And the round notes flutter and tap about the room,
And hit against each other,
Blurring to unexpected chords.
It is very beautiful,
With the little [notes] all about me,
In the darkness.
The [notes] push against my ears and lips,
And I go to sleep, dreaming.
Amy Lowell

We made it to the Town Hall! Can you believe it? What a magical night! What an amazing band! Congratulations to all who helped on the day to achieve an incredibly successful night both musically and logistically. Congratulations to Lemin for her consummate performance as our "stand-in" conductor for the performance. Congratulations to Shauna for pulling the strings to get us there (whilst trying to holiday in the snow fields!)

What wonderful and endearing memories are now etched in the minds of all those who witnessed and participated this miracle of music!  Special thanks to those parents who also donated their precious time (and patiently filled in all the paperwork) so as to deliver their children (and those of others) on time to the venue.

Phew...what a week!

Education Week Wonders

Well done again to our Senior, Intermediate and Jazz Bands who all performed at the Education Week Concert in the School Hall on Wednesday last week.

The bands opened the show with great aplomb. It was great to see the audience members bopping along enthusiastically. All our bands delivered polished performances and deserve great accolades for their adept performances. Congratulations to all the Bands for being so adaptable and mature with their approach to all of their recent band performances.

Dotty Makes Us Proud

The Last Post is one of the most challenging pieces any musician, experienced or inexperienced, can be asked to perform in public. Congratulations to Dorothy M whose rendition filled the hall with solemn respect at the Anzac Day Assembly last week.

Music plays an important role in portraying the human spirit, particularly at ceremonial events. In the case of the Last Post, the frailty of humanity is highlighted with its haunting familiarity.

But you can't beat Aussie kids, can you? We have it on good word that after Dotty finished her performance the children in the hall instinctively broke in polite applause. Totally inappropriate, but that's Aussie kids for you. Well done Dotty!

Band Rehearsals

If you're one of the many parents who are often around or watching the Bands rehearse, please bear in mind that there are many meaningful ways you can help ensure the band runs smoothly. This help can include:

  • Copying and distributing new music (or finding music in the cabinets);
  • Monitoring the band store room to prevent children removing (or bashing) equipment or instruments without approval;
  • Tidying and helping organise the band room;
  • Monitoring the bathrooms for over-regular or over lengthy disappearances;
  • Monitoring the hall exits for unauthorised departures;
  • Setting up and/or packing up stands and chairs (or encouraging band children to do so).

Rehearsals are not intended to be a public performance for casual onlookers. Just like a normal classroom lesson band rehearsals are an opportunity for children to learn and develop. Lots of mistakes are made (actually, we encourage mistakes). Band rehearsals can sound rough at times, but it gets better as the band practices and improves. So please save your critique on any band until you have heard the real gig not the training session (that is, unless you have something nice to say, of course!)

Given the numbers of parents who are often around rehearsal, the Band Committee would really appreciate whatever assistance parents can provide. If you're in any doubt as to what to do, or how to do it, please ask the conductor or contact a committee member for guidance. WE NEED YOU! There is always something that needs doing, so please try to avoid sitting round. Idle hands are the devils workshop.

Training Band Blasts off!

On Wednesday last week, the Training Band held its annual BLAST OFF event!  What a fun and productive afternoon we had! Great work team!

We combined sectional rehearsals with a full band rehearsal and concluded with a fantastic "mini" concert. This was worthwhile exercise in getting our beginning band off to a flying start for the year and saturating them with some band fun. Congratulations to Shauna and the band. The band already sounds amazing!

Thanks also to all the parents who helped out on this afternoon. Many hands made light work. The sausages tasted amazing! Special thanks to Mr D our newly crowned BBQ King!

Training Band Struts their stuff!

