Weekly Update – 3/26/17

Good evening all,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone who came out to support the Mattress Sale on Saturday! A special thank you to the students who volunteered to hold signs throughout the day. We have yet to hear the results but I am hopeful that we made our goal!

This week is pretty straight forward. Here are the calendar updates:

Tuesday – 3/28
7:00 a.m – Morning Band
4:45 p.m – Tuesday Prime
6:00 p.m – Tuesday Jazz

Wednesday – 3/29
Attached is a copy of the letter that was sent home last week.
The festival is held at Scarborough High School
There is an admission fee – I think $7 for adults but I could be wrong (we haven’t seen that information yet)
7:00 a.m – Morning Band
1:00 p.m – Bus Departs BHS For Scarborough High School
– All band students will need to be IN CONCERT ATTIRE. They will be able to change from 12:45 – 1 p.m
2:00 p.m – Bus Arrives at Scarborough HS
2:30 p.m – Concert Band Warm Up
3:00 p.m – Concert Band Performance
3:30 p.m – Sight Reading and Clinic
4:00 p.m – 2 busses depart with concert band students for BHS
– All Wind Ensemble (morning band) students remain at Scarborough
5:00 p.m – Wind Ensemble Warms Up
5:30 p.m – Wind Ensemble performs
6:00 p.m – Wind Ensemble Sight reading and clinic
6:45 p.m – Busses depart Scarborough for BHS
7:45 p.m – Busses arrive at BHS
All of this information will be in a letter given to your students this week along with a permission slip.

Thursday – 3/30
This is a super easy fundraiser that, hey…will save some of us from cooking!!
From 2 – 10, present a flyer at the 99 restaurant and a portion of your check will go toward BHS Music.
Please print out the attached flyer and present it at 99 in order to get the music department 15% of your total bill!
Fun fact: From 3 – 6 they have a happy hour with many specials including $5 appetizers.

Friday – 3/31
Thursday Jazz rehearsals! This is due to NHS inductions on the 30th
5:30 – Thursday Jazz Sectionals (ALL SECTIONS!)
6:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz

The deadline is FAST approaching for District 3 Student scholarships. Please follow this link: https://sites.google.com/site/mmeadistrict3/Home/student-scholarships

There are 2 scholarships available:
For underclassmen: MMEA District III will award six $250.00 music scholarships to students enrolled in District III school music programs. Scholarships are to be used by students to assist them in pursuing their musical activities and goals (music camp, private lessons, purchase of new instruments, college, etc.). The deadline for applying for this scholarship is March 31 each year.

For upperclassmen:
District III offers the Dick Kenison Music Scholarship in the amount of $1000 for a graduating high school senior. The applicant must be:
– A graduating senior who has been an active ensemble member, in good standing with their respective music programs during their high school tenure
– A person who has shown and/or demonstrated an active interest in school and community in the capacity of teaching/tutoring music
– A person who plans on majoring in music in college

We have MANY students who meet the criteria for either scholarship. I will be more than happy to write the letters of recommendation needed for either one.

Volunteers Needed
We are looking for a few volunteers to run a 50/50 raffle at the Dine Out Fundraiser at 99. If anyone is available, please let me know ASAP. I will be talking to a couple students but it would rad to have a few students in shifts.

I believe that is all that I have for this week! Thank you for all that you do to support BHS Music. I hope to see most of you at our concert on Wednesday at Scarborough!!


~ Mike

Congratulations and This Week!

Good afternoon all,

Here is email number two, as promised.

First, I wanted to send out a CONGRATULATIONS to all the Jazz Students
from BJHS and BHS!

