So yeah, we got hacked

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 25, 2009 - 01:33 PM  •  Filed under: news
Right - we got hacked a couple days ago. The site was a complete mess. I'm sorry if you had to see that. Then of course, I had to take it down while I was attempting to fix it - so maybe you saw some of that too. What fun. So, I worked with our website host (, btw) and they restored the site to a backup -so, it is possible that we lost a few forum posts or something - maybe. Of course, that service they provide isn't free... Now, I have taken a few measures to counter the hacker, but I can't promise anything. You only become a hacker if you're really smart - and really bored. Obviously, this particular hacker was REALLY bored so they picked a very minor little site in our corner of the internets. Hey! Leave us alone! what did we ever do to you? huh? If we figure out who you are, we're going to come to your house and make the drumline wake you up at 4:00 am! Or worse, we'll ask the oboe section (yes I said SECTION - all SIX of them!) come to your house and attempt to play a unison! take that! we can fight fire with fire! (hmmm, speaking of fire... you know why a bassoon is better than an oboe?)

So, this little episode has only made me want to upgrade the site even more than before, so expect to see something new soon. Ironically, I had already been working on the upgrade plan and was hoping to get the largest chunk of work done over spring break. So, in a way, the timing couldn't be better. :-)

B&O Festival Results

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 07, 2009 - 07:26 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 6 & 7, 2009. The Seventh Grade Band, under the direction of Heidi Schlosser & Alex Benoit, earned an overall Division II rating. The Eighth Grade Band, also under the direction of Ms. Schlosser, Earned straight Division I ratings (that means all judges gave them a Division I).

Both the High School Concert Band and Symphonic Band, under the direction of Craig Heydenburg, earned straight Division I ratings for the fifth consecutive year. Since 2001, the High School Bands have earned Division I ratings every year except in 2003.

BCW Festival Rating History

Ambrose Family Holds Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Posted by Mr. H on Feb 17, 2009 - 02:43 AM  •  Filed under: news
Former band student Kelly Ambrose has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Kelly is currently a student at Cornerstone University and is ungoing treatment for a large tumor. You can read more about Kelly's situation in this Bay City Time's article. Kelly's family is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to cover the costs of her treatment.

What: Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for Kelly Ambrose

When: Feb. 21st from 2 - 8 PM

Where: Auburn United Methodist Church, located at 207 S. Auburn Rd.

Cost: Advance tickets $6 adults, $5 kids (may be purchased @ Pat & Jerry's) or at the door for an additional $1 per ticket.

Please consider supporting the Ambrose family. Also - you can make a direct contribution to the family in the jar in the main High School office.

Bay Commitment Scholarship Information

Posted by Mr. H on Feb 05, 2009 - 07:00 PM  •  Filed under: news
Seniors, how would you like to be awarded a $2,000 Bay Commitment Scholarship? This scholarship is available through the Bay Area Community Foundation (BACF) and is available to 2009 graduating seniors from Bay City Public Schools who meet the following criteria:

♦ Student has attended BCPS six or more full years

♦ Neither parent/guardian has earned a four‐year college degree

Students awarded this scholarship must use the funds at Delta College or Saginaw Valley State University. The Bay Commitment application must be accompanied by an essay and two recommendation letters. To apply for the scholarship, visit for complete

details. Applicants will complete the application online.

(click below to read more...)


Introducing Ms. Shaker, Student Teacher

Posted by Mr. H on Jan 04, 2009 - 07:00 PM  •  Filed under: news

Ms. Shannon Shaker will be student teaching with Ms. Schlosser and Mr. Heydenburg from January until May, 2009.

Shannon Shaker is from Pinconning, Michigan, and graduated from Pinconning Area High School in 2004. Shannon is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration on the clarinet at Central Michigan University. During her time at CMU, Shannon has played clarinet and bass clarinet in many ensembles including: Symphonic Wind Ensemble, JACKS Woodwind Quintet, and the Marching Chippewas. Shannon was also a member of Delta Omicron (a professional, international music fraternity), and served as president for a year. In her free time, Shannon enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and walking her dog. She hopes to get a job next year teaching band or elementary music, and cannot wait to student teach at Bay City Western this spring.

