival Success
    Congratulations to the Big Sky Wind Ensemble for their powerful performances in Bozeman for the AA Band Festival. There were so many successes--too many to list here. You should be immensely proud of both concert performances. A big thanks to chaperone Joy Mogensen for taking care of us on the trip.

    Awards at the UM Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival
    Congratulations to both Big Sky Jazz Bands for their award winning performances at the UM Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival.

    • Best Soloist Awards: Nick Mogensen, Sean Stineford
    • Best Saxophone Section Award
    • Best Trombone Section Award

     

    DesMet and Target Range Schools Outreach Concerts
    The Symphonic Band traveled to Target Range on March 13 and performed our festival program for the students. It was a positive substitute for the canceled UM Band Festival (snow day). Jazz 1 toured last week to DesMet and shared about 45 minutes with their school. Connecting the students with their broader community through music is one of our main objectives at Big Sky, so it's been a rewarding week.
     

    Upcoming Events:  Check your calendars!

    Fundraisers - Eat Out - INVITE YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY with this flyer

    • NOODLES EXPRESS, MONDAY, MARCH 18th 11AM-CLOSE
      • Students go at lunch! Take a friend! Must show flyer attached, either digitally or printed.
    • NOODLES & COMPANY, SUNDAY, MARCH 24th 4-9PM
    • MOD PIZZA, SUNDAY, APRIL 7th 10:30AM-9PM
    • CHIPOTLE, SUNDAY, MAY 12th 4-8PM
      • Tell Mom you will “cook” this Mother’s Day!

    District Music Festival, 2019

    District Music Festival is rapidly approaching! Band students that participate each year embody the drive for excellence that makes Big Sky so much better. Parents, please encourage your musician to work outside of class to truly prepare for the week of MHSA-judged performances.

    District Music Festival week at a glance

    Wednesday, April 3, 7:00 pm - Pre-District Band Concert at Big Sky

    • This is our chance to perform our District Festival music for our favorite audience - parents!
    • All Bands:  Jazz Bands, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and small chamber groups.
    • Standard concert uniform
    • Set-Up Crew at 3:10 pm on Tuesday, April 2. We need everyone to help set up the auditorium (use sign-up link). 

     

    Thursday, April 4 - District Festival Large Group Performances at Big Sky

    • Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will perform for judges during the school day
    • Symphonic Band (with Percussion Ensemble) Performance
      • 12:15 pm - Warm up/tune/prepare/focus on stage
      • 1:00-1:45 pm - Official performance for judges on stage
    • Wind Ensemble Performance
      • 1:00 pm - Be in band room for warm-up/tuning/focus exercises
      • 1:45-2:30 pm - Official performance for judges on stage
    • All parents are welcome to join us for these performances.
    • Bring your concert uniform to school.  Change into your uniform during lunch break.
    • 2:30 pm - Tear down crew needed to return everything from Auditorium to the band room.

     

    Friday, April 5, 11:00 am - Set-up Crew for Solo/Ensemble District Festival at Big Sky

    • Big Sky is hosting Instrumental/Vocal Solo & Ensemble Festival on Sat, April 6.
    • We NEED 15 dedicated workers to set up about 20 rooms. Sign Up
    • We NEED 15 dedicated workers to tear down Saturday night at 5:00pm. Sign Up
    • Sign up to help at http://signup.com/go/ZBmaLYh

     

    Saturday, April 6 - PERFORMANCES! Solos and Ensemble District Festival at Big Sky

    • Make sure you have an original for your judge. You and your accompanist can use copies.
    • Dress nicely, like you would for a job interview.
    • Introduce yourself, your school, your piece and composer, and your accompanist.
    • Good luck and thank you for performing! You ROCK!
    • Performance Schedule TBA.

     

    Solo and Ensemble Music Festival Guidelines and Reminders

    All students are encouraged to participate in solo and ensemble District Festival, April 6. Students should have already registered their solo and ensemble for the contest. Check the timeline and guidelines from the Band Handbook, page 12, for tips, and email me with any questions (as always).

    Washington, DC Trip Reminders

    We are planning our mandatory DC Trip PARENT/STUDENT meeting for Sunday, April 7, at 5:00 PM.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you have an unavoidable conflict with that date.  We will be distributing packing lists, final itinerary, flight group assignments, gathering final paperwork and meeting our Chaperones.
     
