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
Each year, multiple business and community leaders contact us asking how they can help support our efforts in providing an outstanding, cutting edge music education to the students here at De Soto #73.
If you would like to become a corporate sponsor of the De Soto Bands NOW IS THE TIME. We have three levels of corporate sponsorship available.
Gold Level- $500 or more
Gold level sponsors will have their business name placed on the band trailer that accompanies the Dragon Pride Marching Band in our Regional competitions. Sponsors at this level will also receive complimentary tickets to the Fountain City Jazz Fest evening concert! Sponsors at this level will also be featured on the band website as a featured sponsor.
Green level sponsors will be advertised in all band programs this year and will have their business/organization placed on our website. Sponsors at this level will also be placed on the band website with their logo and a link to their respective website.
White level sponsors will have their names placed in all DHS band programs as well as on the band website.
Thanks to our many sponsors every year we are able to provide our students with numerous opportunities including. Money from your business sponsorship will go to support equipment purchases, repairs, and student scholarships. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mr. Boyer
The De Soto Bands kicked off our annual sponsorship drive with a 59 Minute Fundraiser. Our band program is trying to raise $6000 or more for our Memphis 2020 trip and a new marimba for the marching band. Instead of selling stuff, we are collecting $10 monthly donations.
If you donate for 12 mos, in exchange for your support, you get 3 magazines subscriptions that you can keep or give as a gift, a 3 day 2 night stay at the Plaza Hotel in Vegas that includes 2 free show tickets, and the student you are supporting can earn a $1000 college tuition reward through Sage Scholars. However, 3 and 6 mos is greatly appreciated as a donation to the program as well. (*To be eligible for the awards mentioned above, donations must be made through the link below)
Our goal is for every student to get 5 Supporters to give $10/month. If we do, we will hit our goal! Will you be one of my 5 supporters!?! If not, please consider sharing this post to help us get the word out.
Please reply back if you will support me and you can pay online at: https://readysetfund.us/tools/rsf/?pid=desotoband
Be sure to enter your student's First and Last Name for me to get proper credit.
Thank you for your support of music education!
The DHS Band program had another busy weekend. Our weekend included the Spring Jazz Showcase, a Tri-M Induction ceremony, Spring Band Concert, and the annual Band Banquet.
Spring Jazz Showcase
Friday evening was the Spring Jazz Showcase.
With the addition of the HS Jazz Lab Band the decision was made to split the Jazz and Concert Band performances up. This also allowed us the opportunity to include our newly formed DHS Alumni Big Band in the performance lineup for the Spring Jazz Showcase!
Our Alumni Big Band included the following performers
Cami Bonine 2017
Morgan Solomon 2018
Alyssa Phillips 2018
Colton Avis 2017
Ashley McFarland 2018
Orion Starwalt 2008
Hayley Neely 2017
Blair Starwalt 2009
Dylan White 2017
Hope Watts 2010
Darrell Boyer 2008
Josh Hill 2014
Jeffrey Russell 1978
Wyatt Hickman 2018
Luke Guzman 2016
Gavin Luther 2018
Thank you to all of the alumni that took time out of their busy lives to come and perform with us. This group of musicians represents 40+ years of Jazz education at De Soto!
Each of the bands put on a wonderful performance.
Special recognition was given to the following musicians.
Gavin Dunn-Most improved Jazz student
Eric Dimercurio-Improv MVP
Quincy Jones Award- Brandon Nunnally
Louis Armstrong-Ethan Brown
Sunday: Induction, Concert, Beef and Banquet
The Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter #8124 held their official induction of members Sunday. We want to thank all of our friends and family that were in attendance.
Both the Concert Band and the Symphonic Band performed solid performances. The Symphonic Band began their set with a demonstration chorale that helped show our parents and community what goes into our performances.
Special student recognition went to:
Freshman MVP: Olivia Hartwell
Outstanding Sophomore: Faith Olds
Junior of the Year: Kylie Mitchell
Byron Munson Marching Award: Kaitlyn Podgornik
John Philip Sousa Award: Ethan Brown
Ethan Brown conducted the DHS Concert Band on their last piece, Rough Riders. Ethan has helped in Concert Band as Mr. Boyer's teaching assistant.
