Community celebrates longtime music director with retirement parade

This article appeared in the Dartmouth Week on June 20th by Christopher Shea. To view the original article, please click here.

More than 100 cars — many decorated with streamers and signs — streamed through the Dartmouth High School parking lot on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the retirement of longtime Director of Music Bill Kingsland.

Kingsland has led the Dartmouth High School marching band to excellence for over a decade, helping them win multiple national championships, including the fourth consecutive win last year.

“He brought Dartmouth into the national spotlight, this is the least we can do for him,” Dartmouth School Music Association president Russ Benoit said. “Our kids are as successful as they are because of him.”

The rolling parade included past students and their families and co-workers, unbeknown to Kingsland, who said he was very surprised by the event put together by members of the community.

“I had no idea all these cars would come out just for me,” he said. “This was really great!”

According to Benoit, this parade was inspired by the senior graduation parade, as he and other DSMA members liked how people were able to celebrate in a socially distanced way. But online the graduation parade, this would happen around a more central location.

Originally, Kingsland was to be honored at the Spring Pops Concert, but that event was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

“As with everything else, it went the way of the dodo bird,” School Committee Member John Nunes said. “But I think this was a great way to send him out.”

As for how they got the outgoing music director to the school on a Saturday, Benoit said Kingsland’s son was responsible for that. 

He said that Kingsland was brought under the pretense that he would be helping his son look at a car, something. Instead, he was treated to, which he, only to see dozens of cars descend upon the school, something Benoit is glad people were able to keep secret.

“It’s a good thing BK’s not on Facebook,” Benoit joked.

As cars went by, many would briefly stop to quickly chat with Kingsland, while some others would play some music from their inst, with one group playing “Billboard March,” a song the group said was Kingsland’s favorite.

“Glad to see you’ve kept up with your practicing,” he joked to the car. 

As for his retirement, Kingsland said he plans to take the summer off, but added that he will continue to keep music in his life. 

Along with a potential job at the Symphony Music Shop on State Road, he said he will continue teaching part-time at UMass Dartmouth, where he has been part of the school’s music department since 1986. 

Kingsland will be replaced by former brass specialist for the district Ian Flint.

“As bad as things are, the schools will be in a good place to start the year this fall,” he said. “He’s a really nice guy.”

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.

Itinerary for Week of Oct. 1, 2018 – King Philip show, 2 parades, Chipotle fundraiser!

Itinerary – King Philip Competition and Parades

This week’s itinerary has been emailed out to all band and guard families, and can also be downloaded by clicking this link. This week’s itinerary covers this Saturday’s US Bands show at King Philip, as well as the parades on Sunday in Boston, and Monday in Woonsocket. Please be sure to read the itinerary fully, as it gives details and times on each event. 

Chipotle Fundraiser – October 9

Our Chipotle fundraiser is quickly approaching! To help support the DSMA, just visit the Chipotle on State Rd in Dartmouth on October 9 between 4pm – 8pm. Simply show the cashier the flyer below, or tell them that you’re there to support the Dartmouth School Music Association. 33% of your food’s bill will be donated back to the DSMA. 

Tell your family! Tell your friends! Eat at Chipotle and help support music in the Dartmouth Public Schools!

Perfectly Posh Fundraiser Extended!

Last month’s Perfectly Posh fundraiser held by band parent Shannon McGuire was so successful that it’s been extended for another week! From now through October 7, 25% of all sales through Shannon’s Perfectly Posh online store will be donated back to the DSMA. Thank you for your support, Shannon! To shop Shannon’s store, please click this link!!

Memorial Day Parade Information

Due to the Padanaram Bridge still being closed, the Memorial Day Parade will once again step off from the St Mary’s Church parking lot in South Dartmouth.

Elementary and Middle School Band report time is 8:45AM

High School Band and Color Guard report time is 9AM

Click here for the elementary band parent letter.

Click here for the middle school band parent letter.

Please click this link for more information on the high school band uniform requirements, along with the parade route. 

Let’s hope for some sun this year!