    Mandatory Rehearsals for the DC Wind Ensemble
    Sunday, April 7, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
    Sunday, April 14, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (updated 4/1/19)
     
    While in DC, we will be representing Montana at the Washington DC International Band Festival.  We will take part in several concerts and workshops. Plus, we have an exciting rehearsal exchange with the North Sydney (Australia) Girls High School Band! One concert will be as a featured performer of the Commission Project piece written specifically for Big Sky Wind Ensemble, entitled Corpus Callosum by Carl Wittrock!
     
    We will, of course, be doing lots of DC activities as well, a service project at a soup kitchen and attending a National Symphony Orchestra concert at the Kennedy Center, plus so much more.  We have also attempted to leave blocks of open time so we can enjoy the rich history and diversity of the city in small groups. This is going to be an amazing trip!
     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • February 24, 2018

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 2/23/2019

    It's a busy time of year for the band world, but the students have been inspiring, focused, determined, kind, and hilarious! Keep it up -- you're doing amazing things that positively impact the rest of your life. -Mr. D

    John Wicks:  Special Guest Artist for a Rad Clinic you should not miss!

     
    Wednesday, February 27, during 3rd period (11:20-1:20), John Wicks will be visiting Big Sky to give a clinic. You might know John as the drummer for Fitz And The Tantrums and the owner of Drum Coffee. This is a very special treat, so please do what you can to attend.  ALL ARE WELCOME, but drummers especially need to make this a priority.
     
    March 7 & 8:  Pure Winds Woodwind Quintet
    A wonderful Woodwind Quintet (Pure Winds) will perform for us at Big Sky on March 7 and 8 (during Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble class times).  The ensemble is made up of graduate student performance majors from Michigan State University.  They will perform the on the Montana Chamber Music Recital Sunday afternoon, March 10th, before heading back to Michigan.
     
    Symphonic Band and Percussion Ensemble (combined)
    • Tuesday, February 26, UM Concert Band Festival. View Schedule. This is an all day festival, 7:50 am -3:00 pm.
      • Note:  Attendance is required for this curricular event.
      • Check to be sure you have all your concert uniform parts. There will be a mandatory uniform check on Monday, Feb 25 during class.
     
    Wind Ensemble
    • AA Band Festival in Bozeman, March 3-5
      • View the schedule. Be sure to note departure times and additional logistics.

     

    Final Payment for Washington, DC

    The final invoice finally arrived this week from the festival. Check your email later today for details regarding your final payment. Thank you for your patience!

    District Music Festival, 2019

    It's time to focus on District Music Festival, which is a time-honored, required foundation for improving and demonstrating personal music skills. District music festivals are provided by the MHSA across the state and provide the only forum in Montana where large ensembles, small groups, and solos are adjudicated for a rating. The rewards and experiences of preparing a solo and small ensemble for an adjudicated performance are off the charts! Band students that participate each year embody the drive for excellence that makes Big Sky so much better. And please enourage your musician to prepare an ensemble and/or solo for April 6. We will focus on District preparations in immediately after our Band Festival performances next week.

    District Music Festival week at a glance

    1. Wednesday, April 3, 7:00 pm - Pre-District Band Concert at Big Sky
      • This is our chance to perform our District Festival music for our favorite audience - parents!
      • All Bands:  Jazz Bands, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and small chamber groups.
      • Standard concert uniform
      • Set-Up Crew at 3:10 pm. We need everyone to help set up the auditorium for your concert.
    2. Thursday, April 4 - District Festival Performances at Big Sky Auditorium.
      • Bring your concert uniform to school Thursday morning.
      • Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will perform for judges during the school day at Big Sky.
      • Performance Schedule TBA
      • All parents are welcome to join us for these performances.
      • 2:00 pm - Tear down crew needed to return everything from Auditorium to the band room.
    3. Friday, April 5, 11:00 am - Set-up Crew for Solo/Ensemble District Festival at Big Sky
      • Big Sky is hosting Instrumental/Vocal Solo & Ensemble Festival on Sat, April 6. 
      • We NEED 10 dedicated workers to set up about 20 rooms. 
      • We NEED 10 dedicated workers to tear down Saturday night at 5:00pm.
    4. Saturday, April 6 - PERFORMANCES! Solos and Ensemble District Festival at Big Sky
      • Make sure you have an original for your judge. You and your accompanist can use copies. 
      • Dress nicely, like you would for a job interview. 
      • Introduce yourself, your school, your piece and composer, and your accompanist.
      • Good luck and thank you for performing! You ROCK!
      • Performance Schedule TBA.

