DSMA updates and info on affected concerts, events, trips etc.

This season has been an unprecedented one for the DSMA and all of the students in the programs we support. Our kids are the first and foremost thing on all of our minds right now, given recent cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19, along with the uncertainty about the remainder of the school year. Our thoughts are also with our families, many of whom may be faced with uncertainty with work and the health of their loved ones. We’ve come to know so many of you over the years, and we hope that we are all able to pull through this safely.

Given the cancellation of the DSMA meeting this month, and not knowing when we’ll be able to reschedule it, we wanted to send everyone an update on what we know has taken place so far with the music groups in the schools.

Here are the concerts and events that we know right now have been canceled:
The WGI season (no trips to Dayton, OH)
The NESBA indoor season (no NESBA Finals at Dartmouth High School on April 4)
The Band and Orchestra Play-In
Junior Districts

Here’s what we know is (or expect to be) postponed:
The Annual Pops Concert at Dartmouth High School that was set for March 12
The Night of Percussion that was set for April 3
Feature Night on April 8 is expected to be postponed
The Earth Day Parade on April 22 may be postponed

Here is what is still tentatively scheduled:
The middle school trip to Six Flags in May
The Spring concerts at all of our schools

All of our events are at the discretion of the Dartmouth School Department, and we will be following their guidance on rescheduling (or canceling) events with the music department once school resumes. We are also currently working on the plan to refund families who are affected by trip cancellations. Right now we’re in contact with all of the hotels, bus companies, airlines, etc to get our deposits and pre-payments returned. We hope to have information for everyone within the next few weeks, and we thank you for your patience.

This school year started out with many changes due to EEE concerns, and now we’re unfortunately seeing cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19. We are truly hopeful that the ongoing school suspension, and the social distancing it provides, keeps our kids, our extended staff and our families safe.

Having football games and our fall marching band competition start times rescheduled due to EEE resulted in smaller crowds, and subsequently much lower concessions sales (and gate sales at the home show) than most years. Additionally, the cancellations and postponements right now due to the coronavirus, unfortunately, will have a large impact on the DSMA as a whole. This also extends to our fundraiser at Gillette Stadium; our first shift was tentatively scheduled for April 18 and that has been impacted as well with MLS pushing out the start of their season and the statewide ban on public gatherings. 

Going forward, once school is back in session and life has returned to a relatively normal our plan is to come up with some additional ways we can make sure our students and our programs are taken care of for next year. This may include additional fundraisers or special performances, if possible. One thing is for sure – we need to make sure that BK gets the recognition he deserves before he retires for everything he’s done for our students over his long and storied career here in Dartmouth!

As a registered non-profit organization, our bylaws require us to send out nomination papers in April for DSMA executive board and committee positions for the following year. Understandably, there may be far more important issues and concerns still at hand next month. Once we get closer to that timeframe, we will reevaluate our calendar and make an appropriate decision that is best for everyone. Likewise with the scholarship applications for our qualifying seniors – our scholarship committee is already reviewing how they can ensure our kids are taken care of, no matter what. Once school resumes, we’ll be able to take a better look along with the music staff at what needs to be done to make up for lost concerts & events, and hopefully, many of the tentative events will still be able to go on or be rescheduled.

Our students are amazing. There’s no other way to put it. They practice at home, show up to long rehearsals at school, juggle music classes with all of their other studies, many of them take lessons with outside instructors or take part in other performance groups… they never cease to impress our teachers, staff, parents, and volunteers with how hard they work. As parent volunteers, it’s always a joy to watch our kids start the year and grow as performers and as people throughout the season. While this year may not be ending in the way many of them desired, we truly hope that in the not-so-distant future, many of our students look back on this year fondly and remember the fun they had, the friendships they made, and the adventures they shared.

If you have questions, concerns, or ideas – we want to hear from you. Please feel free to contact any of us and we would love to speak with you about the ways that we can continue to support the music and performing arts programs here in Dartmouth during this unprecedented time. And most importantly – be well, and stay safe.

