Monday, February 11, 2019

Chili Bingo Night

Dear Families,

The 10th Annual Family Chili Bingo Night is on Friday, March 1, at CMS. This is the biggest and most profitable fundraiser at CMS, and all proceeds go directly back to the music programs at our school.  A huge thanks goes out to some incredible parents, as well as businesses, who have donated time, goods, and services to make this event a huge hit each year.  This event consists of several parts:

RAFFLE DRAWING

On Monday, February 11, each student received an envelope with a prize list and 10-20 tickets, which students will be selling over the next 2 weeks.  This year, choir and orchestra students are also selling tickets.  With almost 400 participating students this year, we have the potential to raise more than ever.  Students may also come back for as many additional tickets as they like!  Here are the important facts that students must remember about selling these tickets:
  • They MUST collect the money at the time of sale. Tickets are $1 each.
  • They need to include the following information on each ticket:
    • Buyer's name
    • Buyer's phone number
    • Item number (if the buyer wants their tickets to go towards a specific item)
  • They must bring the tickets AND the money back to Mr. Jacques.  (buyer does not keep the tickets)
This raffle is unique because you can choose which item you want to win.  This means that you only have a chance of winning items that you would want, and it increases your odds of winning. 

There are top prizes for students, and they were very excited to know what they might be able to win:
  • Sell 10 tickets: Receive 1 free ticket for the item of your choice.
  • Sell the 2nd-10th most tickets overall: Receive a gift certificate to one of these places: Papa John's, Pizza Factory, Chili's, In N Out. 
  • Sell the most tickets overall: Receive a $30 gift card to an area business of your choice!
  • If each student in a class sells at least 10 tickets, they will all receive an in-class root beer float party!
Tickets will be drawn at the event on March 1. Winners do not need to be present to win (but it's more fun when they are present).

CHILI COOKOFF

The chili cook-off is the tastiest part of the event. If you'd like to enter a chili, it's absolutely free, and you will have a chance of winning cash prizes for your creations. We ask that you make at least a crock-pot full so everyone can get a taste and have one person serve for at least the first hour of the event.  

At the event, the cost to taste is only $5 and you will get to vote on your favorite.  Winners are announced during the event.  Last year's winner was a CMS teacher.  Will you be our next winner? If you want to enter a chili, SIGN UP HERE!

BINGO GAMES

At the event, we will have bingo games for additional prizes. Bingo will take place at the event, and there are 12 rounds. Bingo cards are 1 dollar each. The Bingo winners will receive such prizes as restaurant gift certificates, a scenic flight over Lake Tahoe, free pizza for a year, and Disneyland park hoppers!

SNACK BAR

Along with delicious chili tasting, parents from Carson High School's band will have a snack bar with hot dogs, chips, candy, and sodas.  Bring the whole family and have dinner with us on March 1.

Our total fundraising goal is $10,000 and with a record number of participating students, we can easily reach that goal. 

I'll be updating the newsletter again with the usual news and updates later in the week week.  Enjoy the beginning of an amazingly fun and profitable fundraiser!

-Mr. Jacques-

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Calm before the storm...

Dear Parents,

With our first wave of after school rehearsals and performances coming up, along with preparations for our biggest fundraiser of the year kicking into high gear, we are truly in the calm before the storm. Coincidentally, our current weather pattern looks to be pretty similar. Talk about timing! We are also just a few weeks away from Chili Bingo Night, with the raffle portion of the fundraiser beginning on Tuesday.

GRADES

All classes will have their weekly rehearsal, practice log, and citizenship grades posted by Friday afternoon. There are playing tests on Friday for students in Jazz Band, Beginning Band, and Concert Band. Good luck to all students as they prepare for next week's student-led conferences!

NEXT WEEK
After school activities really begin to pick up next week for certain students. On Thursday and Friday, all non-honor band students will have a substitute teacher. They will be playing both days. There will be no practice logs next week.

