November Newsletter

There have been many events and special events that have happened recently in our PSSD East band program.  We would like to highlight a few of these major events in our newsletter.  Take a look at our newsletter below for details about recent events, upcoming events, Band Parent Association news, and a neat word search puzzle!

November Newsletter:

Preludes: November 2015

Clinician/Photo Band Rehearsal Nov. 23

We have an exciting opportunity for all of our band students (Beginner, Intermediate, and Senior) this coming Monday, November 23, 2015 at Clavet School.  Please take note the arrival times, uniform instructions, and pictures information below.
As our Winter Concert fast approaches on December 7th, we have a VERY important evening of rehearsals coming up on November 23.  We are very privileged to have a special guest conductor to work the Intermediate and Senior Bands for the evening.  Tom Davoren is a prestigious conductor and adjudicator from the UK ( and will work with both the Intermediate and Senior bands on their concert repertoire.  This will also be the first chance since the Squeak and Squawk for our Beginning band to rehearse together from 7:15-8:15 pm.  Again, it is extremely important for all students in Senior, Intermediate, and Beginning Band to attend.
Intermediates and Seniors will be bused to Clavet as normal, but Beginners will need to find their own transportation to and from the rehearsal.
In addition to the rehearsals, this is our annual Photo Night for the band programs.  Students will have a picture taken with their whole respective ensemble.  There will also be an opportunity for students to have individual pictures taken with their instrument.  If you wish to purchase pictures (group or individual), please click on  the form at the bottom of this post for a copy of the form to fill out. This form must be filled-out and given to the band directors before the beginning of the band rehearsal for students on Monday night.
Rehearsal Schedule
4:00-6:15 INT arrive/rehearsal/pictures; INT should wear full black uniform, and vests (and newly ordered shirts) will be distributed at rehearsal
5:25-7:15 SEN arrive/pictures/rehearsal; SEN should wear their white shirt/black bottoms uniform, and vests will be distributed at rehearsal.  Shirts were distributed at last rehearsal to those who were there, and the others will receive it at tomorrow’s rehearsal.
7:00-8:15 BEG pictures/rehearsal; BEG should wear a white shirt/black pants/black shoes uniform.
Thank you for your support.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your director with any questions.
Best wishes,
Mr. Martin ( / Ms. Klippenstein (

Senior Winds Tour – Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival

We are extremely excited and pleased to announce that the Senior Winds have been accepted into the 25th Anniversary of the prestigious Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival at the Banff Centre next April.

Nearly 150 bands auditioned for 100 spots for the 4 day festival. PSSD East Senior Winds will be combining with our West Program for the tour and event from April 20-24th 2016.

Check back to the blogsite for more information first as we get it.

University of Regina Brass Days – October 14th

U of R Brass Days

This past Wednesday a collection of 30 Intermediate and Senior Brass players from both the East and West Music programs traveled down, upon invitation, to the University of Regina to take part in a day of clinics and performances for Brass instruments.

During the morning the younger students had instrument specific clinics and then performed a specially arranged fanfare with mass band. Massive being the an apt decription with over 450 students performing on stage at the same time:

20151014_11251420151014_112521Following the Intermediate (Jnr) Brass sessions there was a faculty lunchtime concert recital. In addition to listening some of the finest musicians in the province the audience was also wowed by guest soloist .Tom McCaslin (Tuba) playing his unique performance of the Beatles song “Blackbird”. Tom was born and raised in Regina but now resides in the States, jetting in for the week and showing everyone why he is recognized as one of the greatest Tuba players on the planet. (more on Tom here:

The seniors then took part in similar clinics and a performance before we came home.


Thanks to Brent Ghiglione, the University of Regina and St.Johns Music for putting this great opportunity and event together.

Handouts for the sessions can be found below and on the Senior/Intermediate Band Pages. The include some great warm up exercises, hints and tips to strengthen your brass playing.

Trumpet – Easy duet Air Slurs-1    miles hand out      Easy duet-1

Trombone – Trombones – Brass Day 2015 handout

French Horn – University of Regina Brass Day      Burdick-student-hand-out©                                                              Burdick-music-examples-4pg

Euphonium – Euphonium   EuphHandout

Tuba – TubaHandout      A Basic Daily Practice Routine for Tuba

Brass Masterclass for Intermediate and Seniors


 Hope you are having a great start to the week. All of our Brass Students have been given an exciting opportunity. The University of Regina has invited all intermediate and Senior Brass students from the entire division down to Regina on October 14th to take parts in clinics both with Regina Symphony and University Faculty Musicians, but also with special guest and acclaimed Tuba player Tom McCaslin from the University of East Carolina.
Because this a division wide event it would mean that students would likely have to get transportation from yourselves to a equidistant meeting point (Stonebridge/Walmart – Parking lot) early next Wednesday morning.
Before we can confirm full transportation options we need a firm commitment of interest by the end of Weds October 7th. The starting point of the bus will depend on the interest per community. We apologize for the short time frame but this is an opportunity that has been just presented to us and one we feel the students would hugely benefit from.
Please see that attached letter and confirm whether your son/daughter or yourself a student is able to attend at the earliest convenience.  U of R Brass Letter 
Thank you once again,
 Will Martin
 Director of Bands PSSD East

Senior Band ONLY on Monday – Bussing arrangements

Just a reminder that it is the Senior Band Retreat in Allan this coming Monday. There is no Intermediate Band Rehearsal.