Mr. Anthony Brown conducted the DHS Symphonic Band on their piece, Big Four. Mr. Brown was the winning bidder at the DHS Dessert Auction earning him the opportunity to conduct at the Spring Band concert.
Kylie Mitchell conducting her piece, In the Dark. Kylie was the winner of the 2019 Fountain City Composition Contest and her piece had its WORLD PREMIERE at our concert Sunday.
The 2019 Fall Marching Show was revealed at the annual band banquet. The Dragon Pride will be performing "The Fabric of Time" in the fall. This show focuses on man's obsession with the concept of time.
Senior Band Cake provided by Mrs. Allen.
Beef up the Band
Our top seller Hailey Propst was presented with a check for her Memphis trip deposit which will be paid by Mr. Boyer. Thank you for your hard work with our Beef up the Band Fundraiser!
We have created this video to help get the word out about our Beef up the Band fundraiser! Share this video to help spread the word!
The DHS Band members are selling raffle tickets for our annual Beef up the Band fundraiser. This fundraiser is two separate raffles for a half beef.
Side 1-Unlimited Raffle – White Raffle Tickets - $5.00
We will be selling Side 1 raffle tickets for $5.00. There is not a set amount of tickets that will be sold.
Side 2 -Reserve Raffle – Blue Raffle Tickets – $15.00
We will be selling Side 2 raffle tickets for $15.00. There will only be 300 tickets sold for this ½ of beef.
What are we raising funds for?
New mallets and small percussion equipment ($500)
Senior Band Scholarships ($1500)
Guest artist for Jazz Fest ($1500-3000)
Band Trip 2020 Charter Buses ($10,000)
Clinicians for Concert Bands ($1000)
Marching Band Drill ($1600)
Color Guard Flags ($1200)
Color Guard Choreography ($500)
Over the past four years, our students have performed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, worked with professional composers, performed with a 3x Grammy nominated artist, learned from countless clinicians and the list goes on. All of this has been accomplished through fundraising.
Money will help keep marching fees low, support our scholarship fund, and our guest artist fund for next year’s Jazz Fest. This fundraiser allows us to continue providing our students with a top notch music education here at De Soto. If you would like to support music education, and get a chance to win approximately 200 pounds of beef, please consider purchasing a raffle ticket. Raffle tickets can also be reserved online at www.desotobands.org
Would you like to continue supporting these top notch experiences in music education?
Sales Dates: 4/8/19-4/22/19
Drawing: Spring Band Concert, Sunday April 28th, 2019
End of the Year, Approaching Fast
The end of the year is approaching fast. While we begin to look forward to what next year has in store for us, we should also pause and take a moment to reflect on where we have been.
This year our students have:
Tri-M members have also:
Events coming up
April 8-April 22nd
Beef up the Band Fundraiser- This fundraiser helps to keep our marching band fees low, supports our scholarship fund, and our guest artist fund for next year's Jazz Fest. This fundraiser allows us to continue providing our students with a top notch music education here at De Soto. If you would like to support music education, and get a chance to win approximately 200 pounds of beef, please consider purchasing a raffle ticket. Raffle tickets can be reserved online here.
Friday, April 26th
Spring Jazz Showcase featuring our Jazz Lab, Jazz Ensemble, and the Alumni Big Band
Sunday, April 28th
Spring Band Concert and Awards Dessert Banquet at 3pm in the DHS Auditorium, with Awards Banquet in the DHS Gymnasium.
As we begin to wind down this school year and begin another, I would like to say "Thank you" to everyone that has taken part in the De Soto Bands this year! From our generous sponsors, parent volunteers, to clinicians, to guest artists, and most importantly our wonderful students, it has been an incredible journey making music with all of you this year.
The "March into the Arts" series kicked into high gear this past week.
