Showing posts from March, 2008

OSU Summer Band Clinic

The Ohio State University holds a week-long summer band clinic June 22-28 where wind and percussion players in grades 9-12 can take their performance to the next level. Conductors and clinicians will include the entire wind faculty at OSU, as well as conductors Dr. Russel Mikkelson, Dr. Jon Waters, and Jon Woods. Registration deadline is May 15. It is a resident program, or you may commute daily. Cost is $325 for commuters and $35 for residents. For more information, go to

Field Commander - Last Call

If you are interested in auditioning for field commander for the 2008 FMB and have not contacted me yet, please do so by Tuesday, April 1. This is the last call for interested veterans.

Info on Larissa (UPDATED)

This was forwarded to me this morning and I have posted it FYI. I'll keep you posted as I hear more:

Many of you know that Larissa S. was in an accident last evening and life-flighted to OSU and have been praying for her already. She does not have internal injuries. She had various cuts on her face and that was sutured last night. Right now (8:30) this morning a Dr. Lora is doing surgery on her left leg. Both bones are broken and the Dr. was deciding about a rod or a plate in the leg. So, pray for wisdom and guidance for the Dr. and healing for Larissa. The family says she is doing well.

Bob Stauffer just called (1:10 pm.) to say that surgery went well for Larissa. They put a pin in her leg and believe that Larissa is doing very well. Thank you for your prayers.

Cathy Troyer
Church Office Secretary
Mechanicsburg Christian Fellowship

Sweet 16 of Pep Bands

Another nice article featuring the Xavier (Cincinnati) pep band and their trip to the tournament and the sweet 16 from USA Today. Did you know there are NCAA rules for the pep bands? Or that you can borrow a band if you don't have one? Worth a read. Stauffer sent me this link, and he's on his way home from Connecticut after the MU women's team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament. Believe it or not, he's on the road again later this week for the NCAA hockey tournament in Massachusetts, in which the Redhawks are seeded number 2 overall. can be exhausting even in March...well..March madness anyways.

The Song Remains The Same (Pep Band)

March madness showcases not only the finest teams in the NCAA, but also the top-notch pep bands from across the nation. The New York Times has a great article on what music pep bands play, don't play, and why and why not. It's a neat article that not only explains the licensing process, but also shows the universality of what we pep bandos do. Check the full article out here.

Booster Golf Scramble - June 8

Here's the official poster for the booster golf outing on June 8. This is THE major fundraiser for the year for the boosters. Spread the word to your family and friends, and and even print out this poster and put it up on your church or work bulletin board. The price is great, the outing is fun, and the food is fantastic. Get a team together and come and join the fun. The great thing about golf is you don't have to be good to have a great time.

This Is Freaking Me Out

First: the irony. I'm sitting in my office watching my ceiling leak red, rusty water into trashcans on the floor and file cabinet. I decide to console myself by getting a cup of instant coffee out of the teachers lounge, but the water machine is empty. Hmmmm....

Second: I return to my office again to watch the red, rusty water drip from my ceiling and I plug my iPod in to my dock to listen to some music. Shuffling the 1400 songs on my iPod, the song that comes up is "Red Rain" by the White Stripes.

I'm a little freaked out.

All-American Marching Band. Do You Have What It Takes?

What is the All-American Marching Band?
The recognition of the Nation’s exceptional student marching musicians. The All-American Marching Band is presented by MENC in cooperation with SportsLink, the producer of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Who is eligible to apply?
American students who will be high school seniors in January 2009, who have never been convicted of a crime as a juvenile or an adult, and who are in good standing in their community and at their academic institution are eligible to apply. MENC employees and MENC employee immediate family members are not eligible.
More details are available HERE.

Reminder: Shared Articles in the Right Column

This is just a reminder that I share articles that I find interesting, whether they are topical or not, in the right hand column of the blog. Some articles are related to music, some technology, and some are just things that I think are cool and worth sharing. Be sure to scroll down each time you visit until you see this:Google reader makes it really easy to share articles with anyone. If you don't know what an RSS feed is, or how they can be used to read more and know more, check out what a good newsreader, coupled with feeds from your favorite sites, can do for you. Really, it's a better way to browse.