October, November & December Conn-Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on Dec 23, 2008 - 07:32 AM  •  Filed under: news
October 2008

Some Thoughts Regarding Recruitment and Retention of Instrumental Students by Dr. Stewart L. Ross

Directors need to recruit families, not just individual students. While it is true that students recruit students, it is also evident that music parents recruit other music parents.

A Parent Guide to Music Education by Shirley Strohm Mullins

Our society values music for its intrinsic beauty, its meaning, its sheer joy. Imagine celebrations, social or religious events, football games, television, inaugurations and parades without music. We value music because it touches our hearts and souls.

Beginning Band and Orchestra, The Roots of a Successful Program (Part 1) by William W. Gourley

In today’s economic climate and with the pressures from other academic disciplines music programs are in a fragile position.

November 2008

Beginning Band and Orchestra, The Roots of a Successful Program (Part 2) by William W. Gourley

Everyone may not be right for instrumental music but instrumental music must be right for everyone.

Partnerships: A Powerful Tool by David Branson

Partnerships between school district music programs and community art groups are critical for the creation and enhancement of a vital arts environment.

Grading the Music Student:: The Revelli Point System by William Revelli

Conductors can be afraid to give a student the grade he or she really deserves because they’re afraid that that student might become discouraged and quit. I was always a very tough grader – if Revelli gave you an A, you’d better frame it.

December 2008

Teaching the Flute to Students with Braces – No Bad Sound Days by Valerie Simosko

The majority of student flutists must at some point in their playing career learn to play with braces on their teeth. Rather than cringing at the thought of losing some of your best students to what may seem like an unhappy event, you can capitalize on it by exploring the world of sound production with your student.

How To Rehearse by Nicholas V. Holland, III, Ph.D.

Yes, I can hear your laughter, and deservedly so; there isn’t really anything “sure-fire” in teaching. However, I can guarantee that you will find at least some part of these two teaching methods useful in your daily rehearsals.

Commitment Is The Price Of Leadership For Both Students And Teachers by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions, and it is the actions that speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none – coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of, the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.

Alumni Perform at Bowl Games

Posted by Mr. H on Dec 17, 2008 - 03:01 AM  •  Filed under: news
Did you know that we will have several Alumni traveling to and performing at College Football Bowl games this winter?

Motor City Bowl - December 26, 2008 - Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Central Michigan University vs. Florida Atlantic University

David Shephard, WHS 2004 CMU

Anna Cruff, WHS 2005 CMU

Tyler DeFord, WHS 2007, CMU

Megan Barnard, WHS 2008, CMU

Capital One Bowl - January 1, 2009 - Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Michigan State University vs. Georgia University

Renee Pawloski, WHS 2005 MSU

Brian Arendt, WHS 2008, MSU

Have YOU considered joining a college band after you graduate? you SHOULD! You too may get to spend your vacation in a warm location!

BCPS District Survey of Parents

Posted by Mr. H on Nov 11, 2008 - 05:55 AM  •  Filed under: news
Parents of Bay City Public School students are encouraged to participate in this year's BCPS Online Parent Survey Such that the district can better respond to your needs. Thank you.

Bay Music Foundation Scholarship Competition

Posted by Mr. H on Nov 10, 2008 - 11:30 AM  •  Filed under: news
web_logo.gifThe Bay Music Foundation will be holding their annual scholarship competition on February 14, 2009. Applications are available from your band director or from the Bay Music Foundation Website. Students can win as much as $600 that they can use toward music camps and other music-related expenses (see site for details). Recent winners include Bay City Western Grads! Take a look.

WinterGuard Audition Results!!!

Posted by omgbecky on Oct 30, 2008 - 10:46 AM  •  Filed under: news
Here's what all who auditioned were waiting for.


