Band Update – 4/27/20


I know the news that both Ms. Edwards and I are leaving at the end of the year brings a flood of emotions: sadness, anger, worry, fear… Trust me, the feelings are the same on this side too! This has been HARD for all of us.
I can reassure you of a couple of things:

  • There are no ill-feelings or “wanting to get out” of the district. There are no issues “behind the scenes.” We all know this district is wonderfully supportive of the music program. Both moves are honestly what is best for us, coming at the absolute worst timing. The program is in great shape and will be easy for someone to come in and take over.
  • I am planning on being around most of the summer to assist with the transition. There have been some fantastic folks (who I consider friends) who have applied, and I’m confident we’ll find the right person to take the helm!
  • All planning for Marching 100 and the 2020 season is continuing as it needs to. Nothing will fall through the cracks – we just need to get past the stay at home orders! Marching 100 will obviously not be beginning as usual, but there will be the time to get rolling over the summer. Once we get the clear to do so, we’ll make the plans!

You all know, but I love this program, the students, and their families dearly. Please trust that I cannot and will not leave you in a tough spot. It is such a great time to be in the Alton High School band program – I know that everyone will welcome the new directors with open arms and help them move forward. Once we can all see each other again it will be so much easier!

Moving on:

  • We’ve started posting a Google Classroom update for each week – it’s really just a couple of things each week – a weekly practice form, small assignment on Sight Reading Factory, and working on SmartMusic.
  • With the remote learning, we have moved to Sight Reading Factory and SmartMusic. These subscriptions are free through this pandemic, so we really need all students to sign up. Instructions are below:
    • Create a student account on
    • Activate your SmartMusic account by clicking the link that was sent to your email. Didn’t get an email? Contact Ms. Edwards! (a lot of these emails are going to spam).
      • Your class in SmartMusic will be your respective band. You can access play along tracks, warm ups, sight reading, and different pieces of music. As you play along with this website, it will give you real-time feedback on note/rhythmic accuracy. 
      • Your login is your Last name + Band + 2020
      • No one else has the same last name: EdwardsBand2020
      • Same last name: First letter of name +Last name + Band + 2020- AEdwardsBand2020

Marching 100:

  • With the cancellation of in person schooling for the remainder of the year, we don’t know what that means for Marching 100. For right now, all activities are on hold until we are told otherwise. This means no drumline/color guard auditions, no 1-2 camp, nothing. We will get up and running as soon as it is safe to do so!
  • The student leadership applications have been received! We’ve got some great candidates. We are going to push off interviews until May.
  • All of the paperwork (calendar, handbook, accessories orders, med form) was emailed out on Wednesday, 4/8. You can find them at this post as well: M100 2020 Kickoff
  • M100 Drumline – Ms. Edwards posted the drumline audition info. on the percussion Google Classroom on Monday, 3/23. It includes dates and music to start looking at. *Please know all dates have changed, but we’re going to try to keep everything moving as much as we can. If you’d like help on the packet, just email Ms. Edwards!

Ms. Edwards and I are available from 8am-12noon each day for students:

  • We are checking email regularly
  • I’ve turned my Google phone number back on – students can call or text if they have questions or need help with anything. They can call or text it at 314-472-5538. It rings to my cell phone!
  • Students can reply to Remind texts

That’s it – have a great week.