     

    Solo and Ensemble Music Festival Guidelines and Reminders

    All students are encouraged to participate in solo and ensemble District Festival, April 6. Students should have already started looking for a solo or ensemble to participate in contest. Check the timeline and guidelines from the Band Handbook, page 12, for tips, and email me with any questions (as always).

     
    Blue Note Cafe - Thank you!
    I want to express my immense gratitude for every band student and student who helped put together last night's wildly successful 2019 Blue Note Cafe. The number of students, parents, and community members that went above and beyond with time, goods, ideas, donations, and enthusiasm is extraordinary. It was so much fun! I can't thank you enough for supporting our awesome musicians. Check our Big Sky Band Photo Album (photos will be added soon), and please add your own.
     
    Remember, please turn in your ticket earnings ASAP through the band deposit box, as well as your unsold tickets.
    Comments (-1)
  • February 1, 2019

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 1/31/2019

    HERE WE GO, a new Semester with exciting events right around the corner. I can't thank you enough for your dedication towards your own growth and the improvement of your community. Your trusting and positive interactions with each other are just what we need! I look forward to every class with you.

    Working around the AA Orchestra Festival at Big Sky

    Just a heads up:  on Monday-Tuesday, Feb 4-5, Big Sky will host four orchestras from around MT. The band/orchestra room and auditorium will be in use throughout the day for the festival. Band classes will meet in various other spaces, including the choir rm and computer lab.

    Tips for a successful 3rd Quarter

    1. Sign up for Private Lessons -  HOW (page 7 of Handbook) and WHY
    2. PRACTICE EVERY DAY and maintain a practice log/journal. On days you do not have band class, you are expected to practice! It's NOT ENOUGH to play twice per week in class.
    3. Earn Musicianship Points through diverse, enriching activities OUTSIDE of class. Don't procrastinate!
    4. Attend class/rehearsal every day. Absences have been proven (over and over) to have a negative impact on individual and group learning.
    5. Regularly check the Events schedule.
    6. Turn in homework (performance challenges, written assignments) on time.
    7. Demonstrate exceptional Ensemble Skills (rehearsal etiquette) every day during class.
    8. NEW WEEKLY ASSIGNMENT:  Listen to an expert artist who plays your instrument weekly. Turn in your listening from to Google Classroom. Due every Monday.

     

    Blue Note Cafe' Fundraiser

    • Our biggest fundraiser of the year takes place Saturday, February 23
    • Big Sky High School Auditorium
    • Doors open 6:30 PM, Live Jazz 7:00-9:00 PM
    • Performances by the Big Sky Jazz Bands, plus guest alumni!
    • Silent Auction and Raffle with music and dessert
    • Proceeds benefit ALL band students
    • Share this event on Facebook
    • Gather donations
    • Sell at least 347 tickets, give or take a few!
    • Sign up for tasks: We need all band students, plus parents, to participate to bring real success to this event. Get involved!
     
    Pep Band
    Check out the contract and rehearsal/game schedule, It is our goal to sound strong and represent the Big Sky Bands EVERY TIME we perform.  Plus, it’s more fun with you. Bottom line…..WE NEED YOU!!!
     

    Upcoming Performances

    Jazz Bands I and II
    • MCPS Jazz Collaboration Concert - Wednesday, February 6, 7:00 PM, at Hellgate Auditorium. Call time 6:15 pm in HG band room. Best show in town featuring all MCPS jazz programs!
    • UM Buddy Defranco Jazz Festival - Thursday, March 14, times TBD (all day plus incredible 7:30pm concert)
     
    Symphonic Band and Percussion Ensemble (combined)
    • Tuesday, February 26, UM Concert Band Festival. View Schedule. This is an all day festival, 7:50 am -3:00 pm.
      • Parent Help:  we need parent chaperones for this event. Please email me if you are able to join us for the festival day at UM.
      • Note:  Attendance is required for this curricular event.
      • Check to be sure you have all your concert uniform parts. There will be a mandatory uniform check on Monday, Feb 25 during class.
     
