Weekly Update – 10/31


As I am sure you all know by now, today is the annual “Halloween Parade”.

This information has gone out several times but I thought I would reiterate since I am sure teenagers are super good at communication.

Students will need to be dressed in costume. A quick reminder: Costumes should not interfere with their ability to march or play.

Students who opt not to dress in costume should wear the black concert pants, Memorial Day orange polo shirt, and black shoes (no sneakers)

2:30 – Bus departs BHS for BJHS

5:30 – Busses pick us up at Hawthorne School

STUDENTS MAY BE DISMISSED FROM THE END OF A PARADE WITH A NOTE! It is important that I see you with your son or daughter following the parade so I don’t accidentally leave someone in downtown Brunswick.

A quick reminder: In addition to the parades being a required event, students DO get community service for these events!!!! All they need to do is bring an orange community service slip to me and I will sign it. A student who is in band for 4 years can get all 30 hours of community service just by being in parades (which they are required to do anyway 🙂 ).  Kind of a win, win.

Calendar Events

Monday – Halloween Parade. See above.

Tuesday – 7:00 a.m – Morning Band

 5:00 p.m – Sectional for the students I have spoken to about jazz. NOT SAXOPHONES AS THE CALENDAR STATES!

 6:00 p.m – Tuesday Jazz

Wednesday – 6:30 p.m – Music Boosters Meeting – Band Room! 

Thursday – 7:00 a.m – Morning Band

5:00 p.m – All Thursday Jazz Winds

6:00 p.m – Thursday  Night Jazz

Friday –  All State Auditions!!!

4:30 p.m – Bus Departs BHS for Skowhegan Area High School

7:00 p.m – Bus Arrives in Skowhegan

10:00 p.m – Bus Departs Skowhegan

12:30 a.m – Bus Arrives at BHS

– Students should bring money for dinner, their instrument, and a tuner

*** Students should be dressed up for their audition. They may bring casual clothes to change in to following their audition but should not plan on changing into formal wear when they arrive. ***


A huge congratulations go out to our band students who were accepted into the 2016-2017 District 3 Honors Band:

Josie Adolf

Keegan Arnold

Julia Baumgarte

Sophie Blair

Katie Bojarski

Ethan Boll

Grace Casey

Emily Cowan

Niles Dorn

Bailey Fike

Josh Flanagan

Chapman Hall

Cordelia Horch

Rowan Horton

Hollie Imperato

Bailey Jones

Erin Marc-Aurele

Emma Miller

Alexandra Morse

Aidan Perkinson

Carly Poulton

Henry Raker

Kyra Teboe

Autumn Thoits

Anna Webster

Emma White

Nick White

The scores were extremely good and cutoffs for each instrument were quite high. I try and remind the kids that it isn’t necessarily a reflection on their abilities.  Some rooms (flute, clarinet, alto, percussion) have a TON of kids audition who are extremely talented, most of which don’t get in. I am proud of each and every one of our musicians.

Football Pep Band

Here are the remaining dates for our involvement in the 2016 Football Season:

– Friday – November 11th – Home – Conference Championships

– Friday – November 18th – University of Maine at Orono – State Game!

– The busses are going to depart BHS at approximately 3:00 this Friday. 

– Students will need money for dinner. I am working out details for that as we speak

– They should dress according to the weather. My guess is that it will be particularly chilly. Plan accordingly PLEASE!!! I Will provide hand and toe warmers.

I believe that is all I have for this update. I look forward to seeing you at the boosters meeting on Wednesday at 6:30!

Have a great halloween!

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 10/26

Good morning all,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to give you some important information as the next couple of weeks are hectic.

Calendar Items:
Attached, please find 2 important calendars: 1) the UPDATED version of the calendar for 2016-2017, and 2) The Jazz rehearsal schedule for the next month. Please note the following:

Tonight – Wednesday:
5:00 p.m – Thursday Night Jazz Winds Sectional
6:00 p.m – Thursday Night Jazz (yes, on a Wednesday)

Tomorrow – Thursday:
Thursday JAZZ Performance for MSMA
10:45 a.m – Bus Departs BHS for Augusta Civic Center
11:30 a.m – Bus arrives at ACC
12:30 p.m – Thursday Jazz Performs for Maine School Management Association
1:00 p.m – Bus departs ACC
1:15 p.m – Lunch (please bring money)
3:00 p.m – Bus returns to BHS
5:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz Rhythm Section Sectional
6:00 p.m – Thursday Jazz with clinician