FSN Detroit To Air Selection Sunday Show

Posted by Mr. H on Oct 24, 2008 - 04:22 PM  •  Filed under: news
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Oct. 21 – High school football teams around the state will huddle around their television sets on Sunday (October 26) at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) to find out the qualifiers and pairings for the 2008 Michigan High School Athletic Association Football Playoffs during the Selection Sunday Show, exclusively on FSN Detroit.

The 30-minute program, hosted by FSN’s Mickey York and Ryan Field, will provide a rundown of the 256 teams that have qualified for the MHSAA Playoffs, as well as their first round matchups and game sites.


July & August Conn Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on Aug 13, 2008 - 02:58 AM  •  Filed under: news
Tone Development Through Interpretation By Bernard Goldberg

How does one go about developing this variety of expression, this armory of instrumental and physical capability? Why, form music itself! We all practice scales and arpeggios, scales in thirds, sixths, broken chords, and trills, etc., for technical ability, capped off by mountains of beautiful etudes by so many flutist-composers.

Captivate Young People With Music! by Dr. James Gholson

Given the explosion of new learning and information venues, I get excited talking about new ways to captivate youngsters with music, literature, painting and dance. I sincerely believe that students of all ages should heartily engage the arts, both as learners and patrons.


From time to time in my role as Professor of Trombone at Northwestern University, I admit exceptionally gifted young musicians who possess both outstanding musicianship and keen intellectual acumen into our doctoral program. Such was the case when I encountered Russian Bass Trombonist, Andrey Kharlamov. Actually, it was a re-encounter, as I first came across him as a very young and precocious man, during a masterclass at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory during the Chicago Symphony's historic tour of Russia in 1990.

Practice by Susan Younghans

The majority of our students have many outside activities. The time they have available for practice, is very limited and often scattered. Students need to know how to use their time efficiently, successfully and productively. We need to teach them how to practice by modeling and teaching valuable practice skills which are necessary at all levels, much like study skills for academic success.


There has been a debate over the years regarding the question of materials used for manufacturing both instruments and mouthpieces. A great number of saxophonists believe that metal mouthpieces are exclusively for playing jazz, and that hard rubber mouthpieces are for playing classical performances. Actually, there are excellent mouthpieces for all genres in both materials. The great Marcel Mule for many years used a metal mouthpiece for his classical performances. It stands to reason, then, that mouthpiece design is the most influential aspect of quality, not the material.

Knowing the Score and Beyond by Dr. David Littrell

It is a given that a conductor should be able to elicit a musical response from an ensemble through precise verbal directions and the proper use of the baton. A conductor’s knowledge goes far beyond that, though, and comprises the areas of music history, biographical information about composers, stylistic awareness and the technical means of achieving it, and a formal analysis of each work.

June Conn Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on Jun 11, 2008 - 07:00 PM  •  Filed under: news
An Ethic for Secondary School Music Educators by Dr. James Neilson

It is the responsibility of secondary school music educators to interpret and teach the art and language of music to students in those ways that will serve the students best interests, and through student performing to provide inspiration and entertainment for the general public when time and circumstances permit this to be done.

Our perceptions of hearing by Charles Martyn

Our perceptions of hearing do indeed differ. It always fascinates me to gather the impressions of what people have heard following a truly outstanding performance. Some can be critical while others are absolutely uncritical of what has transpired. Many are only loaded with superlatives. But how often do we hear perceptive insights regarding the pedagogy involved in making an outstanding ensemble?

Tone Production and Resonance by Gary Gray

The flute is more closely related to the human voice than any other musical instrument. While the strings may seem to be more closely related because of their ability to span wide melodic intervals without a noticeable break, the mechanics of tone production on the flute are almost exactly parallel to those involved with the voice.

Interesting Links

Posted by ajbeson on May 29, 2008 - 10:44 AM  •  Filed under: news
This Website has many topics for trumpet players. There are many useful techniques and helpful tips related to the trumpet. There are multiple links on this website.

The links vary from getting back in shape to double-buzz. Trumpet Topics

This website has the most popular bugle calls that are used in the army. People looking to join the army and don't think they could continue on with music are wrong, and this website gives you all you need to be a musician in the army. There are a lot of different calls and the sheet music and a sample of the music is on this site. There are also other links from this website that take you to other trumpet topics and tell you more about instruments in the army. (provided link not valid [] try This one

This website has a bunch of free downloads of sheet music for trumpet ensembles. This would be a very good website to help find music maybe for solo and ensemble, ensembles for other events, or just for a fun thing to do. Music is pretty expensive to buy, and this is a completely free website that you can just download the sheet music on. Dave Taylor Music

I hope these sites help someone with something. I found these sites to be useful and hopefully someone else will too.

Interesting Links

Posted by Audrey on May 29, 2008 - 10:35 AM  •  Filed under: news

Becoming an Effective Leader

Leadership is often described as a process of influence. There are certain attributes that help a leader influence others. An inspiring leader should have good character, motives, values, and skills. Some of these traits are already known, but there are many traits that leaders need to learn. In reality, what a leader knows is very little compared to what they still have to learn. In order to learn these things faster, it is very important for a leader to be open minded to new ideas. The process of being an effective leader is continuous, so it is important that leaders continue to strive for the knowledge of the qualities of a good leader.

Effective Leadership

Qualities of a Good Leader

The structure of a leader is very important. A leader should be respectful, driven, and a team player. If a leader is respected, then they are respected back. If a leader is driven, the others in the organization will be inspired and have that same drive. If a leader is a team player, it makes it much easier and more enjoyable to work with people. Being a good football player doesn’t always mean that they would be a good coach. The qualities listed above are three of many other qualities that help define a good leader.

Leadership Qualities


The leadership position gives you authority and simply makes you the boss. Having the power of leadership does not automatically make you a good leader. An effective leader should strive to be a good leader and have the desire to lead others. Leaders should want their followers to achieve their goals, not just simply stand there and boss people around. Good leaders are constantly trying to improve their skills to make themselves more respectable leaders and to be able to inspire others.

Concepts of Leadership

Let's Hear it for the Kazoo

The kazoo is often overlooked as a musical instrument. In fact, it is just as low in the instrument approval scale as the accordian. Even though it seems like a toy for children today to play with, the kazoo has much older lineage. The roots of the kazoo are in Africa, where is was used to disguise voices for story telling and other rituals. It was made from a cow\'s horn, with a vibrating membrane from the egg shells of spiders covering the hole. The kazoo even appeared in European orchestras in the 17th and 18th centuries, where it was known as the mirliton. Later, it travelled to America where it received its name from an African-American inventor named Alabama Vest.

John Cech Kazoo Article

MCFTA Offers Summer Theory Class

Posted by Mr. H on May 26, 2008 - 06:57 AM  •  Filed under: news
The Midland Center for the Arts will off a summer Music Theory Class for local high school and middle school students.

Classes will meet beginning June 16 and continue until July 4 and meet at the Midland Center for the Arts. The Music Theory beginning class will meet 1-2 p.m. and the advanced class will meet from 3-4 p.m.

Music Theory Class Application

May Conn-Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on May 16, 2008 - 10:57 AM  •  Filed under: news
True professionalism: What does it mean in music education? by Dr. Edwin C. Kruth

The professional is someone who has something to profess, and he or she does so with certain attitudes and behaviors that characterize the specific role to be played. The primary tool is talent. It is the degree of manipulation of this tool that determines the success of the professional.

Choosing the Repertoire Archeology for the Band Conductor by Daniel A. Belongia

REPERTOIRE determines the depth and breadth of musical opportunities for our students.

The Development of a Beginning Grade School Band by Dr. William L. Johnston

Probably our greatest aim in developing a beginning grade school band is to offer experiences to every child involved that will tend to develop those qualities which will aid that child in becoming a well-rounded, balanced, mature adult.