    Wind Ensemble
    • AA Band Festival in Bozeman, March 3-5
      • View this preliminary schedule. A few details still being worked out, but be sure to note departure times and additional logistics.
     
     
    Effective Individual Practice
    I asked students to list how they've become better musicians over the course of the semester. Many students state specific practice goals, active listening assignments, or that they've begun taking private lessons. I can hear/see their obvious growth and resulting excitement. These model students express how fun it is when you improve, and that takes dedicated, thoughtful practice. Set your practice goals this week if you haven't already - I can't wait to see what happens collectively.

    Parents, your support has the greatest impact. Encouragement on a weekly basis to spend practice time on their instrument; encouragement when the going gets tough; interest in all that a child is involved with, and praise for their participation in that activity is crucial; imagination in creating an atmosphere at home that is conductive to musical stimulation and growth. Is there a good place in your home that could be designated a practice area? Have you looked into private lessons for your child?

    All National Ensembles for 2019
    Let's send Big Sky students to the All National Band this fall! I hope many of you consider applying for this National level ensemble.
    Application links can be found here - ALL NATIONAL ENSEMBLE APPLICATION
     
    Comments (-1)
  • News for January 12, 2018

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 1/12/2019

    UPDATE 1/15/19

    Fly Up Concert Updates and Schedule (Wind Ensemble only)

    Wednesday, January 16 Plan:

    • 7:00 - 8:45am - Stage Set up
    • 8:50 am - released from 5th period class. Go to band room.
    • 9:00 am - Meet on stage to find your seat and 8th grade section
    • 9:15 am - introductions, full band warmup
    • 9:25-10:00 - Sectionals (rooms will be announced)
    • 10:05 - Full band rehearsal
    • 11:00 am - Pizza lunch in cafeteria. Hang out with your 8th grade section!
    • 6:00 pm - Meet in the auditorium with your uniform & instrument for professional photos
    • 6:30 pm - Call time for 8th gr. You will lead sectional warm ups with 8th grade in separate spaces.
    • 6:50 pm - Enter stage, tune
    • 7:00 pm - Concert!
    • 7:40 ish - Concert concludes

     

    Happy New Year! Please review the following news for all Big Sky band students...

    Thank you so much for staying on top of all things band. As always, please check the Events page and Band Handbook for more program info. 

     

    End of Semester Checklist

    1. Sign up for Private Lessons - What better gift for the holidays!  HOW (page 7 of Handbook) and WHY
    2. PRACTICE EVERY DAY and maintain a practice log/journal. On days you do not have band class, you are expected to practice! Playing twice per week in class simply won’t help you grow.
    3. Document your Musicianship Points through diverse, enriching activities outside of class. Turn them in, along with all practice sheets, etc, by 1/24.
    4. Listen to excellent music and musicians daily. Document your active-listening sessions for Musicianship points.
    5. Attend class EVERY DAY. Absences have been proven to have a negative impact on learning.
    6. Regularly check the Events schedule.
    7. Turn in homework (performance challenges, written assignments) on time.
    8. Demonstrate exceptional Ensemble Skills (rehearsal etiquette) every day during class.
    9. Semester Final:  a study guide will be handed out in class to help with final exam preparations. 

     

    Wind Ensemble Fly Up Concert, Wedenesday, January 16

    • 9:30-11:00 AM (6th period) Rehearsal with about 100 guest 8th graders from Porter, Desmet, Target Range, and Hellgate Schools.
    • 11:00 AM Pizza lunch with 8th grade. I'll provide the pizza; Big Sky students must connect with the 8th grade musicians. Your job -- make them all feel welcome at Big Sky. I expect you to inspire every single 8th grader to be a part of band in high school!
    • Concert at 7:00 PM featuring the combined 8th/Wind Ensemble group, as well as the Wind Ensemble alone.  Students, be in the band room in concert uniform and ready before 6:30pm. 
    • With so many musicians on one stage, your helpful attitude and timeliness will help make this a long lasting success and, hopefully, a big part of your legacy at Big Sky. Thank you!

