July 16 2017

Band Camp is Coming!


We are now a week away from the start of Rookie Camp!  I am really excited to get everything going this year, and hope everyone is ready to get started on what is going to be a great season!  Let’s get some details out of the way first:

Leadership workdays are this week, July 20 and 21st, from 8:00-4:00 each day.  This time is for leadership to get all music, equipment, and the rooms ready for band camp and the season.  Due to the amount of work that needs to be done, and the fact that we will be using most of the facilities, I would not suggest this as a good time for sectionals or individual practice, except if we have all 5 basses there as a section.  Every other section will benefit more from individual practice at home, without distractions.  And mallet players, you will have plenty of time to work on music next week.

This brings us to the rookie camp schedule, linked below.  Please note that the percussion schedule is different from the band schedule that week.

Rookie Camp Schedule

There are a few things you should all plan on having going into rookie and band camp, and the rest of the season.

  1. 3 ring binder(the $3 ones work just as good as the $20 canvas wrapped ones)
    1. Plastic Sheet Protectors for all music (music order will be made available soon)
      1. All Exercises
      2. Show Music
      3. Other music
    2. Pencils
  2. Water bottle (1/2 gallon jug, something like this.  Fill with water and ice in the morning, refill throughout the day)
  3. Hat (wider brimmed the better, keep sun off of your face and neck, baseball cap is ok, but think shade over fashion)
  4. Sunglasses (Again, not a great time to make a fashion statement, I hate hearing the phrase, “Do you think my Costas are in the lost and found?”)
  5. Sunscreen and Bug Spray

Some things to consider before camp(s):

  1. To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is un acceptable.
  2. No shirt no shoes no service (always wear close-toed shoes, and a shirt, even if you have been on the beach all summer in just you bathing suit).
  3. It is going to be HOT
  4. Wear light, loose fitting clothes.  It is a good idea to bring a change of clothes in case you get too sweaty.
  5. Be considerate of you friends and bathe.  Either the night before, in the morning, or both.
  6. Sunscreen is your friend.  Reapply.  Your 50 y/o self will thank your 14 y/o self.
  7. You are going to work hard.
  8. Eat a good hearty breakfast, try and stay away from milk, since it has a tendency to “resurface” after exercise.
  9. Drink more water that you think you need, before, during, and after rehearsal.
  10. This is going to be the hardest thing that many of you have ever done.  Keep focused on the end goal, and don’t let the daily activities drag you down.  Kids have been doing this activity for a century, and everyone has gone through the same process.

A lot of information, looking forward to seeing EVERYBODY next Monday night, the 24th!


June 14 2017

Rehearsal Goals Tonight, and Percussion Summer Rehearsals


Due to floor waxing, we will be in a few different spots tonight, will clarify once we get there tonight.

Our goals for tonight:

  • Solve any carrier/equipment issues
  • Solidify Pit positions
  • Work on Wando Warm-ups in Sub-Sections
  • Work on Wando Warm-ups Full Battery and Pit
  • Work on Wando Warm-ups Full Ensemble

Here are some clarifications about the Wando Band and Percussion Summer rehearsals:

We have 3 pre-band camp summer rehearsals scheduled for percussion.

  • Wednesday, June 14th – 6:00-9:00pm
  • Monday, June 26th – 6:00-9:00pm
  • Friday, July 7th – 6:00-9:00pm

We ask that if you are in town, you are at the rehearsals, and if you are out of town for any reason, to please communicate that to me via email.  (handel@wandobands.org)

There are also 2 Summer “Basic Training” Workshops.  These are designed mainly for the winds, but also have some time built in for movement instruction.  We found that a few of the new percussionists were a bit behind their peers in terms of moving once we hit band camp last year, so we are currently working on a schedule that will include a set time for movement during these times.  I will clarify any specific movement rehearsals once they are defined, but at this time, the rehearsals are scheduled for:

  • Monday, June 19 – 5:30-8:30pm
  • Tuesday, June 20 – 5:30-8:30pm
  • Monday, July 10 – 5:30-8:30pm
  • Tuesday, July 11 – 5:30-8:30pm

These times are also a great opportunity for all percussion to come in for sectional, one-on-one and individual practice.

Once we get past that, we have Leadership workdays Thursday and Friday, July 20th and 21st from 8:00am to 4:00pm, and then we get into Rookie (Pre-Band Camp) Camp.

The Percussion Schedule for rookie camp looks like this:

  • Monday, July 24th
    • 8:00am – 12:00pm – All Freshmen, Leadership, and New Marchers
    • 6:0opm-9:00pm – All Percussion
  • Tuesday, July 25th
    • 8:00am – 12:00pm – All Freshmen, Leadership, and New Marchers
    • 6:0opm-9:00pm – All Percussion
  • Wednesday, July 26th
    • 6:0opm-9:00pm – All Percussion
  • Thursday, July 27th
    • 8:00-12:00 – Everyone (Full Band, Percussion and Guard)
    • 6:00 – 9:00 – Everyone (Full Band, Percussion and Guard)
  • Friday, July 28th
    • 8:00-12:00 – Everyone  (Full Band, Percussion and Guard)

That should clear up any questions about the master schedule.  I will clarify the June 19-20 and July 10-11 dates as soon as possible.  Thanks for all your hard work, and I look forward to working with you all tonight!

