Welcome To Field Middle School Band!
Congratulations go out to seven District 31 students who won seats in the 2018 All Illinois Junior Band, an honors band hosted by the University of Illinois. The seven Field Middle School students selected for the honors band were 8thgraders Joanna Choe (flute), Hanns Padios (clarinet), Jonathan Frias (percussion), Jamie Resis (French horn) and 7th graders Trinity Choi (clarinet), Michelle Lim (clarinet) and Mia Burshteyn (bass clarinet). Joanna Choe and Jamie Resis also distinguished themselves by placing first chair in their respective sections.
Middle school band students from the state of Illinois were invited to send in recorded etudes and scales selected as audition pieces in early November. These recordings were evaluated anonymously by a panel of judges who then selected an elite band from those who auditioned.
The students met on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana for rehearsals Friday and Saturday, January 12 and 13, and gave a public performance on the stage of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on that Saturday.
2020 - 2021 Band Information
The safety guidelines for band that District 31 will be following are above and beyond what is currently recommended by the state. I will be guided by the best and most current research like the one from the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland. This ongoing study is being spearheaded by a team of Mechanical Engineers studying aerosol and viral dispersion along with wind instrument professionals.
- Windows and doors will be open for rehearsals, with fans directing air from the room outside, even when it is raining or cooler out. The heat from the HVAC will make up for this until later in the year when it gets cold. At that point there are some air filtering options I have available. Winkelman lessons will be small, 1-5 students at a time, and will be outside the band room when possible.
- I have purchased an industrial Air Scrubber with a HEPA 13 filtration rating for the Field and Winkelman band rooms. Each of these is able to capture the SARS-Cov-2 virus and trap it safely. It can change the air volume in the Field band room in less than 90 seconds and the air in the Winkelman band room in about 15 seconds. They will be used before and after every class, completely changing the air 5-10 times between playing.
- Field rehearsals will be limited to 30 minutes of playing per recommendations from that study, although that may change in the near future, potentially getting shorter. The additional few minutes we have will be needed to sanitize hands before and after class, to sanitize chairs and stands and to put away instruments. Winkelman band lessons will be shorter, 15-20 minutes.
- All students except percussion will wear a mask with an overlapping slit in it designed to fit their mouthpiece (see below). These can be made with a surgical mask that has folds in it like pictured so that it closes when not in use. These can be made with some guidance from me. I will work with students and families on this initial mask – they will be used just for band and stay in the instrument case. I have purchased masks for all Field students and will supply the Winkelman students with their first mask as well. In the meantime students can cut a slit in a mask like the one below and have an extra ready to go. There are specific masks for flute players that I am working on supplying for those players as well.
- The bells (the "output" area) of all instruments will also be covered with "instrument masks". I have purchased these for Field students and will do so for Winkelman students once I know numbers. For the time being before they arrive we will use layers of white, unused cotton t-shirts that I have and will cut for each instrument, with a second layer of HEPA-13 fabric over that.
- There are "bags" that some think may be helpful that would contain the clarinet and saxes to help with the lesser aerosol output that I'm looking into as well.
- Students will be spaced 6-8' apart.
- Percussion students remain masked the entire time; other students remain masked until they play. No students share instruments, though that never happens anyway.