Greetings! I hope that your summer break has been restful. It has been an amazing break for myself as my wife, Melissa, and we have been taking care of our new son, Caius. I am returning to the Uni High program with renewed energy and passion. I cannot wait to see what this band is going to be like. We have great students, great leaders, great staff, and a great show to propel us towards success. As we begin this year, we strive to approach our band experience with positivity, open mindedness, and passion. There are so many new things – a little different schedule, a NEW FOOTBALL STADIUM, new student leaders, new music, and endless possibilities with regards to our success.
Our field show this year is entitled "This is Halloween." The pieces include "This is Halloween" from the movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven, and an original piece by our arranger T. Andre Feagin (http://faculty.utep.edu/Default.aspx?alias=faculty.utep.edu/tafeagin). We will be using both large and small props to set the mood for this fun and spooky field show. At the center of this field show, remains, great musical and visual performance and a lot of fun.
Band camp starts this week. This is a very important time for everyone that is a part of the UHS Marching Trojan Regiment (UHSMTR). We will be learning our exercises, show music, parade music, pep tunes, and marching maneuvers for our competitive field show. We will teach you everything that you need to know, but it is your job to come with a great attitude. Our success comes from every individual being the best teammate that they can be. Be prepared, work hard, and do your part to make the band better – oh, and lets have some fun while we're at it.
It's very important to be prepared each day for camp. First and foremost, you must take care of your health. Be sure to eat a full breakfast each morning since you'll need your energy. All members are required to bring a reusable water jug. Not only are plastic water bottles wasteful, they will not hold enough water for you to stay properly hydrated. I recommend at least a half gallon. Staying hydrated is crucial, since we will be spending a lot of time in the sun. Members are also required to wear a hat and sunscreen at all times. The fastest way to ruin band camp for yourself is to get sun burnt. Not only do we want you to stay healthy for your own good, we want you to be in the best performing shape so we can be the best band we can be.
Band camp takes place at University High School on August 21-23 and 26-30. The rehearsals last from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with an hour and a half lunch break starting at 12:00. August 29th will be our parent performance, where the MTR will perform what we have learned during band camp. The last day of camp (August 30th) we finish rehearsal at 12:00 pm for the day. That same evening, we have our end of band camp bonfire which takes place at Corona del Mar Beach. All members and parents are invited to come anytime from 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm. (The beach closes at 10:00 pm, so please pick-up your child promptly.) Be sure not to miss the annual burial of the staff (myself included) and drum majors.
If you still have forms or donations to turn in, please arrive by 7:30 on the first day of band camp. There will be booster parents to collect these forms and checks from you. Parents, please make sure you sign the forms. We respectfully request a donation of $225 from each member to cover the costs for the marching band season. Our marching band is funded ONLY by your donations and every member must do their part if we are to be a successful program. These donations are tax deductible, as we are recognized by the state as a non profit organization.
Music to the opener has been posted on the website under the download section. Be sure to print off and practice your parts ahead of time. Feel free to print all of your pep tune parts posted there as well. Your music should be kept in a three ring binder and you should keep it with you at all times. New warm ups will be passed out the first day of band camp.
If you are in need of an instrument, please come to Uni by 7:30 on the first day of band camp. We do our best to accommodate students' needs. We ask for a $50 rental donation per semester to maintain our instruments. If you are using a school instrument, $50 per semester is significantly less expensive than renting an instrument from a local music shop, which would be closer to $50 a month. All students using a school instrument, please submit your instrument rental donation on the first day of band camp.
Remind 101… is a mass text messaging program that I use with my groups. It allows me to text reminders to anyone who signs up for the group. Normal text fees apply (if you have unlimited texts, there is no additional fee) and will allow me to text reminders and changes to the schedule at a moments notice. Here's how it works: text "@uhsmtr" to (669)600-2065. You will be immediately added to the list. Please take a moment to subscribe this very minute.
We have a few additions to our staff this year. First of all, Jeff de Seriere will be acting as our Assistant Band Director. He is a longtime friend, woodwind specialist, and conducting graduate student at CSU Long Beach (GO BEACH!). He will be helping me with music, as well as taking on some administrative duties. Rebecca Compton-Allen will be our new pit instructor. She is moving to SoCal from Minnesota, where she has taught some top notch high school marching bands as well as Minnesota Brass. She is going to be a great addition to the team. Returning to our team is Bobby Frey and Roger Wu Fu teaching visual, Kyle Traska teaching the drumline, and Lauren Gary and Jenny Lyons teaching the Color Guard. This is the best staff we have ever had! They are ready and prepared to make band camp and our entire season a huge success.
If you have to miss any portion of band camp, please notify your section leader immediately. They will be keeping track of who is missing. It is important that everyone understands that missing rehearsal without communicating the reasons for the absence is unacceptable. We are a team, and when our teammates are missing we are not as strong. We need you at all rehearsals.
Once school begins, our rehearsal schedule is as follows:
Monday – 3:00 – 4:30
Tuesday – 3:00 – 4:30
Wednesday – 2:15 – 4:30 – IN THE STADIUM!!!!!
Friday – 3:00 – 4:30
You'll notice that there are no rehearsals on Thursday. This is a change to our schedule from previous years. It is important that students take advantage of that time to stay on top of their studies, as many teachers give exams on Fridays. Another difference from other years is that we will rehearse every Friday afternoon, whether there is a football game or not. On game days we will rehearse until 4:30, eat together (we will provide food for a nominal fee), and then get dressed and go to the game together. This will not only make the most of our time, it will be a lot of fun for game days. Please take a moment to review the calendar page of our website (http://www.unihsbands.org/calendar/) to take note of all football games, competitions, and other events. I will give instructions for School Registration Days!
Parents – we are building a tradition of parent support for the band program and every parent has a role to play. Aside from your generous donations, we ask that parents sign up to help at events. There is never enough help. Even if we have all the help we need, the cheering section for the band will always welcome you. The booster board will send emails asking for your help. All you need to do is visit the link they provide to our "MySignup.com" account to see how you can help. We are especially in need of parents with towing capabilities. We have a beautiful trailer to take to events, and very few parents that can tow it. If you have a heavy duty vehicle with towing capabilities and are available to drive our trailer, please contact me immediately.
Our success is dependent on energy, commitment, communication, generosity, and support. If we all do our fair share, we can make this the best band program in the world. I am so excited to see what we can do. If you have any questions regarding the program, please feel free to contact me through my email at CoreyHeddon@iusd.org. Many questions can also be answered by our boosters at UHSMusic@gmail.com.
Instrumental Music Director
University High School
Melissa Chang has been accepted into the NAfME All-National Honor Band! The NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States. Quite a great accomplishment! Congratulations, Melissa!
The NAfME All-National Honor Band as well as the other NAfME ensembles will perform in Nashville, Tennessee this October.