Location: St. Paul's parking lot
hear the Jazz Bands perform, and eat delicious pasta to support the
On Monday, May 26, 2008, the McGee Spartan Band will perform in the
Berlin Memorial Day parade. This is a required performance
for all students, and is factored into each student's grade as a
performance. Parents with a scheduling conflict should
contact Mr. Härtel as soon as possible so that necessary changes in
parts and marching placement may be made for the remaining
students. Students who are not able to attend the parade will
have an after-school make-up performance at a later date.
preparation for the parade, parent volunteers will be re-fitting
students for uniforms in the coming weeks. Parents are
asked to check their student's closet to make sure that the McGee
Spartan Band uniform has been turned in. All uniforms and
uniform pieces should have been turned in following the Berlin
Fair performance. The more uniforms and uniform pieces
that are available during fitting time, the better our band will look
in the parade.
Parents who have found uniforms in their student's closet are asked to
assess the condition of uniforms before returning them to McGee, and
to have soiled uniform pieces cleaned. Spartan Band has
not budgeted for uniform cleaning this year, and so your help in this
matter will be greatly appreciated. Students who have left band
and students who will be participating in Honor Guard and / or Color
Guard will not need their uniforms, and should turn them in
immediately so as to make more uniforms available for uniform
In the coming weeks, your student will be working on parade music and
marching skills. Mr. Cormack will be conducting marching
exercises during Period H with assistance from marching band staff and
student leaders from Berlin High School. Please encourage your
student to cooperate fully, and to take this instruction
On the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, your student should bring
his or her instrument home. Your student is expected to
meet at St. Paul's school parking lot at the specified time, in
uniform, with his or her instrument and music. Only the largest
instruments can be transported due to space restrictions, and it is
imperative that your student understand in advance how his or her
large instrument will be transported to the parade. New
Britain Transportation has once again requested that oversize
instruments not be transported on NBT buses for safety reasons.
Pick up will be at the VFW on Masserio Drive following the
after-parade performance with the BHS Band. Members of the
Berlin High School Band Parents Association will assist in hydrating
all Berlin Band students after the parade, and will assist the
marching staffs of McGee and BHS in monitoring student safety during
the performance at the VFW.
Parents with questions
about this performance should contact Mr. Cormack at x107.
AVAILABLE on the DOWNLOADS page:
Band scores and recordings
assignments (clarinet 1, clarinet 2, etc.)
for all ensembles
of most of our repertoire
slips (when needed)
MATERIALS, YOU WILL NEED:
and password supplied by Mr. Härtel
Acrobat Reader 5.0 or later (follow the link on the DOWNLOADS page
to install Adobe)
Media Player or Real Player or Quicktime
rehearsal schedule is in .DOC format
assignment lists are in .XLS format
GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS
This website is now your one-stop source for all music, materials, and
information about the instrumental music program at McGee.
Students and parents are encouraged to check this website often, as it
is updated frequently.
Parents, please note that students have been thoroughly briefed on the
proper procedures for using this website, and detailed, written
instructions on how to access the resources were distributed to all
band members. It is the student's responsibility to download and
print their music, and to have music, instrument, and a pencil in every
class and rehearsal.
If a student is unable to print the music at home, there are several
places in the school where this can be accomplished; the library, the
computer lab, the band room, and many classrooms have computers and
printers. Any student who does not have the music at the start
of each class or rehearsal will be marked unprepared, and one point
will be deducted from their final grade for each incident. The
rehearsal schedules are posted on the DOWNLOADS page of this site, so
please check to see what is needed for the upcoming rehearsals.
Please do not approach Mr. Härtel one minute before the start of a
rehearsal to say you don't have the music!
BE PREPARED! Come to each class and rehearsal with your music, your
instrument in working order, and a pencil.
Daily cleaning of wind instruments is necessary; woodwinds must be
swabbed out, and brass water keys must be emptied. Adequate time
is given at the end of each rehearsal for this, yet often students
neglect simple daily hygiene. Packing a warm, wet instrument in
a dark case provides a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.
If you notice your child's instrument emitting a funky smell, (or if
plants wilt and pets run screaming when the instrument is unpacked),
you and your child should take the instrument to a shop for a
With the winter concert completed, parents should get together with their children
and check over their instrument. Many instruments are showing
signs of wear!
Do all the pads, keys and buttons on your
child's instrument work freely? Is anything
Can your child play a 2-octave scale for you with
no squeaks or lost notes?
Does your child have an adequate
amount of consumable supplies such as reeds, valve oil, slide cream
and cork grease?
child's mouthpiece and instrument look and smell clean?
child have a working swab/mouthpiece brush/cleaning
child's instrument case in working order, and labeled with his/her
If you can't answer "yes" to
these questions, you should take your child and his or
her instrument to a shop for a consultation.
Parents renting school instruments are encouraged to conduct a
similar inspection of school-owned instruments. If your
child has damaged a school owned instrument, you may be liable for
repair or replacement costs, and even
school instruments need consumable supplies, and no matter who owns
it! If your child's instrument is hard to play, your child won't enjoy the experience!
Once again, students who are interested in participating in Color
Guard for the Memorial Day parade will have an opportunity to do
so. Mrs. McManus - Engel will be working with students
interested in being part of McGee's Color Guard in the upcoming
parade. Please contact Mrs. McManus - Engel at McGee with any
REMINDER ON PRACTICE
Your middle school student should be bringing his or her instrument
home on a regular basis as part of a dedicated practice program.
The success of any instrumental music program depends upon the
individual efforts of all its musicians.
Middle School students should ideally schedule at least a half hour of
uninterrupted practice time each day. This should consist
of 5-10 minutes of warm-up activities including scales, long tones,
and breathing exercises. The student should work for 15-20
minutes on specific sections of pieces being performed in band, and
any exercises assigned by Mr. Härtel or a private teacher.
Before moving on to a cool down, students should attempt at least one
piece from top to bottom, in tempo, without stopping.
Although less than 10% of your child's rehearsal time, it's possibly
the most important part, as it's critically important that your child
develop the mind set to play through a piece without stopping or going
back "to fix" wrong notes.
A middle school student's cool-down should consist of 5-10 minutes of
long tones and breathing exercises, similar to warm-up, but focusing
on softer dynamics and breathing. Parents with questions
on practice should contact Mr. Cormack at x107.
STUDENT AUTHORS WANTED
Any student interested in submitting articles for inclusion in this website or the music
newsletter is asked to see Mr. Härtel or Mrs. Terlecky. Reviews of recent McGee Music concerts, performances, trips, and festivals will be considered along
with tips and thoughts on switching / learning new instruments, practicing at home, or choosing a private lesson teacher.
Do you, your relatives, or your friends have unwanted
instruments just sitting around, or gathering dust in the
attic? Has an older child lost interest in music after
middle or high school? Would you like to help the school
to save your tax dollars while you earn a tax deduction at the same time?
The McGee Music Department is currently seeking donations of unwanted
or abandoned instruments. These may be in any condition,
but playable condition is preferred. Your donated
instrument can be used by our current students, or traded with one of
our suppliers towards new and much-needed instruments.
Every donation, regardless of condition can help, but we are
especially in need of brass instruments. Clean out that
closet or basement NOW! Please contact Mr. Hartel (VM 101) or Mr. Cormack
(VM 107) to arrange a donation.
ABOUT MR. HÄRTEL, MR. CORMACK & MRS. TERLECKY
Interested in learning more about
Mr. Härtel, or Mrs. Terlecky? Click HERE
to find out where they went to school, how long they've been at McGee, and what they do with music when they're not at McGee!