Friday – 10/28 – NO FOOTBALL GAME

Monday – 10/31 – Halloween Parade
Students will need to be dressed in costume. A quick reminder: Costumes should not interfere with their ability to march or play.
Students who opt not to dress in costume should wear the black concert pants, Memorial Day orange polo shirt, and black shoes (no sneakers)
2:30 – Bus departs BHS for BJHS
5:30 – Busses pick us up at Hawthorne School

Notes of Congratulations
As festival results begin to come in, we have many CONGRATS to send out to the various students who have been accepted:

Congratulations to the 8 BHS students who will be representing us at the All New England Band Festival at Plymouth State University!!!! They will be heading to Plymouth on Sunday, November 20th and will perform a concert on Monday, November 21st at PSU with several other musicians from across New England. This is a WONDERFUL honor. I am so proud of them.
Josie Adolf – Bass Clarinet
Sophie Blair – Percussion
Ethan Boll – Clarinet
Niles Dorn – Alto Saxophone
Sean Erwin – French Horn
Rowan Horton – Flute
Anna Webster – Tuba
Nick White – Bassoon

Also, Congrats to the following students for being selected to the 2016-2017 Maine All State Jazz Festival! This is a pretty big deal as well as competition on each instrument is very tight. These musicians have distinguished themselves as some of the very best jazz musicians in the state:
Keegan Arnold – Bass player for the SSAA Choir
Sophie Blair – Vibes in the Jazz Band
Katie Bojarski – Trombone in the Jazz Band
Ethan Boll – Bass vocalist in the Mixed Jazz Choir
Erin Marc-Aurele – Trumpet in the Honors Jazz Band
Elliott Nagler – Trombone in the jazz band
Henry Raker – Lead Alto in the jazz band
Victoria Stevens – Alto vocalist in the Mixed Jazz Choir
Kyra Teboe – Pianist in the Honors Jazz Band
Anna Webster – Bass Trombone in the Honors Jazz Band

Exciting Opportunity!
Thanks to some very hard work and energy on behalf of one of our parents, Monday, November 14th, BHS will welcome Master Sargent Michael Johnston, trumpet player with the US Jazz Ambassadors. He will be spending the day with our music program offering masterclasses and sitting in with the various ensembles. This is a truly unique and exciting opportunity for our students! Mr. Johnston is a leader in the world of trumpet performance. We are very fortunate to host him for the day and are super excited to have him working with our students.

Master Sergeant Michael Johnston, trumpet, has served as jazz trumpet soloist with the Jazz Ambassadors since 2000 and Leader of the Jazz Ambassadors Dixieland Band since 2003. He served as a member of the Concert Band of The U.S. Army Field Band from 1991 until 2000. MSG Johnston won first place at the International Trumpet Guild’s Jazz Improvisation Competition in 1989 while earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Florida, graduating in 1991. He has performed with Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderly, Louis Bellson, James Moody, Doc Severinsen, Della Reese, Harry Connick, Jr., Dianne Schuur, Natalie Cole, and the Count Basie Orchestra.
I believe that is all I have for this week. As always, thank you so much for supporting our students in the music program. We couldn’t have done it without you!!!!

Have a wonderful week.

~ Mike

Weekly Update – 10/17/16

Good morning all,

I hope this email finds you well.

I had several things for you this week that I hope you will find helpful in planning.

First, thank you all so much for making the fundraising efforts thus far such a huge success. The walking tacos have been a huge hit! We have at least two more upcoming football games that I will be emailing about. Thank you so much for all your help with this.

Calendar Updates:

Attached, please find the UPDATED version of the calendar. Please note the following:

1) All basketball games have  been included.  A quick note: if a basketball game is cancelled for any reason, we DO NOT play makeup games. 

2) May 10 – 12th, there is a “Jazz Residency” here at BHS. I will explain this better in one moment.

3) On Thursday, October 27th, the Thursday Night Jazz Ensemble will be performing for the Maine School Management Association. This is the largest gathering of school boards in the state with over 500 people planning to be in attendance. We will depart BHS at 11:00 for Augusta, perform, eat lunch, then return to BHS. The bus should be back by 3 p.m.

– Students should be dressed in performance attire. Reminder, for Jazz this means: Men – Black Suit, Solid tie, dress shoes and socks. For Ladies – All black.

4) Friday, October 28th there is NO home football Game! Due to the success (CONGRATS TO ALL OUR FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND CHEERLEADERS) of the team, they have a bye week.

5) On Friday, November 4th, there is a football game scheduled. Due to 80 + members of the music department auditioning for All State that night, the band WILL NOT be participating in the game.

Jazz Residency

BHS has been asked to host internationally known Jazz Saxophonist Dave Pietro for a three-day residency in May.  You can read more about Dave here: http://www.davepietro.com/ .  Dave is an internationally known clinician, performer, and teacher. He currently is on staff at NYU and tours throughout the globe. He is HIGHLY sought after as both a performer and a clinician. An organization known as the “Jazz Residency Initiative” has heard about the reputation of our jazz program and asked if we would be interested in having Dave come up for a three day program with our students. I jumped at the opportunity. Please note: There is a concert with our students Friday, May 12th at 7:00 p.m in Crooker. I will be updating you all as I hear more about what we are planning.  This is an INCREDIBLE opportunity for our kids. I am so amped for them to have the chance to play with and learn from an outstanding teacher.

This week:

Here is the schedule of events for this week:

– Tuesday

7:00 a.m – Morning Band

2:15 p.m – District 3 Help 

5:30 p.m – Trumpet sectional for Tuesday Jazz

6:00 p.m – Tuesday Night Jazz

– Thursday

7:00 a.m – Morning Band

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

5:30 p.m – Saxophone Sectional

6:00 p.m – Thursday Night Jazz 

Next Week:

– Monday 

– DISTRICT 3 Auditions

– Bus Departs BHS at 2:10 p.m.

– Students must have their permission slip and $8 returned THIS WEEK to us. Checks should be made out to BHS Music Department

– Students should be in shirt, tie, and dress shoes for the audition. Ladies should be dressed up. No jeans, leggings, shorts, etc should be worn.

– The bus should return by 8:15 p.m.

– Tuesday

– 7:00 a.m – morning band

– 5:30 p.m – Trombone Sectionals – Tuesday Jazz

– 6:00 p.m – Tuesday Jazz

– Wednesday

– 5:00 p.m – ALL WINDS for Thursday Night Jazz Sectional

– 6:00 p.m – Thursday Night Jazz 

– Thursday

– 11:00 a.m – Bus Departs for Maine School Management Association Performance at the Civic Center in Augusta

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

– 6:00 p.m – Thursday Night Jazz 

Cool Alumni News

For those of you who remember Evan Murray, BHS Class of 2014, he had an amazing weekend at Umaine.

The Bangor Maine Papa John’s sponsors a “field goal challenge during the half-time of University of Maine home football games.  A contestant (chosen by random drawing at the game) is given the chance to try 3 field goals of  successfully greater distance: 15 yds, 25 yds, and 35 yds. Any missed field goal and the contest is over.  If the contestant makes the first field goal everyone at the game gets a 50% discount on their Papa John’s order. If s/he makes the second field goal, the contestant wins a $500 pizza party. If the contestant makes the 35 yd field goal, s/he wins $10,000 (which has never happened in the 6 years that they’ve held the contest).  Evan was selected as the contestant at yesterday’s game.  Watch below to see what happened!


I think that is all I have for this week. I hope this has been helpful. As always, thank you so much for all you do to support our students. This is a busy couple of weeks. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL week!!!!

~ Mike

Jazz Improv Weekend

Good morning all,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to pass along a super rad opportunity that I think is worthy of all our kids.

The University of Southern Maine hosts a “Jazz Improvisation” weekend where students come and learn the facets of improvising. It meets the skill level of ANY improviser from the brand new to the highly advanced.

Info can be found here: https://usm.maine.edu/music/jazzimprov

During this event students will have the opportunity to play jazz as well as attend a variety of clinics. Clinics will focus on issues such as, you guessed it, the art of jazz improvisation, as well as issues concerning the student’s own major instrument.  A great deal of time will be spent working on jazz improvisation while performing in a combo setting. Throughout the weekend, students will have ample time to work with the USM School of Music jazz faculty.  USM jazz faculty members are, Taylor O’Donnell, voice; Bill Street and Barry Saunders, saxophones; Chris Oberholtzer, trombone; Chris Klaxton, trumpet and piano; Gary Wittner, guitar; Bronek Suchanek, bass and Les Harris Jr., drums.