Gratefully,

The Dartmouth School Music Association Executive Board

UPDATES ON CANCELLATIONS/POSTPONEMENTS DUE TO COVID-19 (March 13, 2020)

We have been receiving a lot of questions about upcoming events, concerts, competitions, etc. that involve the music programs so we wanted to post an update here for everyone. The following is what we know about how things stand for our various school music groups:

-The WGI season has been cancelled, so our varsity colorguard and our indoor percussion group will not be travelling to Dayton, OH.
-The NESBA season has been cancelled, so both of our color guards as well as our indoor percussion group will not be competing for the remainder of this year. This means we will also not be hosting NESBA Finals at Dartmouth High School in April, as we normally do.
-The Annual Pops Concert at Dartmouth High School, featuring our choruses, orchestra, jazz band and concert band, has been postponed indefinitely. As of right now, there is no revised date scheduled.
-The Band and Orchestra Play-In has been cancelled.
-Junior Districts has been cancelled.
-Our annual Night of Percussion is tentatively scheduled for it’s original date of April 3, however that may change based on conditions leading up to the event.
-Feature Night on April 8 is tentatively scheduled to go on as planned (subject to change).
-The Earth Day Parade on April 22 is tentatively scheduled to go on as planned (subject to change).
-The middle school trip to Six Flags is currently still planned to go on, as it is scheduled for late May. Should things change between now and then, we will be sure to update everyone.
-The Spring concerts at all of our schools are still planned to go on as planned, but are subject to change should conditions dictate.

For families affected by cancellations involving trips, we will have info on refunds/credits within the next few weeks, as we are working with all of the vendors, hotels, travel companies, airlines, etc. to recover deposits and funds that were pre-paid to arrange travel or lodging.

Next week’s scheduled DSMA meeting may need to be postponed due the suspension of all after-school activities.

Throughout all of this, our kids have been AMAZING. They are disappointed and upset, and rightfully so. We are doing everything we can to support them and recognize all of the hard work they’ve put into practice, rehearsals, balancing music with schoolwork… we are very lucky to have such wonderful students to support, and a caring music staff that is dedicated to their students.

We will provide more info and updates to families as it comes in. THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us, and our students, during this unprecedented time.

Congrats to our Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion groups for their WGI performances!

The DSMA would like to congratulate all of our students for their excellent performances at WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH!

Our Winter Guard competed from April 3-6, 2019 in the Scholastic Open Class, finishing in 12th place with a score of 86.600! Our guard also received the coveted Fan Favorite Award for their captivating performance!

Our Indoor Percussion group competed from April 11-13, 2019 in the Scholastic World Class, finishing in 4th place with a score of 94.888, just barely missing out on medalling! Their show also won Fan Favorite as well.

Congratulations to all of you for your hard work and dedication all season long. We also would like to thank the staff members who worked with the students all season long, as well as the parent volunteers who chaperoned, built and moved props, and selflessly gave up their time to help our kids!

 

Indoor Percussion Itinerary week of April 1 – Parent meeting, Night of Percussion, NESBA Finals, Dayton Prep

This week’s itinerary can be downloaded and printed by clicking this link. The itinerary covers rehearsals this week, the Dayton parent meeting, Night of Percussion, NESBA Finals, and final prep for the Dayton trip to WGI World Championships.

A printed copy will also be available at the parent meeting on Wednesday evening.

Night of Percussion & NESBA Finals April 5 & 6

Night of Percussion

The annual Night of Percussion is quickly approaching! This night showcases the talent of Dartmouth students in various percussion programs throughout our schools, and ends with a performance of the Indoor Percussion show “All In”. Proceeds from this event benefit the music programs in the Dartmouth Public Schools

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors. You can RSVP on our Facebook page by clicking here!

NESBA Indoor Percussion & Winds Finals

This year’s NESBA Indoor Percussion & Winds Finals will once again be held at Dartmouth High School!

Come see over 30 units from throughout New England perform some of the best indoor percussion & winds shows in the country. Tickets are just $15. You can find more info on our Facebook event page by clicking here.

For a full schedule and list of performing groups, please visit http://nesba.org/events/04062019/2019-New-England-Percussion-and-Winds-Championships/#

Indoor Percussion Itinerary – Week of March 18, 2019 (Triton & Shepard Hill NESBA shows)

The indoor percussion itinerary for the week of March 18 can be found at this link. We recommend printing it out for easy reference! Our Google calendar (which can also be found in the BAND app) has been updated as well.

All costumes that went home with the students after the NJ trip should be washed and returned during rehearsal this week. Any questions about costume washing and care should be directed to Greg Jones (gregjones@dsmahome.org) or Sue Benoit (suebenoit@dsmahome.org).

Indoor Percussion Itinerary – Salem NH NESBA Show

This week’s itinerary, which includes the Pops Concert and the Salem, NH NESBA show, can be downloaded from this link.

Please note than an On/Off Floor Rehearsal has been added for Sunday, March 10. This is to prepare for the WGI Power Regional next weekend. ALL PARENTS who will be helping at the NJ Power Regional should be at practice, as the NJ show has a different on/off procedure than the other WGI shows we normally attend. 

