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.
Winter Concert Dessert Auction
This Holiday tradition has been a perennial favorite of mine. The De Soto High School Band and Choir students work incredibly hard to produce several high level performances during the holidays. From tree lightings and caroling to parades and concerts our students and directors work hard to put a quality product together for the community and our school district. Thank you to the families that came and stayed for the afternoon to support all of our musicians and thank you for the help putting equipment away after the concert.
The overwhelming support of the community for the De Soto HS Music Department is moving to me as an educator. The funds raised from this event and our other fundraisers will go to continue our efforts of providing students with guest clinicians, equipment, and additional support.
JeffCo Community Jazz Project
Jefferson College Community Jazz Project
Thursday night, we had multiple events going on involving the De Soto Bands. We had our DHS Color Guard sponsoring our Mini Guard performance, the DJHS Winter Band Concert, and the DHS Jazz Ensemble participating in the Jefferson College Community Jazz Project.
At the Jefferson College Community Jazz Project last night, the DHS Jazz Ensemble lit the room on fire. This group demonstrated independence and mastery as the student musicians held together and put on an incredible show. I was able to stand to the side and let our musicians shine.
An incredibly gratifying moment occurred last night. At the Jefferson College Community Jazz Festival, Dr. Joel Vanderheyden led the JeffCo Jazz Band to end the concert. Before their last piece Dr. Vanderheyden spent time talking about one of his students. He said he had watched this student throughout his high school career and how developed as a young musician performing in an area high school. Dr. Vanderheyden mentioned how this talented young man had developed a passion for creating music and that he was sad to see him moving on from JeffCo, but happy to see that he will be continuing his studies pursuing a music composition degree. This student is De Soto alumni Gavin Luther, winner of the inaugural Fountain City Composition Competition. The audience recognized Gavin with thunderous applause. The Jefferson College Jazz Band finished the concert with a piece featuring an impressive drum solo by Gavin. It was a wonderful moment and feeling as an educator.
Tonight is the All-District Jazz performance. If you are available come see our students performing in the East Central JH Jazz and both of the East Central HS Jazz Bands tomorrow December 14th, 2019 at 6:30pm in the Jefferson College theater.
Dear parents, students, and community members:
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!
Tri-M Chapter #8124
Our Tri M Chapter is off and running with projects aimed to improve music opportunities for our student and our community. This year they have provided multiple lessons to our DJHS Band members to aid them in their musical growth. This strengthens for both our JH AND HS Band members taking part in this program. Beyond their service in music, this group has also taken part in; the Recycling program at DHS, packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and they have chosen to Adopt a Family in the district.
Composition Contest Supporters
Being able to offer our students the opportunity to learn to write music is one of the most amazing experiences. 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 for my students things I never had, 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. This year we began offering Guitar at DHS. This course allows students to learn and work on playing the guitar! This class provides instrumental music education to students that may have never received it.
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. 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 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 hailing trailers and pushing props, 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 whom 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 the 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.
Director of Bands
De Soto High School
Instagram: De Soto Bands
What a weekend!
Friday night was Senior Night at our last Home Football Game. Before the game began, we took time to recognize our Dragon Pride Band seniors and reflect on what they have accomplished and where they plan to go in the future.
Many of our members were also involved in the Conference Cross Country meet. (S/o to Coach Young for being phenomenal to work with!) Our kids ran hard and made it back for the halftime performance. Special recognition goes out to Senior Lillie Kaempfe who ran hard at the Conference Cross Country meet and earned 1st Place!
The band put on a strong performance of their 2019 Competitive show “Fabric of Time”. As is our tradition, in the final set our senior band members stepped out of their shoes and left their marching shoes in the last set of the marching show. This marks our seniors step toward the next chapter in their lives as they get ready to close out their marching careers.
On Saturday, the band performed at the 34th Rebel Invitational in Park Hills, Missouri. The band earned 3rd place in our class in prelims and made it to finals. The band played hard, and didn’t let a little rain stop us, and our finals performance ranked us 7th place out of 17 bands!
Nobody outside our program knows where we started or how far we have come outside of our program. As I said to our band members before our Finals performance, our program is special to our members for different reasons. Our students come to us from all walks of life and take part in almost every other sport or activity at DHS. We have students involved in Football, Cross Country, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Dance Team, Cheer, Softball, Choir, Art, Drama, Academic Team, Robotics, and FBLA. These students spend countless hours in service of our school and community splitting their time between the variety of activities that they are involved with. Band means something different to each of our members, but it is a family for everyone.