     

    Student Achievements:  All-State Jazz and All-Northwest Band

    Be sure to congratulate the following students for representing Big Sky at the 1st Montana All-State Jazz Band in Missoula, January 17-19. They were selected through an audition process to perform with Montana's best jazz students and master-conductor. PLEASE check out their concert on Saturday, 1/19/19, 2:00 PM, at the Hellgate Auditorium. You can also hear me perform along side the All-State conductors Reggie Thomas, Johan Eriksson, and the brand new Missoula Jazz Orchestra. Congratulations to these amazing students!

    • Emma Monaghan, trumpet
    • Sean Stineford, trombone
    • Grace Daniel, trombone
    • Nick Mogensen, tenor saxophone
    • Sierra Cornwell, trumpet
    • Josh Pijanowski, trumpet
    • Jack Van Tine, alto saxophone
     
    Another congratulations to Zadia Hughes for being selected as a member of the All Northwest Honor Band! She has yet another opportunity to rehearse and perform in Portland, OR, with some of the most prestigious musicians in the region, as well as master-conductors. We are so proud of you, Zadia!
     
    Next Payment for Washington DC Trip
    The next DC payment is due on February 1. Thank you to everyone that has  turned in their travel forms and information. 
     
    Pep Band
    Check out the contract and rehearsal/game schedule, It is our goal to sound strong and represent the Big Sky Bands EVERY TIME we perform.  Plus, it’s more fun with you. Bottom line…..WE NEED YOU!!! 
     
    UM Fusion Concert
    January 18, 7:30pm, Dennison Theater, featuring all music groups from the school of music. 10th Anniversary! Great for diehard fans, families and first-timers. The most entertaining concert of the year.
     
    Band Photo Album
    View and share photos of your band in action by sharing adding to our Big Sky Band Photo Album. Thank you!
     

    Blue Note Cafe' Fundraiser

    • Saturday, February 23
    • Big Sky High School Auditorium
    • Doors open 6:30 PM, Live Jazz 7:00-9:00 PM
    • Performances by the Big Sky Jazz Band program
    • Silent Auction and Raffle with music and dessert
    • Proceeds benefit ALL band students
    • Share this event on Facebook
    • Gather donations, Sell Tickets, Sign up for tasks
    Comments (-1)
  • News for November 29, 2018

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 11/29/2018

    With so much to review, let's get right to the news for Big Sky band students...

    Thank you so much for staying on top of all things band. As always, please check the Events page and Band Handbook for more program info. 

     

    Tips for a successful 2nd Quarter

    1. Sign up for Private Lessons - What better gift for the holidays!  HOW (page 7 of Handbook) and WHY
    2. PRACTICE EVERY DAY and maintain a practice log/journal. On days you do not have band class, you are expected to practice! Playing twice per week in class simply won’t help you grow.
    3. Begin accruing Musicianship Points through diverse, enriching activities outside of class.
    4. Attend class EVERY DAY. Absences have been proven (over and over) to have a negative impact on learning.
    5. Regularly check the Events schedule.
    6. Turn in homework (performance challenges, written assignments) on time.
    7. Demonstrate exceptional Ensemble Skills (rehearsal etiquette) every day during class.
    8. Listen to excellent music and musicians daily. Document your active-listening sessions for points.

     

    'Tis the season of concerts all over Missoula. Be sure to check www.missoulaevents.net, and the Fine Arts calendar for all the live music available this month. Don't miss the valuable opportunities to listen and perform in our community!

    Student Achievements

    Congratulations to Zadia Hughes (clarinet) and Jaden Tooke (tuba) for representing Montana at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, November 17-19. They were selected through an audition process to perform with elite students and master-conductors from all over the world, including Australia, England, and China. Congratulations, Zadia and Jaden!

    Another congratulations to Zadia Hughes for being selected as a member of the All Northwest Honor Band! She has yet another opportunity to rehearse and perform in Portland, OR, with some of the most prestigious musicians in the region, as well as master-conductors. We are so proud of you, Zadia!
     
    Citrus Delivery Monday, December 3
    Our citrus orders will be delivered to Big Sky on Monday, December 3 at noon (7th period). We need as many volunteers as possible to help unload and sort. Talk to Mr. Dochnahl or Ms. Ordiniza for a pass. Everyone must pick up your fruit Monday afternoon, Dec 3, 3:00-4:30 PM. I have a copy of your order forms.
     
