Springbrook music directors Sheri Powers, Lorri Wittenkeller and Barbara Schenck joined host Dale Gaertner on WLEN radio's Community Conversation to provide details on how incoming 6th graders can join the school's band, orchestra or choir. The show aired June 10, 2020.
Our thanks to Dale and the WLEN team for their continuing support of Adrian Music.
The Michigan Marching Band will host a high school student game-day experience called “Michigan Band and Spirit Day 2020.” The event will take place September 19, 2020 during the UM vs. Arkansas State football game in Ann Arbor's Big House.
Nominated band members (including flags) will participate in a typical pre-game rehearsal, the parade to the stadium and the halftime performance. They'll also play in the stands and during the traditional post-game concert.
Selection for participation will be determined by instrumentation and seniority. Students selected to participate will be notified by email on April 15.
• Current high school freshmen, sophomores, or juniors are welcome
• Drum majors may participate with their primary instrument
• Unfortunately, members of the front ensemble and pit are ineligible
• You must submit your email address and the type of instrument you'll play to Mr. Mykeloff by March 31st.
The Michigan Band marches with the following instruments: Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, Horn / Mellophone, Trombone (Tenor and Bass), Euphonium / Baritone (BC and TC), Sousaphone / Tuba, Drumline (Snare, Tenor, Bass and Cymbals) and Flag (Color Guard). No instruments will be provided.
Participants must attend the rehearsal to participate in the game. Here are the tentative rehearsal schedules depending on the start time of the game:
• 12:00pm Game Start - Marching band rehearsal will run 7:30 - 9:30am
• 3:30pm Game Start - Marching band rehearsal will run 10:00 - 12:00pm
Because of NCAA compliance and regulations regarding targeted recruiting of high school students, each participating student will be charged a $77 participation fee payable by May 15, 2020. This fee covers the cost of a game ticket, a t-shirt and lunch. While we understand that cost may limit participation, the University of Michigan must follow all NCAA guidelines. Within that compliance, U of M cannot offer any financial assistance.
Tickets for family and friends to attend the football game will be available for sale. Participating students will receive detailed ticket information on April 15.
If you'd like to participate, email Mr. Mykeloff your name, your marching instrument, and the email address you'd like U of M to use to contact you by Tuesday, March 31st.
As a warm-up for the 2020 MSBOA Festival, the Adrian High School Concert and Symphony Bands presented their current program Thursday night, February 27th at the AHS Performing Arts Center. The bands are under the direction of Aaron Mykeloff.
On February 24th, Lorri Wittenkeller led the 7th & 8th grade combined Orchestra and the combined Concert and Symphony Orchestra in preparation for the 2020 MSBOA festival competition. Enjoy a few moments of highlights in the video above.
Each year, the Adrian High School Orchestra travels to the city's four elementary schools to share their talents with our younger music fans. In the video above you'll see a few highlights from the performances. Check out the slide show below, too. All APS Orchestras are under the direction of Lorri Wittenkeller.
Each year, the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) presents the District Solo and Ensemble Festival at schools across the state. It's a chance for students to perform on their own or as a duet or small group, playing music that they've selected. Professional music educators serve as judges who rate their performances and often provide feedback.
The highest possible score of 1 is recognition of a superior performance for the grade level. Students who earn a 1 qualify for the State Solo and Ensemble Festival which will take place Saturday, March 14th in Chelsea.
At the 2020 festival held January 25th at Onsted High School, 16 AHS Band members and 8 Orchestra members qualified for the state competition.
These Orchestra members earned a score of 1:
These Band members earned a score of 1:
"Solo and Ensemble Festival is a great way to work on tuning, listening, and ensemble sound in an intimate setting," said Aaron Mykeloff, Director of AHS Bands. "It also motivates students to work on their own and become more proficient players."
"It takes a lot of dedication, practice and perseverance to participate in this event," said APS Orchestra Director Lorri Wittenkeller. "The orchestra students worked on their own and with me before and after school to master their music. Little, if any, time was taken during class."
At the state level the standards are higher. Students must also perform musical proficiency exams, including scales and sight reading. The highest-rated participants are then asked to perform as part of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Band or Orchestra or as soloists or ensembles.
Dan Kesterke is the Director of Bands at Siena Heights University and a long-time drummer / percussionist. We asked him to share his thoughts after the passing of Rush drummer Neil Peart.
My love of Rush and Neil Peart’s drumming began when I was in high school. My friends and I would buy vinyl albums at New Moon Records in my hometown of Mt. Pleasant. There was a Rush section, and I would collect whatever was there.
My introduction to Neil’s drumming was the song “Xanadu” off the “Farewell to Kings” album. I was astounded at his mastery of virtuosic fills, but also with his use of melodic percussion, including chimes and bells.
