Bay City Public Schools are closed for Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Posted by admin on Apr 05, 2017 - 11:50 PM  •  Filed under: news
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Bay City Public Schools will be closed today 4-6-17 due to inclement weather.

MSBOA 2017 District S&E Results

Posted by admin on Feb 12, 2017 - 05:14 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Congratulations to all the students that participated in MSBOA District Solo & Ensemble Festival on Saturday, February 12 at St. Johns High School. See below for all the event results!

Western registered 63 events (more than ever!). 35 Division One, 22 Division Two, 2 Division Three, 2 Scratches and 2 No Shows. All in all, and EXCELLENT showcase of the talent at Western! I am very proud of all the students that worked so hard to prepare their event!

State Solo & Ensemble Festival is on March 18, 2017 at Lapeer High School. Registration is due by Thursday, February 16 (very quickly!). See Mr. Heydenburg or Mrs. Vandergraaff to pick up a registration form.

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Thank You and Great Job!

Posted by admin on Jul 10, 2016 - 11:10 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Thank you to all the students that participated in the Auburn Cornfest parade today! We had roughly 137 students participating and you looked and sounded great! I'm very proud of you and your dedication to your community. A special thank you to the many adults that helped coordinate and serve the students this weekend as well, whether it was pulling a trailer, or grilling hot dogs or filling water coolers, thank you! Also, a special thank you to the several alumni marchers we had today! What a great showing for the Western Bands!

Bay City Public Schools are closed for Monday, April 4, 2016.

Posted by admin on Apr 03, 2016 - 11:05 PM  •  Filed under: news
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Bay City Public Schools are closed for Monday, April 4, 2016.

Gillman Selected to MYAF Honors Band

Posted by admin on Mar 22, 2016 - 11:34 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Congratulations to Benjamin Gillman for being selected to the 2016 MSBOA/MYAF Honors Band. (MYAF is the Michigan Youth Arts Festival).

Ben qualified for the honor by achieving a perfect 100% score on his self-composed and performed Vibraphone solo and Level 1Proficiency examination at MSBOA State Solo & Ensemble Festival on March 19, 2016 in Lapeer. Invitations to be a member of either the MSBOA/MYAF Honors Band are offered to the top scoring individuals in the Proficiency Exam portion of the State S&E Festival.

Ben will perform with over 100 Honors Band members on the campus of Western Michigan University from May 12 - 14, 2016.

2016 State Solo & Ensemble Results

Posted by admin on Mar 20, 2016 - 01:21 PM  •  Filed under: news
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Congratulations to all the students that participated in MSBOA State Solo & Ensemble Festival on Saturday, March 19 at Lapeer High School. See below for all the event results!

Western sent 28 events (more than ever!).
17 Division One and 11 Division Two. All in all, and EXCELLENT showcase of that talent at Western! I am very proud of all the students that worked so hard to prepare their event!

Read more...

2016 MSBOA HS Solo & Ensemble Results

Posted by admin on Feb 14, 2016 - 06:53 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Congratulations to all the students that participated in MSBOA District Solo & Ensemble Festival on Saturday, February 13 at St. Johns High School. See below for all the event results!

Western sent 60 events (more than ever!). 30 Division One, 24 Division Two, 4 Division Three, One No Rating and no No Show. All in all, and EXCELLENT showcase of the talent at Western! I am very proud of all the students that worked so hard to prepare their event!

State Solo & Ensemble Festival is on March 19, 2016 at Lapeer High School. Registration is due by Thursday, February 18 (very quickly!). See Mr. Heydenburg to pick up a registration form.

Read more...

2016 High School Solo & Ensemble Festival Schedule

Posted by admin on Feb 01, 2016 - 09:03 AM  •  Filed under: news
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2016 High School Solo & Ensemble Festival Schedule takes place on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at St. John's High School.

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Hilden Named Outstanding Soloist

Posted by admin on Mar 24, 2015 - 03:01 PM  •  Filed under: news
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Congratulations to Katarina Hilden! (Senior, euphonium) Katarina has been selected as an Outstanding Soloist as a result of her performance at MSBOA State Solo & Ensemble and is eligible to compete for the opportunity to perform at the 2015 Michigan Youth Arts Festival Gala Concert on Friday May 8, 2015.

MSBOA State S&E Results

Posted by admin on Mar 22, 2015 - 07:11 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Congratulations to all the students that participated in MSBOA State Solo & Ensemble Festival on Saturday, March 21 at Lapeer High School. See below for all the event results!

Western sent 18 events (more than ever!).

