Band News (week of 11/19-11/25)

Hey Falcons! Please see below from Mr. Bond's email for the week of Monday (11/19) through Sunday (11/25)...

Good Afternoon,

Good luck to the Falcon football team as they take on Elkins tonight! If we win this game, I will send out information as soon as possible regarding our next game. If you have not already done so, please let me know of any absences due to travel so we can plan accordingly.


Monday, November 26 – See Charms

Tuesday, November 27 – Solo and Ensemble Music Fair at MRHS 9th Grade Commons from 3pm-7pm

See Charms for other events

Wednesday, November 28 – See Charms

Thursday, November 29 – Required Indoor Percussion Meeting at 6:15pm in the Band Hall

See Charms for other events

Friday, November 30 – Region Band Auditions – Phase 1

Open Guard Rehearsal with Mr. Broadbent from 3pm-9pm

Saturday, December 1 – Region Band Auditions – Phase 2, Single Phase and Freshman

Open Guard Rehearsal with Mr. Broadbent from 9am-9pm

Region Band Auditions

Region band auditions will take place over multiple days this week at Paetow High School. Students will fall into at least one of the following three categories: Two Phase, Single Phase, or Freshman. Details for each phase are listed below.

Two Phase

Two phase auditions are for instruments where there are a large number of students participating and require two rounds of auditions. This includes Flutes, Bb Clarinets, Alto Saxes, Trumpets, Horns, Tenor Trombones, Tubas and Percussion. The schedule for these auditions is detailed below:

Friday, November 30 at 6:00 pm (5:30 pm meeting in room)

If a student is in the top of their room after the phase one audition, they will participate in the second phase of their audition on Saturday morning starting at 9 am (8:30 am meeting in room). Select students at the top of their second phase room will advance to the area contest in January.

Single Phase

Single phase auditions are for all instruments not listed above. These students will only have to audition on Saturday morning beginning at 9 am (8:30 am meeting in room) at PHS. Region band and area spots will be determined in that single audition.


Freshman region band auditions will take place for all instruments on Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 pm (12:30 pm meeting in room) at PHS. If a freshman student is also auditioning for the full region band and makes it, they will not participate in the freshman audition.

Please understand that due to the nature of the auditions, I cannot give you a firm time on when each round will be over. Typically an audition room with 30 students will take around 3 hours.

On Monday, we will talk with all of the students about auditioning and tips for success in this process.

Solo and Ensemble Music

Even though Solo and Ensemble is not until the end of February, it is time for each musician to begin thinking about what they’d like to play at the contest. All students are required to perform a solo and are strongly encouraged to perform in a small ensemble.

If you are participating in the private lessons program, your lessons teacher should help you to decide what music to play at the contest. If you are not in lessons, you may play any solo of your choosing off of the UIL PML Whether you are in lessons or not, all of the directors are available to help you through this process. JWPepper will be setting up a display on November 27 at MRHS and you are highly encouraged to go browse through the music there. If you do not purchase your music at the solo and ensemble music fair, you can do so at, and

Choosing appropriate music is 90% of the battle. When looking at music, ask yourself these questions:

-What is the range required to play the piece?

-What are the technical demands of the music?

-If it is a multi-movement piece, what movements are required? Sometimes, you can play less movements for a lower class. This is specified on the PML.

-When was the music written? A lot of newer music (certainly not all) can be deceptively difficult because it’s not as easy to hear or put together with the piano accompanist. For example, Mozart is going to be much more straightforward and tonal than Hindemith will be.

-This is the most important question. How much time do you realistically have to prepare this music? Be honest with yourself on this. The more time you are able to spend preparing the music, the more challenging the music can be.

When choosing an ensemble, be sure you are playing in a group with people that you trust and are committed to the success of the ensemble. It can be extremely frustrating when one person in a quintet decides they are not going to prepare or consistently misses rehearsals. This leaves the other four in a tough situation because their success is being affected by one person.

UIL requires that all performers provide an original copy (no photocopies) of their solo to their judge when they perform. You are, however, allowed to perform off of a photocopy. Once you purchase your music, make a copy of the solo part and put it away. The only thing you should write on the original music is your name, “Tompkins High School Band”, and the measure numbers. I will take up your original solo part and piano part by December 9. THIS WILL BE YOUR FINAL EXAM GRADE.

Jingle Jam

Information for the upcoming Jingle Jam March-A-Thon can be found on the band website at This year the event will take place inside Cinco Ranch Northwest (9 am) and Pine Mill Ranch (1 pm), with plans for lunch in between. If you live along the route and would like to purchase a concert, please go to the website and do so.

Students will need to have a red or green shirt for the march-a-thon. The only writing on the shirt should be holiday related. Otherwise the shirt should be blank. Students will also be allowed to “decorate” their instruments with lights (only). Please be smart about this and don’t do anything that is going to damage your instrument. Also, be aware that you will need to have battery power for the lights, as you will not be able to plug them into an outlet while you are marching.

Upcoming Concerts

For the holiday concert on December 13, students will need to wear “Sunday best” clothes. This means slacks, dress shirt, tie, and dress shoes for gentlemen and a dress, skirt and blouse, or dress pants and dress shirt for ladies (no open toe shoes). If you do not currently have the necessary clothing, this may be a good week to go out and get what you need with all of the holiday sales going on.

Students will also need specific clothing for our formal concerts in the spring. The band will provide gentlemen with a tuxedo jacket, pants and bow tie. You will need to provide a white tuxedo shirt and black dress shoes. The band will provide ladies with a dress. You will need to provide black, closed toe flat dress shoes.


If you’re looking for a holiday gift for your favorite Falcon fan, please consider buying them an OTHS blanket from the band boosters! The blankets are super comfortable and they will love it! Cost is $65 per blanket and can be picked up in the band hall. There are only a few left, so get your soon!