Land of Band – 6.11.18

Land of Band
Band Banquet
As always, Band Banquet was a great evening. It was a special night and I hope everyone enjoyed it.
Thank you to the team of parents who helped set up and decorated the Phoenix Club.
And a special thank you to Gayle Cooper who organized and planned the banquet! You did an amazing job leading the team in preparation of the event. You are dearly appreciated!
Last Week of School!
School is finally coming to a close after a long yet tremendous year at El Dorado. It has been a fun year and we have certainly grown as a program. Although I am totally ready for summer, I am very excited of next year!
Instrument Check In/Out
If you have a school instrument, please check in with
Mr. Vrooman so that we can check it in or check it out or check if it needs some work, etc.
Please continue to help take care of the percussion instruments. We are fortunate to have some high quality percussion instruments. Let’s strive to keep them in great shape.
Band Room House Keeping
Please begin taking home all personal items from the band room. Anything left behind will be thrown away. There are many items in Lost and Found. All items will be put out on Wednesday. Anything that is not claimed will either be donated to Goodwill or thrown away.
We will be spending some of our Final Time cleaning and organizing the band room. It will go by fast if everyone helps!
Wednesday, June 13
Bradford Stadium
Jazz Band 2 
Call time at Bradford Stadium is 5:00p.
We will begin playing at 5:20p.
Wear your Band Polo and black slacks, shoes, and socks.
Things to bring: instrument, jazz folder, water
Spring Concert
Thank you to everyone for putting on a great Spring Concert. The Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble performed a great variety of music and ended the year strong.
A special shout out goes to Levana Sung, Jyles Baldemore, and Cynthia Liu for an outstanding chamber ensemble performance! We hope that more El Dorado musicians participate in this form of performance in the future.
And Thank You to Mr. Vrooman, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Ma for conducting great repertoire at the concert! It was a great evening of music.
Practice Tips
Every week, I will be adding practice tips to this list. Please check it out and apply them to your practice routine.

1. Make time to practice.
  • Practicing should be part of your daily homework routine.
2. Create a good Practice Environment!
  • Create a good practice environment that will allow you to be productive. Use a music stand, sit in a good chair, have a tuner and metronome, and focus!
3. Create a Practice Routine!
  • Establish a good practice routine, like what we do in class. Start with long tones, play some velocity exercises, then some articulation exercises.
  • Spend a few minutes on “maintenance practice”. Meaning, go over skills that need to be kept up on a consistent basis such as arpeggios, lip slurs (brass), etc.
  • Most importantly, PRACTICE SECTIONS IN YOUR MUSIC THAT YOU STRUGGLE WITH! Work on these things at home so that you can contribute more to your performance ensemble!
4. Record Yourself!
  • Record yourself playing your instrument, go back and watch the video or listen to the recording, and give yourself some feedback! You will hear things that sound better than you expected them to be and things that aren’t as good as you think they are! Use these recordings to help guide your improvement.
5. Practice with a friend or two!
  • Get together with other people in the band and practice together. Come up with ways to make playing your instrument fun!
    • Perform for each other and give feedback.
    • See who can sustain a single note the longest with only one breath.
    • See who can get through their major scales the fastest with the least mistakes.
    • Be creative, come up with your own ideas, and share them with us!
  • Get together with other instruments from your band and play your music together! You can create your own smaller ensembles and play through your music. You will begin to hear how your part fits with everyone else and will encourage you to have your part down!
6. Find a recording or video online of the piece you are working on!
  • Most of the music we play has been performed before. Go to youtube and look up your piece! Find different ensembles playing it and listen!! You can also play along.
  • Go to and search for your piece. Most of these compositions have recordings on this website.
7. Break. Things. Down!!!
  • Take difficult “licks” slow and break them down. Take one count at a time MULTIPLE TIMES SLOWLY! Then add counts and gradually speed them up until you exceed the intended tempo, then slow it back down to the actual tempo.
  • This is tedious and somewhat annoying, but super helpful!
8. Analyze your music!
  • Take small phrases and analyze it. Figure out what the rhythmic counts are and count them out loud. For example, figure out if the notes are on the downbeat vs. upbeat, “e’s and a’s” of the 16th note variations, etc. Then sing/clap/play rhythms to a metronome.
  • Go through your music and really understand how the accidentals fit into the line that you are playing and practice them “slowly”, repeating many times.
9. Repetition is key! Repetition is key!
  • Once you practice something and it finally sounds good, repeat it multiple times! Set a goal to play something correctly 5 times in row. If you make a mistake, start the count over!
  • “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong!”
  • After you’ve watched it, reflect on the information, and reflect on how you practice.
  • I just might make this into a Google Classroom Assignment….
11. Don’t get discouraged!
  • Often times, practicing reveals many things about our playing that isn’t very good or needs immediate improvement. That’s ok!  That’s what practicing is for! Some of the greatest athletes take the off-season to develop skills, to learn more about their game, and to work on things that they want to improve upon. Musicians do the same thing!
  • Always say to yourself, “I can do that better.” Play something, find a way to make it better, and keep repeating it until it improves. Once you feel satisfied, move on to the next thing. Repeat!
12. Get a Method Book for your instrument!
  • If you don’t have one already, get a method book that focuses on your instrument! These books will have exercises and etudes that were designed for YOU!
  • I still have my method books from my high school and college years and STILL read and work out of them.
  • Just Google (your instrument) Method Books and a TON of them will magically appear.
  • Even though the beginning might seem basic, go through it anyways and continue on through the book!
  • Now come up to me and say the code word “Syncopation”…
13. Take private lessons or get a music tutor!
  • The BEST way to improve on your instrument is to get someone to HELP YOU!
  • The best option is to get a private teacher. There are many professional musicians and college music majors in our area who are willing and able to teach you privately. Their rates vary depending on their experience level, but you can easily find someone. Need help finding someone? Ask us!
  • OR find an older member of the program and practice with them, ask them questions, get their help! They can tutor you!
  • These lessons do not have to be weekly (although that is the best). You can take a lesson or be tutored once every two weeks. Anything and everything helps.
  • If you’ve read this, go up to Wesley Gilman and shake his hand and say, “I heard Samson schooled you on the dance floor…” (referring to his dance moves at prom)
14. Practice for the Gig!!!
  • Here’s the reason why we push practicing fundamentals at the beginning of the year or way before the gig or concert… so you can focus on the material for the gig before the gig!!!
  • If you’ve waited until now to start practicing scales, playing long tone, playing to a tuner, then you are way behind! Yes, that stuff is always good to practice but that should have already been practiced!
  • At this point, you should be working on repertoire for the concerts. Whether it’s for the Wind Ensemble/Symphonic Band concert or the Jazz Master Concert, focus on things that you can improve upon for the concert!
15. Reflect on what you are doing and find motivation in yourself!
  • I know this sounds cheesy, but not very many people can do what you do!! Even if you think that you are not very good at your instrument, you are way better than at least 1800 other kids in our school. Think about that for a second!!!
  • But think about what you can do to be better. Look over this list of “practice tips”. How many of them are you implementing?
  • Emil Richards is 86 years old and still practices!!
16. Do all of this during the summer!
  • We are now officially in our “offseason”. Now is not the time to slack off! It’s time to continue to develop your chops, maintain the chops you’ve built over the year, and prepare for next fall!
  • The best athletes in the world are constantly training for the next season. This is your time to train!
  • Use this list as a guide for things to do, get together with friends, get together with your section, etc. Whatever you do, PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENT!!! You have a super power. Use it!

