DEADLINE: January 25, 2021
The Fountain City Music Composition Festival is open to all students grades 3-12 in the De Soto School District #73.
How to Enter: A pdf score and an audio file must be submitted in Google Classroom under the composition assignment.
Dear parents, students, and community members:
It has been said a million times this year, but this year has been like no other and the challenges we have faced and overcame will have a lasting impact on our program for years to come. This year, we have spent time reflecting on our program. Many questions were considered, but most importantly what do we need to adapt to not only survive, but thrive in the current conditions. Students identified areas of improvement and addressed adaptations that would have to take place, but the overwhelming response was that of gratitude. While it is easy to focus on the negative, the Thanksgiving season serves as a strong reminder that we have much to be thankful for in our music program.
As our program continues to develop and additional opportunities are provided to our students, we thank those that make it possible!
Our DHS Band Leadership
Shout out to our De Soto Bands Leadership team who have provided input, guidance, and support throughout this crazy Fall. I am constantly impressed by your own advocacy of the Fine Arts, yourselves, and your counterparts. Our student leaders serve as the backbone of our program and have been incredibly helpful in providing a consistent band experience to all incoming band members. From aiding instruction of our unwritten rules and customs, to helping tutor other members in music theory, our De Soto Bands Leadership team members have been a constant reminder of why I chose this profession.
Special recognition of our DHS Drum Majors, James Innes and Olivia Hartwell, for their incredible leadership this year. James and Olivia serve as President and Vice President respectively of our Tri-M Music Honor Society and editors of the De Soto Bands Directory. The De Soto Bands Directory is our weekly newsletter sent out to all DHS band members and interested community members. The De Soto Dragon Pride has had some of the finest student leaders and drum majors in the area, and this year's drum majors are no exception.
Composition Contest Supporters and Performers
This year with the COVID spring closure, our Spring Band Concert had to be canceled. I am thankful for each of the musicians from across the country who volunteered their time to make our winning composition performance a reality. Being able to offer our students the opportunity to learn to write music is an incredible experience in itself, but allowing them to get feedback from professional composers and then HEAR their piece takes it to a whole new level. A sincere thank you to all of the composers from across the country that volunteer some time to give our student composers feedback. It has always been my goal to provide students opportunities that were not afforded to me, and thanks in part to these professionals I am able to augment my music theory lessons to better serve our high achieving students!
Our Board of Education
A sincere thanks are extended to our De Soto Board of Education. We continue to enjoy an ongoing open dialogue focusing on the role of music as part of a complete curriculum offering. As we continue to develop the instrumental music program at De Soto, I am thankful to our Board of Education members for their continued dialogue and support of the De Soto Bands.
Community support of the arts remains strong!
From a community vantage point, we must be thankful for local leaders who are solid supporters of music in our schools; they realize music education offers heightened performance in all aspects of life and they are outspoken advocates of music education. Evidenced by the many local businesses that donate to fund scholarships, equipment, and music purchases and the passage of the previous bond issue to build a wonderful performing arts center.
Thanks to the consistent support of our fundraising efforts, we have been able to continue to offer our students collaborative music-making experiences, whether they are on campus or distance learning. This month the DHS Bands and Choirs were able to purchase Soundtrap for our DHS music students thanks to our fundraising efforts! Soundtrap is the first cloud-based audio recording platform to work across all operating systems, enabling users to co-create music anywhere in the world on any device. This digital audio workstation (DAW) affords us the opportunity to provide our students with instruction on a variety of topics from audio production and mastering to live looping and mastering. Community members, organizations, and businesses are sponsoring our efforts to provide incredible opportunities for our students! Thank you to ALL that provide services, aid, and financial support so that we can continue to provide for our program.
Music as a Core Subject
From a national perspective, we must be thankful that the arts are written into federal law as part of the CORE curriculum for every school in the Every Student Succeeds Act. Students have a right to a well-rounded education that now includes MUSIC as a core class.
Personally, I want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU, to all of the parents and families that have shown support this year! Your keen interest, loyal support, and active participation are the essential elements of our successful past, our exciting present, and our promising future. Each year, dozens of parents reach out asking how they can best support our efforts with the De Soto Bands, and each year dozens of families provide much-needed support. From physical labor to working behind the scenes to help provide for a kid in need, our parents are consistently one of a kind!
Collectively, we must extend thanks to the young men and women who spend countless hours in the learning, rehearsing, and performing of music. It is a privilege and an honor to work with the finest students here at De Soto. These music makers of today are preparing to be the leaders of tomorrow. The great thing about teaching band is that in any of my band classes, I have such an incredible mix of students from varied backgrounds and experiences. I have students that are top of their class sitting next to students that struggle in every class. Students from different backgrounds all come together for an hour to make music. We want students to continue to find their spot, take a seat, and enjoy music at De Soto. More importantly, we want our students who have benefited from our program to go out into the world with a music background. These students will be our greatest advocates as they enter their adult lives with an appreciation of the arts.
