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Turkey Foot’s Mrs. Bromley wins KMEA District Award

Band of the Month…

Turkey Foot Middle School Band Under the Direction of Mrs. Jana Bromley!

The Administration in the Kenton County School District really understands the importance of music in their students lives and take that understanding and put it into action. In this District Band is a co-curricular activity, in that it is a class that meets daily during the regular school day, but also offers many opportunities for students to perform outside of school. This is not the norm in most of our Districts which offer Band either before school or after school and see students once or twice a week! Well at Turkey Foot Middle School students ​begin their instrumental curriculum in the 6th grade, with no prior knowledge necessary, and the musical training builds from one year to the next as students transition from skill-building to a truly aesthetic daily experience.

The success of this Band is due to the students who give it their all and to Mrs. Jana Bromley, Director Of Bands at Turkey Foot. We would like to take this time to congratulate the 7th grade band who last year received an Exemplary Distinction at NKU and to Mrs. Bromley, who was named the Middle School Teacher of the Year at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) District Meeting. She will now be in the running for the state-level award.

Practice and good leadership always makes a difference between something that is just OK and something that stands out in a crowd! You will find no better example of this then in Mrs. Bromley and the Band Members of the Turkey Foot Middle School Band. Find out for yourself by attending one of their many wonderful concerts, (see Turkey Foot’s website for dates and details.

Congratulations for being Willis Music’s Band of the Month!

Cindy Hicks

Battle of the School Bands Results

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.

Reliey Elementary School Ukulele Club playing Yankee Doodle
Directed by: Lederrick Wesley

Casey County Beginning Band playing “Jaws”
Directed by: M Jordan Williams

Bellevue Band of Gold playing “Matador de Toros”
Directed by: Scott Reed

Wlliamsburg High School Concert Band playing “One Giant Leap”
Directed by: Kevin Lockwood

Western Hills Wolverine Marching Band playing Michael Jackon’s “Thriller”
Directed by: Stephanie Wallace

Conner High School Band playing the theme to Pirate’s of the Caribbean
Directed by: Chris Patterson

Turkeyfoot 7th Grade Band
Directed by: Jana Bromley

**Drum roll please** Here are the 2015 winners of the Battle of the School Bands competition:

The Casey County Beginning Band! Pictured from front to back are: Chase Clark who is one of our band reps, Director Jordan Williams, the Principal of Casey County Middle School, Joshua Blevins, and the students of the Casey County Beginning Band.

Great work everyone! They won a $500 Willis Music gift card!

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!

Laura Barrowman

Band Director skydiving

Who said Camels Can’t Fly!

This is the most unusual thing I have ever seen a band director do. To get his students motivated Mr. Stephen Dietsch, Director of Bands at Campbell County Middle School, home of the Camels, promised he would jump out of a plane if his students earned a Distinguished Rating at the Kentucky Music Educator Association state assessment. Boy oh boy did he keep his promise. Check out this video!


Great job Mr. Dietsch, and thank you for showing our young people the importance of honoring a promise!

If You Sing or Play, It’s All Music To My Ears!

Last month I neglected to mention the Choral Assessments and I would like to correct that this month. There were over 35 middle and high school choirs that performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association District 7 Choral Performance Assessment. Students came from Campbell, Boone, Kenton, Bracken and Grant counties. Most people do not realize that choral students go through the same process as band students and Choral Music is very strong in our Northern Kentucky School Districts and here’s why…
Congratulations to the Campbell County Camel Singers and Camerate Choirs who both received Proficient ratings.
Another Congratulations goes out to the Campbell County Select Choir who received three Distinguished Ratings and a Proficient on sight reading.
Keeping with the Campbell County theme here is a big shout out to the 8th grade Choir who received Distinguished Ratings.

All-Stars, And I am Not Talking Baseball!

Choral students from all four Kenton County Middle Schools participated in a concert that was hosted at Turkey Foot Middle School. It was a pleasure to attend and I would like to thank Mrs. Debbie Brown, Secondary G/T Specialist for choosing Willis Music to supply the music for the All-Star Chorus. A special congratulations for a job well done are the choral teachers who put in so much time and effort into making the concert a success…
Debbie Sager at Summit View Middle, Allison Peeno at Turkey Foot Middle, Sherry Clark (the sweetest person in the world) at Twenhofel Middle and Nancy Bailey at Woodward Middle. You ladies rock!

Cindy Hicks

Assessment Recap

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Assessment at Northern Kentucky University. For those of you that might not know judges record the school’s performances and provide them with immediate feedback. The bands and their directors are also asked to sight-read. They have a few minutes to view the music before they perform in front of a judge. Wow, I would think that would be the most stressful part of this event! All the judges scores are combined for an overall rating. Here a re few highlights we would like to mention…

The following ensembles were named exemplary groups by the adjudicators:

– Gray Middle School 8th Grade Band – Bill Kidwell

– Turkey Foot Middle School 7th Grade Band – Jana Bromley

– Highlands High School Chamber Orchestra – Kathy Anderson

– Beechwood High School Symphonic Band – Joe Craig & Adam Proctor

– Ryle High School Honors Wind Symphony – Bob Elliott

​A special mention and thank you go out to Mr. Chris Miller, Director of Bands and Walton-Verona High School for serving again as this years Assessment Manager.