I hope this message finds you well as we already find ourselves finishing up the month of January. For the Odem Bands we have a major fundraiser coming up on Saturday, with the First Annual Odem HS Sweethearts Dance being sponsored by the Band Boosters. We need volunteers to help chaperone the dance. This will count as one of the concession stand credits to waive the $50 Spring Fee if you did not have a chance to work this past Fall. You must be cleared by the district through a background check to volunteer.
First of all please remember that for all Carnegie Hall trip participants we have a rehearsal on Thursday night from 6:30pm-8:30pm. It is imperative that students attend these rehearsals. We have a half dozen or so students that have been hit or miss on them and we may be forced to reassign parts if needed for the sake of the group.
Please also note that accounts should be at $1,500 paid at this point, with another $120 due in February. It is imperative those payments be made asap. I know many have mentioned to me waiting for tax returns. We can work with that to a limited extent. Please note we have our last large payment due this month and must be able to pay that amount! Thank you to all who have diligently followed the payment schedule!
Some time ago I wrote about an exciting software that we now have available to students called SmartMusic. It works by playing accompaniment behind a student as they play their music. It then grades their performance for right notes and rhythms, and has the ability to be a fantastic practice tool by ‘looping’ sections of music. The students in the 6th Grade Applied Music and 8th Period HS Applied Music class have had the most time with it so far. It has been very well received and we have students asking as soon as they get in the door to use it.
We are beginning also to do a trial of using the software for testing. Last week we began an attempt with the JH Concert Band, and this week those 6th Grade Applied Music students will be trying the software out. It is my hope that eventually we may use this for testing and assessment across the grades, but more importantly as a practice tool for students. Please note the times on the schedule below, but students may come and use the computers in the Band Hall after school most days for this purpose. It is also possible for you to purchase a home subscription for students to use. You may find more information at www.smartmusic.com
Solo and Ensemble
Last year we participated in Solo and Ensemble with the HS Band for the first time in over ten years. For this year we are continuing that and introducing it back into the Odem JH Bands. We have students signed up for this contest later on this month on February 18th. I believe we’ll be participating in a couple hour window from about 4:30pm-8:00pm. I hope to know the schedule sometime in the week before or so. Students who are signed up must attend the contest. Please let me know if you have any questions in regards to this.
Eligibility (Unexcused Absences)
Please note that Odem-Edroy ISD adopted a local policy for eligibility this past fall. The policy is that students may not have more than 3 unexcused absences in a six-weeks. Students may regain eligibility at the three weeks progress report if they have had 0 unexcused absences.
Currently the reports I am receiving from the High School office indicate we have some students who will be impacted by this. Please remember to have your students turn in excuse notes to the office each time they are absent. If a student is flagged for this issue they have a 1 week grace period just like Incompletes in the TEA No Pass/No Play law. We ask that parents be very diligent with absences through the spring as this is traditionally the time of year that the school faces the most issues with absences!
Owl Band Booster Meeting
We will have our monthly booster meeting on Tuesday night. Please note we will discuss the plans for our dance fundraiser this Saturday, another fundraiser beginning at the end of the month, and other items that come up as needed.
Monday: 3:40pm-4:30pm – Band Hall Open for Practice
Tuesday: 3:40pm-4:30pm – Band Hall Open for Practice
7:00pm – Owl Band Booster Meeting (Trip Payments accepted)
Wednesday: 3:40pm-4:30pm – Band Hall Open for Practice
Thursday: 6:30pm-8:30pm – Carnegie Hall Practice
Friday: No School for Students
Saturday: First Annual OHS Sweethearts Dance – Need Parent Volunteers. Setup in afternoon, Dance is 7:30pm-10:00pm
Thank you for your help and support in making the Odem Bands so successful! Have a great week!
Mr. Steven Rash
Director of Bands
Odem High School