Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Staying warm, hot cocoa, family board games, stockings, good music, relaxing.

God Bless one and all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Drum Line is a Go!

Following a limited push to gather names of interested Cougar Band students willing and able to be in the Cougar Winter Percussion Ensemble, I have decided to officially Go For It!

Show title: La Primavera

Show Music to be drawn from:
  1. Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" - you tube
  2. Copland's "Appalachian Spring" - you tube
  3. Vivaldi's "Spring" from The Four Seasons - you tube

Rehearsals will be Monday evenings in Jan, Feb, and March. All contests are in March. Several basketball-halftime performances will be in Feb. Instructors TBA.

Here we go Cougars, here we go!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Vacation is Here!

I have fallen off the blog-wagon recently, but am glad to blog that vacation has arrived.

Much has happened with the Cougar Band recently including:
  • jazz band playing in the halls
  • Greg Canfield subbing for Mr. R (his first sub job ever!- yea!)
  • Winter Drum line sign-up netting 16 names - music being written over break :-)
  • Christmas Carols in the halls at lunch - featuring Mr. Anderson's original song
  • Solo & Ensemble entries - 16 entries
  • recording of scales and etudes onto CD during class
  • Percussion class performed with Choir and Orchestra (2 concerts!)
  • Sub-Committee formed for Spring Tour (think Disneyland)

Wow! I'm tired and happy. The Cougar Band has had a magnificent Fall. Here comes Winter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Contest Field Show Music for 2010

I have posted a few ideas for Cougar Band fans to enjoy.

Spring Tour - Sub-Committee

Meeting moved to Thursday 7pm at SSHS Band Room.

I hope to get much done with regard to itinerary, meals, hotel selection, budget, and payment plan. Also, a draft of the letter to parents explaining the trip and payment schedule.

See you there.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Parade

Today is a cooold day for the annual Hometowne Christmas Parade in downtown Sparks. Let's have fun! Decorate your instrument...bring your Christmas-themed hat (Santa, Elf, Reindeer, etc.)

p.s. pep band last night at game was fun....jazz band rhythm section and a horn section.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Disney Spring Tour 2010 - Committee Forming

A small group of parents have formed a sub-committee of the band boosters to focus on the special topic of the Spring Tour 2010.

Join. Spread the word. Cougar Band to the Magical Kingdom in 2010.


Band Dance - ?

What about a band dance at SSHS? Let's invite band kids from ALL the other high schools to a fun event hosted by the Cougar Band. A real DJ, food for sale, loud music, lights, and more. We can't lose.

OK Steph, let's make it happen.

2009 Final Booster Meeting

Great meeting with dedicated, motivated parent booster. This core group is dedicated to the success of the Cougar Bands. Discussed: Sweet Jazz - a new way to go, 2010 field show contests, uniforms, budget, props, pit, and much more.

Thanks to all. Great things are in store for the Cougar Band.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Field Show 2010

The band trip to Fairfield was a great experience for all the Cougar Band. It provided new insight for the design of the 2010 contest field show. I have been giving a lot of thought to the careful selection of music for next season. Recently I have enjoyed the music of Beethoven. Check out some cool Beethoven-esque field music - scroll to "Music of Beethoven" then click to listen.

The Tournament of Champions featured many fine groups playing music that was recognizable to the audience; much of it was classical music themes in powerful musical arrangements for the modern field band.

I am enjoying a day continuing to settle into our new house in Spanish Springs. Still full from yesterday! Lots of leftover turkey, etc.! Trying to find the box with Christmas lights...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

California Here We Come!

Right back where we started from...

Northern California CHAMPIONSHIPS are held annually at Fairfield High School - home of the Scarlet Brigade - in Fairfield, California.

The Cougar Band will finish the marching season today! Under cool, clear skies the band members will work for a couple of hours, load charter buses, travel to Fairfield, warm-up, compete, and finally watch some of the best bands in northern California. It will be a fun day of friendships.

I plan on having fun! Each band member will return home - very early in the AM (about 3am) - with the marching season behind them and many memories to carry into their lives.

Best wishes for a successful day to each Cougar Band member (and all the parents, staff, and supporters!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last Evening Practice in the Can!

