Fort Nelson, BC

Saturday, September 24, 2016
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Music Notes: June 13

Posted on Sunday, June 12 at 19:56

Hi Everyone:

Year in Review: Wow – its been a busy but awesome year! I am so proud of how far everyone has come over the last year and want to extend a huge thank-you to students and parents who helped make all our events such a success. It wouldnt be possible with out your support. Here is a summary of what the Music Department has accomplished over the last 10 months  

  • September: New grade 5 band students, Sandbagging, Bingo
  • October: Band Sleepover, Chocolate Sales, RLA T-Shirts Halloween Concert, Spookerama
  • November: Remembrance Day Ceremony Performances, Bingo
  • December: Breakfast with Santa, Two Christmas Concerts  
  • January: Community Musical, Bingo,
  • February: Flamingoing, Greek Dinner
  • March: Spring Concerts
  • April: FSJ Trip (Gr 6/7, Jr. Jazz – Silver, Gr 5 – Bronze), GP Trip (Tour Band, Sax Quartet – Gold, Jazz – Silver)
  • May: Hawaii Trip
  • June: Honour Band Concert, Year-End Concert, Band BBQ and Social

Seattle 2017: Those students who are interested in traveling to Seattle in 2017 are reminded to have their application packages in by June 17 if at all possible. The firm deadline will be September 30th, but the more confirmed I have early on will help nail down our costs. Applications can be picked up from the band room.

Grad 2017: I want to say a huge thank-you and good luck to the seven graduating Music Department students this year: Bailee Baldridge, Shawn Bramhill Desiree Brown, Braeden Gairdner, Jason Jang, John Partridge, and Tyson Scott. All the best in the future – we will miss you!! Be sure to check out the YouTube video of the FNSS concert if you want to hear my speeches for each of these grads.

Sr. Jazz: Reminder we are performing at the awards ceremony this Wednesday @ 1pm. We will meet in the band room at lunch for a quick run through of O Canada and to get set-up in the gym. Uniform is NOT required.

Year-End Reminders

  • Students are not required to bring instruments to class as we will not be practicing
  • All SD 81 instruments, uniforms, and original sheet music must be returned to FNSS this week
  • Those renting from Sight and Sound who do NOT plan on being in band next year must return their instrument via Greyhound (send collect)
  • New fundraising events will continue to be posted on the Music Department Facebook page
  • Those who want to borrow instruments over the summer can contact me after June 27 when inventory is complete to make arrangements

This is the last newsletter for the year! I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer vacation and I look forward to working with everyone again in the fall! If you have a questions, feel free to send me an e-mail over the summer and Id be happy try and answer it.

Mr. J

Music Notes: June 6 - 12

Posted on Sunday, June 5 at 14:22

Hi Everyone:

Its Year-End Concert week!!

Honour Band Concert: The RLA Honour Band will be traveling to GWC on Tuesday to perform for our up and coming band students! Here are the key points:

  • Students need to ensure they have their instrument, music and BAND T-SHIRT for Tuesday
  • Music will include: Rise of the Bladesmith, Dragon Dance, Anyway You Want It, and Star Wars
  • Jr. Jazz will perform: Hip Monk Shuffle, Louie Louie, Into the Sun
  • We will meet in the library at 12:10 to load the bus
  • The concert will begin at 1pm and conclude by 1:45
  • We will be back at Angus by 2:15
  • Students need to make sure they take their instruments home for the evening concert

Year-End Concert: Ive attached a copy of the year-end program for everyone to look over. Please let me know if you find any errors or omissions.

  • RLA Concert is Tuesday, June 7 @ 7pm, FNSS Concert is Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm – both at the Phoenix Theatre
  • Students need to have their proper uniform
  • Arrive at the theatre between 6:20 and 6:40pm
  • Please no concession food / drink before playing – it is bad for the instruments
  • Concert will be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/phoenix-theatre-live
  • Admission is by donation

Be sure to check out the concert at the Phoenix Theatre on Thursday night featuring a fantastic violinist – a very rare treat for Fort Nelson. The best part: Admission is free!

Final Combined Rehearsal: All RLA students are reminded to have their instruments and music at school on Monday as we will be having our final combined rehearsals in the afternoon.

Year-End BBQ: After some discussion with students we have decided to move the Year-End BBQ / Social Event a day later to Saturday, June 11 starting at 6pm. This is a chance for everyone in the music department to get together, enjoy some food and celebrate all the wonderful successes we achieved this year! Everyone is invited to the BBQ – both students and parents from FNSS - with additional games and activities going on until midnight for those in Tour Band / FNSS Concert Band! It will not be a full sleepover event as I know many students (and myself) need to still be well rested for the final push of the school year.

