Quarter Notes 1.4

As we head into the Thanksgiving Break, it is important to highlight our upcoming December events and celebrate the accomplishments of the year thus far.  

Sunday, December 3 Holiday Concerts 2:00 and 4:00 PM

Tickets for our December 3 Holiday Concerts go on sale tomorrow.  We have attached a ticket order form.  Tickets will again be $5 for students/seniors, $7 adults and $25 for a family pack (Up to 8 tickets).  Note that the ensembles playing on each concert changes, so please read carefully before ordering.

2:00 PM Concert

This concert will feature our Symphonic Band (Hour 1), Wind Ensemble (Hour 4), Percussion Ensemble (Hour 6), Jazz Band (the before school group), the SuperSax Xtet and The Modern Jazz Xtet.

The concert length is approximately 70 minutes. Please note that we will hold a 15 minute Pre – Concert discussion at 1:40 PM with audience members who are interested learning more about what our students have been studying and how the music fits into their journey as Stillwater Musicians.


1:00 PM – Percussion Ensemble (Hour 6) Auditorium

1:15 PM – Stillwater Jazz Band (AM Jazz Band) B108

1:30 PM – Symphonic Band (Hour 1) Orchestra Room

1:45 PM – Wind Ensemble (Hour 4) Band Room

1:45 – SuperSax Xtet – B108 (You can warmup there)
4:00 PM Concert

This concert will feature our Concert Band (Hour 2), Wind Ensemble (Hour 4), Percussion Ensemble (Hour 6), the Stillwater Jazz Band (Before school ensemble), the SuperSax Xtet and The Modern Jazz Xtet.

The concert length is approximately 70 minutes. Please note that we will hold a 15 minute Pre – Concert discussion at 3:30 PM with audience members who are interested learning more about what our students have been studying and how the music fits into their journey as Stillwater Musicians.


3:20 PM – Concert Band (Hour 2) Orchestra Room

3:50  PM – Percussion Ensemble (Hour 6) Auditorium

3:45 PM – Wind Ensemble (Hour 4) Band Room

3:45 – Jazz Band/Xtet (B108)
December 17 and 18 Winter Concerts

Tickets go on sale tomorrow to the musicians and their families for the Winter concerts featuring the Stillwater Wind Symphony, Stillwater Jazz Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, Con Amici Chamber Orchestra, Stillwater Choir and the Vagabonds. There are three concerts to choose from and all sell out very fast.  To secure your tickets, you should place your orders BEFORE Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving break, tickets will go on sale to the general public.

Tickets are $5 for students/seniors and $7 for adults. All tickets are reserve seating.


January 4th Stillwater Solo Festival

On January 4th from 3:00 – 9:00 PM, students of the Stillwater Bands will participate in the annual Stillwater Solo Festival.  All students have been preparing solos across the fall and will be presenting them to outside clinicians.  Students have been asked to register their solos through Schoology and will be asked to schedule their times starting this week.

All solos will need to be accompanied.  We highly suggest using smart music.  Each student will have a 12 minute performance clinic with an outside expert who will evaluate their performance and give suggestions on how to improve. The top 65 scores in grades 10-12 from our internal solo/ensemble will be asked to perform in the State MSHSL solo and and ensemble festival in February.

The preparation of this solo is an important part of their musical growth.  It allows them to build literature that they can then use for future auditions both in high school and college.
Looking back at the Fall of 2017

It is hard to believe that we are now heading into the holidays.  A lot has happened in the last three months.  Let us review.

Pony Pep Band

The Pony Pep Band is always our first ensemble out of the gate in the fall.  This years ensemble, lead by Senior Hunter Weihe and Junior Anna Novalany led the Fight Song at Freshman orientation, supported the Ponies at home football games, collaborated with the Stillwater AM Rotary and Boutwell’s Landing for the Halloween Parade and followed both the Boys Soccer and Girls Volleyball teams to the state tourney.  Way to go Pep Band!

Jazz Xtets and Jazz Bands

The jazz bands began rehearsal in mid September and have performed for the Jazz Parent’s concert and the Kaleidoscope Concerts.  Our jazz bands also traveled to the Lawrence jazz festival for clinics in early November and will be featured throughout our holiday concerts.  Recently, the Stillwater Jazz Band (before school) began rehearsal on Mondays and  Wednesdays before school.  There are over 50 students involved in our Jazz Program this year.

Rummage Sale

Our annual Music Department Rummage Sale was a strong success, raising nearly $10,000 for the Music Department.  All monies from the sale are used to purchase music and instruments for our programs. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered!

Kaleidoscope Concerts

The Stillwater Bands opened our performance year with two wonderful (and sold out) concerts!  Thank you to everyone who made these first concerts a success.

Stillwater Band Festival

The Wind Symphony performed with all the 5th grade and 8th grade band students at the Stillwater Band Festival on November 6.  Many thanks to Dr. Robert  McDowell, Executive Director of Learning and Innovation AND Stillwater Band Parent for serving as our narrator for the 5th graders “First Performance”!

Veteran’s Day

Thank you to Chester Hearne, Louisa Zuelli, Eric Fernandez, Nick Eischens and  Nathan Doely who provided the ceremonial music for the Veteran’s Day Ceremony on November 11th at the Stillwater Veterans Memorial.  We always love to honor the sacrifice our our community’s veterans who have served in our armed forces.  

Fall Orchestra Concert

Our Orchestral Winds (made up of musicians from the Stillwater Wind Symphony) joined our Concert Orchestra performing Overture to “Egmont”  by Beethoven. They are awesome.  You will love hearing the Finale from the Second Symphony (Tchaikovsky) and Sleigh Ride at the Winter Concerts on December 17 and 18.

Student Accomplishments

Dan Smallidge (Senior Trombonist in the Wind Symphony), placed second chair in the University of Minnesota Duluth Honor Band!  Congrats!

Maya Yokanovich (Senior Clarinetist in the Wind Symphony), was selected as a clarinetist in the UWEC Honor Band.  Bravo!

The following Stillwater Band students were named to the SEC All Conference Band and Orchestra!

Grace Zimmer, Senior Flutist

Allison Shaw, Junior Flutist

Hannah Sween, Junior Flutist

Thomas Meyer, Junior Oboist

Maya Yokanovich, Senior Clarinetist

Colin Welch, Sophomore Bassoonist

Hayden Block, Senior Alto Saxophonist

Anna Novalany, Junior Baritone Saxophonist

Louisa Zeuli, Senior Trumpet

Nathan Haupt, Senior Tubist

Nathan Doely, Senior Tubist

Smart Music

We have begun full use of SmartMusic, the music performance software that allows students to practice smarter and better.  All of our students have access to the class assignments and nearly 60 have paid $23 through Feepay to have complete access to the full benefits of this program.  We cannot emphasize enough how useful this tool can be to a young musician.  If your student is interested in having their own subscription, please go on to Feepay.

Teaming and Lessons for our Symphonic Band and Concert Band

We have completed our third cycle of lessons for the Symphonic Band and Concert Band.  These group lessons allow us to assist students with various issues of their playing, working through advanced technical issues and assisting them with their instrument and potential upgrades.  We have a wonderful group of freshman and sophomores that are really making great strides in their playing.
Upgrades in Equipment

As students advance, they begin to see the need for equipment that will allow them to go to the next level.  We have worked with Schmitt Music to have mouthpieces and upgrade instruments available for students to try.  If you are currently thinking about upgrading equipment, please feel free to contact us.  We are happy to help.


It has been a great start to the year.  We can’t wait for you all to hear the December performances.  


We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.