That's it! The final evening practice for the Cougar Band marching season 2009 is over, done, finished, complete, gone. Lot's of cleaning was the main focus of this week and the show will reflect this effort in a positive way at Fairfield High School on Saturday, Nov 21st - this Saturday.

As the season comes to a close the Cougar Band can rest assured that the load of work has been worth the great effort. Each performance has been better than the performance before. I am so pleased with the progress of the Cougar Band in this last week.

Now let's go to the "Tournament of Champions" at Fairfield, CA and have a blast entertaining a big crowd. :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Office for Music Teachers

Early on Saturday morning - I had a day-dream. My desk was moved so I could enjoy the beautiful vista of Spanish Springs valley. This prompted a major interior decorating update to the music office at SSHS. Perhaps, for the first time in many years (ever?), the furniture has been rearranged. Many old boxes and accumulated stuff was discarded. Thanks to the students that helped make this happen. :-)

Band Day - Big Bucks!

Thanks to the community of Spanish Springs. Without the generous donations of the many families and individuals that supported the Cougar Band members on Saturday, Nov. 14th - Band Day - the Cougar Band would not have an additional $6,800 plus change.

I am pleased to announce a contest to guess the exact amount of change - actual coins - gathered on band day. The winning Cougar Band member will receive Movie Tickets. Good luck!

Now, on with the last two practices and final performance of the "Watches of the Night" field show at Fairfield High School (CA).

p.s. I slept early and long on Saturday night. My feet hurt! Cry baby. lol

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day Parade

A good time for the Cougar Band: 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour in Downtown Reno.

The Cougar Band marched and played to the huge crowd lining Virginia Street. Without cases, hat boxes, or pit/props the band quickly loaded and returned to SSHS well ahead of schedule.

Great job Cougars! I love to support the Veterans of the USA at this annual event.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NEW Web Address

Go to rather than "sshs"cougarband dot org. The reason for the change is a bit complicated and confusing. The main reason I sought a change was the increase in online storage space for band pictures, images, and music. The new site host allows for 1000 TIMES MORE SPACE. And for about 1/4 the cost. Weird how that works sometimes.

Please note that cougar bands is plural in the new web address. This reflects the presence of multiple ensembles at SSHS including jazz band, concert band, wind ensemble, and - of course - the Cougar Marching Band.

Pit Equipment - Arrives Tomorrow

The Sound System for the Pit percussion is schedule to be delivered to SSHS on Monday - tomorrow. This equipment will allow the pit instruments to be musically balanced between each other as well as projected to a wider audience.

The sound system will also allow wind instruments to be heard through the use of individual wireless microphones.

I am excited about this addition to the Cougar Band inventory.

Veteran Parade: This Wednesday!

11/11 is always Veterans' Day in the USA. The Cougar Band will proudly support our troops and vets of all wars this Wednesday at the annual Veteran Parade in downtown Reno.

This performance will be in full uniform and include all band members. Pit performers will play alternate instruments (cymbals, toys, or wind instrument - if they play one).

The parade begins at the 11th hour (of course, Google that if you don't know why). Note: the US Congress says that "Veterans' Day" is correct; attributive rather than possessive.)

NV State Band Championships

Congratulations to the Cougar Band: a successful far the best of the season.

I am sincerely proud of the progress and achievement presented to the band fans at UNR on Saturday, 11/7. The "Watches of the Night" show was amazing. Great job. Thanks to the many parents that made it all work (food, props, moving equipment, chaperoning, etc.).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NV State Band Champs this Sat.

This week is filled with band rehearsal, practices, PlayOff football game!, and the Nevada State Marching Band Championships @ UNR.

Let's work hard to make a great showing at the State Championship band contest.

Band Fees - Keep 'em Coming!

Thank you to all the many families that have contributed BandFees to the Cougar Band this year. The result is I was able to process payment for the amazing staff that has guided the Cougar Band toward continued improvements.

Go Cougars!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nevada State Band Championships!

This week is THE week for the Nevada State Band Championships. This annual event takes place at Mackay Stadium on the campus of UNR on Sat. 11/7. Each marching band in Northern Nevada will strut-their-stuff on the college field for a big crowd of band fans.