Feb. 5: Jazz Band rehearsal, 2:30-4:30 PM
Feb. 6: Chili Bingo Night planning meeting, 7:00-8:00 PM
Feb. 7: Honor Band rehearsals, day 1, 7:15 AM-4:30 PM
Feb. 8: Honor Band rehearsals, day 2, 7:15 AM-10:00 PM
Feb. 9: Jazz in the Schools Performance, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM

CHILI BINGO NIGHT - Date changed to March 1
If you thought the popcorn fundraiser was big, just wait! Chili Bingo Night is our largest fundraiser of the year. In fact, we raised $10,000 last year that went towards the storage we have today, along with helping many students pay for their spring band trips. Throughout the last month, many parents were hard at work securing donations from area businesses. On Tuesday, students will receive a list of donated items, along with raffle tickets to sell.  I will have more directions in a few days once we officially launch the event. Any parent interested in helping with this event is invited to our Chili Bingo Night planning meeting on Feb. 6 at 7:00 PM.  Without parent help, this event simply would not be possible. We appreciate all that you do!

Have a "super" weekend (get it?) and I'm looking forward to our "kickoff" of Chili Bingo Night fundraising next week!

-Mr. Jacques-

Thursday, January 24, 2019

New Events, New Music

Dear Parents,

This short week of classes is already about to end!  All students in all classes have all their Bandorama music. Jazz Band has all of their Jazz in the Schools music, and we added a couple events to the calendar.  I also included a special upcoming concert and an update on grades.

SPECIAL CONCERT
On Sunday, January 27, my band, the Capital City Community Band, is performing at First Presbyterian Church at 3:00 PM.  The songs are all requests from the band members and it is also our big fundraising concert. If your student attends the entire concert and checks in with me at the end of the performance, they will earn extra credit! There is a suggested donation of $10, but nobody will be turned away if they can't pay. We want to fill the seats and expose our students to quality band literature. We hope to see you there.

GRADE UPDATES

PLAYING TESTS
Students had a playing test on Friday and also turned in their practice logs. I allowed redo's of playing tests last Tuesday if they received 50% or forgot their instruments. Those still with a score of "50" and lower either couldn't play their music or were without their instrument. Any student may retake a playing test by emailing me a recording of themselves. If this is not possible, they can see me at lunch.

PRACTICE LOGS
Practice logs were due on Friday and students had time to submit them in class. Just a reminder: their score is based on the number of goals they completed over the whole week, not the number of days they practiced. I encourage students to practice a little bit each day, rather than practicing a lot on just a couple days. The consistency is crucial at this early point in their musical learning.  I tell the students, "If you're persistent, you'll get it. If you're consistent, you'll keep it."

WEEKLY REHEARSAL GRADE
Each week, just like last year, students are receiving a daily grade for coming to class with everything they need to participate in rehearsals.  Those items are their instrument with all accessories, all music, and a pencil. Each day, students will receive 10 points, with a total of 40 points possible each week. If a student loses/forgets some music but not all music for that day's rehearsal, they will still receive half credit for the day.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Here is the most up-to-date schedule for the rest of the school year. Please mark these events in your calendars and plan to enjoy some fabulous music making. New events added this week are marked with an asterisk:

February 7-8: Honor Band rehearsals in Fallon (concert on Feb. 8)
February 9: Jazz in the Schools (Jazz Band)
February 22: Chili Bingo Night
March 8: Northern Nevada Day of Percussion (Percussion Ensemble)*
March 19: Washoe County Band Festival  (Advanced Band)
March 19: Jazz Extravaganza Performance (Jazz Band)*
March 26: Northern Zone Band Festival (Advanced and Intermediate Band)
March 28: Band-O-Rama
April 4-6: All-State Music Festival in Las Vegas (concert on April 8)
April 26: Reno Jazz Festival (Jazz Band)*
April 30: Northern Zone Beginning Band Festival (Beginning and Concert Band)
May 1: Northern Zone Jazz Night (Jazz Band)*
May 11: Intermediate Band spring trip
May 15-19: Advanced Band and Jazz Band Spring Trip
May 21: Spring Concerts

Have a great rest of your week, and see some of you on Sunday afternoon!

-Mr. Jacques-

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Halfway Point...