Yes, music does make a difference, and we are thankful for each and every student that has chosen to join their fellow musicians as part of our musical family. The disciplines learned in music classes reinforce a standard of excellence that is required for success in all of life. As we approach the halfway point of our academic year, I extend a sincere vote of thanks to everyone who has made it possible for our music program to thrive and prosper. Your investment of time, effort, and energy is the key to our success.
Darrell Boyer, Ed. S.
Director of Bands
De Soto Schools #73
Tri-M Chapter 8124 Advisor
East Central District #7 Webmaster
Soundtrap Certified Expert
Masks for Band Camp
Looking for a way to support the bands?
We are looking for some crafty supporters to sew some specialized masks for band. For the safety of our students, staff, and community we are requiring that all band members wear masks during band camp when not playing their instruments. These masks would allow students to wear their masks while playing, limiting the amount of times they need to adjust their mask.
If you are able and willing to help please comment below or contact Mr. Boyer. The full plans are below.
An update for the Dragon Pride Marching Band.
Dragon Pride 2020
First, thank you to all of the Band family for their patience during this time. In a typical year the band calendar would have went out, CHARMS groups would have been reorganized, the summer mailer and student equipment purchases would be well under way. With school closing down before auditions were complete, setting the bands this year became more difficult. I hope the information below will provide you with answers to many of the questions that you have. Feel free to email any additional questions as they come up.
This year the Dragon Pride Marching Band will be changing course. This year, instead of working on one show for the Fall season, the DPMB will be learning and performing multiple shows for Fall semester home shows. At this time, multiple band competitions are cancelling and a competitive season is uncertain.
ALL students in the DPMB will need to attend both weeks of band camp this year as we will be passing out 10-20 pieces of music for the Fall and learning choreography for our first shows. The first week of camp (July 27-31) will run from 8-noon and the second week (August 3-7) will run from 2-9pm.
What will students need?
A signed D73 waiver (must be signed prior to participating in summer activities)
A personal water jug
A flip folder and lyre (additional pages available in band office)
A PPE for indoor visual work (To be worn while indoors, when not playing instruments)
If your child is NOT in CHARMS or the De Soto Bands 2020 Google Classroom, please email Mr. Boyer ASAP (firstname.lastname@example.org) for access.
FOUNTAIN CITY MUSIC COMPETITION
The 3rd Annual Fountain City Music Competition wrapped up April 22nd with a world premiere virtual performance of De Soto High School Senior Caleb Smith's piece entitled Inspirations.
This is a music composition contest organized by Director of Bands, Darrell Boyer, that allows De Soto music students to practice their compositional skills and receive feedback from a national panel of professional composers. The panel of judges listen to student submissions and then rank each submission after providing feedback. The winner of this competition works with Mr. Boyer, to edit, refine, and arrange their composition to fit the De Soto High School Symphonic Band. Throughout the Spring semester the Symphonic Band will read through the piece and assist making recommendations to the student composer. The revision process continues and the piece is finally printed and distributed to the band for the "World Premiere" performance at the DHS Spring Band Concert.
"This year, due to the current situation, things have not gone as they have in the past. Caleb had learned that his piece was selected as the winning composition in the middle of February and we had just got ready for the first round of reading. Unfortunately, Caleb was unable to hear his piece performed before school let out."
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, all spring band events were cancelled.
"Our students, like many around the country have missed out on so many special moments that come with the spring semester in high school. From performing with guest artists to taking our spring band trip, I felt like our students had missed too much."
That's when Mr. Boyer decided to take action. He reached out on social media to solicit help and organized over 50 musicians from around the country to record parts of the winning composition. After receiving audio and video recordings from the musicians he then mixed the audio and created a "Virtual Band" so that Caleb would be able to hear his piece. "Inspirations" by C. Smith, which has been uploaded to YouTube, had its world premiere April 22nd at 7pm.
"While nothing compares with making music together in person, this provided a shared experience for our community to gather and listen to Caleb's piece. We had a watch party on YouTube and invited friends, family, and our community take part."
Caleb will be attending Southwest Baptist University to study music. Past winners of the Fountain City Composition Contest include Gavin Luther (2018) and Kylie Mitchell (2019).
Good evening De Soto Band Family,
I am writing to keep you informed about the many changes occurring during this time. Yesterday, was incredibly difficult for many of us due to all of the uncertainty. What is certain, is that we are an incredibly resilient group and will continue to work together to improve as an organization.
Please check Google Classroom for updates and access to the Band Google Drive folders. Students will have access to music to help prepare them for All State Bands next year. I will also be posting how to videos and review material for you all to continue learning music theory skills. Whether we are able to complete this school year or not, I hope that you will be able to find some time to continue to improve as a musician. Students wishing to take part in Marching Band and DHS Jazz Ensemble should submit their recordings by March 23rd, if possible. It is incredibly important that you continue to play your instrument. We do not know how long this Covid closure may last. I will be adding opportunities to Google Classroom for you to continue to make music with me. Please take advantage during this time off to enjoy some music making with your friends.
The following events have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled for this year.