In case you missed it, this weekend, the students from Brunswick Jazz
Programs traveled to Durham, NH to participate in the Clark Terry UNH Jazz

This non-competitive festival exists to promote jazz programs across New
England and sees pfrtiipcation from schools as far away as Rhode Island
and Connecticut. All four ensembles performed very well! The Jazz Combo, a
self-directed sextet that writes their own arrangements, came away with an
honorable mention in the Combo Room! The Thursday Night Jazz Ensemble
earned an Outstanding Ensemble award in the ³A² band room. This is the top
award you can receive at the UNH Jazz Festival. I am so proud of the 55
high school jazz musicians and the 24 Junior high musicians who
represented our community with exceptional musicianship and pride.

Now, for some quick calendar items. This is essentially the same info I
gave you last week but I wanted to be sure you all were reminded. PLEASE

First, regarding the weather – As of right now, Band-O-Rama is a go. It
will continue to be a go until the school says otherwise.

IF, for whatever reason, they say we can¹t do Band-O-Rama on Tuesday, I
will be in touch regarding plans. We are currently working on a “what if”
since a snow date was never picked.

Monday ­ 3/13
7:00 a.m ­ Morning Band

Tuesday ­ 3/14 ­ BAND ­ O ­RAMA!!!!!!
7:00 a.m ­ Morning Band

Band-O-Rama Schedule
Attached is a PDF of all the important info for Band-O-Rama. Just to clear
up some confusion, this is an event for EVERY kid in band.

3:15 Brunswick rehearses on stage
4:45 Combined bands line up in gym to line up for combined rehearsal while
stage is set up for combined rehearsal
5:00 Combined rehearsal on stage
5:30 Dinner in the Cafeteria
6:00 Change into concert dress
6:30 Warm up
7:00 Concert
– Concert order: Mt. Ararat, Morse,
Brunswick, Combined Bands

Concert Attire is required!

Wednesday­ 3/15
7:00a.m ­ Morning Band
2:30p.m ­ Tuesday Prime
4:00 p.m ­ Tuesday Jazz
6:00 p.m ­ Thursday Jazz

Thursday ­ 3/16
6:00 a.m ­ Bus Departs for New England Music Festival (selected Students

Saturday ­ 3/18
10:00 p.m ­ Bus returns for New England Music Festival (selected Students

I hope this helps in terms of Planning!

Thank you so much for all you do to support our students! I am really
looking forward to sharing our performance with you on Tuesday. They have
done an outstanding job preparing for this concert!

Have a good rest of your weekend.

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 11/30/16

Good morning,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week full of time with family and friends.  

There are a few important items for the next two weeks that I wanted to bring to your attention.

Calendar Events 


– 5:00 – Tuesday Prime Jazz Band (as they are calling it)

– 6:00 – Tuesday Jazz


– 6:30 – Music Boosters


– 7:00 a.m – Morning Band

– 5:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz Winds Sectional

– 6:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz


– 8:00 a.m – The BJHS Tree and Wreath Sale – we are looking for volunteers to come and play with Ms. Anderson’s “Carol Band”. If your son or daughter is interested, please let me know. Even if they can only come for an hour, it is still very much appreciated.

– 5:00 p.m – The Night of Swing and Jazz Silent Auction and Concert

Tuesday – 12/6/16

– 7:00 a.m – Morning Band

– 5:00 p.m – Tuesday Prime

– 6:00 p.m – Tuesday Jazz

Wednesday – 12/7/16

– 5:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz Rhythm Section

– 6:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz

Thursday – 12/8/16

– CONCERT DAY! Please See attached for info and exact times

Friday – 12/9/16

– 6:00 p.m – our first basketball game for the year!

Saturday – 12/10/16

– NEMFA Auditions. Please see attached for info and exact times


Students should be turning in their sold raffle tickets and concert tickets THIS WEEK! This is our largest fundraiser and has the opportunity to bring in some serious cash to offset the cost of the band trip significantly. If you need more tickets, please have your son or daughter see Mrs. Van Slyck in band today or Thursday. By Thursday, ALL TICKETS SOLD OR OTHERWISE will need to be returned so we can account for them.

