The music program is responding in a unique way to the concerns surrounding the spread of infections. The majority of us play wind instruments. Wind instruments are not inherently dangerous when it comes to the spread of infections, but there is an increased possibility from other day-to-day activities simply due to the fact that we breathe hot moist air into our instruments. Our instruments tend to act as a barrier to the spread of illness, but they also collect whatever we breathe into it. So this blog will give you resources on how to clean your instrument.
First - If You Get Sick
Did you know: After you get sick with a respiratory illness like a cold or influenza, you should replace your toothbrush once you're healthy again?
The same is true for anything porous that goes into our mouths. This includes clarinet or saxophone reeds. Drumsticks should also be replaced, as they can carry whatever ended up on your hands. Mouthpieces of all instruments should be washed daily anyway, so that is not likely to be an issue.
Your instrument should be washed in some way on a daily basis. For brass, clarinet and saxophone players, you can simply rinse out your mouthpieces on a daily basis, and that is usually good enough. For clarinets, saxophone and flute players, you should swab your instruments daily as well. Here are a few YouTube videos that can walk you through those processes.
Full, Proper CLeaning
Full, proper cleanings don't need to happen on a weekly basis, but should be somewhat more frequent than an average teenager considers. Considering the most recent events, now is as good of a time as any.
For flutes, clarinets, and saxophones, this process isn't too challenging. You do not bathe the instruments, and rather simply use cloths, but the manner in which you do so is also important, so that while you are cleaning, you don't accidentally cause damage. Here are some videos that can help out with this (the information in the flute video is good for clarinet and saxophone players, the bari sax players get their own video though).
For Brass players, the process is a little more involved. It includes using a bathtub. In my opinion, a reasonable time frame for this type of maintenance on brass instruments is everytime there is a longer school break, such as during Christmas, Teachers' Convention, Easter, and Summer Holidays. I might recommend due to current events, however, that now is a really good time to do this too. The trumpet video also applies well to tubas and baritones.
What If You Don't Have THose Supplies?
The easiest answer: Call Long & McQuade or order online at www.long-mcquade.com. If you call Long & McQuade, you can ask for the Band Department and order your reeds, cleaning supplies, or anything else, and ask them to deliver it either directly to your house (shipping charges may apply) or directly to the school (shipping charges would not apply, but it may take up to 3 weeks). Alternatively, you can order online and have them ship it directly to your house. Either way, you don't have to go into the store, but if you'd rather, I've also provided the address here.
Clean Instruments make for Happy SOunds
Cleaning your instrument actually improves your sound quality, and therefore you sense of success. Properly maintaining your instrument will also help it last longer, and require costly repairs less often. Whether you are concerned about illness or not, a clean instrument is always the best way forward.
Dear Parents of Students in the Notre Dame Collegiate Music Program,
I write to inform you of the cancellation of all planned music trips, including all excursions to Airdrie, Lethbridge, and the already cancelled Toronto trip. This decision comes as a result of the Alberta Chief Medical Officer's instructions to adopt aggressive new public health measures to prevent continued spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.
These aggressive measures include the cancellation of all events involving 250 people or more. Although none of the events we have registered with have cancelled as of yet, we are cancelling our participation with the full knowledge that there will in fact be more than 250 each of the festival venues we anticipated performing at. Even soloists, who would normally be performing in classes with lower attendance, will be doing so in facilities that may be attended by other events, and so we can see no guarantee of meeting this and other criteria as set by Alberta Health.
Therefore out of an abundance of caution, we are cancelling each and every off-site music education activity. We are sorry for the disappointment you feel, as we feel similarly. We are instead exploring other opportunities for similar music educational opportunities without the risk to health and safety, but cannot guarantee anything at this point.
Please understand that our office staff will be working on reimbursing families in due course. Music activities are not the only activities that have been cancelled, and it may take some time for office staff to process refunds. If you paid using SchoolCashOnline, your refund will be processed faster, and will be returned to your method of payment. If you did not pay by SchoolCashOnline, please do not come into the school to collect your refund until you have been informed that your refund has been processed. Students will not be given refund monies directly.