Read more...

MSBOA All-State Audition schedule

Posted by admin on Oct 18, 2014 - 10:17 AM  •  Filed under: news
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The audition schedule for MSBOA All-State Band can be viewed here. Auditions take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 25 & 26 at Saginaw Heritage High School. Students that are not studying privately should see their director this week after school.


2013 Summer Letter Mailed

Posted by admin on Jun 28, 2013 - 04:11 AM  •  Filed under: news
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The 2013 Summer Letter was mailed on June 28, 2013. You can download it here if you wish!


2013 District Band Festival Results

Posted by admin on Mar 04, 2013 - 09:04 AM  •  Filed under: news


Congratulations to all the band students of Bay City Western High School and Middle School for their terrific performances at MSBOA District 5 Band & Orchestra Festival on March 1 & 2, 2013.



The Seventh Grade Band earned an overall Division I rating. The Eighth Grade Band earned and overall Division II rating. Both the High School Concert Band and Symphonic Band earned Division I ratings, with the Symphonic Band earning 'straight I's' for the ninth consecutive year. Since 2001, the High School Bands have earned Division I ratings every year except in 2003.



BCW Festival Rating History



This year, the bands will not be participating in the state festival.


Bay City Central Band Member Killed in Auto Accident

Posted by admin on Oct 20, 2012 - 02:48 PM  •  Filed under: news
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"GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Michigan State Police have identified Autumn Rose Elwell, 17, of Bay City as the victim of a fatal crash on I-96 near U.S. 131 early Saturday." (MLive article).


Autumn (in photo on right) was a senior member of the Band City Central Band and a saxophone player. The Western Band family extends its sincere condolences to the Elwell family and the Central Band family.


The Western Band family will be collecting donations for flowers and preparing a card to send to the family. Donations can be sent to class with your student and given to Mr. Heydenburg or Ms. Schlosser.

MSBOA All-State Band Information available

Posted by admin on Aug 29, 2012 - 12:52 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) auditions an All-State Band each year that performs at the Michigan Music Conference in January. Last year, John Costello represented Western High School at this event. This year, I would encourage anyone who is interested to audition. There are both High School and Middle School opportunities.

The information about the process and materials is available from the MSBOA website. Actual music will be available from Mr. H or Ms. Schlosser in the first few weeks of school. Auditions are typically held in November or December at another school.

More information will be available at school in the first few weeks.

Westernbands on Twitter!

Posted by admin on Aug 17, 2012 - 11:01 AM  •  Filed under: news
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Well, I took the plunge and created a westernbands twitter account. You can find it at http://www.twitter.com/westernbands. I am also experimenting with a web-service that automatically posts news items from the westernbands.net website/blog to both the facebook and twitter a accounts. This is my first test of the service. I hope it works!

I suppose you are supposed to 'follow' the twitter feed. Since I have no idea what I'm doing with twitter at the moment, that's all I can say. Hopefully you will teach me what to do ;-)

2011 MSBOA District Band Festival Results

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 13, 2011 - 08:45 AM  •  Filed under: news
Congratulations to all the band students of Bay City Western High School and Middle School for their terrific performances at MSBOA District 5 Band & Orchestra Festival on March 11, 2011.

The Seventh Grade Band each earned an overall Division II rating. Both the High School Concert Band and Symphonic Band earned Division I ratings, with the Symphonic Band earning 'straight I's' for the seventh consecutive year. Since 2001, the High School Bands have earned Division I ratings every year except in 2003.

BCW Festival Rating History

This year, the bands will not be participating in the state festival.

Read more...

Football Playoffs - UPDATED

Posted by Mr. H on Oct 24, 2010 - 02:23 PM  •  Filed under: news
Bay City Western will be playing Midland Dow in the football playoffs.  (http://www.mhsaa.com/Sports/Football/FootballPairings.aspx)

The game will take place Friday night (10/29) at 7:00 PM at Midland Stadium

The band will be performing as a pep band only. All students are expected to attend.

The band will be departing WHS at 6:15 pm and returning approximately 10:15 pm. Students must wear their raincoat and beanie, but are not required to wear the rest of their uniform (dress appropriately!).

Students that have conflicts should submit a pre-arranged absence form.

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Private Messages Ending

Posted by Mr. H on Sep 09, 2010 - 02:27 PM  •  Filed under: news
The private messaging feature on this site will soon be disabled. If you have anything you wish to retrieve before they are disabled, please do so soon.

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Movie Night!

Posted by Mr. H on Aug 16, 2010 - 09:22 AM  •  Filed under: news
A special Movie Night has been organized at the Bay City 8 Theaters in the Bay City Mall. This is a special fundraiser for the Bay City Western Bands!

Bring your whole family and all your friends (and enemies) to the Theater on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 from 6:00 - 10:00 PM and bring this coupon with you. When you do so, 50% of your concession stand purchases will be donated to BCW bands!

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July Conn-Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on Jul 09, 2010 - 05:28 AM  •  Filed under: news
French Horn Clinic by Philip Farkas
Players continually experiment with instruments, mouthpieces and methods to enlarge the tone, and then revel in the fact that they have such a big tone. All this they do while conductors the world over gnash their teeth and frantically wave the brass down!

Sight Reading, Fright Reading, or Sight Guessing? by Gary Gribble
It is imperative that students develop a musical vocabulary that encompasses notes, rhythm, dynamics, stylistic concerns, knowledge of phrasing, and all of the aspects that go into a quality performance. This should be a regular part of your rehearsal routine.

You Want Band in the Community - Delayed Gratification and Citizenship by David Willson
Each year I see the directors in the country have more hurdles thrown at them making it harder to have band where they are. These hurdles start with national testing, new graduation requirements, scheduling, and the list is endless. We as a society need to sell the real value of band to all in the community instead of getting stuck on the spirit or public relations area that all see and recognize.

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June Conn-Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on Jun 02, 2010 - 12:07 PM  •  Filed under: news
Strengthening the Foundations of Students' Excellence, Integrity and Social Contribution by William M. Sullivan
College education is a highly formative experience. It proves eventful and life-shaping for students of any age. College provides a uniquely powerful moment in which students rethink their lives, expand their intellectual and cultural horizons, and focus on future goals, often in new ways.

Engaging Rehearsals to Enhance Music Making by David Branson
The purpose of this article is to present basic rehearsal design principles that can improve student engagement followed by a description of practical rehearsal techniques designed to empower students to become an integral part of the music-making process.

5 Steps to a Musical Performance by Randall D. Royer
Although they are many strategies and methods to learning a piece of music, whether as an individual studio teacher or as a director of a large ensemble, I have found “5 Steps” to be the most efficient and effective plan for learning and teaching music.

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May Conn-Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on May 15, 2010 - 05:56 AM  •  Filed under: news
The Jazz Big Band: Ingredients To Assure Good Ensemble Performances by Scott Cowan
Throughout my nearly twenty years of directing jazz big bands and observing a myriad of world class band leaders, I have observed a plethora of ingredients, so to speak, that have contributed to successful performances. The following ingredients reflect my observations.

The Flute Practice Techniques by Robert H. Willoughby
I strongly advocate practicing part of the time without vibrato. While it adds life to your playing, it also tends to obscure basic faults, such as lack of support. In addition, modern composers will often specifically request that a particular passage be played without vibrato. Likewise, in baroque music it should be used sparingly.

Warm Up Room or War Room? by Gary Gribble
The warm up room is a critical area that can make or break a performance. Personally, I advocate a calm approach that is identical to our daily rehearsal procedure. I want the students to feel prepared, comfortable, and focused prior to moving on stage.

Read more...

The best extracurricular activity at many high schools is band...

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 25, 2010 - 12:05 PM  •  Filed under: news
Column: The best extracurricular activity at many high schools is band, particularly marching band
By Julie Mack | Kalamazoo Gazette
March 23, 2010, 7:00AM

A friend and I who have eight children between us who have all gone through high school have a theory about extracurricular activities.

The theory is this: The best extracurricular activity at many high schools is band, particularly marching band.

The reasons have little or nothing to do with music, and everything to do with the unique characteristics of high school band and its ability to promote positive social relationships.

Here’s what makes band unique...

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2010 Band Festival Results

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 07, 2010 - 09:38 AM  •  Filed under: news
Congratulations to all the band students of Bay City Western High School and Middle School for their terrific performances at MSBOA District 5 Band & Orchestra Festival on March 5 & 6, 2010.

The Seventh and Eighth Grade Bands, under the direction of Heidi Schlosser, each earned an overall Division II rating. Both the High School Concert Band and Symphonic Band, under the direction of Craig Heydenburg, earned straight Division I ratings for the sixth consecutive year. Since 2001, the High School Bands have earned Division I ratings every year except in 2003.

BCW Festival Rating History

On Monday in class, the High School bands will discuss performing at State Band Festival which takes place on April 23 & 24, 2010 at Western High School.

Read more...

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