Quote for Today: Do Something

"You're alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act."
-Barbara Hall

Fairbanks Band Announcements Update

I have updated the announcements page on to include all of the music department's upcoming performances including the Spring Concert, FHSCB@Vets, and FHS Graduation. Check out what's coming up and what's expected of performers this May.

Thanks From the Longs

Thanks to all for making Dave’s birthday so meaningful.

He was so happy to spend it with all of you!!

-Karla Long

FYI: Bugles Across America

Bugles Across America, NFP was founded in 2000 by Tom Day, when Congress passed legislation stating Veterans had a right to at least 2 uniformed military people to fold the flag and play taps on a CD player. Bugles Across America was begun to take this a step further, and in recognition of the service these Veterans provided their country, we felt that every Veteran deserved a live rendition of taps played by a live Bugler. To this end, we are actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

Bugles Across America now has over 5000 bugler volunteers located in all 50 states and growing number overseas. Since the Department of Veterans Affairs is expecting more than 1/2 million veterans to pass every year for the next 7 years, Bugles Across America is ALWAYS recruiting new volunteers.

Bugler Volunteers can be male or female. They can play a traditional bugle with no valves, or they can perform the ceremony on a Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, or a …

FHSCB Contest Pics

FHSCB Contest 3/15/08
Originally uploaded by fhsbando. Pictures from the March 15 OMEA contest are on the picture page. I didn't take too many because I had a lot on my mind on Saturday like fog, time schedules, missing timpani sticks, and missing people. We made it through and you all performed well. I will share judge's comments today.

FHSCB is "Excellent"; "Superior" Sight-Readers

Congratulations to the Fairbanks High School Concert Band for their outstanding performance at OMEA District 15 contest on Saturday, March 15, at Groveport-Madison High School. The band earned an overall rating of "excellent", with three II's on the stage, as well as a "superior" rating in sight reading. The band shook off the effects of the early-morning performance time and played very well, earning many compliments from the judging panel. Judges' comment sheets will be posted to the flickr page on Monday, and we will review tapes during Monday's rehearsal time.


It's foggy out there this morning. Please drive carefully! Bus leaves
at 6:45 sharp.Benjamin J. Keller
Sent from my iPod


If you're bored enough to read my blog on a Friday night, you should just go to bed and get some sleep. LOL. See you at 6:15 AM :-)

RANT: Cell Phones: I'm Tired Of It

For goodness sakes... Please turn your cell phones off and put them away during school hours. I WILL TAKE THEM. Parents, please reinforce the importance of following this important school rule with your child. This school policy exists to eliminate distractions during the school day so students can concentrate on their studies. Phones are to be OFF and AWAY except before and after school. Also, parents, do not encourage your child to break this rule by texting or calling them during the day, or by asking them to text or call you. You can leave a voice mail which your child can retrieve at the end of the school day when phones are permitted. I'm tired of being the phone police, but I will continue in this role if I have to be.

BUMP: FHSCB Contest - March 15

Our performance time is at 9 A.M. on Saturday, March 15 at Groveport-Madison High School in Groveport, Ohio. Directions can be found here. Here is the schedule:

6:00 A.M. School is open
6:15 Load Trailer/Bus
6:45 Depart for GMHS
7:50 Arrive GMHS, Unload
8:15 Go to Warm Up
9:00 Perform
9:20 Sight Read
9:40 Load Trailer
9:45 Meet in Cafe; Get rating
10:00 Depart for home
11:00 Arrive FHS

All the bands at Groveport perform before noon and we are the THIRD band on the stage, believe it or not. There will be students from other schools up much earlier than us.

Dress is regular concert attire. Please look your best. I will bring ties for guys.

If you are not riding the bus home, please be sure to get a note in to me before we depart FHS at 6:45 AM.

