We have had a lot of fun things happening at Willis Music this year, such as our buyers and President attending Winter NAMM, our 116th Birthday, among many other great things. Also, we decided to have a little fun and healthy competition between school bands in the area. How you ask? We had a Battle of the School Bands. It was great! We had 7 schools participate and the videos we got were awesome! The participating schools were Reiley Elementary School Ukulele Club, Casey County Beginning Band, Bellevue Band of Gold, Williamsburg High School Concert Band, Western Hills Wolverine Marching Band, Conner High School Band, and Turkeyfoot 7th Grade Band. It’s a good thing voting was left to the public because it would have been hard for us to choose the best one.
So what is Battle of the School Bands? Great question. This was a Facebook contest we came up with that ran from January to May 1st. All school bands in the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana areas were able to enter. We got all kinds of videos! Everything from a band performing in Disney World (how cool would that be?), to a marching band transforming into zombies on their school’s football field, to students dressing up in sumo wrestling Halloween costumes for a fun Halloween edition! They were all great and they were all entertaining. And let me tell you, the competition was fierce! Each school uploaded their video to our Willis Music Facebook page with their school name, director’s name, and what song they played. After that it was up to the schools, parents, students and teachers to share the video as much as possible! It was in the public’s hands! Whichever video they liked the best, they “liked” it and that counted as a vote. There was a battle for first place for a long time until the end when our winning school pulled ahead with 342 likes.
In case you missed the competition here are all of the video entries we received.
Bellevue Band of Gold playing “Matador de Toros”
Directed by: Scott Reed
Western Hills Wolverine Marching Band playing Michael Jackon’s “Thriller”
Directed by: Stephanie Wallace
Turkeyfoot 7th Grade Band
Directed by: Jana Bromley
**Drum roll please** Here are the 2015 winners of the Battle of the School Bands competition:
Thank you to all of the bands who participated in our 2015 Battle of the School Bands Facebook competition! You all did great. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany and Twitter at @WillisMusicCo to see upcoming competitions and maybe you could win!
It is that time of year. School is in full swing, and school band is something that your child is going to stick with. We have always found that private lessons are the best way for your child to succeed in band class- some band directors even require that all students take private lessons outside of school. Here at Willis Music, we are always on the look out for the best musician to help your child grow. We are always expanding, especially when it comes to band. Here are just a few of our many new band teachers. To find out more about lessons for you or your child, click on the location nearest you, or on one of these great teachers below!
Armond Luckey- West Chester Location
I started playing trumpet when I was 12 so I’ve been playing for about 16 years. I attended Miami University on a full ride scholarship. While there I had the opportunity to connect and play with several musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Wayne Bergeron and Jon Faddis. While at Miami I was the lead player for the Miami Jazz Ensemble as well as the jazz trumpet ensemble called the Lickitysplits. I was also a part of the Miami Wind Ensemble, Miami Marching Band, and Miami Orchestra. If you have any questions feel free to ask!
Chase Clark- Lexington Location
As an educator, Chase has taught at various schools and music camps throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Teaching with his first instrument, the trombone, Chase has appeared as a guest instructor at prestigious music programs such as Lafayette High School, Beaumont Middle School, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and John Hardin High School. Chase also has taught at the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN since 2010. This fine arts camp trains 200-250 students in which Chase is the primary trombone and low brass instructor, jazz big band section instructor, and a member of the faculty performing groups. As well as teaching across Kentucky and Tennessee, Chase maintains a successful trombone studio of emerging talent in the Lexington, Kentucky area. As a performer, Chase has appeared with an extensive variety of musical groups such as the University of Kentucky’s Opera Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, the Annie Moses Band, Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy-award winning artist Bob Mintzer. Chase also recorded with Bob Mintzer on the album “Go” which released in 2011. Chase also joined with the Annie Moses Band to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013. He currently can be heard as lead trombone/soloist with local artists in the Lexington area such as the jazz big band the MetroGnomes, the oldies rock group Big City Groove, and the Lexington Community Orchestra.
Stacey Krimmer- Eastgate Mall location
STACEY KRIMMER received both her Bachelor of Music degree in education and her Master of Music degree in flute performance from the University of Wyoming. In addition to running a private flute studio since 1986, Stacey was the instructor for the flute program at Colorado Academy in Denver. She also taught Suzuki flute, penny whistle, and recorder at Colorado Academy, and was an instructor of flute ensembles at the Suzuki Association of Colorado’s Winter Workshop. She also served as board president of the Colorado Flute Association. Stacey’s performance work includes Wind Images Woodwind Quintet, the ballet orchestra to premiere “Winter Moons,” the Denver Opera Company Orchestra, the Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Symphony. She also worked and performed with School House Symphony, a small ensemble dedicated to providing in-school performances by combining teaching with performing.