The Cougar Band had an awesome rehearsal Monday evening (11/2) of this important week of band rehearsals and performances. After a big win - scoring 91.5 - at Carson High on 10/31, the Cougar Band members are ready to show the world on an ever-improving musical/visual package.

With the added home football game this Friday (11/6) - the first ever Playoff Football game hosted at SSHS - the band will enjoy an additional opportunity to entertain Cougar Football fans with stands tunes and the all-important field show "Watches of the Night".

Some parents were thrilled to see the Cougar Band outscore Elko at the Carson show last Saturday. I am proud that the band placed 2nd overall. Although there is not an "official" ranking of bands, it is clear that the Cougar band has placed 2nd behind McQueen and ahead of all other bands in northern Nevada. Let's keep closing the gap with consistent improvement! Go Cougars!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cougar Band Earns 91.5 at Carson

The Cougar Band was one of only two bands to receive a score in the 90's on Saturday, October 31st at the annual Nevada Day Championsihp at Carson High. The judges immediately understood the "passage of time" concept and enjoyed the effective display of pageantry. The ensemble sounds of the band have improved since the contest at Galena High; the judges rewarded the band accordingly.

Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer parents the band was able to move all equipment to Carson and back to SSHS in a timely manner. The Cougar Band has an awesome parent booster group and talented design and technical staff. The success of the Cougar Band is due to this pool of wonderful volunteers and staff.

Highlights of the show performance included a very smooth "on and off" of the pit and props. Thanks Dads! Also, the excellent work of all three drum majors: getting "outside the box" (Michelle), leading/conducting/moving props (Stephanie), and conducting/playing-trombone (Quinton). The drum majors will continue to promote excellence - you can be sure - as the season moves forward. The staff provided excellence in preparation at SSHS and Carson.

It was a great pleasure to see the Cougar Band rewarded with a score placing them above all the other bands - including Elko, Douglas, Reed - excepting McQueen. We will keep building a better band. McQueen can see us in the we come.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Carson - Nevada Day 2009

Today is Nevada Day 2009. The Cougar Band will be practicing at SSHS at 1pm, then traveling to Carson High, eating dinner (thanks boosters!), PERFORMING on the turf at 5:15pm, cheering during awards, then returning to SSHS by 8:00pm.

I am excited to watch the Cougars achieve success. There is a good vibe today ... an awesome performance is in the air.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cougars BEAT Lancers

That's right! The Cougar Band cheered on the Football Team to VICTORY over the Lancers on Thursday, October 29th.

It was also SENIOR Night for all band, cheer, and football players. Thanks seniors for all you have done.

As if that wasn't enough....the 8th grade band members from Shaw cheered and played with the Cougar Band. Thanks Ms. Lynner and Coyote band members.

Grand Sierra Resort

Members of the Cougar Band performed at the Grand Sierra Resort on Monday, October 26th. It was a fun time!

Thanks to all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Drum Majors - New Energy

Although the increase in CO2 will worry environmentalists, expect a greater output of heat, energy, converted O2, and sweat-on-the-brow from the Cougar Band drum majors Michelle, Steph, and Quinton. Saturday evening (after the car show) the drum majors had a special working meeting with Mr. Cowee and Mr. Dunlap. Work on conducting clarity/unity and projecting energy from the conducting podiums.

Go Drum Majors! Give it all you got. Get out of the box! We believe in you....Go Cougars!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Car Show a HUGE Success!

Great weather, great people (about 600), great music, DJ, boosters, food, and lots of prizes were all the many parts of a very successful day for the Cougar Band. There are too many people to thank : Lynn, Deonna, Deb, Earl, Brigit, Angie, many - and, of course, Gilbert, Craig, Sonny, Rich...the list goes on! Thanks to all!

All three Drum Majors, the many kids that hustled all day doing a thousand things including loading, setting up, cleaning up, selling, promoting, performing, etc.

Wow! A total success on many levels. The Spring Tour is now a major step toward reality. Next steps include presenting a draft of the budget and itinerary. These have been already developed; just a bit more work and a formal proposal can be made the SSHS Administration.

Thanks, everyone. Thank God.