     
    Coffee Orders Due November 29
    • Sale November 1-29

    • ALL MONEY IS DUE at the time of the order.

    • Delivery:  before winter break

    • Make checks payable to:  Big Sky Bands

     
    Next Payment for Washington DC Trip
    The next DC payment (and last one for 2018!) is due on December 14.

     

    Pep Band Begins!
    Pep Band season is upon us! Check out the contract and rehearsal/game schedule, and remember to sign up and show up. It is our goal to sound strong and represent the Big Sky Bands EVERY TIME we perform.  Plus, it’s more fun with you. Bottom line…..WE NEED YOU!!! 
     
    Holiday Mall Performances
    Each year the shoppers at Southgate Mall are delighted with the wonderful sounds of live holiday music presented by a variety of musical ensembles. Many of these ensembles are special to the Missoula community. All musicians, 6th grade and up, are invited to participate in their instrument specific ensemble. Each group has an afternoon rehearsal and an evening performance in the Southgate Mall. Information fliers regarding the rehearsals, performances and contact info for each ensemble are in the band room. Hope to see you at each show!
    • All Clarinets and Saxophones, December 5, 7pm (practice 4:00-5:30pm at Sentinel's band room)
    • Festive Flutes, December 6, 7pm (practice Dec 5, 6:30-8pm at Big Sky)
    • Tuba Christmas, December 14, 7pm (for all aspiring tuba and euphonium students, practice 4:00-5:30pm at the Mall)
    • Holiday Horns, December 15, 3:30pm (practice 12:00-2:00 PM at UM, room 1)
    • Double Reeds Christmas (oboe & bassoon), December 17, 5:30pm
    • Missoula All-City Jazz Concert, Thursday, December 13, 7:00 PM, at the Downtown Dance Collective (FREE)

     

    Winter Bands Concert, December 18
    Our first full band program concert will be Tuesday, December 18, 7:00PM, in the Big Sky Auditorium. Call time for students is 6:30pm. Please review the concert expectations (uniform, etiquette, etc) in the Band Handbook. Double check uniform parts and pieces:

    Concert Uniform (men)

    1. Black dress shoes and socks
    2. Black dress pants ( jeans are unacceptable)
    3. White dress shirt (preferably long-sleeved)
    4. Bowtie – provided
    5. Blue-black Jacket – provided

     

    Concert Uniform (women)

    1. We’ve ordered black concert dresses for all women that chose to use one. They should arrive in the next few days and will be checked out asap.
     
    Jazz Band Field Trip, December 7
    Friday, December 7, all jazz band members are invited to sit in at a rehearsal with the University of Montana Jazz Ensemble. Remember to get excused absence forms filled out and turned into the main office, and be sure to check the information sheet for the schedule and everything else you need to know.
     
    Jazz Band at Ruby’s Inn - December 12 Canceled
    Unfortunately, Jazz I will not perform at Ruby’s Inn this year; they have opted not to have their annual Christmas party this year.
    • Any other ideas for a holiday jazz gig? Do you know of any venues that would be happy to have us? Let Mr. Dochnahl or Ms. Ordiniza know right away.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • News for October 25, 2018

    Posted by Jesse Dochnahl on 10/25/2018 1:00:00 PM

    First concert, fundraisers, and introducing our UM teacher candidate

    Thank you so much for staying on top of all things band. As always, please check the Events page and Band Handbook for more program info. 
       
    Play Tests
    Symphonic Band (advanced) and Wind Ensemble were assigned their first play tests earlier this month. They were due this week. Please check with your student to be sure they've practiced, recorded, and submitted their best work via their Google Classroom ASAP. And please visit the band handbook for more details about play tests.
     
    Band Photo Album
    View and share photos of your band in action by sharing adding to our Big Sky Band Photo Album. Thank you!
     