Ashley Martin- West Chester Location
A native of Mason, OH, Ashley Martin holds degrees in music education and oboe performance from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. At Ohio State, she studied oboe with Professors Robert and Bailey Sorton, and had the opportunity to work with Joe Robsinson, the retired principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. Ashley has performed on both oboe and English horn in numerous ensembles, including the Ohio Capital Winds, Columbus Childrens’ Theatre, and the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra. She currently performs with the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, and can be heard in a Naxos Label recording performing with the Ohio State University Wind Symphony. As an educator, Ms. Martin specializes in concert band instruction in addition to oboe. She spent two years teaching 5th through 12th grade band for Crestwood Local Schools in northeast Ohio, and currently teaches beginning band at VanGorden Elementary School in the Lakota school district. Ms. Martin has been teaching oboe privately in the Cincinnati, Akron, and Columbus metro areas for over seven years. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Ohio Music Educators Association, Women Band Directors International, and Sigma Alpha Iota.
We are excited to welcome Krista Weiss as a new teacher in our Kenwood and Florence locations. Krista teaches Clarinet and Bass Clarinet. Read more about Krista below and click here to register for lessons today!
Krista Weiss currently serves as principal clarinet of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and second clarinet of the Richmond Indiana Symphony. An active freelancer, Krista has recently performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Kentucky Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and New World Symphony, as well as on dozens of recordings for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Krista attended Indiana University where she received both her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Clarinet Performance. She has also spent several summers participating in music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Chautauqua Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Marrowstone Music Festival. During the 2010-2011 academic year Krista served as the clarinet instructor at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, teaching a full studio of undergraduate and graduate students and performing with the ISU Faculty Woodwind Quintet. She currently serves as a Reserve Method Clinician for D’Addario Woodwinds and has traveled to dozens of schools across the Midwest to give clinics on clarinet fundamentals and equipment. Krista enjoys teaching clarinetists of all ages and abilities and maintains a private studio in the Cincinnati area.
Calling all parents…
How You Can help school Music Programs
Do you ever hear about your child’s school band? Unless your child is in the music program at school, would you know about it? That is an important question to ask. We know about sports in schools because that is what is pushed within the school advertising methods. They use flyers, announcements, rallies, social media and more. Ask your child when was the last time the morning announcements included a song from the band? I don’t remember any when I was in school (full disclosure: I’m in my late thirties). I think this is the norm because musicians and novices have been pigeon-holed in to a “secret society” full of stereotypes and preconceived notions… but that is for another blog in the future. The leading question is: why can’t we share our plays like the football team? Why can’t we share our successes and failures? I’ll tell you why! Musicians aren’t good at marketing. What if when a song is performed in class, it is recorded and shared through out the school? What if a recording of the music concerts were shared with the world (while still abiding by copyright policies)? What if parents could here the improvement of there children through out the year? What if all of these answers could also lead to raising a little money for the school program along the way?
These are all possible with the advancements in recording technology. You can get great recordings with only a little investment in equipment and without an extensive learning curve. Looking at Presonus product: you get the recording interfaces, the editing software and the ability to post to a cloud service to share. This opens the door for getting the music out there.
All it takes is one proud parent posting the concert to their Facebook page and the whole world can hear it. You don’t need to be a recording engineer anymore to share some quality music. If the band director doesn’t have the time to do the recording, start a recording club!
I would think with the world being so technology tethered and with all these classrooms using iPads and laptops, I am sure there are grants that will fund music technology. All we have to do is ask. If a grant can’t be secured, I say, as parents, let’s all join the PTA and push for funding technology in music.
I did not receive this epiphany until my daughter started middle school and I saw her choir instructor struggling. I immediately volunteered my services and whatever she needed… of course with Billsworld flair! I can see the Christmas production now: flaming lights and enough sound to fill a stadium!
In conclusion, If we want music, we have to drive it without relying on the school and the instructors. It is up to us as parents to make it fun and cool… just like we had it when we were in school!
Brought to you from Billsworld
July 18th- Join us at Willis Music Tri County Mall for the absolute BEST time to select your intermediate, advanced, or pro grade instrument!
We will have specialists ON SITE from: Jupiter, Bach, LeBlanc, Selmer, Conn, Buffet Crampon, Keilwerth, King, Gemeinhardt, Besson, B&S, and Courtois. Yes! That’s correct, 12 brands on site to choose from!!!
Have an instrument you want to upgrade? TRADE IT IN! Need time to pay it off? Financing will be available! Excited? Let us know you coming!!
Questions & Interest? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Stephanie or Kevin: 513.671.3288!
West Chester, OH 45069 513.777.7474
Willis Music (Kenwood Galleria)
Cincinnati, OH 45236 513.252.0445