Thank you to those who have already signed up to volunteer for Saturday’s event.  We are still looking for more people to help out with the event. We appreciate any assistance you can give!! Please click the link below for a list of what needs to be done


As this is the time of year when people start thinking of gifts and such, I have put together a list of “Holiday Gift Ideas night-of-swing-and-jazz-info-letter-pdf december-2016-dates-pdf” that I have attached here.  There are so many different gifts you can give (the biggest and least expensive being the gift of time!) I thought it would be helpful to compile them into one place. I have many, many more suggestions so please, feel free to contact me if you want more thoughts for your son or daughter.

December is a bit of a whirlwind. The concert next Thursday is one of the highlights of the month for not only me, but also for our kids. I am so excited to share their learning with you! I hope you are all looking forward to the performance. 

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Thank you so much for all you do! 

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 10/4/16

Dear parents,

Happy Tuesday! I hope this email finds you all well and enjoying a wonderful start to the school year.  It has been an absolutely UNBELIEVABLE start for the music program! All 4 large ensembles have been working tirelessly on their various music and are looking forward to sharing their work with you at the first game on October 7th!

I wanted to be in touch about some very important news and information for this year.  

First, there is a Music Boosters Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday October 5th, at 6:30 p.m. In the band room. It will be dealing primarily with our largest fundraiser of the year, the Silent Auction. There is still a lot of help needed so we would appreciate your time very much!

Next, as you know, the band will be at the Football game this Friday! At each home game, the band sells “Walking Tacos” (or “Tacos in a bag”) to help the music department.  We are in need of some easy volunteering. The Sign Up Genius for what we need is here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/805084babad29aa8-outdoor

Please take a moment to see if you can help.  

Next, as many of you know, this is slated to be a “Music Department Trip Year”. While we are still looking at the exact location, we thought it would be prudent to talk about cost and fundraising. There will be a separate meeting for all parents interested in having their son or daughter attend the trip but it makes sense to begin the talk of fundraising now.

In the past, the music boosters has contributed more than $20,000 toward student expenses on the trip. Because of this contribution, we were able to bring the cost of the trip down to $675 per student.

While we are working on finding exact pricing for you, we wanted to “get the ball rolling” on fundraising.  While we know not every kid will fundraise, we know that a majority of students will need to benefit from the financial assistance that the boosters provides.

We are asking that families help in as many ways as possible:

Ways in which you can you help:

  1. Attend the upcoming music boosters meeting to volunteer for needed jobs.
    • Wednesday, October 5th – 6:30 p.m. – Music Room
    • Wednesday, November 2nd – 6:30 p.m – Music Room
    • Wednesday, November 30th – 6:30 p.m. – Music Room 
  2. If you or someone you know is willing to donate either goods or services to the auction, please reach out and let me know in what ways you are able to contribute.
  3. Encourage your son or daughter to volunteer contacting local businesses that need to be contacted. Mr. Scarpone and Mrs. Albert can tell them which businesses to contact and provide a script.

As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Details about the trip will be made public as soon as we have school board approval and all decisions made. All we do know is that we are looking at April Vacation to minimize impact on curricular time.

Thank you so much for all you do to support our kids! I hope you have a wonderful week. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

~ Mike 

Weekly Update – 5/31/16

Dear Parents,

Happy almost June! Man, how quickly time has gone. It feels like just yesterday I was sending out the first weekly update.

I have several items to bring to your attention.

Today (Tuesday)

5:30 – Tuesday Jazz Brass Sectional

6:00 – Tuesday Jazz

Wednesday, June 1

7:00 p.m – Chorus concert! Come support the choirs!

Thursday, June 2nd

7:00 a.m – Morning band

6:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz

Friday, June 3rd

5:30 p.m – Thursday Jazz reports for jazz night

6:00 p.m. – Tuesday Jazz reports for jazz night

7:00 p.m. – Jazz Night @ Crooker Theater!!

Saturday, June 4th


8 – 2p.m @ 7-Eleven on Maine Street

We need a bunch of help. I have created a sign up genius below.