We apologize for this inconvenience. Please adhere to the medical safety protocol as has been distributed to you through Alberta Health and the school, and stay safe.
Trips Dates and Forms Summary
*Airdrie Trip Forms have been updated with corrected dates.*
The following is a summary of the many activities happening so far this spring. Forms and basic information is here. To see more details, scroll further down in this post.
Trip Details - Airdrie Soloists - March 20
Consent Forms for All Airdrie-Based Trips are Due March 6, 2020
Transportation provided by Notre Dame Collegiate (Activity Bus).
No accommodations or meals provided. No fee. No additional chaperones required.
Students have prepared solos for participation in the Airdrie Rotary Festival of the Performing Arts. Their accompanists are either Mr. Windsor or Mrs. Paquette. They should be rehearsing their pieces at this time.
You can see the exact schedule for your student by visiting airdrie.musicfestivalsuite.com and logging in with your email address on file at the school (alternatively, your students can log on with their school-based email address). You may need to reset your password.
Although there is no fee for this trip, you should be aware that the school is contributing approximately $40 per student to participate. We do this because we believe these are invaluable experiences, and wish for your students to enjoy them to the best of their ability.
Students should be wearing performance attire, which can be their NDC Music Uniform if they choose. They should also have their instrument, their sheet music, and a pencil or three.
March 20 Itinerary
Trip Details - St. Cecilia String Ensemble - March 21
Consent Forms for All Airdrie-Based Trips are Due March 6, 2020
Transportation provided by Notre Dame Collegiate (Activity Bus).
$45 Fee. No accommodations or meals provided. One female chaperone requested.
The St. Cecilia String Ensemble gets their first opportunity ever in a festival. We will be meeting at Notre Dame Collegiate, and be back in time for supper.
There is a $40 fee to cover the costs of the festival registration and our bus costs.
Students should be wearing their uniform (white no-logo undershirt, black pants, black socks, black shoes). They should also have their instrument, their sheet music, and a pencil or three.
March 21 Itinerary
Trip Details - Grade 7 Concert Band - March 24 and 25
Consent Forms for All Airdrie-Based Trips are Due March 6, 2020
Transportation provided by Good Company Travel (56-passenger Coach).
$80 Fee. Accommodations at Super 8 Airdrie. Breakfast provided. Evening activities provided.
Minimum of 4 female chaperones and one male chaperone required.
Trips and Performances are a part of musical life in Concert Band. Grade 7s get their first experience this month by performing at the Airdrie Rotary Festival of the Performing Arts. While on the trip we will also visit Studio Bell in Calgary, as well as have some downtime.
We need chaperones. We are not permitted to do a trip without adequate supervision, and this is something Mr. Windsor takes seriously. If you are able to chaperone, please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students should pack their uniform (white no-logo undershirt, black pants, black socks, black shoes), dress-code appropriate nightwear, and swimwear (should they choose to go swimming), and cash for a dinner and a lunch (options are Wendy's, Tim Horton's, Smitty's and similar). They should also have their instrument, their sheet music, and a pencil or three.
March 24 Itinerary
Trip Details - Grade 8 and 9 COncert Band - april 1 - 2
We are still awaiting final details. Please check back regularly for those announcements when they come.
Trip Details - Senior Toronto Trip - April 30 - May 3
As discussed previously, no further details have been fully finalized at this point, awaiting information from the Festival organizers. Please check the blog post dedicated to the Senior Trip for any further information.
Two weeks ago the permission forms were sent home for Toronto, with an expected deadline of being turned in by January 31. Understanding that sometimes paperwork gets lost in the bowels of backpacks, I am extending it to February 6. Please have such paperwork turned in by that date.
In the event you cannot find such paperwork, please find it attached here.
The exact schedule of the individual events during the excursion remain fluid, and will not be able to be confirmed beyond the dates until early April. However the final dates of April 30-May 3, 2020 are absolute.
