Western High School
Western Middle School
Western High School
Western Middle School
Text the code (including the
@) to 81010 (81010 is the phone number)
The WBPC is a 501(c)(3) volunteer parent organization supporting band at Bay City Western. All Parents are invited to join. Meetings are typically monthly. Times and dates can be found on the calendar above. Please join us!
The purpose of the Band Parents Council shall be:
We are the combined members and families of all the bands of Western High School and Western Middle School. We are about 325 families strong and growing. We are bound together by our love of music and dedication to an organization bigger than ourselves. We are a family. We are dedicated to Excellence. We strive to improve. We aim for perfection.
Western High School and Western Middle School are located in Auburn, MI and part of Bay City Public Schools. We are a "class A" district which means the high school has approximately 1100 students and the middle school has approximately 800 students. All 1900 of these students are currently housed in one building. Auburn is a growing community of professionals and farmers, entrepreneurs and tradesmen. It is a community with a strong spirit and deep tradition.
Bay City Public Schools is a school district of approximately 8,000 students with three high schools, two middle schools, eight elementaries and a K-12 Virtual Education program.
The Western band program begins in sixth grade Beginning Band with classes in the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion (bells & drum-pad). The band typically has about 80 members. We meet daily for about 50 minutes and progress through our beginning band method over the course of the year. We put on three concerts (October, December & May). The Beginning Band is directed by both band directors: Ms. Schlosser and Mr. Heydenburg.
Students continue into the Middle School Concert Band which is directed by Ms. Schlosser. The Concert Band puts on four concerts per year (October, December, March and May). The seventh grade year is the students first opportunity to participate in Solo & Ensemble festival. Students may also participate in Jazz Band. Typically, the Concert Grade band is over 60 members strong.
The Middle School Symphonic Band is also directed by Ms. Schlosser and is usually over 50 members strong. Students put on at least four concerts during the year (October, December, March and May). They also may participate in Solo & Ensemble and Jazz Band. Students also participate in Band Festival and may also participate in State Band Festival as well as MSBOA All-Star Band.
The High School Band is also divided into two bands: Concert Band and Symphonic Band. These bands meet daily. These bands combine to perform as the Marching band during football season. They perform many times throughout the semester, including all home football games, the biannual away football game at Central High, home basketball games, November and December concerts. Typically we have about 120 members in the marching Band.
Most students are placed by audition into the High School Concert Band. This band consists largely of Freshman and Sophomores, but occasional juniors and seniors may also be part of this group. This band participates in several concerts through the second semester: Festival (March), Spring Concert (April) and Celebration (May). We also continue to play at home basketball games.
Students may also get placed into the High School Symphonic Band by audition. This band is the school's elite players and consistently earns the highest marks at district band festivals. In fact, in 2001, this band was the first band in school district history to earn a "I" (superior) at MSBOA State Band Festival. The band participates in the same concerts and performances noted above for the Concert Band.
Students may also audition to be part of the High School Jazz Band. The Jazz Band is divided into two ensembles and each meets every other morning at 6:30 AM until 7:20 AM but. The band plays traditional swing music to contemporary rock and roll and has consistently earned high marks and awards and local Jazz Festivals.
High School Band Director- Mrs. Chelsea VanderGraaff (2022 - present)
Mrs. VanderGraaff became the High School Band Director at Bay City Western in January of 2022. She had previously been the Assistant Band Director at Bay City Central, Elementary Music teacher at Linsday and taught in Traverse City as well.
Mrs. VanderGraaff is the conductor of all the High School Bands. She also teaches beginning band and assists with the Middle School Bands.
Mrs. VanderGraaff is a graduate of Bay City Western High School. She received her Bachelors of Music Education Degree from Central Michigan University. She majored in Instrumental Music and plays the tuba.
Mrs. VanderGraaff's husband's name is Zachary. They have three children.
Middle School Band Director - Ms. Heidi Schlosser (1998 - current)
Ms. Schlosser began working at Bay City Western in the fall of 1998. Her previous teaching experience includes teaching for two years in the Deckerville Community Schools; student teaching in Ovid-Elsie, MI for one-half year and numerous positions as band camp staff for various schools in Michigan. She has also been a staff member and conductor at the Herter/YMCA Summer Music Camp at Camp Timbers since 1998.
Ms. Schlosser teaches the Middle School Concert and Symphonic Bands, and Beginning Band. She also assists with the High School Band.
Ms. Schlosser is a graduate of Bay City Western High School and Michigan State University. She majored in Instrumental Music and played the trombone in many university ensembles. She continues to play the trombone, clarinet and other instruments in area bands and orchestras. She is also an active member of the Michigan State University Alumni Band.
Ms. Schlosser has two children, Christopher and David.
Former Western Band Directors
Craig Heydenburg (1994 - ret. 2021) (Mr. Heydenburg also previously taught at Central Montcalm Public Schools)
Thomas Broka (1990 - ret. 2001) (Mr. Broka also previously taught at Bay City Handy High School, Brighton and Haslett High Schools)
Paul Bloomberg (January - June 1994)
Phillip Wendell (1985 - ret. 1993) (deceased) (Mr. Wendell also previously taught at Bay City McAlear-Sawden Intermediate and Bay City Central High School)
David Kehler (1987 - 1990)
Keith Saxton (1974 - 1987) (deceased)