Each year they bring in a guest artist to feature on a concert. This year they will be bringing the featured soloist with the U.S. Army Blues, Graham Breedlove.  Today, Washington, D.C. based Graham Breedlove is critically acclaimed as being …one of the most exciting trumpet players on the planet! –ITG Journal.  Please check out his website for more information, the address is: http://www.grahambreedlove.com/

There is a fee associated with this BUT if your student is interested, please let me know and we can work on a scholarship for them. I’d love to see as many of our students attend as possible.

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

~ Mike

Parade Today!

Good morning all,

After consulting with the other 3 band directors and checking the forecast, we will NOT be marching in the parade today. Please pass the word. The two trumpet players who are playing taps on the mall will still need to be there around 11.

Have a wonderful day.

~ Scarpone

Date Correction/ Clarification

Good morning all,

Sorry about the second email. Apparently my fingers were working faster than my brain last night.

Here is the correct list of dates:

Monday – 5/23
There is NO jazz this night

Tuesday – 5/24
7:00 a.m – Morning Band
5:30 p.m – Tuesday Night Jazz Brass Sectional
6:00 p.m – Tuesday Night Jazz

Wednesday – 5/25
5:30 p.m – Morning band warm up
6:00 p.m – Concert Band warm up for concert
6:30 p.m – Doors open for concert
7:00 p.m – Spring Concert

Thursday – 5/26
Thursday Night Jazz Rehearsal 6:00 – 8:00 p.m
(This keeps the dates I Sent out a few weeks ago on the Spring Jazz Calendar)
Sorry about the confusion.

Enjoy your day.

~ Miek

MBDA Concert Info

Good morning parents and happy snow day??? Ice day?

I hope you all had safe commutes in to work. As I sit in the office at school, I know that I would have probably been safer if I had skates attached to my car.

Attached, please find all the info regarding next weeks MBDA Concert Band festival. As I mentioned last week, the MBDA concert band festival is the state Large Group Assessment festival where the band performs for a series of adjudicators and gets “rated” based on a state standard. It is one of the most important things that we do in the year. The results get passed on to the administration and school board.

To answer a few questions:

  1. Yes, the event is open to the public. There is a small fee to MBDA (I believe $5)
  2. It is at Scarborough High School
  3. I do need 4 parents to volunteer to ride the busses. Please let me know asap

Very quickly, here is the schedule for next week so you can finalize plans:

Monday, March 28th

This is an Orange Day!

Tuesday, March 29th

7:00 – Morning Band

2:30 – Percussion Ensemble

5:30 – Tuesday Jazz Brass Sectional

6:00 – Tuesday Jazz

Wednesday, March 30th

7:00 – Morning band

2:15 – Bus departs for MBDA (see attached)

Thursday, March 31th

5:30 – Thursday Jazz Sectional – Walking and Swinging Saxophones and 3rd Trumpet

6:00 – Thursday Jazz rehearsal

A HUGE congratulations goes out to Nate Granholm, Senior Saxophonist and 4-year bandsmen.  Nate recently was awarded the Maine Principal’s Association Principal Award.  The MPA Principal’s Award honors an outstanding high school senior from a member school. Criteria are; academic excellence, outstanding school citizenship, and school leadership.  Nate was nominated by Mrs. Crofton with input from other faculty. This is a TREMENDOUS honor and we are so proud of him! Congratulations Nate and the Granholm family!

Finally, I wanted to take a moment and introduce Ms. Rose Lawrence to the BHS Music Family. Ms. Lawrence will be student teaching with me over the next 8 weeks and will be working with your son or daughter on a daily basis. Ms. Lawrence is a senior music education major at USM. She originally hails from Manchester, NH. She is an outstanding Euphonium player (as well as an accomplished trombonist and pianist) We are VERY fortunate to have her with us for the rest of her time as a student! When you see her, please take a moment to say hello.

I believe that is all I have for this week. Enjoy your weekend. If you celebrate it, have a very happy Easter. If not, take moment to get out and celebrate Maine Maple Sunday. It is such a rad event that is fun for kids and adults. (especially if you are super inquisitive about the syrup making process like I am)

Have a great weekend.

~ Mike