To: All OCHS band parents and students
From: Brad Rogers
Date: June 4, 2021
As we put the finishing touches on a most unusual year for the OCHS Band, I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for the many incredible opportunities you have provided me through our work together. The tradition of excellence that is at the heart of the OCHS band program has always been the direct result of all of those who have contributed their talent, time, and treasure to its musical mission—each and every one of you are part of that tradition. We have made substantial progress as an ensemble this year in spite of what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles, and many of you are already in a position to do some very special things musically as you turn the page into the coming summer.
If you are graduating from our program, I owe you more than I can possibly repay. My wish for each of you is that you have all the success and happiness possible, whatever you may be doing in the future, and that you find some way to keep music important in your life.
There are a number of items that should be mentioned as we approach the end of this year —things that will make what happens next in your musical experience mean even more to you and will maximize your continued efforts as a band program.
- Keep playing your instrument through the summer. You’ll be in MUCH better shape when camp begins and will hit the ground running on your seating audition music once school opens. Don’t neglect the fundamentals of tone production and scales; without making those areas solid in your playing, not much else truly great can happen.
- Summer lessons are a great idea! We have a superb staff of folks who work our sectionals every year; these people also offer individual lessons. Private lessons are an investment in your musicianship—the better you play, the more you want to play. If you are already taking lessons, continue; if you’re not, please consider starting. Ask Mr. Centers or your section coach about this possibility!
- Collabra Music technology is a wonderful “practice buddy” during the summer. Our current subscriptions run through the end of July and will likely be renewed at band camp time. Students who make this effort will arrive on the first day of school ready to move forward immediately.
- Commit to taking advantage of all of the musical opportunities available to you through band membership. If you haven’t auditioned for all district band, try it this year. Ask to be nominated for participation in honors band clinics. Put together a student-led trio or quartet or jazz combo. Learn a doubling instrument. Assist an incoming freshman in your section. Commit to giving your individual best effort every single day, whatever level of experience or proficiency you bring to the group.
- SUMMER PACKET! Check the band website: www.ochs.band
- Each of you CHOOSES to accept the responsibilities of band membership. Be true to that commitment. Whether you like it or not, your experience puts you in a position of leadership. Provide the correct example for those who will soon be here, and they will follow your lead. They should want to “be like you” for all the right reasons.
Summer band begins July 5th. Each of you should be very excited about everything the coming year will bring to our band program. While 2021-2022 will mark the first change of director in over 30 years, Mr. Centers is uniquely qualified to take the OCHS Band program to even greater levels of musicianship and success. Follow his lead, support each other and the incoming class, and make OCHS the example of how a program can come out of a pandemic and flourish!
Now that I’m finally graduating from high school myself, I will become your new “biggest fan”…