Friday, October 23, 2009


I am so excited for the car show to be a huge success.

I spent three hours working on the Spring Tour....that is what the Car Show is all about: supporting the Cougar Band on a trip to that magical kingdom.

Thanks, God, for great weather tomorrow. May this event promote excellence in the future of the Cougar Band.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Contest @ Galena a Success!

Tonight, Saturday, Oct. 17th, the Cougar Band presented a fabulous performance at Galena High. The band earned "caption awards" (first place) for Class AAA in General Effect, Visual Performance, Percussion, and Color Guard. The band received the following scores:
  • 30.5 - Effect Music & Visual
  • 12.95 - Music Individual & Ensemble
  • 14.05 - Visual Individual & Ensemble
  • 16.4 - Percussion
  • 15.5 - Auxiliary (Color Guard)
  • 73.45 - TOTAL
This total score - 73.45 - was the second highest score of the entire contest.
The percussion score was only "1-point" behind the McQueen percussion score and second highest of the show! Congrats to the students and percussion staff (Mr. Wilfon and Liz Cruz).
The Guard received the second highest score of the evening as well. Great job ladies and Laura Peltier; your hard work each zero period is really paying off.

I am proud and pleased with what we have accomplished together for the Cougar Band and SSHS. With planning and hard work, we will continue to hone the "Watches of the Night" into an entertaining musical and visual package that will score well at Carson, UNR, and Fairfield, CA.

Galena CONTEST Today

The Cougar Band has been preparing for weeks to present the entire field show "Watches of the Night" - today is the DAY!

I wish each band member "best wishes" in presenting this creative show to an enthusiastic audience at Galena High this evening at 6pm.

Thanks to all the many parents and staff that have made this possible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Cool for the Cougar Band

The locks for the band instrument lockers have arrived.

Also, the official "Band Shirt" for 2009-2010 will be ready for pick up on Friday this week.

Band Hats will be available by the week of the 29th.

Uniforms Have Arrived!

The 18 additional band uniforms have been delivered to the Cougar Band room!

These additional "purple" jackets, bibs, hats, plumes, etc. will help the band look better by providing additional fitting options for the many students with over sized (or tight-fitting) uniforms. The band "uniform moms" have done a fantastic job fitting all band students into uniforms. Now their hard work will have an even better result.

Thanks to Mr. Gregory for helping provide $5000 to the band for this much needed addition to the Cougar Band inventory.

Now the band can grow in total number of performers for the 2010 season without fear of running out of uniforms. :-)

Car Show - Update

The Car Show fundraiser "Charity Show and Shine" is fast approaching! This event on 10/24 could raiser thousands for the spring tour tentatively planned for May 2009. I am very excited by all the amazing donations by individuals, organizations, and sponsors. The prizes for raffles and silent auction are truly amazing.

I hope that hundreds of people attend this event, sponsoring the Cougar Band by purchasing food, entering cars, and getting involved in the raffle and silent auction.

Go Cougar Band!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Today - Saturday 10/10 - the Cougar Band finished learning the drill/music for the 2009 competition field show "Watches of the Night". Whew!

The band worked a hard 6-hours, with only a brief stop for lunch, to learn put the closer "Darkness Ends" on the field.

Great work staff, students, and boosters.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Performance Time - Confirmed!

I just received a confirmed CONTEST Performance Time for the Sat. 10/17 at Galena High.

  • 6:00pm

For a detailed schedule of the entire event, click here.

Closer is Coming on Strong!

The final selection "Darkness Ends" is the closer of the 2009 field show "Watches of the Night". The band worked very well at this past Monday evening practice learning many pages of drill. In class all band students have been developing the ability to play the music associated with these pages. As I have said many times, "This week is about the closer!"

Students and staff are very pleased with the drill Mr. Cowee provided the band. Thanks Greg Cowee!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Percussion Have Cause to Celebrate

Cougar Pit and Battery percussion has every reason to celebrate after finishing 1st place in Class AAA and 2nd OVERALL - out of 18 bands in competition.

Congrats to instructors Liz Cruz (pit percussion) and Kevin Wilfon (battery).

Each member should proudly tell their stories of a successful day competing at McQueen High on Saturday, October 3rd.

I am proud of the accomplishments of all Cougar Band members; offering my special kudos to the pit and battery percussionists.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Success at McQueen Contest

2nd Highest Percussion score of the day!
2nd place band in AAA and 7th overall out of 18 bands.
7th highest woodwind score of the day. Congrats to all!

Go Cougars

Blessing on Your Head

May God bless the efforts of the Cougar Band members, student leaders, staff, boosters, and parents.

The Cougar Band has worked hard to prepare an entertaining show that will score well in contest.

Breathe deep, sound good, look great!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

McQueen - Here We Come!

A lot was accomplished by the Cougar Band on a cold Thursday night at SSHS stadium. The tedious details of preparing each move for Saturday's contest performance at McQueen was the main goal of the rehearsal.

Tonight the Cougar Band utilized the new props created by dedicated band dads (Glen and Phil, et. al). The "numbers" are amazing - they look great.

Mr. Cowee, Mr. Dunlap (both home ill), and Mr. Wilfon were sorely missed. A big thank you to Greg Canfield, Laura Peltier, and Liz Cruz for making rehearsal a success.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Show "Ballad" DRILL Finished!

So much has happened since my last Blog! I bought a house and moved to Spanish Springs (whew!), wrote the "Ballad" Drill for the second movement of the field show "Watches of the Night", the Cougar Jazz Band performed in the halls of SSHS, the band performed at two home football games, the boosters created amazing "Clock Numbers" for use in the field show, and much more!

Go Cougar Band!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Show Opener - Drill Finished

Mr. Cowee had his creative thinking cap on Saturday morning as we created the rest of the drill for the show opener "Darkness Falls". With this ready to go for Monday evening, the band is poised to make major strides forward this coming week. The goal is to finish the opener on Monday and Thursday evenings. Saturday Rehearsal (9am-3pm) will be all about putting the Ballad (middle tune) on the field.

Go Cougard Band!

Game #2 in the Can

The second home football game of the 2009 season was a success as a marching band performance and football game. The team beat Reno! A great step forward for the Cougar Team...and the band performed the entire "Darkness Falls" movement of "Watches of the Night". There was a great positive vibe in the stands from fans, parents, and students. The night was a total success.

Thanks to all the parents that help with pit, uniforms, and FOOD. The post-game food was great!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Car Show - Go Go Go!

The SSHS Administration has given the GO GO GO to the fundraiser:

Charity Car Show sponsored by Gilson Auto on Sat. 10/24.

Let's raise $thousands!

Under Construction...

The Cougar Band is Under Construction in several areas: the Opener, the Drill, the Pit, and Uniforms.

The Opener - first part of the field show music - is getting prepared for the second Home Football game this coming Friday, Sept. 18th.

The Drill - Mr. Cowee and Mr. Reynolds are working to get the drill finished.

The Pit - cymbal racks are partially installed and cymbals, bags, and more is on the way.

Uniforms - Guard uniforms are IN - Yea!, also - all MTX marching shoes, gloves, and Drum Major gauntlets/gloves!

T-Shirts and Caps - designs are finalized, Purchase Order processed...printing soon...then we get 'em!

There is an endless list of needs and wishes for the Cougar Band.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Winning Game for Band

The Cougar Band has a job: help the team win. A triumvirate of cheer, band, and football team created a dynamic stands atmosphere that stimulated unanimous celebration on and off the field during the game. The winning conclusion of the score made the night a total success. Go Cougars!

The band looked good, played well, and had fun. Thanks to all the parents that made it possible: food, uniforms, chaperon, pit crew, and fans. :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shaw MS Band in Transition

Shaw Middle School is on the search for a new band director after years of success under the baton of Martha O'Neill. Ms. O'Neill has accepted the honor of administering a grant that will benefit the students of WCSD.

In the Mail

The Cougar Band will soon have new shoes, gloves, color guard uniforms, flag material, and more.

All these items are in the mail to SSHS right now. It will be great to outfit the band with new items for a new era of excellence in performance.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rolling Down the Highway

Today major work was accomplished on the ROLLING Pit Percussion instruments. Thanks to all the students, staff and Mr. Lord for helping get the pit rolling down the highway with pumped-up tires. Special thanks to Miranda and Sara L for spending a couple of hours on the floor inflating and checking the pressure on each tire.

A big thanks to Kirk, maintenance staff member, for welding cymbal rack support bars onto xylophone, vibraphone, and marimba instruments. These bars were pre-cut by the ultimate volunteer: MEL.

Soon the pit will have cymbals mounted on each perfectly rolling instrument. Pit instructor LIZ is getting the actual cymbal order ready. Go Cougars!

Cougar Jazz

The Jazz cats are in the groove. With so many interested students, the first week of school involved narrowing the field of players (especially saxes and rhythm) to a manageable number.

Now Cougar Jazz Cats are working on funk, rock, swing, and shuffle charts in preparation for a great season of jazz performances. A solid rhythm section is the foundation of a good jazz ensemble; we have a section that will be rock solid in time. (pun intended)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Forward, March!

Now that week one is behind us - and two relaxing fun days (water skiing, walks, picnics, watching 24) have allowed me to recover my senses - I am thrilled to march forward with a renewed sense of energy into the season beginning with week two of the school year.

So many awesome things are happening to make the Cougar Band a success in 2009: preliminary work on a car show fundraiser, early planning for a spring tour, additional drill writing, construction of pit percussion cymbal racks, prop creation, and much more.

I received many positive comments from faculty and school administration after the first public performance of the Cougar Band at the all-school assembly held in Cougar Stadium on Friday, September 4th. The band performed exciting music throughout the event including Zuit Suit Riot, Pick Up the Pieces (Uh-Huh!), and Cougar Fight Song.

Orders in progress: Shirts, Shoes, Gloves, Flag Material, ....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Making Plans

The Booster Meeting was a success. Many motivated parents shared ideas about fundraising, props for the field show, Spring Tour (to that magic kingdom), food, uniforms, and band contests. Details of the home game were discussed including some "new" procedures/expectations.

I went home pleased that the booster parents were so motivated to achieve success by creating an environment of Excellence for the Cougar Band. It is undeniable that the year will be a huge success with this level of motivated parent volunteerism.


Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day - Last Day

First Day of School: good day, great kids.
Last Day of August: bye-bye summer, hello school year.

Getting settled into SSHS with a first day was just fine.

Evening Practice went well.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bring it On!

After a week of teacher meetings at SSHS I am ready for the school year to begin: Bring it on! Band begins tomorrow with jazz band at 7am, wind ensemble at 8am, and so on.

Cougar Band is set for a great year of band. Things on my mind lately include visual ideas for contest field show, class atmosphere, leadership, and spring tour. Also, stuff to order like: pit mallet bags, cymbals, shoes, gloves, pep tunes, contest entry fees, tuner, and more.

Tuesday evening is a Band Booster meeting in the band room. I hope to have the band handbook ready to go for parent review. The handbook will have a schedule of ALL band events for 2009-2010 including solo & ensemble, festivals, concerts, and graduation.

With all that in mind, Bring it on! the Cougar Band is ready to roll.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Band Camp: Success!

I am so pleased to announce that Band Camp 2009 was a huge success. The finale performance featuring color guard, drum line, pit percussion, woodwinds, and brass was received with loud ovation and applause.

I am proud, to be sure.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Band Camp: Finale

This is the last day of Band Camp 2009! There is a mixture of excitement and completion; and a dose of "Whew!". The successes and progress of the Cougar Band are many. The band members and staff have created a Culture of Excellence. Many individuals have achieved beyond what they imagined possible.

Tonight there will be a pizza feast at 5pm, a parent meeting at 6pm, and a performance by the 2009 Cougar Band from 6:30-7:00pm. ALL are WELCOME. I do hope lots will attend this great conclusion to a memorable band camp. After so much hard work, a night of celebration is a must.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Week 2 of Band Camp 2009

Monday we learned to read drill pages for the first time and learned 4 moves.
Tuesday we reviewed what we learned on Monday and added 4 more moves. Then we marched while "holding" instruments.
Wednesday we reviewed what we learned on Monday/Tuesday and marched while playing!

That is fast learning. Retention of learned material is very high. Visual skills continue to improve with each day. I am excited to teach NEW DRILL today, Thursday. The Cougar Band is making great forward progress toward the ultimate goal of a completed show.

Also, I am pleased to see new members joining the band.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cougar Band - Week 2

I am pumped as week 2 of Band Camp 2009 begins. The opener drill is coming along nicely under the creative hand of Mr. Cowee. I predict enthusiastic rehearsals as the talented staff leads the Cougar Band members into their first drill rehearsals. More pep tunes, drill, the middle of the show music, and additional warm-ups will all be added this week to the music-side of the Cougar Band. Great visual and musical time are ahead for the Cougar Band in Band Camp: Week 2.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Band Camp: Week 1

I have witnessed a maximum amount of energy, excitement, and enthusiasm for the Cougar Band on a daily basis throughout this past week. The students have performed an amazing feat working hard for eight hours each day. The result: a much improved music and visual acuity. The Cougar Band is surely going to rock "way hard core" this 2009 marching season with this level of effort and achievement. Each band member, section leader, drum major, parent, and staff member should be as proud as I am to be in such a motivated group as the SSHS Cougar Band.

Go Cougar Band!

Now for some rest....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Band Camp Continues (Day 3)

As the middle of the week came and went the Cougar Band students continued to impress me with focused effort to achieve excellence in musical and visual performance. I noticed individuals that were not willing to give in when the going got tough. The orchestra room was so hot by the end of the night because every student was putting a huge amount of energy. As the entire Cougar Band joined in the Band Room for the last 30 minute musical ensemble rehearsal, there was a charged atmosphere of enthusiasm.

Honestly, I am fired up for Day 4 - Thursday! Things that will be awesome: new pep tunes, visual block with instruments, and adding "9 to 10" from the show "Watches of the Night". Go Cougar Band!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Camp: Day 2

Wow! Two days in the can; and what a two-days! It was great to finish camp last night grooving to Zuit Suit Riot with the whole band, drumline, and pit percussion. The Cougar Band is making a strong beginning to the 2009 marching season.

The Staff has proved to be a great team with loads of talent. There is much to do with the entire band to develop a fundamental visual technique. While marching skills seem to be under-developed, everyone is pushing hard in visual basics block. The work ethic is excellent. The addition of one more staff member, Rose Reynolds, on day three will be a big help with visual.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Camp: Day 1

The Cougar Band had a great first day of band camp. A tremendous amount was accomplished; section rehearsals, visual basics, and ensemble music rehearsal. The level of enthusiasm throughout the day has resulted in an environment of excellence. This motivational atmosphere is enhanced by the highest level of teaching by the outstanding Cougar Band staff. Today the band has taken a firm step into a positive future for the Cougar Band.


Ready....Set...Go! Band Camp 2009 begins today, Monday August 10th.
I am so pleased to have enjoyed a relaxing, eventful summer. Now, fully re-charged, I am prepared to witness the powerful combination of motivated students, highly-trained staff, and great musical/visual design. The Cougar Band is in for a great marching season.

Bring it on!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Band Camp! Marimba wheel replaced and Bass Drums have arrived. One was damaged in shipping, but four are ready to go. Guard silks, poles, rifles, sabres prepped to begin full rehearsals. Brass instruments greased, oiled, and set. Drum Majors have music for the show and pep-tunes set for tomorrow. Today I am meeting with Greg Cowee to continue the development of the staging and impacts of the show.

I had a very busy end of the week with two trips to Sacramento due to a death in the family (Grandmother died at age 95) . Now my full attention is on Cougar Band 2009.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Guard Uniform Selected

A tiered tunic in a Sunburst color pattern.
(Click on word "sunburst" below image.)


Monday: Much was accomplished in the Cougar Band room. Woo and Erica checked the drums. Brandon and Michelle painted the Trophy Display Case (in hallway). Stephanie processed mailing. Sean checked drum set. Quinton stored podiums and more. Dennis - band dad - took Cougar Band shirt designs home to develop graphic designs. Laura - guard instructor - processed a large number of donated flags and material. I did stuff, too. :-)

As Band Camp is fast approaching, much is being accomplished to prepare for a great 2009 marching season. Go Cougar Band!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cougar Web Update

I want to formally invite people to view the Cougar Band WEB at Use this site for checking schedules, listening to band music, viewing photos and video, and reading about the band.

Thanks for Mark Rauh for providing excellent photo images for use on the web page. Expect many more cool images, audio, and video to be posted as band camp gets underway.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drum Major Workout

Today Michelle and Stephanie - drum majors for the Cougar Band - worked, organized, and planned for the 2009 season. All the extreme effort resulted in a major step forward for the SSHS Band room and band trailer. These two - and their fellow DM Quinton - will be working on memorizing the music and developing conducting technique.

Bass Drums are officially ordered! Yea! Also, mallets, drum heads, shoes, and gloves!

Currently there are more than 110 band members enrolled in the Cougar Band. Spread the word that this 2009 marching season will ROCK. Get everybody on the bandwagon. (pun intended)

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Bass - Battery Drum Order

Pun intended. First, Bass drums will be delivered next month as that is the most immediate need of the battery percussion. These Pearl-brand bass drums will complete a partial set already owned by SSHS Band. A careful examination of the current bass drums revealed cracks and splits in four of five drum shells and only two undamaged rims.

After the bass drums order is processed, a subsequent order of tenor drums and snare drums will provide the SSHS Drum Line with awesome equipment allowing the well-worn Yamaha equipment to be retired. A formal retirement ceremony will be scheduled to honor the passing of such dedicated instruments that have served many students and the entire band for nearly a decade. ;-)

Uniforms Ordered - !!!

Today I completed the paperwork for new SSHS Cougar Band uniforms from Fred J. Miller. This is called an "Add-on Set" meaning the uniforms are exactly the same as the current inventory in color and design. This order is for complete uniforms including shakos (hats), hat box, plumes, bibs (pants), jackets, and baldric (sashy-sparkly-thingy). The planned arrival date is before the UNR "Sierra Classic" which is the Nevada State Championship. Until these new uniforms arrive the Cougar Band will make due as in past years using all-black for some band members.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Another successful day was had by all at the SSHS Band Room prepping instruments, music, and uniforms for marching season 2009.

With the careful assistance of Ms. Cruz (drum instructor) the order for battery percussion was finalized. Hunter, Jerry, and Brandon kept very busy organizing the room, tuning timpani, fixing mallet carts, and much more. Stephanie and Lauren (Brandon, too) worked on brass and woodwind instruments. GG checked for detailed needs of woodwind instruments.

A highlight for me was spending quality time with both (!) principals and a quick meeting with the athletic director.

Stephanie went home with a wind score and Ms. Cruz a percussion (pit/battery) score. My confidence in the success of the 2009 marching season continues to grow as I witness first hand the willing support of students, parents, administrator, and staff. Go Cougars!

Mr. R

Monday, July 13, 2009

Staff Update

I am pleased Aaron Hines has agreed to function as the SSHS Cougar Band field show "consultant". His duties will include functioning as a show evaluator at specified rehearsals. Mr. Hines will provide an "outside" opinion on the continued development of the show design and execution. His insight will be valued as a resource for establishing excellence in the Cougar Band.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Getting Ideas for SSHS Show

I took a road trip to Utah to watch DCI drum corps at Weber State U. Also, I will be attending the EDGE! and eNVision performance today at UNR student union at 3pm. All this is stimulating great ideas for the design of the SSHS contest field show performance.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Getting Ready to GO!

Today I have been settling into the band room and band office. This includes going through every drawer and cabinet. I found a giant unopened box of Rice Krispies Treats which I have managed to not open...yet!

Boosters: Tonight I will meet with Boosters for the first time.
Staff: Still working on building a complete staff of highly skilled and motivated coaches.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Band Handbook

I have been working on a comprhensive band handbook that will provide much needed information to band members and parents. The final version of the 2009-10 Band Handbook will be available online. What will the Band Handbook contain? Detailed information about contests, practices, band camp, classes, what to weark, costs, trips, and much more.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Band Directors starts BLOG

I am pleased to be the band director of Spanish Springs High School band program including the MARCHING Band, Drum Line, and Color Guard.

I look forward to developing a great marching program for 2009.