June 5 2017

Drumline Audition Results, Leadership

I know you all have passed this around, and I should have posted it earlier, but it has been a crazy week.

Pit positions will be figured out as we go into the summer, but here are the Drumline results (in alphabetical order)

  • Snare Drum
    • Rayshard Cash
    • Tim Haigh
    • JH Leigh
    • Mason Malone
    • Liam Sprott
    • Jim Wilborn
  • Quads
    • Anna Li Lewis
    • Will Panitt
    • John Robinson
    • Alex Tuck
  • Bass Drum
    • Wayland Windham
    • Mason Haselden
    • Maggie Packard
    • Hannah Kenis
    • Alex Green
  • “Flubs”
    • Matt Ianuzzi
    • Wyatt McGrath
    • Cooper Norman
    • Ryan Young


Pit Leadership: Maddox Allen, Tyler Epperson, Jonathan Hudson

Drumline Leadership: Rayshard Cash, Tim Haigh, Alex Tuck

Equipment Manager: Mason Malone

Truck Manager: Emily Jackson

All leadership should try and make it to the leadership workday tomorrow, 9-3 at Wando.  Please inform me of any conflicts, I am sorry for the late notice.



May 15 2017

Upcoming Spring Training 5/18/17

Just a reminder that the next Spring Training will be this Thursday, 5:30-7:30.  Meet in band room, but we will practice somewhere else, due to parent orientation 7:00-9:00.  There will be a band Spring training afterwards from 6:30-8:30, and drumline and pit auditionees are not expected to attend that, but are welcome to hang out afterwards to work in small groups until the end of the parent orientation.

For all of you thinking about a battery spot, be sure to check out the bass drum audition material posted here: http://wandopercussion.edublogs.org/music-downloadables/audition-materials/.  There are 4 playing examples, and an audio file that goes along with the music.   All 4 of these will be fair play for the audition, and I strongly recommend that anyone interested in doing anything associated with the drumline learns the entire bass audition just in case they don’t get the spot they first desired.

In addition to that, especially in regards to snare and tenor auditions, be sure to be placing the most attention on skills, technique and overall sound production, rather than learning as much music as possible.  Work the technique, and the music will be easier and stronger.

Please don’t hesitate to email me at Handel@wandobands.org if you have any questions.

May 1 2017

Schedule for 5/1/17-5/6/17

I am just now starting to get all of the details of last week’s concert together in my head.  The amount of work and professionalism that went into the concert is more than I could have asked for, and I am a very proud teacher today.  I’ll let you know more as I process it, but for now, here is the plan for the week.

  • Monday, May 1
    • 1st Block – Health
    • 2nd Block
      • Concert Debrief
      • Upcoming Events
      • Individual Practice
    • After School
      • 4:00-6:00 – Middle School Auditions
  • Tuesday, May 2
    • 1st Block
      • Concert Debrief
      • Upcoming Events
      • Individual Practice
    • 2nd Block
      • Individual Practice
    • After School – Concert Band Rehearsal
      • 4:00-5:00 – CB2
      • 5:00-6:30 – CB1
      • 6:30-8:00 – SYM
  • Wednesday, May 3
    • 1st Block – Health
    • 2nd Block
      • Concert Band Work if needed
      • Individual Practice
    • After School
      • 5:00-7:00 – Spring Training
  • Thursday, May 4
    • 1st Block
      • Individual Practice
    • 2nd Block
      • Individual Practice
  • Friday, May 5
    • 1st Block – Health
    • 2nd Block
      • Crown of Thorns
      • Individual Practice
  • Saturday, May 6
May 1 2017

State Concert Band Festival Information (Please read to the end)


For Concert 1 and Symphonic Band Only

Where:  Irmo High School Center for the Arts, 6671 St Andrews Rd, Columbia, SC 29212


  • 12:15 Arrive Wando / Check Attendance / Bring lunch for the bus
  • 12:30 Leave Wando
  • 3:00 Arrive Irmo High School
    • CB1 – Unload and Move to Homeroom to prepare for warm up
    • SYM – Allow CB1 to unload, then move instruments to our homeroom area for storage. (Do not get in CB1’s way)
  • CB1
    • 3:40–Line up Outside warm up room
    • 3:50—Warm Up
    • 4:15—Leave Warm Up
    • 4:20—CB1 PERFORMANCE
    • 5:00—Clinic
    • 5:30—Pack Instruments / Leave in HR OR Load / Grab snacks
    • 5:50—In Hall to watch Stratford, Wando Symphonic, and Ft. Mill
    • 8:00 or after Ft. Mill—Load buses for ride home
    • 4:10—In Hall to watch Easley, CB1, and Summerville.
    • 5:30–Leave Concert Hall and Retrieve Instruments. / Granola Bars and Water will be available
    • 6:20–Line up outside warm up room.
    • 6:30–Warm Up
    • 7:00—SYM Performance
    • 7:40–Clinic
    • 8:05—Pack Instruments / Leave HR
  • 8:10 Reload / Get Chic Fil A if ordered (orders taken Tues. 2nd) SEE BELOW
  • 8:30 Leave Irmo
  • 10:45 Return to Wando / Unload / Dismiss