Indoor Percussion Itinerary – Week of 2/25/19: WGI Trumbull

The indoor percussion itinerary for this week (WGI Trumbull Regional) can be downloaded and printed by clicking this link. Rehearsal times and the bus schedule for Saturday are included. Parents who will be assisting with on/off the floor need to be at practice on Thursday night by 8:15pm to practice moving the props.

Don’t forget – this show is a double header. Students should bring food for lunch on the bus ride to CT, and we will be headed to a local mall for dinner before returning to the school for the evening finals performance. 

Color guard, percussion perform at high school home show

This article originally appeared in the February 23, 2020 edition of Dartmouth Week. To read the original article and view photos from the event, please click here.

Flags were flying and drumbeats echoed through Dartmouth High School on Saturday as groups from all over New England came to participate in the annual New England Scholastic Band Association show.

39 color guard and indoor percussion teams — from independent groups to schools from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire — took part in the seven-hour show on February 22.

It was the first NESBA show before the finals on April 4.

The event is hosted by the Dartmouth School Music Association.

“We’re the support group for all of the schools, all of the music groups,” said DSMA president Russ Benoit.

“Dartmouth is known for how great its music department is,” he noted. “And some of the staff come from world-class drum groups and other music groups.”

The groups perform to popular music — anything from Britney Spears to the Police — as well as original compositions.

“Some groups will use music that their own instructors wrote, so you get a combination,” Benoit said. “Every now and again you’ll hear a snippet of something you recognize. It’s a lot of fun.”

The event serves to raise funds for DSMA and the Dartmouth music program. 

“We need to raise about $100,000 a year between all of the groups,” said Benoit. 

The funds are used for everything from maintaining the trucks used to send kids and equipment to competitions, to props and flags, music rights, and staff stipends for those coming from outside the school system.

Supporters from all over the region trickled in and out between each performance throughout the day, filling the gym stands and cheering as each team came out to perform for the judges.

Jennifer Connolly of Dartmouth came to watch her twin daughters in the junior varsity color guard. “I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m so happy for them. They’re all nervous…but they know to just have fun. That’s what it’s about.”

Each performance had its own theme. Dartmouth’s Junior Varsity Color Guard performed “Bewitched,” featuring witches swooping through a set of dark woods, while the Varsity Color Guard’s theme was “Jazz’D”, with bright colors and flashy abstract patterns.

This year’s theme for the Indoor Percussion is called “The Web,” and the performance featured dancing spiders and performers caught in a spider web as well as tablets, screens, and icons from famous social media outlets.

Although all three teams gave much-praised performances, Dartmouth’s Indoor Percussion was a knockout, receiving a standing ovation and earning the second-highest score of any percussion team that day. 

It came second only to Spirit Winter Percussion, an independent group that includes young adults as well as children.

“I like the energy that Dartmouth brings,” said resident Liza Sousa, who was looking forward to watching her 15-year-old daughter Mia Amaral play the rack in the performance.

“She likes the whole camaraderie, and how they always aim to be better, and the support they get from the teachers and instructors,” she added. “It’s so enriching to her in all areas.”

“So far so good,” said Dartmouth School Committee member John Nunes of the show. “Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves, which is what it’s all about.”

“I think our kids did very well,” noted Music Director Bill Kingsland. “A world class group and an 86 at their first show — that’s scoring pretty high right out of the blocks.”

Dartmouth High student Alexander Le played the snare drum during the show, which he said went “really great”. 

The senior said the group has been practicing about 20 hours per week since December to prepare.

“There were a lot of applauses that we weren’t expecting, and that’s usually what gives us energy throughout the whole show and pushes us to the finish,” he said with a smile.

Nancy Farias came to see her grandson Jake Meatty, who plays the drums. 

She was thrilled with the performances. “I just like to see the young people doing something with their lives,” she said.

“I saw quite a few of [the performances], and I thought Dartmouth was the best,” she added.

Indoor Percussion Itinerary – Week of Feb 16 (NESBA home show), March percussion calendar

The itinerary for indoor percussion rehearsals the week of February 16 is now online and can be downloaded/printed by clicking this link. This itinerary covers all rehearsals for the February vacation week. 

PLEASE NOTE – there are TWO rehearsals that end with on/off floor practice. Parents who will be at the indoor shows and are able to assist with helping move instruments and props on and off the floor are needed at the times noted on the itinerary.

The March rehearsal and show calendar has also been uploaded and can be downloaded/printed by clicking this link.

The Google calendar (which can be found in the calendar section at the top of this website as well as on the indoor percussion BAND App) has been updated accordingly.