This is a super fun, great way for our kids to raise some money. The weather looks stellar and it is always a good time. Please encourage your son or daughter to sign up.

*** In the event of Rain, I will publish something on www.brunswickmusic.org with information ***

Wednesday, June 8th

7:00 p.m. – Music Awards Night @ Crooker Theater – This event is not only for seniors! Awards are presented to kids from throughout all four grade levels. It is a great way to celebrate the accomplishments of so many of our students.

Friday, June 10th


6:00 p.m – Students report to Watson Arena in concert attire

– They will need their instruments!

– There will be no bussing from BHS to Watson. Students must arrange transportation themselves.

– Plan on being a bit early, especially if you want to park. By 6:15, it is zoo

7:00 p.m. – Graduation Starts

8:30 p.m. – Graduation ends

I believe that is all that I have for today! Thank you all so much for your support last week at the concert! I hope you enjoyed the hard work put on by our kids. They truly work hard each and every day. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of musicians to work with. Thank you for encouraging them to continue with their instrumental studies. They have been fabulous.

I hope to see you all on Friday for the jazz concert and then Saturday to GET YOUR CAR WASHED!!!!

Have a great week!

~ Mike

For Tuesday Night Jazz Parents/ Students

Good afternoon all,

I just received an email from the Assistant Superintendent that ALL after school activities are cancelled today.

This, of course, means Jazz is cancelled.

Rather than lose the rehearsal, next week we are going to have rehearsal

Monday from 6 p.m – 8


Tuesday from 6 p.m – 8

This was the only place I could put it so it would not interfere with sports and other issues. I know there are a couple of games that day. We will work with it.

Thank you all for your flexibility.  With the Wycliffe concert coming up in 3 weeks, we cannot afford to lose any time.

Who knew, snow in LAAAATE April.

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 4/12/16

Happy Tuesday all,

I hope this email finds you all well and looking forward to a week spent with your kids next week!

There are only a few things of note for this week:

1) Tonight – Tuesday:

– 2:30 – Percussion Ensemble

– 5:30 – Tuesday Jazz Brass Sectional

– 6:00 – Tuesday Night Jazz

2) Tomorrow – Wednesday:

– 7:00 a.m. – Morning band. This was a reschedule from today to allow the Juniors more time to sleep due to SAT testing.

3 ) Thursday:

– 7:00 a.m. – Morning band as per usual

– 3:30 p.m – Jazz Combo 2

– 5:30 p.m. – Walkin’ and Swingin’ Horn sectional

– 6:00 p.m. – Thursday night jazz


I just wanted to remind everyone on the concert/ performance schedule for the month of May as it is a busy time for us:

5/10 – All Town Band Concert – 6:30 p.m. – BHS Gym

5/12 – Thursday Night Jazz at One Longfellow Square – 8:00 p.m. – Portland

5/19 – All Jazz Groups to Umaine for performance at All – State (more info to come)

5/25 – Spring Concert – 7:00 p.m. – Crooker

5/30 – Memorial Day Parade – 7:30 a.m – BHS

6/3 – Jazz Night (location TBA)

6/8 – Music Awards Night (not required)

6/10 – Graduation (REQUIRED)

Please remember to check the band website for calendar updates INCLUDING rescheduled rehearsals.

Performance Opportunity

Retired music educator and Brunswick resident, Bob Modr, has sent a request asking for some of our kids to perform with the Harpswell Community band. From Bob: I would love to have some BHS musicians play with our summer band.  We have begun rehearsals and we meet Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30 at the former West Harpswell Elem. School which is now the Harpswell Coastal Academy on rt. 123.  The sections that I would like to add to are:  clarinets (3-4), percussion (1), alto sax (1) Trombone (1) Tuba (1-2).  If you are interested, please let me know and I will pass along the info to Mr. Modr.

Finally, a note of congratulations!!!!

