Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking for holiday gift ideas for your band student?

Looking for  holiday gift ideas for your band student?
Consider the following:

  • Reed players can always boost their reed supply. (generally speaking, grades 4 and 5 use strength 2 ½, grade 6 uses strength 3 and grades 7 and 8 use strength  3 or 3 1/2) Feel free to check in with Mrs. Thompson if you want some guidance.
  • Reed guard or reed case
  • a music stand for home practice
  • a collapsible instrument stand. (provides a safe way to put the instrument down when it is not in the case)
  • padded neck strap for sax and bass clarinet players
  • Silk cleaning swab for woodwind players (these last for years- a great investment!)
  • Mouthpiece cushions for sax and clarinet players
  • CD featuring a musician soloing on your child’s instrument (or downloadable music card intended for this music)
  • cork grease for clarinet and sax players
  • valve oil for trumpet and baritone players  (something many of our brass players need more of!)
  • Slide grease for trombone players
  • books containing solos for your child to play (be careful to choose an appropriate difficulty level) Feel free to check in with Mrs. Thompson if you want some guidance.
  • Small electronic metronome
  • electronic tuner
  • new drum sticks - so many fun styles available!
  • stick bag for percussionists
  • mutes for brass players (straight mute is the most practical to start with, but they are all useful)
  • Upgraded mouthpiece for reed players. Feel free to check in with Mrs. Thompson of you want some guidance. Good choices for alto sax are: Selmer C star, Vandoren AL3
           Tenor sax: Vandoren TL3, Fobes Debut
           Clarinet:  Vandoren B45, Vandoren M13, or Fobes Debut,
           Bass clarinet: Fobes Debut
  • Upgraded ligature (Rovner is great brand)
  • Mouthpiece brush for brass players (to clean those mouthpieces!)
  • Spitballs for trumpet players. (fun way to clean the inside)
  • Mini screwdriver set for woodwind players

*If  you order a gift from Ellis Music to be delivered to school (free delivery), let me know and I will hold it for you and NOT give it to your student.  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Concerts are coming!

5th-8th Grade Concerts are on Wednesday, 12/20/17.
Students will perform in school on 12/20. Please wear black bottoms and your blue performing arts shirt.
Evening concerts: Please wear concert dress.
  • Grades 5 and 6: 5:00 call, 5:30 concert
  • Grades 7 and 8 (and Stage Band) 6:50 call, 7:15 concert

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Beginner Band is Starting

Beginner Band Starts in November
Important dates:
Monday, 10/16- students attended the beginner band instrument demonstration.
Friday, 10/27- deadline for signing up for beginner band (on music web page)
Wednesday, 11/8, 6:30 pm- Ellis Music sponsored instrument pick up night. (WCS auditorium)

The beginner band program is available to all interested students in grades 4 and up. All beginners will attend a weekly small group lesson during their school day and have an opportunity to perform in concerts.  Beginner band students may choose to learn the flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, or percussion* (see box below).
Students that choose percussion will be asked to rent a percussion kit that includes a mallet instrument and a drum pad.  
*Percussion Notes:
*In order to provide a quality experience to all musicians, there is a limit of 8 percussion spaces. If interest exceeds space, places in this class will be chosen by lottery on 10/27. Please note that omission of a second choice will not increase your chances of acquiring a space in percussion.  You will receive a confirmation via email before the rental night.  Thank you for your understanding.  

How to sign up:
The beginner band sign up form is available on the WCS music website.  Please be sure to sign up by 10/27 in order to ensure your child is enrolled in a class. All students that wish to play need to sign up in order to get on a class list.
How to get an instrument:
Most WCS band students rent an instrument from Ellis Music Company. This business is recommended but not required. You may pick  up  your instrument from Ellis at the “instrument pick up night” on Wed, 11/8 at 6:30 pm.  You must reserve an instrument ahead of time (on the sign up form) if you wish to get an instrument on this evening.  
Caution: If you see brand new instruments for sale at a fraction of the price from stores or online vendors that do not specialize in musical instruments, beware that these instruments lack quality parts and design. Your child will likely struggle more than they need to to play the instrument. Additionally, once they break, they are difficult to repair and many repair technicians will not do the work.

If you plan to rent from Ellis Music:
  1. Please sign up on time (10/27) so I can reserve an instrument for you.
  2. Attend the instrument pick up night.  You need to be there in person to sign your contract.
This can be a long night for kids and they do NOT need to be here. You will receive a number as you enter
the room (deli counter style). An Ellis rep will speak with the whole group for a few minutes and then
call you up by number. You should plan on being here up to ninety minutes, depending on your number.
  1. If you can’t attend that evening, please contact Ellis Music Company (802-234-6400) by 10/27 and make alternate arrangements directly with them.

If you already have an instrument or plan to get one elsewhere:
  1. Please be sure it is in good working condition. You can send it in for Mrs. Thompson to check. Playing an instrument in disrepair can be as challenging as riding a bike uphill with the brakes on.
  2. Please purchase the book which will be used each week. (Tradition of Excellence book 1)
  3. You do not need to attend the Ellis instrument pick up night unless you wish to purchase supplies or a book from Ellis Music. (These can be ordered over the phone or online as well)
  4. If you choose to purchase elsewhere, be sure to purchase or rent from a music store that specializes in musical instruments. “Instruments” sold at general retail stores and web sites are not recommended. They are made from cheap metal, are often difficult to play and repair and are often not repairable at all.    

Questions?  Please contact Kim Thompson:   or 871-6033.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How can I join the band program at WCS?

How can I join the band program at WCS?

If you are a 4th grader
You can join the program in October. All 4th graders will attend a “Beginner Band Demo” in October where they will learn about the different instruments. Sign up information will be available at this time.

If you are a 5th-8th grader and wish to continue playing an instrument
Easy! Start attending rehearsals.

  • Symphonic Band- Tuesday, Thursday at 11:50
  • Concert Band- Monday, Wednesday, Friday  at 11:50
  • Wind Ensemble- Daily at 7:30 (am) with lots of days off built into your schedule.

If you are 5th-8th grader and wish to start an instrument

You may begin taking lessons as soon as you have an instrument. Here are        
          some important steps to take:

  • Decide which instrument you wish to play. You may choose from flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium/baritone, and sometimes (if there is room) percussion.
  • Have a parent contact Kim Thompson at or 871-6033 in order to officially enroll.
  • If you don’t have access to an instrument, you can rent or purchase one from Ellis Music Company. ( or 802 234 6400. Please note that financial support is available to families in need.
  • Ask Mrs. Thompson about other supplies you might need as they vary for each instrument.
  • Purchase the book, Tradition of Excellence book 1  for your instrument.

*Beginning 5th -8th graders will have a weekly lesson to learn to read music and play their instrument. When skill level is appropriate, students will be invited to start attending rehearsals with whichever grade level will best fit their needs. These placements are assessed individually and can change throughout the year. Typically, beginning students move into a 4th or 5th grade group in November.