On Monday morning this week (14 Nov), Kelvin and the Training Band hosted a "Proms" Recruitment Concert in the school hall specifically tailored for the Year 2 children. The Training Band was in top form and played an entertaining and informative concert both as a full band as well as in their various instrumental sections. This was a fantastic opportunity to educate prospective band children on the joys of band and give them a lesson on the various instruments in band and how they work. It was also a great opportunity for the young band to showcase their developing skills to a captivated audience. The concert was a wonderful success, well done to Kelvin and the Band!

Blue Mountains Blast Off!

This was the adventure of a lifetime. For three days and two nights our combined Intermediate/Senior Tour Band hit the road on a journey which would take them to new heights of musical happiness. Words just can't describe the enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement this event has brought to its tirelessly hardworking organisers.

Our Tour band performed concerts at Scenic World, Zig Zag Primary School, Blackheath Primary School and Faulconbridge Primary School. Needless to say, on arrival at each gig, it was almost like the Beatles were in town. The starry-eyed and very appreciative audiences gave us all a healthy dose of self-respect.  

And the performances? What a knock-out. The band performed like seasoned professionals, improving in quality and confidence with every new concert. By the end of the tour it would have seemed that everyone in the band had grown an extra lung.  And the activities? Who wouldn't want to zip-line through the tree canopy with their buddies or gaze in awe at a huge abyss of wondrously breathtaking sheer cliff faces while Mr Will gives a lesson on plate tectonics?  If you see some teary-eyed band committee members or conductors over the next few days, please spare them a thought and lend them your hanky. Behind their exhausted exterior is a sense of unbridled joy and satisfaction in having had the opportunity to share such a memorable experience with your incredible children. Thank you all for giving us that chance!

Mr Will and Miss T – Thanks. What and incredible effort!  Shauna – Wow. You are the real deal. Talk about stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run, or even 38 of them!  Trish and Suse – you can put the clipboards down now ladies and look back on your amazing achievement with true pride.  See the pictures for yourself: here

Arts Alive Combined School Band

Please find below information regarding audition opportunities for the Arts Alive Combined School Band.

The Arts Alive Combined Schools Bands offer musical extension to talented musicians who want to meet other likeminded students and play music to the highest quality. AACSB offers its members the chance to play at many events throughout the year including venues such as the Sydney Town Hall and the Opera House as part of the Arts Alive Choral Concert Series. In 2016, the Primary Band toured to Wagga Wagga, and selected students in the Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary ensembles are in preparation for a trip to the USA in 2017. 

AACSB exists to support the School Band Program by offering talented students the opportunity to excel while still supporting their own school's program, the foundation of the AACSB Program.  For details, click here.

Click here is information about an opportunity to hear the Senior Secondary Arts Alive Band perform at the Conservatorium of Music with James Morrison.!! Tickets are selling fast – such a great value to see such quality talent. What an opportunity for any of our budding musicians. Don't miss out!!

Tour Revs Up!

Yes folks, we leave on Sunday!

There are still a number of outstanding Waiver Forms for the Treetops adventure activity. Please see the link below to print, fill in and return to the band box in the office please ASAP. No waiver form, no participation. http://www.whpsband.com.au/cmsAdmin/uploads/waiver-yarramundi.pdf

■  For easy reference all Band Tour info can be found  here.
■  Tour summary & what to pack - click here.   

Our conductors are preparing the children for their performances, discussing responsibilities and answering many questions the children have about the fun they will have.

The children have been asked to bring in their music stands, labelled with their full name and place them in the blue tub in the band room. If you haven't already, please bring yours to rehearsal tomorrow.  

The WHPS teachers accompanying us on Tour will be Mr Williams and Ms Tekampe. They are both highly experienced teachers and will also take the opportunity to speak with the touring children prior to departure.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Band committee, or Mr Williams via the school office if you have any questions or concerns.  Stay tuned for final reminders in the next day or so week.  Bring it on!!

Congratulations to many!

In September many of our band musicians sat for their music exams. This is a fantastic way for students to focus their learning and gain a sense of achievement on their instruments. Congratulations to all those who have completed exams so far this year. Here are some of the recent results that have been whispered in our ears:

■  Despite carrying a nasty cold Zoe H-B absolutely nailed her Grade 3 Trumpet exam. Wow! Go Girl!
■  Elise T thrilled everyone with a great result in her Grade 2 clarinet exam. Great work Elise, you're amazing!
■  The sophisticated Sophie W also nailed her Grade 2 clarinet exam. Go Sophie!
■  Ale B blitzed his grade 2 clarinet exam. Great work! Ale, Ale Ale! Oi! Oi! Oi!
■  Accompanied by her nervous father's faltering fingers, Dorothy M sailed brilliantly through her Grade 3 trumpet exam. Love your work Dotty!
■  Beau v d K scored a fantastic result in his Grade 2 Trumpet exam. Great work Beau, you are a true legend!
■  Lola M has shown the world what a great flute player she is by scoring a fantastic result in her Preliminary flute exam. L-O-L-A Lola!

Sorry for anyone we've missed! Please let us know your result so we can sing your praises in the next edition of the News!

NSSWE Auditions

For those who are interested in extending themselves NSSWE is a fun, extra-curricular wind ensemble program which explores and develops a love of music amongst young musicians. NSSWE is now recruiting young brass, woodwind and percussion students to join one of our four age-related wind ensembles in 2017.

Students from years 4 to 12 with the enthusiasm and drive to excel in their chosen instrument are invited to audition with us over the weekend of 12 and 13 November. NSSWE welcomes students, who are involved in their school band program, from both public and private schools across the northern Sydney region. This year, NSSWE members represent schools from Hornsby to Manly, Turramurra to Avalon.

For more details and to request an audition please follow this link: www.nsswe.org.au

NSW Police Band Visit 2016

Yet another Band Committee success! In case you haven't heard, last Thursday the Band Committee hosted the NSW Police Service Band at the school. It was happy and productive day for all concerned and a great recruitment exercise for new band members next year. Actually, it was "the best school day ever!", or so we keep telling ourselves.

Prior to the concert our Training Band and the combined Intermediate/Senior Band each had a workshop with the visiting band, after which the Police Band played a high energy and very educational concert to the entire school. The whole school was engaged as a thriving mass clapping, singing and galloping to the music.

Thank you to all those band parents who delivered a plate of food on the day. The food was hungrily devoured. Mr John Saunders, the Police Band's conductor, commented that our band children were the best behaved and most enthusiastic children they have come across in a long time! He also thanked the Band Committee for their amazing support.

Extra special thanks to those effervescent band parents who helped with logistics on the day to make it all work. Geoff Fairchild has continued in his reign as the "WHPS sausage king". Thanks again Geoff! Thanks helpers! Thanks Committee!

Congratulations Exam Students

Well done to Oliver F who conquered his grade 4 Trumpet exam in style. Great job Oli! Love your work!

Wow! Josie J nailed her Grade 1 trombone exam. This was her first music exam ever! Amazing work Josie!

Not to be outdone Jonah H also sat his grade 2 clarinet exam. Guess what? He also nailed it with flying colours even though it was his first exam. Great job Jonah!

SEND US YOUR RESULTS: We know many band children have recently and courageously sat exams on their instruments. Please let us know the results so we can pass it on. Even just preparing for and sitting the exam is an accomplishment of itself. All results are to be celebrated.

Training Band: Blows Roof off in Chatswood Festival

Congratulations to the Training Band who played the lights out last Saturday at the North Shore Primary School Band Festival.

The adjudicators specifically commented on our Training Band having "a good balance" and showing "great maturity". They also noted that the band maintained a "good steady rhythm" (thanks Beau M!). The Training Band's rendition of Heroes March was played with great confidence and brought broad smiles to the faces of the audience, with the adjudicators commenting that the band enjoy playing this piece!

Congratulations also to Lex C-R who (once again) brilliantly assisted the depleted percussion section with great confidence and ease. Thanks to all the parents (and Mr Scotter!) for making the effort to attend this worthwhile event. Well done all round!

BAM! Wheeler Woodstock Delivers... Again!

Huge accolades go to the WHPS Jazz Band and all its loyal supporters and helpers who contributed to, and participated in, our second annual Primary School Jazz Festival and Workshop last Sunday week.

What a great day! What an amazing bunch of talented, confident and happy kids and mentors! What a terrific opportunity to put our local schools' Jazz and Stage bands under the spotlight for specialised Jazz-based learning and performance!
All who participated have all thanked and congratulated Wheeler Heights and its well-oiled machine for being such wonderfully welcoming hosts.

Extra thanks go to our Jazz Band gurus, John Morrison, James Greening and Sandy Evans for sprinkling their magic and wisdom on the event. All the mentors commented on how well behaved and respectful the band children were throughout the course of the afternoon.

Thanks again to all the WHPS parents who helped out on the day. Thanks also to Mr Scotter, who just keeps on giving - always with a big grin and ready to lend a supporting hand (despite it being his day off!). Extra thanks go to our jazz band percussionists, Adam P, Josh D and Hamish S. They had to compete with 12 percussionists on the day, in sharing the three available drum kits. As perfect hosts and without complaint, they all "gave up their chairs" to allow the visitors to take centre stage. What a great show of diplomacy, patience and respect!

Arts Come Alive

Last Thursday night our School hosted the Arts Alive Combined Schools Concert and Jazz Bands in a joint concert with our own bands. Conducted by the musical enigma Mr James Hill, the Arts Alive Primary Concert and Jazz Bands played some hypnotizing music. The audience was mesmerized! Our three concert bands and our Jazz band also played in the concert. We're pleased to report that all of our bands "held their own" producing some high quality and enjoyable music. Congratulations to Cassie and Kelvin. The steady improvement in the standard of our bands over the course of this year has been miraculous.  Keep up the good work everyone! It was a long concert, with a large audience of visitors
and regulars. Our band children were mostly in good form.

Of course our band committee was in sublime form, preparing for and running the event, complete with sausages, cakes and treats. This was all done with the usual consummate ease with which we have all grown accustomed. Special thanks to Trish for stocking and running the canteen. Congratulations to our Band Committee and band parents. This event raised around $1,600.00 toward the cost our band tour, which is a great result. This (in conjunction with some further upcoming fundraisers) will have a significant impact on the back pocket of those going on tour. The band committee would also like to thank Mr Scotter and Mr Williams who also helped make the event run so smoothly. Both gentlemen were to the first to arrive and the last to leave. Thank you very much for all your hard work and support!

Musician of the week!

A couple of weeks ago Monique W sang "Maybe" (from the musical Annie) and won the under 10yrs musical theatre Northern Beaches Eisteddfod 1st place trophy for the 2nd year in a row. Wow Monique - you are an inspiration!  Not only does she charm audiences with singing, she's also a well respected member of our Intermediate and Jazz band.  Talent all around!

Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival

In mid to late June all of our Bands' will be performing at the Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival which will take place at Pittwater High School. Our bands are performing as follows:

  • Intermediate Band performs between 12noon and 1.10pm on Sunday 19 June 
  • Senior Band performs between 1.25pm and 3.15 pm on Sunday 19 June
  • Training Band performs between 4.40pm and 5.50pm on Saturday 25 June

This is a popular local event at which our Bands will each be playing (in separate hour-long sessions over the course of the festival) with other school and community bands of varying experience. Our bands will each be assessed and commented upon with feedback given by a professional adjudicator. The bands will also have the opportunity, within their respective session, to watch and enjoy other local bands of varying standard and perform (and be appraised upon) their own pieces in a concert format.

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