If you are able to supply some food / drinks for the event, please add your name to the list on this Google Document (note – you usually have to do it from a computer as it doesnt seem to work from a mobile device): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MlWKrETLJuAqw6WbZDNRrXMbClgGJzD9vQOL8ByiKqU/edit?usp=sharing

FNSS Projects: FNSS Students are reminded they have three upcoming assignments they must complete: Term Project (June 10), Performance Testing (June 10), and Portfolio Reflection (June 17). Late assignments will NOT be accepted for any of these projects as the turn around for report cards is very quick! The Portfolio Reflection is worth 10% of the overall mark I band so it is very important that it is completed on time.

Seattle 2017: Attached to this email is a copy of the Seattle 2017 Tour Band Application. The trip is open to all students in grade 7 through 12 who successfully complete the audition requirements and are able to attend our Monday and Thursday morning rehearsals. Students in grade 7-10 must also be enrolled in “class band” to be able to travel as it is in this course were we develop and refine the technique and musicianship skills to be an excellent musician. The first deposit of $250 is due in by Friday, June 17th. Students can still apply for the trip up until September 30th, but be aware that the required deposit will then be $750. The estimated cost of the trip is currently $2000 – but this number will be finalized in the fall at our first trip meeting. 

Fundraising: The Canada Day fundraising event is now available for signup – there are lots of positions available for both students and parents so you are almost 100% guaranteed a spot. Expected pay is around $70 for the day. Sign-up now at www.trackmyfundraising.ca . If you are new to using the site send me a quick e-mail and I can guide you through it. I hope to have a video made in the near future that you can watch as well. Stay tuned for possible bottle drives / car wash / garage sale events in the upcoming weeks.


Upcoming Events: 

June 6 – Slime Time Fundraiser Starts

June 6 – Final RLA Combined Rehearsals

June 7 – RLA Honour Band Concerts – 1pm

June 7 – RLA Year-End Concert – 7pm

June 8 – FNSS Year-End Concert – 7pm

June 9 – Jewels of the Violin -7pm (FREE)

June 11 – Music Department BBQ @ FNSS – 6pm

June 15 – Sr. Jazz Performs @ Award Ceremony – 1pm

June 17 – Slime Time Final Day

June 17 – All school instruments / music due in

June 22 – Last Day of School for RLA Students

June 28 – FNSS Academic Awards

June 29 – Grad Ceremony

July 1 – Canada Day Fundraiser


Have a great week everyone and I look forward to some great music at the concerts!

Mr. J

Music Notes: May 29 - June 5

Posted on Sunday, May 29 at 17:29


Hawaii 2016: A huge thank-you to all the students who travelled to Hawaii last week. It was an incredible trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of students to take with me. Everyone represented Fort Nelson with pride and it was an honour to be a part of such an experience! The trip would not have been possible without the amazing Leonda, Gloria, and Bill who were amazing chaperones and went above and beyond the call of duty – whether it was bandaging up sore toes, buying extra water, finding uniforms or just making sure my back had enough aloe, it was a privilege to have them travel on this year’s trip. THANK YOU a million times over! If you haven’t seen any of the pictures from our trip be sure to visit our Facebook page to check them out.

Students that have interesting photos / videos of the trip on your personal device that you think should be included either in the band video or poster please bring them to me sometime this week so I can copy them over to my computer or alternatively you can e-mail them to me at djohnstone@sd81.bc.ca

A reminder that there is no more tour band for the remainder of the year. Grade 7 students who traveled need to ensure they return their original music ASAP.

Honour Band: We will have our final rehearsal this Thursday @ lunch recess. The concert will take place on Tuesday, June7 @ 1pm at GWC. 

Combined Rehearsals: We will be having two final combined rehearsals for RLA students:


Grade 5 Band

Thursday, June 2 @ 10:40am-11:30 (right after the Moose Run)

Monday, June 6 @ 2:17pm - 3:05 

Grade 6/7 Band

Wednesday, June 1 @ 8:52am - 9:40

Monday, June 6 @ 1:17pm - 2:02


Seattle 2017: With one trip over, another begins – I have created a brief survey online to gauge how many people are interested in traveling to Seattle next year. You can check it out here: http://goo.gl/forms/X4hI54Xf2Or01w6c2


Year-End Concerts:  Year-end concerts are taking place next week! This is the final chance to showcase all the hard work and great music we’ve been working on since spring break. Here are the important details: 

June 7 - RLA Concert – Phoenix Theatre @ 7pm (Grade 5 Band / Grade 6.7 Band / Jr. Jazz)

·         Students are to arrive by 6:30pm

·         Bring instrument, music, and band t-shirts


June 8 – FNSS Concert – Phoenix Theatre @ 7pm (Concert Band / Sax Quartet / Sr. Jazz)

·         Students are to arrive by 6:30pm

·         Bring instrument, music, and uniform  


As always admission is by donation.


Upcoming Events

 June 2: RLA Honour Band Rehearsal
June 7: RLA Honour Band @ GWC
June 7: RLA Year-End Concert
June 8: FNSS Year-End Concert
June 10: Original Music Returned
June 10: FNSS Year End BBQ / Social Night
June 17: Seattle 2017 – 1st Payment Due with Application ($250)
June 17: NLC Ceremony
June 20: SD81 Instruments Returned
June 22: Last Day!