Please get to bed at a decent hour on Friday night. Keep in mind that we are only at our best if you …

Directions to OMEA Contest

The FHSCB will perform at District 15 OMEA contest on Saturday at 9AM. The performance is free and open to the public. Directions are here:

View Larger Map

GRRRRR...5th Band's Forgetfullness is Getting To Me

Many fifth grade band students are having trouble remembering to bring their book and instrument on their assigned days, percussion and brasses especially. Please double your efforts to remember, as you cannot learn to your fullest capacity unless you are prepared for class with your book, instrument, and a pencil. A few students have not been in my class with an instrument in almost two months (Parents: is this your child? Ask them. They know)

Many fifth grade band students are also failing to practice the required amount, and some are not practicing at all. Beginning band students are asked to practice five times each week, at least 15 minutes per session. If you do not reinforce at home what we have introduced in class, it will not become a viable skill for you. Practice is our way of training our brain to make natural actions and processes that may not be that natural for a beginning musician. Ready music, subdividing beats, remembering fingerings, and breathing properly are…

JHCB Listening

The Junior High Concert band received new music this morning that we will be sight reading over the next few days. Band members should number their measures as soon as possible. I have posted Fanfare, Ode, and Festival and Korean Folk Song Medley on the members only page so you can listen at your convenience. If you don't remember your username or password, please email me. Our rehearsal time is sparse this concert season, so we need to make the most out of first period each and every day. The more prepared you are coming into each rehearsal, the more easily we will reach our goal of performing this pieces of quality music.

Choir & FHSCB: Kudos from Mr. Montgomery

From Mr. Montgomery:

Ben, I meant to get down and talk to the high school choir and concert band and tell
them how well they did. Please express my thanks and let them know I
enjoyed the concert. Good Luck at Groveport this weekend.

Booster Newsletter

Here's what's up with the music boosters. Click on the pic to enlarge. We're beginning the fundraising drive to purchase new marching band uniforms, so please support the boosters with using your Kroger card, participating in raffles, and most definitely golfing in the annual Booster Golf Scramble June 8!

Boosters Cancelled

No booster meeting tonight.

Mid-Year Concert Pics

Mid-Year Concert 3/11/08
Originally uploaded by fhsbando. Pictures from last night's mid-year concert have been posted on the flickr page. Thanks to every performer for an outstanding job, and to all the students and parents who went above and beyond the call of duty to help tear down.

Capital Wind Symphony Concert Sunday

The Capital University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Winds will be performing a fantastic program of music this Sunday, March 16, at 7 :30 PM, in Meed Hall on the campus of Capital. This is an opportunity to hear some monumental pieces of the repertoire including Samuel Barber's Commando March, David R. Holsinger's In The Spring At The Time When Kings Go Off To War, and one of the most important works of the 20th century - Karel Husa's Music For Prague 1968. The concert is free and open to the public. Sorry about the late notice, but I just got the flyer in Monday's mail. More info is available at

Lost Textbook

Charley G. I have your reading textbook. See me.

Thank you

Big thanks to Allison, Maria, and Sam for helping me set up for dress
rehearsal today before school. I couldn't have done it without you.

Concert Tuesday - Details

Tuesday night's concert will go on as scheduled. Attendance is required for all performers. Here's all the info that's fit to print:

HS Choir:
Be in the middle school cafeteria at 6:40 to warm up. After warm up, we’ll sing through each piece with the accompaniment. At 7:00, we will perform After your performance, you need to sit with your family. Do NOT go back to the band room.

JH Concert Band:
You need to be seated with your family with your instruments ready to watch the high school choir at 7:00. Immediately after the high school choir’s performance, go promptly to your performance seats on the gym floor. We will warm up and then play Chorale II and then perform our program. After we are done, we’ll file out and then you will sit in with your family. If you share instruments with a HS band member, they will be waiting for you in the corner to take your instrument. Do NOT go back to the band room.

HS concert band:
Be seated with your family with your instrument/mus…

Monday, Tuesday

Still no word on delays, etc. for Monday. I'm hoping for a regular day so we can adequately prepare for our concert on Tuesday night. As of now, we're still on for full-length dress rehearsals in the gym tomorrow.

On Tuesday night, choir members need to be in the MS cafeteria ready to warm at 6:40. All band members need to be in their seats with their families ready to watch the concert at 7PM. Both JHCB and FHSCB will warm up on-stage.


Yeah...lots of it. Are you snowed in? Drifts? Over three feet of snow in some place in my yard.

