2018 5th Grade Band Recruiting Information
Prospective Bucyrus 5th Grade Band Parents;

Thank you for your interest in Bucyrus City Schools' Instrumental Music Programs, which include the 5th Grade Band, MS Bands, High School Concert Band, High School Pep Band, and the Bucyrus High School Xband (http://bucyrusband.com/page/Xband.html), which is the only performing group of it's type in the area, using a mix of guitars, horns, vocals, and pop/ rock music to entertain audiences for the past 12 years  Recently, the Xband placed 6th from a field of hundreds of bands at the 2017 Tri-C High School Rock Off at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland.

The BHS Marching Band is our most visible group, performing at local parades, football games, and most recently in the 2016 Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade for a live audience of close to two million.  These types of trips are traditionally planned every 4 years, ensuring that every high school band member will have the opportunity to travel and perform with the Marching Band.

In this letter, we hope to address a few things...the first being misconceptions about band.  Very simply:

1.  You CAN be in band AND choir.
2.  Starting in Middle School (and continuing through High School), you CAN be in band...AND choir…AND cheerleading…AND a sport.  Many people have worked very hard to ensure that this continues to remain possible.
3.  There are music scholarships for college.  Some are significant, and many of our past (and hopefully future) students have earned them.
4. The only instrument we limit is percussion (drums). After a playing test, band members will be invited to play drums in the order of their 4th grade state test scores.

Our instrumental music program is designed as an 8 year program, starting in 5th grade, and ending at graduation.  Each year your child is involved, we should see improvement.  The greatest improvement happens between the date the instrument is delivered to your child, and their year-end concert in April or May next year.  This is due to the fact that we are moving (in most cases) from absolutely no experience, to the point of knowing 6-8 notes and 6-8 different rhythms.  In 6th grade, you and your child may feel that progress has slowed, but in most cases that is only in relation to the jump experienced in 5th grade.

As a 5th and/ or 6th grade band member, the most important aspect of playing in the band is learning (then KNOWING) notes (their fingering combinations) and rhythms.  To stay on track, your child will need your support...which often means 20-30 minutes of playing at home every week.  Any playing is good, but we recommend playing from the lesson book all band members will have.

Let's be honest:  It may not be pretty at first, and will require patience on everyone's part.  Your 5th grader will be excited to start learning, but also very easily discouraged. That may remain true through 6th grade.  In 7th grade, whatever the reason, band members have either learned all the necessary notes and rhythms, or they have started to slip.  In this case, we will be happy to work with you and your child to come up with a plan to get back on track.

With your support, you will start to notice that the sounds you are hearing during their home practices (which may be requiring less time by now) are starting to sound more like you may have expected.  This is what we call "good news."  :>)

From that point on, their improvement should continue because they have learned how to learn music, and we can start to enjoy the rewards of patience.  The travel and performance opportunities mentioned earlier are right around the corner in high school, and that is when we can really start looking forward to your children doing impressive things with their instruments, their skills, and their knowledge. Band members develop leadership, time management, and problem-solving skills in addition to their musical development, and those are probably the most valuable skills as they work their way through school and whatever comes after.

Your child will be provided with a copy of Rettig Music’s rent-to-own plan. Rettig Music has stores located in Toledo, Lima, Defiance, and Dublin, and they send a representative to Bucyrus once a week in order to pick up any instruments that may need to be sent in for repairs. New instruments may be purchased or rented (to own) from Rettig Music by calling 1-800-52-MUSIC (there will be a meeting with details at 7PM on October 2 in the BES Auditorium). We will also be happy to inspect any quality used instruments that you may already have in your possession, so that we can tell you what kinds of repairs, if any, are needed. Quality used instruments are also available from a number of sources, and if you have questions about where to find them, please let the directors know.

Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Amazon sell band instruments. There are also a number of plastic instruments appearing on the market. Unfortunately ALL of the instruments we have seen from these sources are either seriously flawed right out of the box, or will be within a year’s time. If you decide NOT to rent an instrument from Rettig Music, the following instrument brand names are the only ones that are ”safe”:

King Conn Selmer Bach Bundy Buffet
Olds Geimenhardt Yamaha Armstrong Keilwirth Getzen
Blessing Dynasty Besson Jupiter

We want everyone to be a part of the band. The Bucyrus Band Parents and directors send out reminders and notifications from time to time, so please provide your email address on the slip below, or send a short message to Mr. Shifley or Mr. Fiske so we have your address (gshifley@bucyrusschools.org or mfiske@bucyrusschools.org). Also, please consider joining the Bucyrus Band Parents Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/bucyrusbandparents/. They are a fun, energetic group, and are responsible for funding most of the instrumental music programs through their important fundraising projects. Thank you for taking the time to read, and please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to working with your kids for years to come.


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