August 8, 2020

Dear WR Music Students & Parents,


I hope you are all well and THANK YOU for your patience while we sort out everything involved with the reopening of school in our distance learning format. Many of the details on what school will look like did not take shape until just the last week and we have all been working extremely hard to get everything ready for Tuesday. We will be ready and are so excited to see the students (even through monitors) once again!


I have received numerous emails over the last few weeks asking what band/colorguard will look like and hopefully this email will answer those questions. While it is going to be different than what we are all used to, everyone involved with the music program is dedicated to giving students the best experience possible.


Let’s start by discussing the schedule. First, students who have a during the day music class (Concert Band P.6, Symphonic Band P.5, Wind Ensemble P.4, Concert Orchestra P. 3, or Chamber Orchestra P.2) will attend those classes virtually at the time scheduled on the Distance Learning bell schedule. Here is a link to that schedule for anyone who needs it:


All students will receive invitations from either myself or Mr. Leff to each of their music program Google Classrooms by the end of the day Monday. Students, click on these links and join the classrooms prior to Tuesday. All information for our class meetings, including the links to our Zoom classroom meetings, will be posted in Google Classroom. Be sure to join the classroom or you will not be able to access the live stream. Also, attendance will be taken during every class meeting, so students are required to login for each class meeting.


For marching band and colorguard classes, the schedule is a bit different. These two classes will be meeting on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm-3:30pm. For this coming week, there is no school on Monday, so we will be having class on Tuesday afternoon rather than Monday (class this week only is Tuesday/Thursday from 2pm-3:30pm).


For our first class meeting, given the size of the group, I need to ask that students login according to this schedule:


2:00 PM:         All Woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, saxophones) & Colorguard (Zoom link will be in Google classroom)


2:45 PM:         All Brass (trumpets, horns, baritones, tubas) & Percussion----- (Zoom link will be in Google classroom)


We will go over the activities we have planned for the semester during these initial class meetings, but I would like to share a few things that we have planned with everyone.


  • Sectionals --- Yes, they will happen weekly during our class time. The exact format and expectations for these are being worked out and more details are to come.

  • Performances!!! While we cannot get together to perform in person, we are looking forward to producing some “virtual concerts” for this semester. Our plan is to do at least one collaborative marching piece with the entire Hart District. We will also be working on our show “unTANGOed” and hope to produce parts of that virtually. Finally, we are hoping to do at least one piece for each of our concert bands. Our goal is that by the end of the semester every student will have a few videos of themselves playing as part of the group that they can share with friends and families. If you are not familiar with what a virtual concert is, here is an example:


And yes, our plan is also to include the Colorguard in this with written choreography to complement the music.

  • Team-building is a huge part of band and something that we have been missing since distance learning began. We will be focusing on this as part of our class meetings so when we come back together we are ready to hit the ground running as a connected, unified team.

  • We want everyone playing their instruments (or working on equipment) on a regular basis---that’s why you are in the music program! Activities that we are designing for class time will allow you to spend the majority of your time doing what you love (playing/performing), not doing busy work.


Soon we will have more details out to families on our fall donation, what to do if you need equipment, and our first band and colorguard booster meeting. Also, jazz students can expect to hear from Mr. Leff prior to class beginning on Tuesday with details about jazz classes. I’m sure many people have questions and I will do my best to answer all of these during our first class meeting on Tuesday.


Thank you all again. Regardless of the circumstances, we are going to have an amazing year and I’m so excited to work with you all.


See everyone on Tuesday!

Mr. Marshall