April Conn-Selmer Articles

Posted by Mr. H on Apr 04, 2008 - 01:50 AM  •  Filed under: news
Repertoire Repercussions by Patricia George

Recently I was teaching a flute masterclass at a weekend band camp. I was working on having the students play repetitions of sequential scale patterns at a varying of number of times and realized that the students had difficulty executing the passage four times, six times or eight times.

Practically Perfect Practicing by Robert Jesselson

Practicing is the process of acquiring new skills and making them into good habits. It is really just a set of learned behavior patterns and responses. Good practicing requires thoughtful self-analysis and self-criticism in the process of improving your ability.

When Festival Fever Strikes, It Is A Sure Cure For The Winter Blahs by Shirley Strohm Mullins

Every year about this time I catch a mysterious malady called Festival Fever. Strangely enough, it is one disease I anticipate with great pleasure. It is a sure cure for the after-holidays letdown and usually carries me straight through to spring break.

Michigan Youth Arts Festival Nominees!

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 18, 2008 - 12:49 AM  •  Filed under: news
Congratulations to Senior Percussionist, Michael Jarema and Junior Clarinetist, Stephanie McMall for their outstanding performance at M.S.B.O.A. State Solo & Ensemble. Becuase of their outstanding acheivement, they have been nominated for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Band. This is the highest level of acheivement for a high school student in music in the state of Michigan. Congratulations!

Parade Publicity

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 17, 2008 - 05:52 AM  •  Filed under: news
Hey! The Western High School Color is featured on an mlive column about the St. Patrick's Day Parade There is also a picture of the trumpet section in the slideshow! Check it out! Hey Kasey, you're famous!

MSBOA High School State Solo & Ensemble Results

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 15, 2008 - 02:04 PM  •  Filed under: news
Congratulations to all the students that participated in this year's MSBOA State Solo & Ensemble Festival. Western was very well represented with three events receiving a Division Two rating and 11 events receiving a Division One rating. Special acknowledgement to Senior Percussionist, Michael Jarema who earned a 97/100 score in Proficiency III. That is an extraordinary achievement! Read the rest of the story to view everyone's scores for the day. Congrats to all and thank you for your hard work and dedication!


Scholarships Awarded

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 10, 2008 - 06:00 PM  •  Filed under: news
Congratulations to Alison Phelps and Samantha Ward who are both recipients of Scholarships granted by the Bay Concert Band. Alison will use her scholarship to attend Central Michigan University's Music Camp and Samantha will use hers to attend Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Both students accepted their scholarship award at the Annual March Concert of the Bay Concert Band will perform with them for their annual spring concert. Congratulations!

Straight Ones! (UPDATED)

Posted by Mr. H on Mar 08, 2008 - 06:43 AM  •  Filed under: news
For the first time in Bay City Western's history, all four bands (Seventh, Eighth, HS Concert & HS Symphonic) achieved a First Division rating at MSBOA District 5 Band and Orchestra Festival in their appropriate classification (A and C). Congratulations to all the students that have worked hard (some for many years) to achieve this historic accomplishment. Ms. Schlosser and Mr. Heydenburg are very proud of you and thank you (and your parents) for all you have done and for giving your BEST! Congratulations!

UPDATE: Also of note, Mike Jarema pointed out that both High School Bands have received straight I's from all judges for four years running and he is correct! (I checked my records). That's quite and accomplishment!

Podcasts of all four bands performances are posted in the podast page

Historical BCW Ratings Records

Noted Website: Texas School Music Project

Posted by Mr. H on Feb 15, 2008 - 09:58 AM  •  Filed under: news
The Texas School Music Project Website is an excellent website with lots of resources for student musicians. Choose "Band" from the horizontal menu at the top and then explore. The first category: "Tips for Band" has great information on intonation issue for each instrument. Other categories for each instrument include fingering charts (for the new bassoonists!) and lots LOTS more! - check it out!

February 15 Pocasts

Posted by Mr. H on Feb 15, 2008 - 08:27 AM  •  Filed under: news
The recordings from February 15 turned out really bad - not the playing within, just the quality of the recording.... So - I'm afraid you will not find todays recordings posted as podcasts. Enjoy your weekend!
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