Welcome to the 2017 - 2018 Cardinal Heights Newsletter.  This will feature every month’s news, with the most recent at the top.  Scroll down to find previous month’s newsletters!

FROM Cardinal Heights Band                                                December 2017

CHUMS December Concert – Monday Dec. 18th  @ High School PAC!

The High School and Cardinal Heights will share the PAC stage for the Winter Concert.  

*Students will be responsible for transportation of their instrument to and from this concert.  Please plan ahead and let us know if you are in need of assistance.  

Solo & Ensemble Season is coming! – Saturday February 10, 2018 @ Prairie View

Students have all selected a solo or duet for this important project.  This is a long-term project to help foster individual musicianship and growth.  

Students have 2 options for their performance grade:

  1. Saturday 2/10/18 – at the official WSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival, Prairie View
  1. Fees are involved to cover registration and optional medals
  1. Thursday 2/8/18 – Solo Night @ CHUMS, 3 – 6pm
  1. There are no fees involved for Solo Night
  2. This is designed for students who are not able to attend on Saturday or would prefer a different option

Help Needed!

Email -  knrush@sunprairieschools.org   OR  sign up on-line at https://goo.gl/Hs2AWk

***Please consider helping out to make this event a success on Saturday February 10, 2018.  It takes a couple hundred volunteers to put on this festival between donating food, being a door monitor, helping in the cafeteria, and helping set up and teardown.***

Cardinal Heights Jazz Dates:

Upcoming Dates:

Thank you!

Joe Mesner

Ian Melrose

FROM Cardinal Heights Band, November 2017

It is exciting to witness all of the growth by band students at Cardinal Heights this fall.  Typically our students experience an increase in the momentum of their musical evolution as we approach the second quarter of the year.  Hopefully you are hearing thoughtful and goal oriented practice at home.  Practice is an investment in progress and growth.  Consistent practice leads to consistent progress and growth.

Cardinal Height Jazz has Begun!

Jazz ensembles auditioned at the end of September and began rehearsing in early October.  We are pleased to have 2 jazz ensembles that allow all interested students to learn the great American art of jazz. Both groups are gearing up for our first performance scheduled for Saturday December 2nd as part of the annual Big Band Dance at Angell Park Pavilion.  

Please help us begin rehearsals on time by having students at the school no later than 6:50am.

Cardinal Heights Jazz I: - Director: Mr. Melrose

Rehearsals: Monday & Thursdays 7:00 – 7:45am

Cardinal Heights  Jazz II:- Director: Mr. Mesner

Woodwinds & Brass rehearse Tuesday and Friday 7:00-7:45 a.m.

Rhythm section rehearses Wednesday and Friday 7:00-7:45 a.m.

Sun Prairie Middle School Honor Band (8th & 9th Grade):

We are pleased to welcome Jason Flaks (Geneva, IL) & Dr. Phil Ostrander  (UW-Eau Claire) as our guest conductors for this year’s honor bands.  This honor band is an opportunity to work with outstanding educators, learn new concepts, meet other students that share similar interests, and put together a challenging concert in only 1 rehearsal.

Saturday November 18th
8:30am - Registration

6:30pm - Concert (open to public)

We will be needing a handful of volunteers that day to help with registration, serving meals, and general help.  Stay tuned for more specifics and times and talents we could use - check the SPBB Volunteer Calendar for all sorts of ways to help out: http://www.spbb.org/volunteer-calendar1.html

CHUMS December Concert – Monday Dec. 18th  @ High School PAC!

The High School and Cardinal Heights will share the PAC stage for the Winter Concert.  

*Students will be responsible for transportation of their instrument to and from this concert.  Please plan ahead and let us know if you are in need of assistance.  

Sun Prairie Band Booster Fundraisers:

Band Fundraisers do 2 great things – they help raise funds for the band boosters, that in turn go back to boost your child’s music education through clinics, concerts, and other opportunities.  Students can also earn credit towards their individual ledger as a part of fundraising.  Many students fully pay for their clinics or tours through SPBB fundraisers.

Cardinal Heights Band clinics and tours this year include:

Current fundraisers include:

Please see Mr. Melrose or go to spbb.org for more information!


Joe Mesner, Ian Melrose

FROM Cardinal Heights Band, September & October 2017


We would like to welcome all of the 8th and 9th grade families to the Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School band program and our “vision of students as accomplished learners and evolving musicians in pursuit of artistry.”  

