2015 IGSMA State Festival

Congratulations to the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band, 8th Grade Singers, 7th Grade Singers, and Swing Choir for their terrific performances at the Illinois Grade School Music Association State Festival today.

All the groups performed wonderfully. The Symphonic Band also received special recognition from IGSMA with their selection as an “Honors Ensemble” at this year’s festival!

Posted: April 25, 2015 | PermaLink

2015 IGSMA District Contest

Congratulations to the McCracken Symphonic Band, 7th Grade Singers, 8th Grade Singers, and Swing Choir for all received at Division I (superior) rating at today’s Illinois Grade School Music Association District Contest.  All four groups will go on to participate at the IGSMA State Festival on April 24 or 25 (Date and Location TBA).

Special congrats to the Symphonic Band for receiving perfect scores from all three judges at today’s contest!

Posted: March 14, 2015 | PermaLink

Book Releases at the 2014 Midwest Clinic

I’m very humbled to have been asked to contribute two chapters in books being released by GIA Publications this Midwest Clinic:

Whatsoever Things…The Life and Teachings of John P. Paynter

John P. Paynter was one of the true legends of the wind band world, serving as the celebrated Director of Bands at Northwestern University and President of the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. He forever impacted the instrumental music community.

Whatsoever Things… is a fascinating portrait, a collaborative effort written by friends, colleagues, former students, and with guidance from the Paynter family.

This book delves into Mr. Paynter’s outstanding abilities as a great teacher, conductor, composer-arranger, leader, role model, innovator, and motivator.

Whatsoever Things… explores Mr. Paynter’s early years growing up in small-town Mineral Point, Wisconsin, his student years at Northwestern University, his years as Director of Bands at Northwestern, his directorship of the famed Northshore Concert Band, and his years as President of the Midwest Clinic.

More than a simple portrait, Whatsoever Things… culminates with an examination of the present state of affairs in instrumental music education and the wind band profession, and how its role in the school curriculum and in society may change in the years ahead.

Teaching Music through Performance in Middle School Band

Rarely has a published resource contained so much invaluable information specifically for middle school band directors.

This much-needed volume fills a gap in the acclaimed Teaching Music through Performance series, providing critical information on creating an effective wind band program in Grades 6 through 8, from recruitment, rehearsal, repertoire, to concert.

Chapters by leading middle school band directors focus on organization and administration (Gary Barton), developing proper instrumentation (Erin Cole), recruitment and retention (Chip De Stefano), technique (Charles R. Jackson), literature selection (Scott Tomlison), rehearsal (Marguerite Wilder), and a comprehensive listing of other resources (Susan Taylor).

Central to this volume is the identification and analysis of 100 core works for middle school ensembles, organized by difficulty level, from middle school grade 1 to 3.5. A separate section is devoted entirely to analyzing marches, also organized by difficulty level. Together, these works make up core repertoire for middle school bands.

As with other books in the Teaching Music through Performance series, each Teacher Resource Guide includes information about the composer, the work, historical perspectives, technical considerations, stylistic considerations, analysis of musical elements and form and structure, suggested listening references, and cross references to additional resources.

Posted: December 9, 2014 | PermaLink

McCracken Alum featured on New Tanglewood Tales

McCracken Middle School Band alum Jeff DeRoche was featured this summer in a 7 episode series New Tanglewood Tales: “Backstage with Rising Artists.” The series follows the professional and personal lives of six Tanglewood Music Center Fellows this past summer.

Posted: November 28, 2014 | PermaLink

IMEA District 7 Junior Band

Congratulations to the 8 McCracken Band members and all the participants of the 2104 IMEA District 7 Junior Festival this past Saturday, Nov. 15. All the groups sounded fantastic and the hard work from the day was clearly evident. What a great day!!!!

  • IMEA District 7 Junior Honor Band – David Thomas, conductor

    • Joy Revisited – Frank Ticheli
    • Iberian Escapades – Robert Sheldon
    • Lord of the Rings – Johann De Meij, arr. Paul Lavender

Posted: November 17, 2014 | PermaLink

McCracken Band Alum Mike Balter Receives Honorary Doctorate

A huge congratulations to McCracken Band alumnus Mike Balter for receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the VanderCook College of Music this past July!!! A truly great and well deserved honor!

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Photo from Charlie Menghini’s Twitter Feed!

Posted: August 20, 2014 | PermaLink

All Bands Concert

A big congratulations to the Middleton Elementary School Beginner Band & 5th Grade Band, and McCracken Middle School Concert Band and Symphonic Band for terrific performances at the All Bands Concert tonight. Everyone played great and really showcased the great work done all year!

Posted: May 19, 2014 | PermaLink

IGSMA State Festival

Congratulations to the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band, 8th Grade Singers, 7th Grade Singers, and Swing Choir for their terrific performances at the Illinois Grade School Music Association State Festival on Saturday, April 26 at Troy Middle School in Shorewood.

All of the groups performed wonderfully but the Symphonic Band and 7th Grade Singers received special recognition from IGSMA with their selection as “Honors Ensembles” at this year’s festival!!! Congratulations!

Posted: April 27, 2014 | PermaLink

In Memorium: Charles Groeling

We just learned that Charles Groeling, former band director at Niles East and Niles West High Schools, recently passed away. Dr. Groeling was a tremendously accomplished director bringing the Niles West Band to performances at the Midwest Clinic, Mideast Clinic, and MENC National Conference. A leader in our field, he spent many years on the board of the Illinois Music Educators Association and Phi Beta Mu and is a member of the Illinois Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

    • Dr. Charles Groeling Obituary [ Legacy ]
    • Charles Groeling Biography [ Phi Beta Mu ]

Posted: January 23, 2014 | PermaLink

In Memorium: Bennett Reimer

I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bennett Reimer, a former professor of mine at Northwestern University and giant in the field of music education. Dr. Reimer was a extremely prolific writer, but his book A Philosophy of Music Education was the first of its kind and tremendously influential in our profession. His teaching continues to serve as the philosophical core for the thousands of teachers who read his book and for those of us lucky enough to have him as a teacher.

Sigh…

    • Obituary: Northwestern Music Professor Bennett Reimer, 81 [ Evanston Patch ]

Posted: November 19, 2013 | PermaLink

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