Junior High Lesson Program (Grades 7-8)
While this program was eliminated from our school schedule starting for the 2016-2017 school year, I had previously ran a pull-out instrumental group lesson program. Students were grouped by grade level and instrument on flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, low brass and percussion. At the time we had a fixed 7 period day, and the lessons rotated based on group/day/period. In our lessons we worked on technique, scales, breathing, music, and studied the etudes in “14 Weeks to a Better Band” by Roger Maxwell.
I ran this program fully for 3 years from 2013-2016 until our school moved to a new schedule with a new administration who did not support this. This has had a drastic negative impact on our program as with this the district cut 60% of instrumental music.
High School Concert Band (Grades 9-12)
Our High School Concert Band currently meets 5 out of every 7 days in our schedule rotation. Major issues with the school schedule only permit for approximately 75% of the band students to have band in their schedule so our enrollment is on the smaller side. We typically have about 35-40 students enrolled in the course, and there are always a handful or so of students who still participate. They schedule times to meet with me to work on their music prior to concerts. While this is not the best scenario, it does keep them involved. We typically perform music written at the 2-4 grade level.
Junior High Concert Band (Grades 7-8)
The Junior High Concert Band currently meets 5 out of every 7 days in our schedule rotation as well. With the current schedule issues and cuts to our group lesson program, the majority of the music we are able to handle is the .5-1 grade level. Anything above that is difficult for the students to handle. Prior to 2016 we were capable of performing music at a 1-2 grade level.
After School Ensembles
The Jazz Program at Millbury features two ensembles. The first being Jazz I which is filled by auditions. It is our goal to maintain an official full big band instrumentation and study music from grade level 2-5. Each year the group either competes at the Great East Festival, or attends an overnight trip to compete at another festival. Annually we have hosted a “Jazz Night” featuring many great jazz artists from local Big Bands, Collegiate Ensembles, and world renowned guest artists. We have taken a lot of pride in our annual Jazz Night, and it has become one of the pinnacles of our program. Over the years we have received many Local Cultural Council Grants to fund these events as well as financial support from our Music Parents Association. We have also created live professional recordings of performances and performed on the local cable access.
The second group is a small jazz combo giving the elite stronger players an avenue to grow in different ways and work on reading chord changes and soloing.
Percussion Ensemble/Indoor Percussion
For the winters of 2007 and 2008 I ran a full competitive indoor percussion ensemble which competed in the NESBA competition circuit. After 2008, I shifted gears and started a concert percussion ensemble that has performed concerts each year since. Through either grants or the Music Parents Association, I have been able to fund a “Night of Percussion” concert which showcases the ensemble, and a ensemble that I founded with some friends, the MBD Percussion Group. The MBD Percussion Group is a group of 4-10 local area professional percussionists that get together to provide clinics, assemblies, and concerts for many school districts each year. It has been a fun way to continue to stay active on my instrument. Although I am lucky enough to play out regularly, the majority of my work does not necessarily always challenge me as a classical percussionist. This gives me an outlet to stay current with literature, and make sure my percussion skills do not go to waste.
General Music Classes
This is a basic introduction to the world of Music Theory. In this course, students are introduced to reading notation, key signatures, scales, intervals, chords, 4 part harmony and writing. Students also work to develop their Aural Skills with sight singing and dictation exercises. In this course we use the web based notation program Noteflight.
Introduction to Musical Theater and Production
This is a relatively new course that ran for the first time in 2016-2017. I designed this entire course geared towards a new school “Arts Requirement”. In this class, we study the theater, the history of it, different jobs, shows and learn all about set-design, costuming, and make-up as we get to put our skills in use with assisting our school’s drama programs.
Grade 7 & 8 “Orbitals” (Music Exploration Course)
These courses are offered as an exploratory course into the music subject matter. The focus is on music notation and reading skills as well as learning about the many different genres and historical music periods as well as learning about Music Technology. We spend a large amount of time using technology with programs such as Soundtrap, Noteflight, and Audacity.
Junior High Chorus: 2006-2008