Other Info:

From: “Mary Ruth Starr” <CharmsEmailSender@charmsmusic.com>
To: travel@wandobands.org
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 2:25:37 PM
Subject: May 6, 2017 – State Concert Band Festival in Irmo, SC

Dear Parents and Students in Concert 1 and Symphonic Bands,

Your student(s) will be traveling with the Wando Band, on Saturday, May 6, 2017, to Irmo, SC to perform at the State Concert Band Festival.
Your student can take their lunch on the bus to eat or they can eat before they arrive on Saturday.  Your student can also bring a bagged supper on the bus OR we are offering a Chick Fil A dinner meal that will contain a Chick Fil A sandwich, chip and a cookie for $7.50.
If you would like to have a Chick Fil A Sandwich meal for your student you may send in a check made out to Wando Band Boosters and have your student place it in the safe in Mr. Handel’s office or you may pay via Paypal by going to www.wandobands.org, clicking on Band Boosters, and then on Parent Information and the link for Paypal is at the bottom of that page.  If your student does want a Chick Fil A meal we also ask that you email Mary Ruth Starr at travel@wandobands.org no later than Tuesday night, May 2, so she can keep an accurate head count for the restaurant order.  We must give our final meal total to Chick Fil A on Wednesday, May 3 by noon.  All payments for the ordered meal are due by Tuesday, May 2 as well.
We are looking forward to a wonderful trip with your student and if you have any questions feel free to email Mary Ruth Starr at travel@wandobands.org.
Go Wando!
MaryRuth Starr
April 22 2017

Percussion Concert Week Schedule 2017


A quick reminder about what the schedule looks like for next week.  All is subject to change based on night rehearsals.  Spark notes version first: Sun 4-9; Mon 4-8; Tue 4-6; Wed 4-8; Thu-4-8; Fri 4-4:30, 6:00-end

Full Schedule:

  • Sunday, April 23
    • 4:00-9:00 – Setup/Rehearse in PAC
    • 6:00ish – Raising Cane’s Chicken Fangers (not full-on meal)
  • Monday, April 24
    • 1st Block
      • Sharpened Stick
    • 2nd Block
      • Jazz Variants
      • Stool Pigeon
    • After School
      • 4:00-8:00 – Rehearsal in PAC
      • 4:30-5:30 – Middle School Piece
      • 6:00ish – Dough Re Mi Pizza
  • Tuesday, April 25
    • 1st Block – Health
    • 2nd Block
      • Crown of Thorns
    • After School
      • 4:00-6:00 – Rehearsal in PAC
      • Band Rehearsal TBD
  • Wednesday, April 26
    • 1st Block
      • Sharpened Stick
    • 2nd Block
      • TBD
    • After School
      • 4:00-8:00 – Rehearsal in PAC
      • 6:00ish – Spaghetti Dinner
  • Thursday, April 27
    • 1st Block – Health
    • 2nd Block
      • TBD
    • After School
      • 3:40-4:15 – Full Senegal Calling Run
      • 4:15-6:00 – Dress Rehearsal in PAC with Jazz Band
      • 6:00ish – BBQ Dinner
      • 6:30-8:00 – Last Minute Work
  • Friday, April 28
    • 1st Block
      • TBD
    • 2nd Block
      • TBD
    • After School
      • 4:00-4:30 – Prelude Rehearsal with Dancers in PAC
      • 4:30-6:00 – Eat Chick Fil A, Get dressed, preset, etc
      • 6:00 – Call Time
      • 6:30 – House Opens, no more stage access
      • 6:55 – Places Call
      • 6:59 – Handel gets dressed and eats chicken sandwiches in a rush
      • 7:00 – SHOWTIME
  • Saturday, April 29
    • Nuthin
April 19 2017

Drumline and Pit Audition Information 2017-2018

To all potential members of the Wando Percussion Section 2017-2018-

The Wando Drumline and Pit Auditions will take place over the course of 4 Spring Training Sessions:

  1. Wednesday, May 10th, 4:30-6:30
  2. Thursday, May 18, 5:30-7:30 (with freshmen parent orientation 7:00-9:00)
  3. Wednesday, May 24th, 4:30-6:30
  4. Wednesday, May 31st, 4:30-6:30

These sessions will begin with a very “instructional” tone, and will quickly ramp up through the following weeks with a more audition-type atmosphere.  Students will be asked to play side by side, compare their playing to others, and be asked to carry drums, perform music they have been given, and sometimes perform things that are taught at that time.  For example, I may ask bass-drum finalists to play a split part on different drums that they may have never seen before.  The bulk of the audition material will come from the Summer Preparation Exercises, but I always will reserve the right to ask potential players to play other Wando Warmups found here.

In addition, check out the Audition Information Page.  Some demonstration videos should be up there soon.