Dear Parents,

The first week is through, and what a first week it was! We had the band directors from DePoali Middle School and Damonte Ranch High School come work with the kids on Wednesday and Friday. Students received a solid review session, clinics and sectionals from our guests, and all their Band-O-Rama music. We've defined "Hit the ground running" this week, and the students have a solid foundation going into our second semester.




Damonte Ranch High School band director Christi Blahnik's visit on Wednesday.










DePoali Middle School band director Dan Barthel's visit on Friday.





GRADES

PRACTICE LOGS
Students received their first practice log of the new year through Google Classroom on Friday.  Each box is worth 1 point, with 5 possible per day. Students will need 30 for full credit, and can receive extra credit by completing 35 total boxes. These will be turned in online on Friday. Students who are absent on Friday need to turn it in by 3 PM that day to receive credit.

PLAYING TESTS
Students will have weekly playing tests based on the material they've been practicing throughout the week. Playing tests will occur on block says (Wednesday and Thursday) or Friday, depending on that week's schedule. Students may always retest as needed for a higher score.

WEEKLY REHEARSAL GRADE
Each week, just like last year, students are receiving a daily grade for coming to class with everything they need to participate in rehearsals.  Those items are their instrument with all accessories, all music, and a pencil. Each day, students will receive 10 points, with a total of 40 points possible each week. If a student loses/forgets some music but not all music for that day's rehearsal, they will still receive half credit for the day.

EVENTS

HONOR BAND
Our record 26 Honor Band students received their folders, a schedule, and all but one of their songs last week. They will receive the 5th song on Tuesday at their first rehearsal, which is after school from 2:30-4:30 PM.

ALL-STATE AUDITIONS
All honor band students are eligible to audition for all-state. Students will receive the audition information at Tuesday's after school rehearsal.

JAZZ IN THE SCHOOLS
On February 9, Jazz Band will be participating in the Jazz in the Schools festival at UNR. This event is absolutely free for students. The band will perform in front of other students and educators, followed by a feedback clinic/workshop with Dean Sorenson, who composed one of the pieces we're performing. Call time will be approximately 9 AM, and students will return by approximately 4:00 PM.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Here is the most up-to-date schedule for the rest of the school year. Please mark these events in your calendars and plan to enjoy some fabulous music making.

February 7-8: Honor Band rehearsals in Fallon (concert on Feb. 8)
February 9: Jazz in the Schools (Jazz Band)
February 22: Chili Bingo Night
March 19: Washoe County Band Festival  (Advanced Band)
March 26: Northern Zone Band Festival (Advanced and Intermediate Band)
March 28: Band-O-Rama
April 4-6: All-State Music Festival in Las Vegas (concert on April 8)
April 30: Northern Zone Beginning Band Festival (Beginning and Concert Band)
May 11: Intermediate Band spring trip
May 15-19: Advanced Band and Jazz Band Spring Trip
May 21: Spring Concerts

(items in bold are mandatory for all students in all ensembles)

It's great to be back.  Have a great week!

-Mr. Jacques-

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: Year In Review

Dear Parents,

What a year it has been! I know that I am down to the wire on timing tonight, but it's time for my annual "year in review" post, highlighting everything that took place in the Carson Middle School band program during 2018:

January
  • The Jazz Band performed in its fifth annual Jazz Extravaganza performance with the Mile High Jazz Band. 
February
  • The Jazz Band made their 6th appearance at the Jazz in the Schools Clinic at UNR.
  • 19 band members proudly represented Carson Middle School in the Northern Zone Honor Band.
  • The Bingo Chili Night fundraiser generated $10,000 for the program!
March
  • For the 4th time in the program's history, the CMS Advanced Band traveled to Reno to perform in the Washoe County Band Festival, earning unanimous "Superior" ratings, including a "Superior" rating in sight reading.
  • Advanced Band earned unanimous "Superior" ratings at the Northern Zone Band Festival! These ratings were also the highest at the entire festival.
  • Intermediate and Concert Bands earned "Excellent" ratings at the Northern Zone Band Festival! 
  • The annual Band-O-Rama event was held at Carson High School.
April
  • 6 band members proudly represented Carson Middle School in the NMEA All-State Band in Las Vegas.
  • Beginning Band, Concert Band, and the CMS Ringers earned unanimous "Superior" ratings at the Northern Zone Beginning Music Festival!
  • The Jazz Band performed at the Northern Zone Jazz Band Festival in Gardnerville.
  • The Jazz Band performed at the Reno Jazz Festival, earning two "superior" ratings, and placing 9th overall in the middle school division.
  • Intermediate Band traveled to their first ever Music in the Parks festival, earning "Excellent" ratings, 1st place in their middle school band division, and the overall "esprit de corps" trophy! 
May
  • Advanced Band took their annual spring trip, performing in Disneyland, attending a soundtrack recording session, performing with a local middle school band, and participating in a clinic with Dr. Betancourt.
  • All groups performed their spring concerts in the Cafeteria, signaling an end to the 2017-2018 school year.
June
  • We hosted the 4th annual Mile High Jazz Camp, which included 5 days of rehearsals and a concert with the Mile High Jazz Band.
August
  • The school year began with record enrollment of approximately 240 students in the bands!
September
  • The band and strings program participated in a popcorn fundraiser that generated over $8,000 in profit.
October
  • The fall concert was held in the CMS gym (once again, there wasn't enough room in the cafeteria!)
  • The Marching Band performed in the Nevada Day Parade.
  • Dolan Auto Group donated $5,000 to the Carson Middle School Bands after Jake, one of our band students, prepared a video that helped show the community why they should vote for our band program. 
November
  • The Marching Band performed in the Veterans Day Parade, and once again, our band's performance was in the local news. We were also the only marching band that participated in this year's parade.
  • A record 26 band members were selected to represent CMS in the 2018 Northern Zone Honor Band! Carson Middle School students comprise 50% of the entire membership of this year's honor band.
December
  • The Marching Band performed in the Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade. 
  • The Advanced Band performed at 9 holiday events, including the Empty Bowls fundraiser, a choir concert, elementary school concerts, and a school assembly.
  • The winter concert was held at the CMS Cafetera, ending our 2018 calendar year on a fun, festive note. A bake sale was held with the help of Mr. Jacques's encore class and raised over $300 for the Paradise Middle School band.

Thank you to everyone that helped make 2018 such a huge success! 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Winter Concert FAQs

Dear Parents,

We are almost there!  Our winter concert is on Tuesday evening, Advanced Band has 2 elementary school concerts, the Jazz Band performs in the commons on Friday, and then we're done! With the concert coming up, and the inevitable questions that I receive from students, I have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.  If your question is not answered here, feel free to send me an email.

Q: When is the concert?
A: Tuesday, December 18

Q: Wait...where is this concert again?
A: Carson Middle School Cafeteria

Q: Why isn't it at the Community Center this year?
A: The Community Center is closed because they are putting in new seats. If we were to have the concert there, we would have had to have it in late November or the first week of December. 

Q: Can we come early to help set up?
A: Yes, as long as it's no earlier than 5:00 PM and you are with your parents. Bring your baked goods and decorations, and we will be happy to have you help.

Q: When is call time?
A: 5:30 PM for Beginning Band, 5:45 PM for Concert Band, 6:00 PM for Jazz Band, 6:45 for all others.

Q: Where do I go?
A: For the first part at 6:00, Beginning Band members will go to the stage, Concert Band members will sit with their families, and Jazz Band members will sit on stage.  For the second part at 7:00, Intermediate Band will sit on stage and Advanced Band will sit with their families.

Q: What do we wear?
A: Parents may wear whatever they want!!  But seriously, here's the concert attire for each group:
  • Beginning Band, Concert Band: Blue CMS Band polo with black dress pants, black socks, and black dress shoes.
  • Jazz Band: Tuxedo outfit issued to your student, including vests/jackets, along with black socks and black marching/dress shoes.
  • Intermediate Band, Advanced Band: Complete tuxedo outfit or dress issued to your student, including black socks, marching shoes, dress shoes, or flats (if you are wearing a dress).  *Remember to take your garment bags home*
Q: Can we decorate our instruments or ourselves?
A: Absolutely!  Holiday hats are encouraged.  If you decorate instruments, make sure the decorations do not get in the way of the functionality of the instrument or damage the lacquer.