Fountain City Jazz Fest (Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab, Tri-M)
Combined Band Concert with Farmington HS (Symphonic Band)
De Soto MS Band FestivalDHS Night of the Arts (1 and 2 Rating Events from District)
State Large Ensemble Assessment (Symphonic Band)
Missouri Music Symposium (Concert Band)
North County Jazz Festival (Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab)
DHS Spring Jazz Showcase (Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab)
DHS Spring Band Concert (DHS Symphonic Band and Concert Band)
It is with tremendous remorse that these decisions have been made, but we must continue to do what we can to limit exposure and community transmission. If you had pre purchased tickets for the Fountain City Jazz Fest, those have been refunded through Ludus, and you should see that money back into your bank accounts in the next 7-10 business days.
Memphis 2020 (2021)
The Spring Band trip for this year has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for April 2021. For our seniors and chaperones that will no longer be taking this trip, we will be processing refunds for your trip payments. If your child is not currently a senior, and will no longer be attending the Memphis trip, please let me know. For students that are interested in attending the trip, we will be allowing for additional participants once school resumes.
Wipe Out Fundraiser
At this time, due to the panic purchases that are happening all over the country, we have not been able to secure our fundraising materials. Those will be ordered and delivered after the Covid 19 pandemic subsides. We apologize for this inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding, but we are at the mercy of the masses.
Jefferson County HS Honor Band-
We had several students represent us in the Jefferson County HS Honor Band. Thank you to these students for representing DHS and our community well during their one day marathon rehearsal and performance!
Mrs. Boyer and I have begun to put together the 2020 Band DVD. Those of you interested in submitting may do so on the Google Classroom assignment that will be created.
Letters of Recommendation
Seniors- I will be emailing all Letters of Recommendation out tomorrow. If you were in need of one of these letters, you should have it by the end of the day (3/19/20).
Students interested in selecting the Fall Marching Show may do so this year. More information will be posted on Google Classroom this week.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. Together we will get through this.
Darrell Boyer, Ed. S.
Director of Bands
De Soto High School
De Soto #73 District Leadership Committee Member
MSTA HS Building Representative
East Central District #7 Webmaster
We hope that you will take time to celebrate the arts with us in the month of March. The De Soto Bands and the Fine Arts Department are working on numerous artistic events that are open to the community. From the beginnning of the month to the end, there are a plethora of events that will be taking place on or near campus. From the Spring Musical to multiple music festivals and performances, there is certain to be a performance for everyone to enjoy. Please read on for a highlight of some of our upcoming events. For a complete listing of all March into the Arts events that are occurring, click here.
Jefferson County HS Honor Band- March 14th, 2020
Seven students were named to the Jefferson County HS Honor Band. These students represented DHS in Herculaneum on March 14th, 2020 when they met for an all day rehearsal and an evening performance. We are incredibly proud of these students for their accomplishments and their representation of DHS!
Jon Gowan- Bari Sax
Victoria Avis- Trumpet
Lacy Mueller- Horn in F
Logan White- Trombone
Eric Dimercurio- Trombone
Kylie Mitchell- Euphonium
Caleb Avila- String Bass
Fountain City Jazz Fest- March 20-21st, 2020
The De Soto Bands in association with Tri-M Chapter #8124 invite you to the 3rd Annual Fountain City Jazz Fest with headliner Funky Butt Brass Band! Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday area jazz bands will perform on stage. They will receive one on one clinics with some of the finest jazz musicians and educators. During lunch two clinics will be provided for students and directors, in order to assist them in growing the jazz skill set and program.
Come see the DHS Jazz Ensemble and Funky Butt Brass Band at our concert finale March 21st, 2020 at 7pm. Ticket prices for this concert will be $7 for adults and $5 for students. An exciting night of jazz and funk is sure to ensue, with some killer solos and licks. You won’t wanna miss this amazing concert!
De Soto/Farmington Combined Band Concert- March 26th, 2020
In partnership with the HWY 67 Band Consortium, the DHS and Farmington HS Symphonic Bands will be presenting a combined concert on March 26th in the DHS Auditorium. The concert will begin at 6pm, and is free and open to the public.
This concert provides our students the opportunity to work with another clinician, share their progress with the community, and meet other area band students that are also preparing for state music assessment and the Missouri Music Symposium.
The DHS Fine Arts Department invites you to come see all of the arts in one night! The DHS Fine Arts Night brings together Art, Band, Choir, and Drama students performing for the community in order to showcase the amazing talent in our schools. The students in our district have grown immensely throughout the year by creating, improvising, and challenging themselves in all area of the arts. This night is a collection of all of their hard work.
There will be live music provided by band and choir members, performances by members of the Drama classes, and live art demos in the lobby of the auditorium. Come see the incredible achievements of the DHS Fine Arts students!
De Soto HS Fine Arts Night- March 27th, 2020
De Soto MS Band Festival- March 28th, 2020
On March 28th, the DHS Tri-M Chapter #8124 will host the De Soto MS Band Festival. This event brings music students from across the region to perform for expert clinicians and receive feedback.
De Soto Bands