Jazz Season is Here
The Jazz Bands have been working hard developing skills and style this year. From learning how to write bass lines and improvise to learning how to read chord changes and transcribe, students have been deep in developing an understanding of Jazz.
February 2nd marked the official start of our Jazz season. The ensemble had a wonderful performance and won 1st place in Division 4! It was an excellent day of jazz education and planning for the future as the ensemble had the chance to tour the Missouri State campus. They saw the buildings, classrooms, and programs that the University offers.
In addition to learning about college life, the band was able to sit in on a clinic with Dr. Will Campbell who is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Campbell lead the clinic and then played with the Missouri State University Jazz Studies Band 1. It was an excellent concert and clinic.
This week, the Jazz Ensemble began work on our piece that we commissioned our Fountain City Jazz Fest guest artist, Mr. Steve Wiest, to compose. This piece will be unveiled at its WORLD PREMIER at the Jazz Fest on March 23rd. We hope that you can come see what Mr. Wiest and the band can do.
Coming up next for the Jazz Program:
February 23rd, 2019- University of Central Missouri Jazz Festival
March 23rd, 2019- Fountain City Jazz Fest
April 26th, 2019- Spring Jazz Concert
Solo/Ensemble & Fine Arts Night
District Solo and Ensemble preparation is well under way with students working on their music before and after school. Students wishing to take a Solo or Small Ensemble should set up a time to meet with Mr. Boyer.
Students earning a 1 at District Band Solo and Ensemble will be able to play at our recital evening March 29th, 2019. This year, this evening will include all of the top Fine Arts students at De Soto with performances and displays from our DHS band, choir, drama, and art students.
Music Composition Contest
Six original student compositions were entered into the 2019 Fountain City Music Composition Contest! Students received feedback from 3 professional composers so that they can continue to improve their music writing.
This year, congratulations goes out to winner Kylie Mitchell! Kylie will work with Mr. Boyer to edit and further improve her piece for its world premiere performance at the Spring Band Concert in April!
A huge thanks goes out to our judges for the 2019 Composition Festival. This year our student composers received feedback from three professional composers from across the Midwest.
Mark J. Connor (b. 1971) is a composer, conductor, and educator whose main focus is writing for concert band, with works appearing on several state lists. His band music has enjoyed performances at several state music educator conferences, including TMEA, and his music is published by RWS Music Company, Grand Mesa Music, and Alry Publications.
Other highlights include performances of his chamber music at the Eastern Music Festival, Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), the Taliesin Art Centre (Wales), the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland). He has had orchestral works performed by the Jacksonville Symphony as part of their Fresh Ink program and the North State Symphony. Mark has been commissioned by, or won awards from, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Eppes String Quartet, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, Composers and Schools in Concert, and the Commission Project. He is also active as an arranger for a wide range of ensembles and genres including works for groups as diverse as guitar ensembles, brass quintet, saxophone trio, and jazz combos.
Mark has been an educator for over 20 years and has taught students at ages ranging from fourth grade through postgraduate. He is currently the band teacher at the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School. Prior to his current position, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Webster University and Western Carolina University, an instructor at McKendree University, and an adjunct professor at Maryville University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Florida State University, and Florida A & M University. From 1997 to 2001 Mark was the director of bands and teacher at Palma High School in Salinas, California.
Mark is the host of Everything Band, a podcast that features interviews with leaders in the concert band, wind ensemble, and marching arts
Derek Limback is currently the band director at St. James Missouri where he teaches grades 6-12 instrumental music. He holds a BS in Music Education and a Masters in Music Composition from Missouri State University. He has also studied at the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Central Missouri. Mr. Limback began his professional teaching career as the band director at Warsaw Missouri before returning to MSU for graduate studies. After beginning his teaching career at St. James he also was the Director of Jazz Studies at Missouri S&T in Rolla.
He is an active performer, clinician, and composer. His main areas of interest are instrumental composition, jazz composition and performance, and teaching music. Mr. Limback has written music for various schools and universities in Missouri and has had music performed in Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas. In his spare time he likes to golf, fly fish, hunt arrowheads, and spend time with his family.
