Odem Bands – Closure Update – 3/30/2020

I hope this message finds you and your family in good health during this turbulent time! OEISD is set to remain closed until April 14th at this time, with our district planning on facilitating the best distance learning options we can until then. This will apply in all classes with Google Classroom being the primary outreach to families with access to devices/internet at home. For everyone there are also packets being made available for pickup from the schools. For information on all of that I recommend following the District on Facebook, LivingTree, or Twitter.

For the Odem Bands we are going to work to continue to have students practice. UIL has mandated a shutdown until May 4th for all activities at this time, and we will follow that even should we return on the 14th. We are tentatively going to say that May 4th will be the Spring Concert for all JH and HS students if we return on that date. It would give us a few weeks to prepare to do so. The Jazz concert would remain a week later on May 11th. If we don’t return until later we will do our best to reschedule a concert to give our students one last opportunity to showcase their work this spring!

Please see below for a tentative calendar plan should we return the 14th of April. Please note we are cancelling the OJH Symphonic Winds and Odem HS Wind Ensemble trips to San Antonio at this time. UIL is currently evaluating if we return, if they can reschedule the San Diego UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluation that we were going to take the OJH Concert Band and OHS Symphonic Band to. For now that event is just in the postponed category. UIL has not made a determination on State Solo and Ensemble or any events after May 4th at this time. I would presume we will have a better idea by Mid-April. We will follow UIL, Federal, State, and Local rules on all planning for events moving forward.

Odem Bands Classwork

In an effort to facilitate our students working to improve we will be providing assignments on a regular basis through Google Classroom. We will be using an online software called ‘SmartMusic’ to allow students to practice and record themselves for the assignments. A Tutorial on Setting up an account may be found here: https://tinyurl.com/sfdj9td. Another YouTube walkthrough of its features and more can also be found here: https://youtu.be/VOXjsJWqpTI  The system will provide an automatic grading of the performance, but please note that is just for student feedback at this time. We will grade the recordings on our end ourselves to make sure it is fair.

I encourage students to go beyond our assignments in the software and explore the available music. There are some fun titles in there if you search their instruments that will provide additional music on screen for them to play with. Students should also continue to practice the rest of their music that may not be in the system. SmartMusic is not perfect, but it is one of our best options at this time to continue with student learning. We will also be providing supplemental videos and material over the weeks for students – especially for those that can’t use SmartMusic. To run it you do need a Computer, Chromebook, or iOS device (there is an app). For computers you will need to use Google Chrome in order to use it.

We ask that students practice 20-30 minutes per day through this time in order to prevent slipping backwards for our eventual return.

For the HS Wind Ensemble we are going to try and do a virtual performance of a piece – I will discuss that, along with many other things, with the students tomorrow in a Zoom with the full high school band at 1pm. Zoom is another tool that we will be using with students over the time we are out to get together. Please note we will provide information on those meetings through Google Classroom.

Everything here is new territory for students, teachers, administrators, and parents. If you have questions please ask and we’ll do our best to answer. We completely understand that not every family has access to the resources they may need and will do our best to figure out an answer on how to help. I’ve been contacted this weekend about students who have not picked up their instruments. At this time Mr. Williams and I are not planning on going to the school to facilitate another instrument pickup. If we do we will send that information out. Both of us live in Corpus and are under both a county and a city stay-at-home order. We plan on doing everything we can from home though for our students success.

This is a long email already, so I’m going to place our tentative calendar if we resume school on the 14th below. Please be safe and feel free to reach out to us at any time for assistance. Mr. Williams e-mail address is williamsn@oeisd.org, and mine is rashs@oeisd.org

Event Information/Tentative Calendar:

Please note that all of these events are completely tentative on us returning on the April 14th. Should plans change – we will also adjust our plans. The safety and wellness of our students and community are our top priority! All federal/state/local ordinances will be adhered to in accordance with district decisions on any events moving forward.

Cancelled Events:

April 3rd: 3rd Annual Windi and Jazzi Dinner Fundraiser
April 18th: OJH Symphonic Winds Trip to San Antonio
April 22nd: OJH Beginning Band at Bishop Gulf Coast Concert Band Festival
April 24th: 10th Annual South Coast Jazz Festival (Robstown Hosting)
April 25th: JH and HS All-Region Jazz Clinic/Concert
April 30th: Robstown Concert Band Festival
May 9th: Odem HS Wind Ensemble Performance at CT Johnson/Six Flags Trip

Postponed/Rescheduling to a later date

April 1st/2nd: OJH Concert Band and OHS Symphonic Band UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluation 
April 30th: OJH Symphonic Winds and Odem HS Bands Spring Concert
May 1st: Color Guard and Drum Major Tryouts

Remaining and Scheduled

May 4th: All OJH and OHS Odem Bands Spring Concert (Originally OJH Beginning Band and OJH Concert Band)
May 11th: OHS Screeching Owl Jazz Band 11th Annual ‘Spring Evening of Jazz’
May 29th: Graduation (OJH Symphonic Winds and OHS 9th-11th Grade)
May 31st-June 1st: UIL Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest (Pflugerville)

We will provide information on refunds of tickets sold to Windi and Jazzi this week. If any students have collected money for tickets using the order forms, we ask that they return that to the purchaser.

I hope that you all are doing well! Best wishes to you all, and please let us know if we can help you with any other questions or concerns!