February 14 Postponed
Due to severe family circumstances, I have been unable to prepare the February 14 event. As a result, this event is postponed to an unspecified date. Once that date can be confirmed, we will be sharing it.
It should be noted that this event was supposed to be a student-led initiative, however I have been tasked with it. Students will need to take over certain aspects of this event for it to succeed. Simple tasks are easily delegated, but students need to approach Mr. Windsor to find out what those tasks are.
Curriculum continues to be delivered. As part of curriculum, the WindSync brass ensemble coming to High River will be working with our Senior High Students during the last bit of Block 2 and through Block 3 on Friday, February 7, 2020. The focus of this mini-workshop will be their List B pieces, preparing them fully, and solo performances on the whole. All students need to have their List B pieces prepared for this activity. Students will be called down to the music room at the appropriate time during Block 2 in order to be prepared for the workshop.
Other Curricular Expectations
Students need to ensure they are meeting curricular expectations. This includes List A and List B piece Responding Assignments and Recordings, and Breezin' Thru Theory, both of which can be completed at home. Some of this work is already approached in classtime, but should be completed at home if not done during the assigned class time. Students are aware of which chapters are assigned to them and which pieces are assigned to them, and can use both Charms and Powerschool to see what they need to address.
As many of you know, emails have been challenging over the past month within our school division. Family constraints have also compounded my communication challenges, and for that I apologize. While my family challenges have started to decrease, it will take me a few to fully recover my communications. That being said, some of my recovery has been managing misinformation that has been circulating without my knowledge. Please refer only to the distributed information, as that is the only information that has been approved for distribution. This will help me recover my communication much more quickly if we do so.
Thank you once again for your support of your students' musical endeavours. From here we move forward to a very exciting semester!
Hello all! Please accept this as an invitation and reminder for our Christmas Concert!
It happens on December 11, 2019 at Notre Dame Collegiate. Admission is $5 per person at the door (Credit Cards accepted for purchases over $10), and the concert begins at 6:00 PM.
The Fine Arts Parents Association have asked me to request that every family bring in some baked goods for sale during intermission at our Christmas Concert. They are requesting families bring in a dozen treats of your choice. I request that you also bring in a quick note of the ingredients, to ensure food safety.
A Few Notes about Student Expectations
Some Other Things Happening THat NIght
Introducing our 2020 TOronto Trip CHristmas Raffle
I would also like to inform you of our new Raffle! It's a Snap Raffle, meaning it will only be taking place for a short period of time ... 9 days! Each Raffle ticket is $5, and we are selling 500 Tickets. Proceeds go to support the Senior Wind Symphony's Toronto Trip. The draw will take place on December 18. There are 3 prizes;
The Schedule for the Year of Strings, Stage Band and Steel Pans
My apologies for the delay on this message. It has been an exciting startup to the year, but a busy one as well. I can now fully confirm our after-school music program schedule, which is effective immediately;
Senior Jazz Combo - Monday mornings, 7:00 AM - 8:15 AM (Thursdays on weeks after long weekends)
String Ensemble - Tuesdays after school, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Stage Band - Wednesdays after school, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Steel Pans - Wednesday evenings, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
In the event of conflicts with other after-school activities (sports), our policy is to work with such situations on a one-on-one basis. Solutions are almost always found, so that the student can still meet both commitments.
A note about supervision: Students cannot remain in the school unsupervised. Please ensure that your student has a method of getting home (perhaps through carpooling options) or other teacher supervision once their rehearsals are done.
Thank you for participating in our after-school groups! It is a big year for music already underway, and I am very excited for it!
Startup Camp is This Friday!
Hello Grade 7 Families! I am very excited to see instruments in your students hands today and tomorrow. This is the start of an exciting musical journey!
Startup Camp is This Friday, all Grade 7 Band students are expected to attend. I have professional musicians coming in to work with your students on Friday, so your students will be staying after school that day. Later on that night they will be performing in their first-ever Concert Band Performance, just for you! Students will also receive marks for their participation.