Greg Weis is a doctoral student at the University of Northern Colorado. Greg's compositions and arrangements have been performed in concerts and Jazz festivals in numerous cities around the United States, including Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Chicago, Las Vegas, Des Moines, and New York City. His big band music is regularly performed by the DownBeat Award-winning University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I. His arrangements and compositions have also been performed by Randy Brecker, Dave Pietro, Antonio Hart, Paul McKee, Greg Gisbert, Bob Sheppard, Jim White, Clay Jenkins, Tanya Darby, Benny Golson, the Missouri State University Jazz Studies Ensemble, the Airmen of Note, the Colorado Jazz Orchestra, and numerous high school jazz bands. He has been recognized with awards and honors from the Jazz Education Network, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, and the New York Youth Symphony. His compositions are also featured on the debut album for the All Angles Orchestra, a jazz chamber ensemble that infuses classical musicians with jazz musicians.
This time of the year remains busy as the De Soto Bands continue to perform across the state. Yesterday our DHS Band students performed at All State Band Auditions and the De Soto Christmas Parade.
Yesterday we took 8 De Soto students to Hickman High School to audition for a chance to be a member of the All State Concert Band or All State Jazz Band. There were over 1200+ students attempting to earn a spot in the All State Bands. They all had great auditions and one of our students earned recognition. Congratulations to Caleb Avila on earning Honorable Mention on Bass Guitar for All State Jazz.
The Dragon Pride Marching Band members looked great performing in the annual De Soto Christmas Parade!
We are so thankful for all of our students and the hard work they put in to be outstanding musicians. Music is about the journey and consistent progress, not the destination. Our students continue to represent De Soto with Pride and show their commitment to excellence!
Would you like to get a pullover with the band logo on it?
We are currently taking orders for the HS Band Pullovers. If you would like one please use the form at this link to order one.
A picture of the pullover is on the website, it will include the Dragon De Soto Bands Logo on the left chest. Orders are due December 3rd, 2018. Pullovers will be $20.
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. They have already donated time creating some Taiko drums for Symphonic Band, collecting donations for Samaritan's Purse, and getting sponsors for the music festivals.
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 my student composers feedback.
Chromebooks being 1:1
Having this technology available at our JH and HS has greatly improved instruction, assessment, and feedback. Students are using their devices to record themselves for assessment, to research new music and evaluate pieces, and to compose pieces of music!
-A sincere thanks are extended to our administrators. 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 Jazz Lab at the HS level. This course allows students to learn and work on the foundations of Jazz. Next year we hope to add Guitar at the HS level and Jazz at the JH level. Both of these courses will have a positive impact on student achievement.
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.
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
Fountain City Music Composition Contest
The Fountain City Music Composition Contest kicks off December 3rd, 2018.
This event is free to enter and is open to all students grades 7-12 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.
Compositions must be a minimum of 2 minutes.
Compositions must be written for two or more instruments.
Works may include non-interactive electroacoustic elements (e.g., CD playback). Works may have been performed before, but should not have been composed before the year 2018.
The winning composer must agree to provide parts by February 1, 2019, in order to guarantee a performance of the winning work at the De Soto Solo and Ensemble Event.
Attendance at the Festival is required.
Students may submit no more than 3 pieces for consideration.
All compositions are due January 21st, 2019.
Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter 8124
This year, the De Soto HS Tri-M Music Honor Society was formed. The purpose of this group is to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements and to provide leadership and service opportunities to young musicians.
This group is open to all choir and band students grades 10-12 that: demonstrate leadership skills in their ensembles, can maintain attendance and grade standards, and are recommended by their director. Service projects slated for this year include creating a music mentoring program, participating in Operation Christmas Child, and hosting TWO music festivals.
Our Chapter 8124 is organizing and hosting the Fountain City Jazz Festival on March 23rd, 2019 with guest artist Steve Wiest and the De Soto MS Band Festival March 30th, 2019. The group is also looking to partner with area businesses to promote school fine arts activities. More information about our chapter can be found on our website at: https://sites.google.com/desoto.k12.mo.us/tri-m.