    Wind Ensemble and Jazz Bands Concert -- Tuesday, October 30
    Come support the Wind Ensemble, Jazz 1, and Jazz 2 as they perform just a few tunes that they've rehearsed since marching season wrapped up.
    • Call time is 6:30 pm.
    • Attire for this concert will be new black band shirt and black bottoms/pants/skirt (no leggings, please). Our concert uniforms have not been returned from the cleaners in time, unfortunately.
    • Set up crew (students) needed for Tuesday morning, 10/30, at 7:20 am. We need everyone to chip in to help with this!
    • Concert tear-down crew:  After some post-concert cookies, EVERYONE needs to stick around after the show to put all equipment away.
    Quick Concert Checklist for Students
    • Music with folder, accessories (extra reeds, neckstrap, valve oil, etc)
    • Percussion:  all instruments, sticks, mallets, music, music stand, trap table, all ready to go
    • Patch cables and amps for guitar/bass
    • Black dress shoes with black socks, black dress bottoms (no leggings, please), new black band shirt
    • Water bottle
     
    Band T-Shirts for All
    Our rad band shirts have finally arrived, for all musicians that turned in their supply fee. Shirts will be handed out in the next few days. They are yours to keep. Wear them proud! We will have extra for purchase ($10) if any parents/siblings/cool cousins would like to show support for your band! Please put your name on the inside (a silver sharpie will work best). 
     
    Marching Uniforms Returned
    All band uniforms should have been checked in by now. Please bring yours in ASAP if you still have it (just a few left). Thank you to everyone for taking great care of your important, valuable uniform, and to all parent helpers for helping with check-in. 
     
    Monday, October 29, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Noodles and Co., 3620 Brooks St.
    When you purchase your meal mention Big Sky Band so that 30% of your meal's price gets donated back to YOUR Big Sky High School Band.
     
    Citrus Fundraiser
    Big Sky music is selling the best citrus fruit available in Montana. Order forms will be handed out in class (more are available).  Picked fresh only days before delivery, this is the BEST, Grade A citrus available in all of Montana. Sell as much as you can. Think Washington D.C. 2019! The money you raise goes directly towards your individual student band account.
    • Sale October 11 - October 30

    • ALL MONEY IS DUE at the time of the order.

    • Delivery:  between December 3-7

    • Make checks payable to:  Big Sky Bands

    • 20 lbs. Oranges - $29.00; 20 lbs. Grapefruit - $29.00

    • 40 lbs. Oranges - $49.00; 40 lbs. Grapefruit - $49.00

    • 5 lbs. Mandarins - $15.00

     
    Coffee Fundraiser Nov 1-29
    Big Sky music is selling Hunter Bay Coffee. Order forms will be handed out in class and for printing online. Sell as much as you can. Think Washington D.C. 2019! The money you raise goes directly towards your individual student band account.
    • Sale November 1-29

    • ALL MONEY IS DUE at the time of the order.

    • Delivery:  before winter break

    • Make checks payable to:  Big Sky Bands

    • See order sheet for pricing and coffee bean info

     
    Wind Ensemble Wins Commission for DC Festival! 
    The Big Sky Wind Ensemble was selected as the winner of the World Projects Commissioning Project at the 2019 Washington D.C. International Music Festival. Our application was chosen among the 5 bands participating in the festival this year. Our composer will be Carl Wittrock who is based in the Netherlands. Visit his site to learn more. At the festival you will be given an additional 90-minute rehearsal to meet in Mr. Wittrock person and rehearse the commission. This piece will be premiered at the adjudicated concert at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Wittrock will deliver the completed piece to us 2 months prior to the festival at the latest.
     
    Guest Artists and Clinics
    Last week the Youngblood Brass Band changed our lives! This week the Grammy nominated Awea Duo will perform and visit with the Wind Ensemble (6th period, 10-11am)! In addition, we've had a few individual guest teachers share their time with your students, including Ed Stalling and Naomi Siegel, who worked with drum and trombone sections. Their visits reminded me how important and life-changing private lessons are for your child. It brings so much musical joy and success. A perfect investment for your student's future.
     
    Introducing Ms. Bethany Ordiniza, UM Teacher Candidate
    We are so pleased to have Ms. Ordiniza join us for the next 8 weeks at Big Sky! She will be developing her teaching chops with us by co-teaching all band and music tech classes. Her additional instruction will certainly help all of us improve as musicians and teammates. Please take a moment to read her introductory letter to students and parents.
     
    Band Parent Organization Meeting
    Wednesday, November 14, 7:00 PM in the band room
     
    Thank you everyone for helping each other through this busy season!
     
    All for now,
    Mr. Dochnahl
    Comments (-1)