Have a great week everyone – only 3.5 more to go.

Mr. J

Music Notes: May 16 - 29

Posted on Sunday, May 15 at 16:15

Aloha from the Band Room:  

Hawaii 2016: We are at the final countdown before we head south and across the Pacific Ocean. Thank-you to everyone who attend the final meeting last Tuesday. I have attached a PDF version of the final itinerary package for your reference. Students may wish to download this on to their phone for the trip. Please be sure to double check the packing list to ensure that nothing is missed. A few quick reminders: 

  • Homework sheets are coming out on Monday and MUST be completed by all students
  • Verify you have some American $$ and that your bank card will work in the USA
  • Confirm cell phone plans for the US wont break the bank (WiFi is NOT free at our hotel)
  • Label all instruments with full name and phone number
  • Use Ellison luggage tags which can be picked up from the band room (I have enough for 2 per person)
  • Review itinerary and ask any questions you may have ahead of time

Everyone is reminded they can follow our trip on Instagram and Twitter @fnssmusic – or just be visiting our webpage www.fnssmusic.ca. Wish us luck! 

RLA Honor Band: Last week we were smoked out of the band room on Thursday due to the FNSS Roofing project and had to cancel rehearsal. I am hopeful that this week we can go ahead as schedule at lunch recess. Listen to announcements for reminders and any updates. The concert is on Tuesday, June 7 at 1pm – the same day as the year end concert at the Phoenix Theatre (it will be a busy day of playing).

RLA Playing Tests: There are many RLA students who have not yet completed both of their playing tests. Student must have these finished by the end of this week if they wish to receive credit form them. The band room is open any day after school and often at lunch recess. The FreshGrade app can be download at home and playing tests can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Year-End Concerts: Make sure you have June 7 (RLA) and 8 (FNSS) in your calendar for our year-end concerts at the Phoenix Theatre.

Upcoming Events

May 19: RLA Honour Band

May 20: No School

May 22-29: Hawaii Trip

May 24: No School

June 7: RLA Honour Band @ GWC

June 7: RLA Year-End Concert

June 8: FNSS Year-End Concert

June 10: Original Music Returned

June 10: FNSS Year End BBQ / Social Night

June 17: NLC Ceremony (Small Ensemble)

June 20: SD81 Instruments Returned

June 22: Last Day!


Have a great week! 

Mr. J

Music Notes: May 2 - 8

Posted on Sunday, May 1 at 11:05

Happy May! 

Its hard to believe that we are down to eight weeks of school! Time sure does fly when youre having fun (and busy!) 

RLA Honour Band: The RLA Honour Band is the ensemble that will be performing at GWC on Tuesday, June 7 for our potential new grade 5 band students to introduce them to band and the instruments they can choose from in the fall.  This ensemble is open to all students in grade 5 – 7 who are interested and have demonstrated a high level of performance and dedication. We will only have four lunch time rehearsals to prepare for this concert: May 5, 12, 19 and June 2. It is expected that if a student wants to be in the group that they attend ALL four of these rehearsals (illness / out of town are understandable absences). If your child is interested please let me know (or have them let me know) by Wednesday this week so I can have a firm list before our first rehearsal on Thursday. 

Hawaii 2016: We are now only 21 days away from leaving on our big adventure. A reminder that will be having our final mandatory meeting on Tuesday, May 10 @ 7pm in the band room to go over the final itinerary, packing list, expectations, and final questions. Please plan on being there. I will have printed copies of the required consent form available at Tour Band on Monday morning for those who havent already handed it in. Now would be a great time to start thinking about acquiring US money and looking at cell phone roaming plans if they plan on bringing one. Students need to ensure they also stay on top of their academic work. 

Year-End Concert Date Change: This weekend I discovered there was a little mix up with our Phoenix Theatre booking dates so we have to move our year-end concert dates forward one day. This means that the RLA concert will be on Tuesday, June 7 (same day as the GWC concert for Honour Band), and the FNSS concert will be on Wednesday, June 8. Sorry if this causes any inconvenience for anyone but unfortunately there is no way we are able to change it due to another concert booked on the Thursday – which looks great and tickets are free. 

Upcoming Events: 

May 5: RLA Honour Band Rehearsal 

May 9-10: RLA Performance Testing (Grade 5 – Concert Bb / Grade 6/7 – Concert C) 

May 10: Mandatory Hawaii Meeting 

May 20: No School 

May 22-29: Hawaii Trip

May 24: No School 

June 7: Grade 4 Concert @ GWC

June 7: RLA Year-End Concert

June 8: FNSS Year-End Concert

June 10: Original Music Returned 

June 17: NLC Ceremony (Small Ensemble)

June 20: SD81 Instruments Returned

June 22: Last Day! 

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