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
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!
De Soto Bands