Officers for our Tri-M Chapter are:
President- Kaitlyn Podgornik
President-Elect- James White
Vice President- Sophie Harris
Secretary- Averi Muniz
Treasurer- Shelby Bourisaw
Historian- Victoria Avis
Tuesday night were District Band auditions. Below are the results from the night.
Over 250 students auditioned for Concert Band
Over 125 students auditioned for the Jazz Bands
20+ High Schools were represented
The De Soto HS Bands were represented well with multiple placements in the District Concert and Jazz Bands. Representing De Soto in the All District Concert Band this Saturday (Nov. 10th) at Rickman Auditorium on the Fox Campus:
ECD7 All District Concert Band
Marybeth Sansoucie- Clarinet
Jillian Williams - Bass Clarinet
Teagan Wallis- Bassoon Alternate
Ethan Brown- Percussion 1, 2, and 3 (For the 2nd year in a row Ethan has taken the top spots in all 3 percussion options!)
Our growing Jazz Program continued to place more students in the District Jazz Bands. The following students will represent De Soto in the All District Jazz Bands Saturday December 8th at Jefferson College!
ECD7 All District Jazz Band
Ethan Brown-Vibraphone and Piano
Logan White- Trombone Alt.
Anna Kozloski- Bass Trombone
Austin Kingsland- Guitar
Caleb Avila- Bass Guitar
Brandon Nunnally- Vibraphone
The students below will be heading to State, December 3rd.
This is the largest amount of students De Soto has taken to State in quite some time. These students are to be commended for the many hours of hard work they have put in to be able to perform at the state level.
Marybeth Sansoucie-State Bound
Jillian Williams-State Bound
Teagan Wallis-State Bound
Ethan Brown-State Bound
Anna Kozloski-State Bound
Austin Kingsland-State Bound
Caleb Avila-State Bound
Brandon Nunnally-State Bound
Thank you all for your support of the De Soto Bands!
Guest Artist Announced!
Trombonist and composer Steve Wiest will be headlining the Fountain City Jazz Festival! Mr. Wiest has also been commissioned to compose a piece for the De Soto HS Jazz Ensemble! You can read more about Mr. Wiest below.
2019 FCJF Soloist
Guest Artist- Steve Wiest
"On his debut album as a leader (Excalibur, The Steve Wiest Big Band), he demonstrates his mastery of his instrument as well as his virtuosity and expansive imagination as a composer and arranger. Although the writing is sophisticated, it's always tuneful and inviting."
Multiple Grammy-nominated jazz composer and trombonist Steve Wiest is known world-wide for his fresh cutting edge writing as well as his extroverted virtuoso trombone playing. With a zeal for finding fresh ingredients for his muse, Steve is a true multi-genre persona. As a recording artist, composer-arranger, science fiction author, cartoonist, and educator Wiest is at home with many different and diverse areas of creative endeavor.
His path to recognition began with a four-year stint as trombonist and composer with Maynard Ferguson. During this period Steve appeared on two Ferguson projects (Storm and Live from San Francisco) a video project (The Playboy Jazz Festival) and penned a number of works for Maynard including South 21st Shuffle. His YouTube solo on Denis DiBlasio's arrangement of Don't Stop from this era has been described as one of the most exciting of its kind on the Internet.
After leaving the Ferguson band in 1985, Wiest went on to complete a master's in jazz studies at The University of North Texas. During his time at UNT in the 1980s, Steve wrote for and performed on seven different recordings with Neil Slater's One O'Clock Lab Band.
Upon leaving UNT and spending two years as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Arlington, Wiest began a 17-year tenure as Director of Jazz Studies and trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. During these years Steve began a long and accomplished career as a clinician-guest artist while becoming a regular with The Doc Severinsen Big Band. Working with greats such as Eugene "Snooky" Young, Conte Candoli and Ernie Watts on Doc's band during this period while continuing to write music for Maynard Ferguson helped to shape Wiest's future endeavors.