Q: Can I bring baked goods without signing up online?
A: Sure!  Just show up with your favorite individually packaged cookies, fudge, brownies, or anything else and we will sell each bag for $1. 

Q: What time does the concert start?
A: The concert starts at 6:00 PM. Part 2 starts at 7:00 PM.

Q: What is the order of groups: 
A: Part 1: Beginning Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band. Part 2: Intermediate Band, Advanced Band

Q: What time does the concert end?
A: Part 1 should finish around 6:45 PM and part 2 should finish around 7:45 PM.

Q: Where do students sit when they don't perform?
A: They will sit with their families in the audience. They will also be required to stay in the audience whenever someone is performing. No students should be in the band room, halls, or restrooms when anyone is playing. 

Q: How much is admission?
A: My concerts are always FREE!

See you all Tuesday night!  

-Mr. Jacques-

Monday, December 10, 2018

Week 3 of 4...

Dear Parents,

We are now approaching our third week of holiday preparation and fun in the band world. We are also quickly approaching wither break, and with that, the end of the semester. Please read through this update for the latest in upcoming events, grade updates, and more.

LAST WEEK'S CHOIR CONCERT
Last Wednesday, half of the Advanced Band performed with the choir at their winter concert. The students played in the background for the choir with an arrangement of Cartoon Christmas. They were absolutely wonderful, and it was a hit with the choir students, Ms. Valley, and the audience.
A full recording of the performance of Cartoon Christmas on the Carson Middle School Bands Facebook page.

LAST WEEK'S EMPTY BOWLS PERFORMANCE
Last Friday, the entire Advanced Band traveled to the Carson Mall to perform at the Empty Bowls fundraiser.  Their 9 song set went over well and they played beautifully.  Several students also showed off their ugly sweaters:


A full recording of the entire performance is on the Carson Middle School Bands Facebook page.

HONOR BAND RESULTS
The results are in, and a record 26 students made it into honor band this year. Our students comprise almost half of the entire honor band!  18 students from Advanced Band, 6 students from Intermediate Band, and believe it or not, 1 student from Beginning Band are now members of honor band. CMS once again has the most students participating in the Northern Zone Honor Band!

FINAL GRADES
Last Friday, I assigned a traditional practice chart on their Google Classroom that outlines what to practice each day, with a total of 35 boxes (goals) possible.  This is due on Friday.  Later this week, students who have not completed playing tests throughout the semester will perform those during class. Students may also make up any playing tests they choose during lunch or by appointment after school. The cutoff for make-up playing tests is Thursday, December 20.

EVENTS THIS WEEK

ADVANCED BAND TOUR: MARK TWAIN
Students will wear their spirit "it's cool" t-shirts, along with festive hats and decorated instruments, leave CMS at 9:30 AM, and head to Mark Twain Elementary School to perform for their students. We will return around 11:00 AM. Since this will take place during Advanced Band's long class period, students will only miss a few minutes of their 5th period.

UPCOMING AFTER SCHOOL REHEARSAL
December 11: Concert Band, 2:30-4:30

UPCOMING EVENTS
December 12: Mark Twain Elementary School Performance (Advanced Band)
December 18: Winter Concert in gym (ALL ENSEMBLES)
December 19: Bordewich Bray Elementary School Performance (Advanced Band)
December 20: Fritsch Elementary School Performance (Advanced Band)
December 21: Jazz in the Commons (Jazz Band)

Winter Concert - December 18
The winter concert is quickly approaching! I uploaded a inter concert flyer in your student's Google Classrooms and emailed home an attachment. Students should be preparing their music and checking to see if they have all their concert attire (we are working on fitting Adv. and Int. band students into their tuxedos/dresses this week). The concert starts on 12/18 at 6 PM and will end by 8 PM. Check out the information flyer on top of this page for more details. Please sign up here: http://signup.com/go/vrbRytF

Time for another fun and festive week!

-Mr. Jacques-