Mesquite High School Mighty Maroon Band
2020-21 School Year – 2nd Semester Band Placements
We have approached the conclusion of the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year. The MMB Directors are working through plans for our students for the 2nd Semester as it relates to Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) and Face To Face (F2F) education models. The current blended model (VLA and F2F simultaneously) has been a challenge for both teachers and students. As we have discussed what band classes should look like for the 2nd Semester, two factors have had the largest impact on our student’s musical education. The first is balancing in-person and online at the same time and how it is affecting positively and/or negatively the learning process. The second is the ability to have progress towards a performance level that encapsulates reasonably high performance standards and how it is affecting positively and negatively by in-person and online rehearsing.
The MMB is expected and planning to attend the UIL Region Concert and Sight Reading Band Contest in April 2021. This is in line with the MMB expected and planning to attend the UIL Region Marching Contest in November 2020. The current level of band students enrolled in VLA will have a large impact on our program being able to attend the Concert & Sight Reading Contest in the spring. Based upon current VLA numbers, the instrumentation for some of our groups is not at a level to attend UIL and be able to have a performance that adequately represents the music. For Concert & Sight-Reading Contest we do not have band rehearsals 4 to 5 times a week outside of the school day with the entire ensemble as part of our preparation time for UIL as we do for marching band. It is not a reasonable expectation for a student who never rehearses in person with the band to perform in person with the band, at either a concert or a contest. In consideration of all of the above factors, the MMB Directors have made the following decisions about band classes for the 2nd Semester.
1. We will only take bands to contest that have a full instrumentation per UIL recommendations.
2. Students must attend band class in-person in order to be a member of either the Wind Symphony or Symphonic Band regardless if they are Face To Face or Virtual Learning Academy. Any student, whose musicianship and technical skills are at the level to play in either of the top groups but have chosen VLA and have chosen not to come on campus to attend band rehearsal, will be placed into a VLA Band class and not into Wind Symphony or Symphonic Band. The MMB directors via online rehearsals and individual online lessons will teach these type of Band VLA students.
3. Students will be required to make a commitment for the entire semester to attend on campus band classes regardless of being Face to Face or Virtual Learning Academy. This includes if students change from one system to the other at a grading period. Students and parents will sign a contract stating the student has agreed to be on campus for band classes the entire semester.
4. VLA Band Students will “perform” during the semester as a Virtual Band. Students will record themselves performing their parts independently. The MMB Directors will then edit these together to create a VLA Virtual Band. Their performances will be available for viewing through Google Classroom.
Please consider what you believe will be best for your student and family in regards to health, safety, and music performance opportunities. The students who are currently VLA and attending band classes have been able to do so with relative comfort and ease. They enter and exit the band hall through the exterior door and have no reason to venture elsewhere into the building outside of the music wing and auditorium. The directors feel our health is safe working in our music wing and auditorium. In the first part of November, we will make available the contracts for students/parents to complete and return to the directors stating what your preference will be for the second semester. Those contracts will be due back prior to the Thanksgiving break.
If you have any questions about this, please contact the MMB Directors. We want you to understand our reasoning for these decisions. Please know that we are concerned with the health and safety of your students (and all their family members), in addition to their overall education and musical experiences.