On Thursday, May 19th, the BHS Jazz program will be given a rare and VERY special opportunity to perform with Internationally known performer, educator, and composer Wycliffe Gordon. Mr. Gordon is has been named The Downbeat Critics Poll  “Best in Trombone” for the past three years (2014, 2013 & 2012) and Jazz Journalists Association named him “Trombonist of the Year” in 2013, as well as previous years 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. He recently received the Louis Armstrong Memorial Prize presented by the Swing Jazz Culture Foundation, and was named Artist of the Year by the Augusta Arts Council.

In addition to an extremely successful solo career, Gordon tours regularly leading the quintet known as Wycliffe Gordon and his International All-Stars, headlining at legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers throughout the world. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” Series.

The BHS Thursday night jazz ensemble will perform a concert at the Maine Music Educators Association Music Conference at the University of Maine at Orono alongside Mr. Gordon. The concert will be open to all music educators from around the state of Maine as well as several visiting teachers.

Earlier in the day, the Tuesday Night Jazz Ensemble will perform a clinic with Mr. Gordon on high school jazz rehearsal techniques. They will perform along with Mr. Gordon again for all the music educators in the state to hear and see.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 42 of Brunswick’s finest musicians to play with a living legend!  Congratulations to the BHS Jazz Ensembles for earning such a outstanding opportunity!

I am super pumped for them. I will be giving more information as the details of the day are made known to me.

As always, thank you so much for all you do to support our fine musicians!

Enjoy your week. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you  might have.



Weekly Update – 3/7/16

Good morning all,

I hope this email finds you well!

I will be sending out a second email later regarding the mattress sale but I wanted to make sure you all had the info regarding our events this week.

Tuesday, March 8th

2:30 – 4:00 – Percussion Ensemble

5:30 – Tuesday Night Jazz Saxophone Sectional

6:00 – Tuesday Night Jazz

Wednesday, March 9th

6:00 – Thursday Night Jazz

Thursday, March 10th


2:30 – Bus departs BHS for Mt. Ararat

3:15 Brunswick rehearses on stage

4:45 Combined bands line up in gym to line up for combined rehearsal while

stage is set up for combined rehearsal

5:00 Combined rehearsal on stage

5:30 Dinner in the Cafeteria

6:00 Change into concert dress

6:30 Warm up

7:00 Concert

Concert order: Mt. Ararat, Morse, Brunswick, Combined Bands

** REMINDER – Students need to bring me $3 for dinner no later than Wednesday! **

  • Students will need to bring their concert attire with them to school on Thursday as they won’t be able to leave.
  • Students also WILL NOT be able to drive themselves to Mt. Ararat
  • There will be no return bus

Saturday, March 12th


6:00 a.m. – Busses DEPART BHS

8:15 a.m – Busses arrive at UNH

9:00 a.m. – Tuesday Night Jazz Warm up

9:30 a.m – Tuesday Jazz Performance

10:00 a.m. – Tuesday Jazz Clinic

10:30 a.m. – Thursday Jazz Warm Up

11:00 a.m – Thursday Jazz Performance

11:35 a.m – Thursday Jazz Clinic

1:30 p.m – Jazz Combo Warm Up

2:00 p.m. – Combo performance

2:30 p.m. – Combo clinic

7:00 p.m. – Evening Concert with Bob Shepherd and Bobby Shew!!!!!!!!

11:00 p.m – Busses return to BHS

  • Students should arrive in concert attire. They can change after their performance
  • Students will need lunch and dinner money

I believe that is all I have for events this week. Please be on the look out for more information regarding course sign-ups and the mattress sale.

A special thank you to those who attended the meeting last week. It was not a huge turn out (between all 3 choirs and band, we only had 37 parents in attendance) so, we did not receive the $500. He was, however, kind enough to credit us $300 or so.

Thank you so much for all you do for our students. I appreciate it as do they! I hope you have a wonderful week!!