I’m proud of all of you and I am looking forward to sitting down and making music with you all!
To see all of our Homecoming pictures, check out our album on the De Soto Bands Facebook page.
Mobile Pep Buses
DHS Pep Assembly
S/o to the admin, faculty, and staff at both Vineland and Athena for making our Mobile Pep Rally at both buildings a success!
S/o to Mr. Rauls and Mrs. Rodriguez for all of their work organizing both the parade and Homecoming festivities.
S/o to the alumni that return to march the parade with us every year! Very proud of all of you and I enjoy the chance to catch up with you guys during the parade and football game.
Special S/o to Mina Hartwell for bringing in Hoco Cookies for the band from The Broken Rolling Pin. Check out their Facebook page and give them a call!
And finally, thank you to the band! Homecoming is incredibly demanding, but you all pull through incredibly well. With some of you playing the Fight Song over 100+ times and then performing well at half time, you all are to be commended for your hard work. Keep pushing as we work toward the end of our season. Onward Dragons!
The Funky Butt Brass Band will be headlining the Fountain City Jazz Fest March 21st, 2020! We are incredibly excited to have the FBBB on campus with our students and hope that you can join us for their concert Saturday evening! Save your spot for the Fountain City Jazz Fest, it's going to be funky!
The Funky Butt Brass Band was formed in 2008 by six musicians who respect and revere the New Orleans brass band tradition. The FBBB takes traditional NOLA brass tunes and adds a contemporary twist. In a typical Funky Butt show, you’ll hear plenty of Crescent City jazz, but also Chicago blues, Memphis soul, Southern rock and St. Louis R&B.
The band has been named Best Funk/Soul Band by the Riverfront Times for the past five years. Funky Butt Brass Band has played such prestigious festivals as the King Biscuit Blues Fest (Helena, AR), Gumbo Ya Ya (Rock Island, IL), the Big Muddy Blues Festival (St. Louis, MO), Roots N Blues N BBQ (Columbia, MO) and Blissfest (Harbor Springs, MI) and have opened for some legendary Louisiana artists, including Dr. John and the Lower 911, Rebirth Brass Band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Bonerama, the New Orleans Suspects and the Royal Southern Brotherhood.
Funky Butt Brass Band released its debut CD, Cut The Body Loose, in the summer of 2009. A second CD, You Can Trust The Funky Butt Brass Band, entered the world in 2011. Later that year, on the heels of a successful annual holiday show, the band went into the studio and recorded a holiday EP entitled Shiny Christmas Balls. Their most recent record, Sugar Sugar Whomp Whomp was released in late 2014 and features nine funkified original songs along with three New Orleans classics.
“Its razor-sharp horn section blasts out the sort of punchy stabs that have made thousands of white people dance to Tower of Power, while its unhinged rhythm section recalls the greasy funk that drips from fingers and collects in the gutters of New Orleans. But stellar musicianship and dedication to the craft aren’t the band’s only strengths — more important, the act showcases the playful side missing from many uptight jazz enthusiasts.”
– The Riverfront Times
“The CD is the total package, folks. Everything here is first class. [FBBB] proves you don’t have to be from, or living in, New Orleans to feel the funk.”
– STL Blues.net
“For members of the Funky Butt Brass Band from St. Louis, tribute takes the form of a working brass band, and they are nothing if not reverential. These cats can play, and they offer nothing but praise for the traditional brass band. The horns are the key, of course, and they perform admirably.”
– Offbeat, New Orleans’ music magazine
“The horn chops and percussion are right on the money. Without question, these guys know their way around a horn! The infectious grooves are enough to recommend this effort.”
– Blues Blast Magazine
“How did St. Louis exist so long without a true, bonafide New Orleans-style brass band? Since Funky Butt Brass Band came on the scene, it’s been impossible to miss the six-headed beast. At parades, at barbecues, at community radio festivals and especially at a certain oyster bar on Broadway, Funky Butt is a steady-gigging presence that references its Crescent City inspiration, but infuses plenty of 314-specific funkiness as well. Credit the oft-theatrical vocalizations of members Tim Halpin, Adam Hucke and Aaron Chandler for the band’s never-the-same-set-twice bravado, but recognize that “brass” is in the band name for a reason: These cats can blow.”
– The Riverfront Times
De Soto Bands