In lieu of the Intermediate rehearsal please watch this space  Intermediate Assignment October 5th for a home practice assignment for all Intermediates. *The assignment will also be posted on the Intermediate Band page.

Senior Bussing to Allan

  • Hanley Students to leave school 15 mins early – 2:50pm
  • Clavet Students will be picked up by the Hanley Bus between 3:20-3:40om           (BE READY)
  • Aberdeen Students will be bussed as normal.
  • Allan Students will meet at Allan School Bandroom after school.

What to bring: Music, Instrument, Pencil and notepad, Extra money for drinks/snacks outisde of supper which is provided.

No Intermediate Band Next Monday afterschool – OCT 5th – Senior Retreat Rehearsal


   Next weeks rehearsals (October 5th) will be for Seniors only and will be in a retreat setting held at Allan during regular band time. Intermediate Band students will have no rehearsal but will be set an assignment in its place..students will be advised in class but what this space and the Intermediate assignment tab for more info.
 The goals of the senior retreat are to both give students a chance to get to know each other and bond as a team, but also to work on some core concepts and understand the goals Mr.Ward, Ms. Klippenstein and myself will be setting for them throughout the year and how we plan to get there.
– Students arrive in Allan 4:15
– 4:15- 5:00 Introduction/Full Rehearsal/Band Concepts
– 5-7pm Bowling/Sectional Activities
– 7:00pm Pack down and depart
The rehearsals and activities will be held at Allan Bowl (328 Main St, Allan)  supper will be provided there. PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP IF STUDENTS HAVE ANY FOOD ALLERGIES. The students will be having pizza for supper.
Bussing – Students will take Buses as normal with the exception of Allan Students who will just remain in Allan School until rehearsal time and Clavet Students who will need to wait at Clavet for the Aberdeen Bus to pick them up between 3:30 and 4:00pm. The retreat will end at 7pm (half and hour early) to allow time for the buses to return to their home communities at the regular weekly time.
What to bring: Instrument, Music, Pencil, Planners, Money for drinks/snacks if wanted. Pizza and one can of pop/juice will be provided there.


Squeak and Squawk recap and other news..

Hello again,

 Thank you to everyone that made it out to our Squeak and Squawk night and Open House last night. A big congratulations to all performers last night firstly the solos and duets on various instruments from piano, ukelele to guitar and solo voice and secondly to all ensembles but especially our beginner band students who showed they learned lots in an hour and half. All three ensembles set strong performing markers with very little preparation which bodes well for an exciting year.  For those of you that didn’t manage to make it or didn’t pick up our monthly newsletter (Preludes) last night, I have attached a copy.
Please read on below for some important news items for the coming weeks:

  • Next weeks Monday rehearsal is a Senior only Band RetreatThere is no Intermediate Winds or Jazz Band rehearsals next week (OCTOBER 5th). Regular rehearsals will resume on the 19th of October. The senior retreat will be held in Allan – All seniors will get on busses as normal. Clavet Seniors will be picked up between 3:30-3:45 by the Aberdeen bus. Students will be returned to their home schools at the regular rehearsal time and will be fed in Allan.
  • Check the blogsite for updates over the next couple of weeks. We have had issues logging on to the server but please look out for the following appearing soon:
  1. All student age groups will have weekly practice assignments and coursework due posted on the site under the “About” tab. This should inform both the students and parents/guardians as to what work has been set in class and serve as a recap.
  2. Rehearsal notes will also be posted after each rehearsal which gives students feedback on each rehearsal, recaps talking points and addresses individual instrument sections for areas to improve.
  3.  We are working on a built in mailing list on the website that will notify subscribers of page updates and band news. The software is ready to go but it needs installing.
  • Dave Carter – Coordinator of Schools and Learning was present at Clavet to address parents on the future direction and growth of music education in Prairie Spirit School Division. Here are the highlights of his speech.
                 – We are excited to continue offering Band instruction in our schools.
                – We are also excited to now have some stability and consistency in our programs.
              – We do however want input from parents and students on their visions of music education and in ways to both make the program more efficient and to grow the existing programs further.
 Dave is encouraging all parents forward any ideas to him, or if you have any questions, contact him at Your input is vital to maintain the growth of music education.
  • Beginning Instruments – Any Parents or Students still needing an instrument are again encouraged to Contact Mr. Ward or Mr. Martin to let them know so we can help in anyway possible. All beginner classes will be involving instruments from here forward. Check your schedules (on the schedules tab) to know when to bring your music, instruments, pencils etc. 

         Below are a couple of ideas to help students starting out:

        – Use the method book DVD – there are videos and examples of how to set up your instrument and how to make your first sounds

        – Use the fingering charts in the front of the book to find which notes relate to which fingering

        –  Have the students test themselves on note name recognition and fingering using flash cards (found online) –

– You can see a copy of Anna Shearer (from Allans) Piano composition that she wrote and performed last night, here: 

Thank you again for your support: 

Will Martin                           AJ Ward                      Amy Klippenstein