Upcoming Events 
(this does not include weekly rehearsals)
Graduation                               June 13 – Jazz 2
Here’s what’s up for this week…

0 period – 2018-2019 Band Council in Theater
Rest of Band in Band Room
Color Guard with Staff 
0 period –Band in Theater
Finals – 1st and 6th period
Color Guard with Staff
No 0 Period
Finals – 2nd and 3rd
Evening: Graduation
Finals – 4th and 5th
No School 


A lot work and coordination was handled by a small group of people to prepare for our banquet,
and I want to thank again:

Mitch Weisel
Kristan Beckman
Shari and Dan Chaney
the Decorating Committee
Todd and Brenda Emrick
Brenda King
Gina Brown and Chrystine Ammari
Bob Arneal
Jim Parks
Alexis DiPasqua and Devon Asmus
Emma Lyons
Tina Lyons
and last, but certainly not least, the ever calm, cool and collected,
even in the face of missing information and a looming deadline,
Kevin Lyons

Your help and support made preparations for this year’s banquet so much less stressful.



Ways & Means plans to put various Band & Color Guard fundraising products on the band website (i.e., Booster Wear, Bling Spirit Shirts, See’s Candy order form, Perfectly Posh etc.). 


Scrip: (Individual Student Account Fundraiser)

The El Dorado Band Boosters are pleased to offer a great fundraising program to help students raise funds for their individual accounts. Profits from this program will first be used for any unpaid Marching Season Fair Share Donations for Band and Color Guard. Funds can then be used for Winterguard, Winter Drumline, Jazz Band, or next year’s Marching Season Fair Share Donations. Seniors who have paid all of their Fair Share Donations can use their profits for end of year extras, such as Banquet Tickets, Yearbooks and DVDs.

UnitedScrip is a program that allows band supporters to purchase gift cards from hundreds of retailers and restaurants including Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes, Arco, Albertsons, Macy’s, Wendy’s, Subway and more. Supporters get to spend 100% of the amount they paid for the gift card. The retailer pays the band a percentage of each gift card sold. The percentage varies from retailer to retailer, but ranges from 1% to 50%. Family and friends can help out by either ordering gift cards directly from you (they pay you, then you write one check for entire order), or they may set up accounts online, being sure to specify that they are a supporter of your student, and pay with their credit card.

Scrip order deadline will continue  on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  

For details about how to place an order, click here.  
Scroll down to the Scrip section and look for “How to Purchase”.

This is a great way to earn funds for your student’s account – remind your friends and family that in addition to buying gift cards as gifts for birthdays and holidays, the gift cards can also be used for their everyday purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, Target, etc. And restaurant gift cards can be very nice to have handy for those nights that no one wants to cook.
Happy Ordering!

Help A Hawk: (Individual Student Account or General Fund Fundraiser) 
Great Tax Deductible means to support the El Dorado Band Boosters, a non-profit 501(c)(3) booster parent organization. If you or know of any individual, business & or corporation  looking to support a worthwhile, meaningful organization and at the same time benefit from a tax deduction, please send this “Help A Hawk El Dorado Band Brochure

AmazonSmile: (General Fund Fundraiser)
Need to shop for gifts, decorations, or household items? Don’t forget to select our booster organization as the recipient for a financial donation. Use the Amazon Smile holiday at and Amazon donates to El Dorado High School Band Boosters Inc. 

El Dorado High School

1651 Valencia Ave.

Placentia, CA 92870