B-L Middle School Band Information
A note for upcoming B-L Middle School Students:
Dear BLES Fifth Grade Parents and Guardians,
I am sure it is very hard to believe that your child will be leaving Elementary School and becoming a Middle School student next year! I know that this is both a very exciting and anxious time for your child and for you as a parent. One very exciting aspect about your child moving to Batesburg-Leesville Middle School is they now have the opportunity to join the BLMS band program. The Batesburg-Leesville Bands is becoming one of the premiere band programs in South Carolina, and we would like for your child to be a part of our outstanding organization. That being said, if your child has ever wanted to learn to play a band instrument, we really need to make sure that they get started during their 6th grade year.
Batesburg-Leesville Middle School
Below are answers to some frequently asked question from parents about our band program:
What instrument will my child play in the band? During the first few weeks of school, we will spend time introducing the students to all of the music instruments that are used in our middle school band program. The students will also spend these first few weeks focusing on music reading skills (treble clef, bass clef, rhythm counting, music notation symbols, etc.) The eleven instruments offered in the band program here at Batesburg-Leesville Middle School are: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba, and Percussion. As we start this journey together, I ask that students and parents keep an open mind about the instrument selection process. Our first and foremost goal with instrument fitting is to try and assure that every student is matched to an instrument that will ensure them immediate and long term success.
Our “Instrument Fitting Night” for the 2020-2021 school year is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2nd from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM. More details about this particular event will be sent once school starts in August.
Where will we get an instrument and how much will it cost?
Buying a band instrument is a sizable investment; most parents choose to participate in a rental program (rent to own). Once an instrument has been selected for your child, it is very important that you purchase a quality instrument, to insure the best possibility of success. Unfortunately, I have seen many students bring in inferior instruments which have been purchased from unreliable sources. More often than not, the student has difficulty producing a sound, becomes frustrated and drops out of the program.
Earlier this school year, I asked music companies from across South Carolina to present us with a bid of the instruments and services that could be offered to our students and their families. After carefully reviewing all of these bid offers, we have decided that Musical Innovations (a music store based in Greenville, SC) has some of the finest products to offer at very reasonable prices.
On Wednesday, September 9th, there will be 3 or 4 representatives from Musical Innovations in the BLMS Band Room to help you get the necessary materials for your child. They will be here from 3:30 PM until 6:30 PM that afternoon.
Will band interfere with other activities, such as sports, dance, Scouts, cheerleading?
Band students tend to be involved in many activities in our school and community. In Sixth Grade, there is very little (if any) rehearsal time required outside of daily Band class, so there is no conflict with lessons, Church, meetings, or sports outside of school. The amount of time a student is expected to practice at home is about the same as is necessary for homework in other classes. As students move to 7th and 8th Grade, there will be some conflicts with other activities, but I have found that most of those conflicts can easily be resolved. During my time in the Batesburg-Leesville community, I have found that middle school band students are usually able to balance schoolwork, sports and other activities, and musical activities, with guidance and encouragement from parents. Our band students are also academically successful, especially considering they make up a large percentage of the BLMS Honor Roll each nine weeks.
Will there be many performances? Do we have to buy uniforms?
We are very proud of what our students can do, and will show them off in at least two concerts during their Sixth Grade year. There are guidelines that we will give you and your child at the beginning of the school year that will explain our Concert Attire expectations. However, these items can be purchased for a minimal amount of money. Another performance opportunity that we highly encourage our 6th grade students to participate in is the SCBDA Solo and Ensemble Festival. Your child will receive information about this event in February of next school year.
Feel free to email Mr. Funderburk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 803.532.1569 ext. 4909 if you have any other questions or concerns.
How do I get my child signed up for Band Class for next school year?
As we all know, everything is pretty challenging these days as we deal with the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if your child is wanting to participate in the Batesburg-Leesville Middle School Band program next year as a 6th grader, you can get them enrolled by using one of the following methods:
Registration Form Link - https://forms.gle/eDc4A4zvSTwwSpDX9