Band Lessons:

Sun Prairie Band Booster Lesson Academy

The Sun Prairie Band Booster Lesson Academy has been created to provide convenient access to quality private instrument instruction for students in the Sun Prairie Band Program.  The program is designed to give students access to one-on-one instruction on their instrument with professional musicians/teachers that specialize on specific instruments right at Cardinal Height after school on Tuesdays. Students will focus on fundamental skills that are particular to his or her instrument.  Instructors provide individualized assignments and instruction specific to the student’s particular abilities.  The benefits of private instrument instruction include; accelerated study of instrument technique and repertoire, preparation of audition materials, or study of subjects of particular interested (e.g. solo literature or improvisation).  Private study is a powerful tool in supporting musical growth in students.  This program is organized by the Sun Prairie Band Boosters as a service to band students in Sun Prairie Schools.  

Learn more about the Sun Prairie Band Booster Lesson Academy at http://www.spbb.org/spbb-lesson-academy.html 

Sun Prairie Honors Band - just around the corner (audition recordings due October 18 - festival on November 18)

In 2004 the Sun Prairie Honor Band began and included students from each school in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. In 2014 the event expanded by inviting students from other area schools to audition by recording and adding a 9th  & 10th grade band to create the “Sun Prairie Honors Bands”.  The festival includes two bands, one consisting of 7th & 8th grade students and another consisting of 9th & 10th grade students.  The goal is to provide inspiring musical opportunities for our 7th, 8th,9th, & 10th grade band students.  Lunch, Dinner, a festival T-shirt, and a commemorative DVD are included as part of the tuition.

Learn more about the Sun Prairie Honors Band at http://www.spbb.org/sun-prairie-honors-band.html

Cardinal Heights Jazz!

Jazz season will be kicking off shortly with auditions for jazz bands at the Upper Middle School.  There is a place for everyone; the audition helps place students in an appropriate ensemble. Students interested in participating in jazz band will audition by performing “Blues by Five,” some sight-reading, and the option of soloing over a Bb blues.    For more information please visit http://www.spbb.org/chums-jazz-audition-page-2017.html

Auditions will take place September 25 - 28 and rehearsals will begin October 2nd.  

Jazz I will rehearse Mondays and Thursdays 7:00-7:45am.  

Jazz II:  Saxophone, trumpet & trombones rehearse Tuesday and Friday 7:00-7:45 a.m.

              Rhythm section rehearses Wednesday and Friday 7:00-7:45 a.m.

Music Uniforms:

All Upper Middle School students should have been fitted for a concert uniform.  The school will provide black tuxedo pants, black vest, and black tie for gentlemen.  Gentlemen are responsible for providing their own white collared shirt (long sleeves), black socks (calf length), and black shoes.  The school will provide a floor length black dress for ladies.  Ladies are responsible for providing their own black dress shoes.  

Instructions on care and hemming music uniforms are available at our website:  spbb.org/cardinal-heights-bands, under downloads.

Fundraising Opportunity for Band:

The Sun Prairie Band Boosters are an essential component of the Sun Prairie Band Program.  One of the ways they “boost” the program is through fundraisers that help support numerous programs, including bringing in guest artists and conductors.  One of the projects the Band Boosters has supported at Cardinal Heights is a conductor in residency program.  This program has brought nationally recognized conductors to Sun Prairie to work with Cardinal Heights students.   Students can also earn credit to their individual band ledger that can be used for field trips, summer camps, and Sound of Sun Prairie fees.  For more information please visit, spbb.org and click on “Band Boosters” at the top.

Their current fund raiser is selling Bucky books – available from Mr. Melrose – ipmelro@sunprairieschools.org

Wind Symphony & 9th Grade Band Lock-In, Oct. 20-21:

Both the Wind Symphony and 9th Grade Band will host a “lock-in rehearsal” on Friday, October 20  and Saturday, October 21.  Students report to the band room at 4pm on 10/20and can be picked up Saturday 10/21 at 8am.  Students will participate in teambuilding, rehearsals, sectionals, guest clinicians, and games throughout the evening and spend the evening at Cardinal Heights.  More information about the schedule and what to pack will be sent home with students.  

If you are interested in chaperoning (the few, the proud, the chaperons!) please contact Mr. Mesner – jrmesne@sunprairieschools.org.  

Upcoming Dates

Thank You!

Thank you very much to all of the parents who continue to make Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School a success.  Sun Prairie has a long and outstanding tradition of fine bands and great learning opportunities through band.  We are thrilled to continue this tradition at the Upper Middle School and would like to express our gratitude to all of the families that make Sun Prairie a special place for bands and students.  Your help and support make a difference for young people in our program.  Thank you and we hope you are looking forward to a great year of band at the Upper Middle School.    


Joe Mesner, Ian Melrose