Stauffer At Work

Just in case you didn't know, Mr. Stauffer is currently a graduate assistant at Miami University. He had his conducting debut on Wednesday night with the MU Wind Ensemble, performing Ralph Vaughan Williams's Toccata Marziale. He's uploaded it to, and you can use this link to see and hear (sorry I couldn't embed) I think he did a great job, and the musicians performed well for him. Feel free to leave comments for him...he reads this blog every day.

Fairbanks Dismissing at 1 PM today.

Yeah...we're getting out at 1PM today. Make whatever arrangements are necessary. In case you didn't get the Instant Alert, all evening and I believe all Saturday events are also canceled. I'll update you as I know more. At least the JHCB got to rehearse today.


Closed due to ice today. 5th brasses will have class on Thursday and percussion will be Friday.Benjamin J. Keller
Sent from my iPod

Quote for Today: Success vs. Failure

"I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate."
-George Burns (1896 - 1996)

7th Grade FMB Invitations Extended Today

I extended invitations to sixteen 7th graders to join the Fairbanks Marching Band as 8th graders for this Summer and the 2008-2009 school year today. I hope you each consider joining our ensemble for many reasons, including the music, the excitement, the friendship, and the pride that the FMB stands for.

If you have any questions about what is involved before you accept or decline this invitation, please feel free to contact me, or any veteran member of the marching band. I'm fairly certain that you will hear many common threads in what we have to say. It is a demanding activity, but it is tremendous fun and tremendously rewarding. Creating art on a football field is a challenge we do not take lightly, and we believe that lessons learned in band can help you in school and in life. And most importantly, friendships formed in band are friendships that last a lifetime.

Please let me know by March 14 if you accept or decline this invitation. I truly hope you want to be a part of t…

FHSCB - Vets Concert Now May 25

Due to a regular Friday night engagement in Veteran's Auditorium, our year-end concert will now be on Sunday, May 25 at 2 PM. The rehearsal for this big concert will be on Friday, May 23 from 2:30-4:30 PM. You will be excused from school at 2 PM and may drive yourself or ride the bus to Vets Auditorium in Marysville. This is a required performance for all FHSCB members. Even though it is graduation weekend, seniors are asked to attend both the rehearsal and the performance. There is no conflict with senior trip this year. More details will be published as teh event draws nearer.

I apologize for the change in our Friday night tradition, but if we wanted the room, the change in date and time was unavoidable.

6th Grade Band Concert Music

One of the pieces that the sixth grade concert band will be performing for our Spring concert is Of Gentle Spirit. This piece can be listened to in RealAudio format at the publisher's web site at This is an excellent listening experience, and even to play along with in your home practice session. I hope you agree that it is a beautiful piece. We'll also be resurrecting the 10th planet this week, as well as sight reading my new version of The Victors.

Concert Tuesday!

Everyone is cordially invited to the music department's annual Mid-Year Concert on Tuesday, March 11 at 7 PM in the high school gymnasium. Performing groups include the junior high concert band, high school concert choir, and high school concert band. Pieces by F.E. Bigelow, Frank Ticheli, Brian Balmages, James Swearingen, and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be featured. The concert is free and open to the public. More information is available at

Attendance is required for performers in the JHCB, FHSCB, and Choir. Concert attire is expected. The entire concert will last no longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you have questions or need more info, please feel free to contact me.

Next Season Of Survivor?

I am usually not a fan of forwarded emails with the intention of humor. Most of them just waste my time. There was a recent exception today, however. My mother-in-law, a retired elementary teacher herself, sent me this hypothetical concept for the next season of "Survivor" and thought it was worth sharing with you. I have the highest respect for all elementary teachers (I couldn't handle their jobs) and I hope you do to...and if not...maybe after this message, you will :-)

Next Season on Survivor

Have you heard about the next planned "Survivor" show?

Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for 1 school year. Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her school district's curriculum, state educational standards, national standards, a copy of No Child Left Behind (NLCB), and a class of 28 - 32 students.

Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.D., one …

Wittenburg Voice Workshop - March 26

Wittenberg University will present a Voice Workshop on March 26, 7-9 PM.

Admission is free, but registration is required. Contact me directly or get
details and register online:

I hope you will encourage your students to attend!

Thank you.

Dan Kazez
Professor of Music and Auditions Committee Chair
Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio