x_102038_Wind Ens 2

Wind Ensemble

  • School Shutdown Information 


    April 13th Assignment:

    Critical Listening Assignment (due Monday 4/20 by noon):          As you know, the district is starting new learning this week.  One of the best skills musicians should develop is their critical listening.  You are all accomplished musicians who have developed opinions about music you like or don’t like.  The challenge is to describe why that is.  So this week, I’d like you to choose 2 clips from the following list of important band pieces to give structured feedback on.  I’d recommend skimming each clip to hear which 2 catch your ear as being interesting, then open the google doc link to see what questions are being asked. Answer the questions after listening/watching the complete clip.  Complete the same questions for both of the pieces you select.  This assignment will be marked as complete/incomplete in Infinite Campus.  Here are the assignment link and list of youtube clips to choose from.



    El Camino Real (Alfred Reed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPYmrapNgxo

    Divertimento For Band (Vincent Persichetti) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lxprax3pZp0

    Incantation and Dance (John Barnes Chance) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCeyOWLcq1Y

    Chorale and Alleluia (Howard Hanson) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khFP8UepTn0

    March from Symphonic Metamorphosis (Paul Hindemith) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOubQdWehRI

    Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral (Richard Wagner, arr. Cailliet) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU7xohtrMmg

    Shine (Julie Giroux) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx_8olXcGCg

    Children’s March, “Over the Hills and Far Away” (Percy Grainger) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVGNzmRWqM0


    Smart Music Reminder:                A number of you have already submitted playing assignments through Smart Music.  I would encourage you to work on the assigned sections and record yourself through the program when ready.  Don’t worry about the red note/green note designation (as it is very picky with accuracy).  I’m not concerned with percentage correct, but rather just hearing if you are getting the piece down.  There will be more playing assignments through Smart Music in the future, so I want to be sure you are all getting used to using the program now.  Directions for creating an account were e-mailed previously and are also on my website.





    April 7th Message:

    I had a lot of fun putting together this video message just to say hello.  Enjoy and be well.




    Message 2 

    Dear Wind Ensemble Members,


    I hope you are all doing well and keeping your spirits up while staying safe at home.  I so look forward to the time when we can come together again and have fun making some great music.  Hopefully, you have been working on getting The Marriage of Figaro up to performance tempo and are ready for the next challenge.  To meet that challenge, you should sign up for free Smart Music (if you haven’t already done so) by doing the following:

    1. Open a Chrome browser and visit: https://admin.smartmusic.com/join
    2. When prompted for a class code, please enter: PDWY2-HHFJY


    We are going to start looking at one of the all-time classic pieces of the wind band repertoire (which is also a piece suggested by you back in the fall): Ralph Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite.  Start by listening to the recording by the United States Marine Band that I posted on my webpage.  Go to Curricular Ensembles, then Wind Ensemble, then Listening Examples.  Once you get a sense of the whole piece (all 3 movements), find your part on the attachment and listen again to the first movement (March: Seventeen Come Sunday) while following your specific part.  To help you get a sense of the original folk song, I created a lead sheet for everyone to learn the melody and to see the story of courtship behind the piece.  Find your appropriate transposition to learn the melody (attached).

    Once you have the first movement in your ear and have started looking at your part, then you will be ready to try out the assignments in Smart Music.  You will see the following 4 assignments:

    1. Movement 1 from measures 1-64
    2. Movement 1 from measures 64-96
    3. Movement 1 from measures 97-end
    4. Run-through the entire 1st movement

    Your goal should be to play with accuracy and confidence under tempo and then to speed up each section to the performance tempo of 104.  When you are ready, try the 4th assignment and run the entire movement.


    Dig in and have fun!


    Message 1

    I hope you have settled into a routine at home that works for you and part of that routine should be spending some time enjoying making music on your instrument.  It is my sincere hope that we will be together again soon.  In the meantime, I hope you will continue to learn and grow from some of the greatest wind band literature that exists.

    My first challenge to you is to get The Marriage of Figaro up to performance speed (half note = 144).  The original orchestral recording is on my website under the Wind Ensemble, Listening Examples page and the sheet music is attached below here.  This goal is more easily achieved with the brass and percussion parts than with the woodwind parts.  That is why my second challenge to you is to learn a part that is different from the part you already know (i.e. clarinet 3 learn clarinet 1, flute or percussion learn oboe, trombone learn bassoon, trumpet learn clarinet, etc.).  To truly understand a great piece of literature, you need to see/hear how all parts work together.  Again, all parts are attached below.

    Mozart’s Marriage of Fiagaro overture is one of the world’s most recognizable melodies, which is why this joke from the original Willy Wonka movie works so well.  Enjoy.


    Take care, be safe and have fun making music!



    The Wind Ensemble is an audition-based group for select students in grades 10 – 12 that meets daily during 5th period in the large ensemble rehearsal room.  This group is the culmination of all prior musical training and the most elite ensemble in the district’s band program.  The Wind Ensemble has scheduled performances on the following dates:



    November 6, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHS auditorium 

    December 2019 Seasonal lunchtime performance in the MHS commons

    January 2020 rehearsal/clinic with the BRMS 8th grade band (TBD)

    February 27, 2020 District Band Festival at 7:00 p.m. in the MHS gymnasium

    March 3, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHS auditorium

    April 17-19, 2020 Tentative Music Trip Dates (location TBA)

    April 28 or 29, 2020 NYSSMA Major Organization Evaluation in Spencerport

    May 25, 2020 Memorial Day ceremony at 10:00 a.m. in the Pittsford Cemetery

    June 9, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHS auditorium

    June 11, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHS auditorium (select WE members with full orchestra)

    June 27, 2020 Graduation Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. in the RIT Gordon Field House



    These performances are formal presentations of our work and, with any formal occasion, our students are expected to present themselves in a formal way through their demeanor and their attire.  This directly reflects each students understanding of Pittsford’s curricular goal of quality performance presentation.  Students are expected to wear the following in performance:



    Women:  formal black gown, black shoes                      

    Measurements will be taken at school in September.  Orders will be placed through

    Incognito: Premier Men's Resale Clothier in Penfield (586-7846).

    Pricing:           $69.00 (does not include $20 hemming cost if needed)


    Men:  tuxedo, black shoes

    Measurements will be taken at school in September.  Orders will be placed through Incognito: Premier Men's Resale Clothier in Penfield (586-7846).

    Pricing:           Tux yearly rental $89.95      Tux purchase $179.95

                              Shoe yearly rental $20.00    Shoe purchase $39.95



    In preparation for these performances, it is expected that students demonstrate a desire to succeed.  This desire becomes evident in each student's daily contribution to rehearsals, attitude and openness to constructive criticism, weekly preparation and skill reinforcement, and musical growth in lessons.  Students will receive grades on their lesson preparation and progress weekly.  In addition, students will be evaluated on performance and written skill assessments every 2-3 lessons.  It is expected that students will attend regularly scheduled lessons weekly, however make up opportunities will be available should conflicts arise.  Enrichment opportunities are also available (see link). 



    School owned instruments, mouthpieces and accessories that are borrowed for the year are expected to be returned in the same condition that they were when assigned to the student.  Maintenance due to normal wear and tear will be paid for by the school, however the cost of damage due to neglect or carelessness must be paid for by the borrower.  A record of the item borrowed (including brand and serial number as well as the condition in which it was assigned) is kept each September for comparison.


    I would highly encourage the advanced musicians of the Wind Ensemble to share their talents with other musical organizations (jazz groups, pit orchestra, pep band, solo festivals, all-county and all-state festivals) to broaden their experience and expertise.


    Each student’s commitment to their own personal excellence makes them a valued member of the Wind Ensemble.  Pooling these individual talents and striving for collective mastery of musical skills creates a deeply meaningful artistic experience and provides cherished memories for a lifetime.

Wind Ensemble

Performance Bow

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