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 2/10/16

Dear parents,

I hope this email finds you well.  I wanted to bring to your attention some details for the rest of this week as well as some stuff after vacation.


6:30 p.m – Music Boosters meeting in the band room. This will cover some VERY important info on the upcoming District 3 Jazz Festival, Band-O-Rama, and the Mattress Sale. Please make every effort to attend.

5:00 – 8:00 p.m – Five Guys Dinner Fundraiser

We are very fortunate that Five Guys has agreed to once again host a dinner fundraiser to support the music program.  Here is the deal:

– Show up between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.

– Order food.

– A percentage of your sale will be donated to the music department.

– No need to sell anything. Just eat dinner…or, just get a milkshake. It doesn’t matter.

Thursday, 2/11/16:

– 7:00 a.m – Honors Wind Ensemble

– 5:30 p.m. – Thursday Jazz Sectional

– 6:00 p.m. – Thursday Jazz

Friday 2/12/16:

– Our FINAL pep band performance (unless the basketball teams make the state game)

– The time is 7 p.m.

– The location is the Civic Center in Portland.

– The bus will depart BHS at 5:00 p.m.

– The bus will return approximately 9:30 p.m

– Students MUST wear their pep band shirt. (the MPA has a uniform policy for bands)

That is everything for this week. Vacation week is empty which brings us to the week after vacation.

Wednesday 2/24:

  • District 3 Jazz Festival
  • Please see the 2016 D3 Jazz Festival Schedule Draft 1[1] schedule for performance times for our various groups
  • We will need a host of volunteers. A Sign-up genius will be circulating by tomorrow with the various jobs we need filled.
  • PLEASE come and support our fabulous jazz musicians

Saturday 2/27:

  • MBDA Jazz Festival @ Westbrook High School.
  • Details to follow as soon as I receive them

I believe those are the only big calendar items for this week.

I wanted to take one more minute to wish the best of luck to the various athletic teams who will be involved in playoffs, tournaments, or meets over break. We are so lucky to have so many students who are involved in one of the various sports both at school and in the community! I will be wishing you all the best of luck and thinking of you this week.

I hope you all have a safe and relaxing vacation.  Enjoy some time with your son or daughter. It’s hard to believe but, when we come back, the rest of the year SCREAMS by.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

See you tonight at the boosters meeting!!!!

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 12/14/15

Good afternoon all,

I hope this email finds you all well! Before I launch into calendar items, I wanted to extend a huge “Thank you” to all of you for your support and participation in last Thursday’s performance.

I am so proud of all 3 of our performing ensembles. The music that they performed was not only difficult, but it was quality literature that made even the most talented musician work hard. I am so impressed with their musicality, dedication, hard-work, and tenacity. They are wonderful people whom I am VERY lucky to have in my life.  Thank you so much for supporting them in their musical endeavors.

I wanted to get in touch with you all about upcoming events and make sure everyone was pretty clear on the next few weeks:

Tonight – Monday – Jazz Ensemble (Thursday Night only) Trumpets from 5:30 – 6

Jazz Ensemble (Thursday Night only) full band from 6 – 8

Tuesday – NO JAZZ! I am at a conference for the week starting in the PM

Monday, Dec 21st – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Saxophone/ Trombone Sectional for Thursday  Jazz

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Full Thursday jazz rehearsal

Tuesday, January 5th – Basketball Pep Band

 – Tuesday jazz will rehearse from 4 – 6 p.m.  Please plan accordingly

Wednesday, January 6th – Thursday jazz

Thursday, January 7th – Jazz All State

I believe that takes us as far as we need to go for the time being.

In case you were still looking for some holiday gift ideas, PLEASE see my attached list. There are many great ideas on here.

It is likely that I won’t be able to get in touch with you before the holidays so I hope you all have a very safe and enjoyable time with your families. Each of your children are special to me and I know they mean so much more to you.

Have a happy new year and a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for all you do for the music program!!!!!

~ Mike