This past week, the DHS Symphonic Band hosted the West County HS Symphonic Band for a "Band Director Swap" and concert. Each band performed for and received a clinic from the other school's band director. With the Missouri State Large Ensemble Assessment coming up, this opportunity provided both bands with a new perspective and look at their music as well as valuable feedback to help improve each band as they continue on with their semester.
The West County Band students arrived in time to join our 7th Hour Jazz Lab students for some improvisation. It was great to watch our students and West County students sharing their musical ideas together.
That evening the West County and De Soto Symphonic Bands performed for friends and family. We are incredibly thankful to the administrators at West County and De Soto that made this opportunity to make share music and ideas possible!
On Tuesday, Prof. Elke Overton, from Jefferson College, came to work with our DHS Concert and Symphonic Bands to provide feedback on our performance and preparation for State Large Ensemble.
On Thursday, Maestro Gary Gackstatter came in and worked with both our Concert and Symphonic Bands.
The DHS Symphonic Band is currently working on a piece by Percy Grainger and a piece by Mr. Gackstatter entitled "The People" from The Grouse Creek Symphony. The band was complimented on their performance of the piece by Grainger. It was exhilarating watching him work with the Symphonic Band and share with them his passion for music.
"So this is my hope for The Grouse Creek Symphony: that through the music and art, we can deepen our appreciation for what’s in our own backyard. May we never take for granted the beauty of the land and sky, trees, water and people."-Gary Gackstatter
Mr. Gackstatter exudes passion and creativity and is an inspiration to all that he comes into contact with. Mr. Gackstatter's work with our bands was insightful, engaging, inspiring, and it served as a musical revival for the bands and staff.
Fountain City Jazz Fest 2019
This year the De Soto Bands used fundraising money to commission 3x Grammy nominated artist Steve Wiest to write a piece for the DHS Jazz Ensemble and brought him in to perform as our guest artist for the Fountain City Jazz Fest. Our Jazz students have been incredibly excited about this opportunity since the announcement was made in the fall.
While here, Mr. Wiest rehearsed with the the Jazz Ensemble and spoke with the DHS Bands. Students were able to ask questions and interact with Steve before the end of the day Friday. Students gained a lot from their interactions with Mr. Wiest, both musically and personally. Mr. Wiest said, "There are two types of people, the cats that wanna learn and those that know everything."
Friday evening Mr. Boyer and Mr. Wiest traveled to Jazz St. Louis to see the Funky Butt Brass Band. The band invited Mr. Wiest up on stage during one of their pieces.
On Saturday the Jazz Program did an incredible job running the Jazz Fest. Our Jazz Ensemble students put in a 13.5 hour day working and performing at the festival.
The festival included a Masterclass from our guest artist where he dropped some serious knowledge and laughs on our students and the participating bands. After the Wiest Masterclass, Dr. Joseph Jefferson, from SEMO, led an incredible clinic on practice sessions and improving as a musician. The clinic had to be moved to the DHS Band room due to the high number of attendees! His clinic packet can be found here.
After the Dr. Jefferson clinic, the DHS trombones received a private lesson from Mr. Wiest. This was a special opportunity for our trombone student to sit and chat with a professional trombonist and learn from a true master.
The DHS Jazz Ensemble wrapped up the Fountain City Jazz Fest with a concert with Steve Wiest. The band performed an hour long set that included multiple solos from students and Mr. Wiest. We want to thank everyone that attended the evening concert. The money raised will be used to support our DHS Band scholarships.
This has been another incredible week of music at De Soto High School.
For more pictures of the FCJ Fest 2019, click HERE
We hope you can join us at any of our upcoming events!
March 29, 2019 - Solo and Ensemble Recital and Fine Arts Night @5:30pm
March 30, 2019 - Middle School Festival
April 3, 2019 - State Large Ensemble Festival at Jefferson College (Symphonic Band)
April 5, 2019 - Missouri Music Symposium at Jefferson R7 (Concert Band)
April 26, 2019 - Spring Jazz Showcase
April 28, 2019 - Spring Band Concert and Banquet
De Soto Bands