The itinerary is as follows;
12:30 PM - School is out, students will be served Subway lunch.
1:00 PM - Clinics start, all students
2:20 PM - Mini-Recital (professionals perform for the students)
2:45 PM - Second set of Clinics
4:00 PM - Switch to Full Band Rehearsal, first time ever
5:15 PM - Team-building games
5:45 PM - Picasso's Pizza Supper
6:15 PM - Doors open at the school for our family audience members
6:30 PM - Grade 7s perform their first performance ever.
6:45 PM - Cleanup
7:00 PM - Startup Camp is done.
Students will be learning valuable skills on how to put their instruments together, take care of their instruments (and your investment), play with great sound, the first most-important notes, and prepare their performance for you, and they will get that instruction from specialists on their instruments in a more one-on-one way. It is an invaluable experience, and we can thank the Highwood Lions for making it possible for us.
I'm looking forward to seeing you Friday night, and getting this year started with your students!
If your student needs a flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone or baritone, you need to contact Long & McQuade to rent such an instrument.
If you are in need of renting a baritone saxophone, bass clarinet or tuba, your student will need to meet with Mr. Windsor on Thursday at lunch. That will be the last chance to rent from Notre Dame Collegiate this year.
Your student needs their instrument by Monday, September 9. Please arrange for them to have an instrument by that date.
My student says they want to play in the stage band on a different instrument. how does that work?
If your child already has a primary instrument assigned to them for Concert Band, they can have a different instrument rented to them for free from Notre Dame Collegiate. We take a $50 deposit which you get back if the instrument doesn't need repairs. The last chance to take advantage of this is on Thursday at lunch hour.
Example: David plays Tuba in Concert Band and has already rented it from NDC, but wants to play in the Stage Band. He works out with Mr. Windsor that Trombone is the best choice for him, so he rents a trombone from NDC for free, with the $50 deposit.
How do I Pay my Rental FeeS?
Online. Mr. Windsor and Mrs. Hartung are working to see your instrument rental costs posted on SchoolCashOnline, a system you have always been familiar with for school fees. They should all be posted by Thursday morning September 5, at which point you can pay them online.
Please note: If your fees are not paid for by September 13, or an arrangement has not been made by calling (403) 652-2231, we will need to rescind your rental. Please pay your fees in a timely fashion.
what about drums, piano, guitars or steel pans?
Students who use NDC equipment without owning it (like the percussion equipment, piano, or amplifiers) pay a "Usage Fee" of $40. Steel Panners pay a "Usage Fee" of $20 if they aren't already paying for other percussion or electronic equipment. This usage fee goes towards the cost of maintenance, repairs, and replacements.
what about buying? Can i do that?
Of course, but buyer beware. If you are buying an instrument online that is less than $300 but says that it is "new", it's a sham, don't waste your money. If you are buying an instrument from a warehouser like Canadian Tire, Walmart, or Costco, stop, don't waste your money. If you want to buy used, Mr. Windsor recommends you seek advice from him first, so that you don't buy a lemon. Mr. Windsor does have access to many instruments that are reasonably priced used instruments (mostly flutes, clarinets and trumpets) ranging from $50 to $250, so feel free to ask him about these options.
does my student need reeds or oil?
Well, your student will definitely need some supplies. You can buy your supplies online from Long & McQuade's website and you can usually get free shipping with their shipping allowance. Alternatively, you can call the store (403) 244-5555 and buy by phone, asking them to deliver to NDC, but it may take up to 2 weeks to get here.
If you have any further questions ...
Please just ask. Remember, I got you.
The year is approaching it's close. It's been a wonderful year, and a proper Year-In-Review Blog will be coming to you by the end of the week. In the meantime, we need to properly manage the end of the year activities.
What's Planned for Next Year?
Notre Dame Collegiate continues to grow its music program. Thank you for your continued support for an amazing music education program!
Mr. Windsor will provide you with some interesting hints, help, advice, and resources on this page.