In 2006, Steve released his first recording as a leader; Excalibur: The Steve Wiest Big Bandto critical acclaim. A unique modern jazz project for large ensemble, Excalibur was described by jazz great Bob Mintzer: "Steve's music is rich with color, textures, and lots of interesting twists and turns. Through utilizing his various influences on this project, Steve has really learned how to 'spin a tale' musically. I very much enjoyed listening to each piece to see where it would go next. He managed to truly develop each idea to the fullest, to the point where it would spill over to the next section out of necessity. As a result of Steve producing this fine body of work, he has emerged as an articulate arranger and composer with a developing distinct voice of his own."
Wiest followed Excalibur up with a 2007 Grammy nomination for his arrangement of Besame Mucho on Maynard Ferguson's final CD The One and Only . 2008 saw the release of another critically acclaimed project titled: Out of the New; The Steve Wiest Quintet which featured nine jazz re-imaginings of modern pop tunes.
Joining the faculty at The University of North Texas in 2007 first as professor of jazz composition, then as director of the six-time Grammy-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band®, Steve has firmly established himself as an important voice in jazz education as well. During his first year as director of The One O'Clock, their recording Lab 2009 was Grammy-nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Wiest's original Ice-Nine garnered a nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. After producing and directing six successful CDs for the band and touring the US, UK and Thailand with the group, Steve moved to Denver to join the Jazz Studies Faculty at The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music.
As Coordinator of the 21st Century Music Initiative at Lamont, Steve is thrilled to put his love for all things creative into a wonderfully fertile educational environment. Directing the new ensemble The Symposium which combines modern jazz sensibilities with an eclectic instrumentation as well as developing new courses that reflect the landscape of the arts in the 21st Century while also teaching classic jazz language classes, Wiest is enjoying all of the resources and opportunities that Lamont has to offer.
Steve Wiest's trombone (also called "Excalibur") was designed exclusively for him by Christan Griego of Edwards Instruments. Wiest also plays Griego Mouthpieces, specifically the Griego-Steve Wiest model. Steve's compositions are published via Walrus Music, UNC Jazz Press, and Kendor Music.
Wiest's new science fiction novel The Dover Stone is now available on Amazon.com. This is the book that is the programmatic fuel for his new project with ArtistShare: Concerto for Folded Space which consists of ten pieces featuring Wiest and The Eclectric Band with guest artists Jimmy Pankow,Keith Howland and Jason Scheff of the super group Chicago as well as The Maniacal 4 (plus Jon Gauer) Arlington Jones and Bob Mintzer.
Continuing a diverse career as a leader, guest artist, composer, cartoonist, author and educator, Steve Wiest makes his home with his family in Denver, CO.
Taken from the Lamont School of Music Website.
Rock Hall of Fame
The DHS Jazz Ensemble put on an incredible performance with an encore on stage inside the hall! The band jammed for 45 minutes receiving roars from the crowd.
The Symphonic Band played at the base of the Science Center with Lake Erie in the background. The Symphonic Band performed Aztec by Gary Gackstatter, Memories composed by senior band member Gavin Luther, and closed with SeaGate Overture by James Swearingen.
The band did a phenomenal job on all three pieces. I have to say it is an incredibly overwhelming to watch your kids excel and achieve in public. I enjoy watching my students become independent musicians and watching a student composer conduct his piece got me choked up a bit.
To our Chaperones and families that traveled with us: You all rock and our wonderful people!
To the HS Band, thank you! Taking 60 + people around the country can be stressful, but you guys rock EVERY SINGLE TRIP! People kept coming up to me and complimenting your performances, behavior, and your actions.
The performance at the science center was awesome for so many reasons. Bystanders were stopping and bringing their small children up to watch and look at our band. Seeing the wonder in the eyes of so many young people was very moving.
To see more updates and pics of the trip head over to the new Student Newsletter section and view a student created update on the trip.
Take a look at these fine establishments that have shown their support to our program in some way over the years!
De Soto Bands