I worked into the “Moving Pictures” album and, obviously, the most important track, "Tom Sawyer." It changed my perspective of what drumming in a band could be. If you watch the videos of thousands of Rush fans air drumming along with Neil you’ll see how important he was to the music.
Neil Peart’s life and his relationship with music was hard. He expected a lot of himself and his bandmates. At the height of Rush’s popularity, he lost his family to two random accidents. It took many long road trips and a reintroduction to drumming to bring him back to the music he loved.
While Neil took his art seriously, he demanded space from his fans and bandmates, even though he created his art in front of millions of people. He was a deep thinker and a voracious reader of literature; a constant learner, too. He even changed his technique halfway through his career to achieve a higher level of playing.
Neil left Rush after the band's last tour to spend time with his family. My hope for all artists is that they're able to achieve that balance; a point where they can say they've accomplished what they set out to do and then can dedicate their remaining time on this planet to their children and spouses, partners, and other loved ones.
May all of us embrace life, family and art as Neil Peart did.
- Dan Kesterke
For two weeks after his surgery, Brian Pickard could barely stand.
But he could play the guitar.
"I would play for hours on end," said Brian. "Sometimes full songs; sometimes just random chords."
The surgery happened in early November 2019. Brian needed it to ease the symptoms of Chiari 1 Malformation, a condition that occurs when part of the brain extends into the spinal column.
"Brian was actually diagnosed in 7th grade after he tripped and fell while leaving the locker room at school," said Darla Rychener, Brian's mom. "He gave himself a concussion, so he had a CT scan at Bixby Hospital. The Chiari was a secondary finding."
The diagnosis didn't surprise Darla, though, since Brian's sister had been treated for Chiari when she was only five.
"In the beginning, Brian had no symptoms. But between 8th and 9th grade, he started having massive growth spurts," said Darla. That growth brought on excruciating headaches.
"By the beginning of the 2019 school year, his migraines were so bad he couldn't make it through a full day of classes. His level of concentration was so reduced that he would forget things, and he was very irritable. He also had decreased sensation in his arms and balance issues when walking. Just standing up would increase the pressure in his head to unbearable levels."
"Yeah, sometimes I'd be playing [in orchestra class] and get a massive migraine," said Brian. "I'd forget where I was and what I was doing, but I would just try to keep going, though."
Brian began playing music in 4th grade: the recorder. He took up the double bass in the 7th grade orchestra. Since then, he's learned to play guitar, bass guitar, piano and even ukulele.
"If it wasn't for the instrument grant that first year, it wouldn't have happened," remembered Darla. "Ms. Wittenkeller helped us get that set up. Brian has been playing bass ever since."
And it's music that has helped Brian through his recovery. "After surgery, I got on my laptop and pulled up a piano. I forget what I played, but I remember feeling great."
"Music is important to me because it gives me an outlet for my emotions," he said. "Whether I'm sad, mad or happy, I always find myself either making or listening to music."
"We are a very musical family," said Darla. "I played many instruments through junior high and high school. Brian is like a musical sponge and can learn just about any instrument you put in his hands. His sister Heaven plays clarinet in the band, and his sister Jackie loves to sing. There is always music in our lives."
There's no cure for Chiari, but Brian's symptoms are under control. And now, no matter what struggles he may face, Brian understands he can always rely on music to help himself get through.
While he doesn't know if he'll pursue music as a career, "I have no plans to stop any time soon," he said. "I'm hoping that I never have to quit playing music because it's what makes me happy."
And Brian has the Adrian Music programs to thank. The school he used to attend doesn't have an orchestra.
"Honestly, the musical education I've received at Adrian Schools is the best. Ms. Wittenkeller has been the best music teacher ever. I'm glad that life landed me in Adrian Schools."
The Balladiers, Adrian High School's show choir, took to the road December 19th, 2019 for their annual Elementary Tour. The group sang and danced for young students at Alexander, Lincoln, Michener and Prairie Elementary Schools. The Balladiers are led by Steve Antalek.
The 2019 holiday concert season wrapped up with the Springbrook Middle School Bands and Orchestras playing for a full house in the Adrian High School Performing Arts Center on December 17th. Take a look at a few video highlights above and the slideshow below.
On Monday, December 16th, the Adrian High School Bands and Orchestras treated the full house at the AHS Performing Arts Center to an evening of holiday music. The Orchestras were under the direction of Lorri Wittenkeller. The bands and combined groups were led by Aaron Mykeloff. Enjoy the video above and the slideshow below.
Here's a look at a few Adrian Music memories from the 2019 calendar year. Enjoy the images from concerts, parades, Pie Day and other events. Thank you to our student musicians, directors, support team, school staff members, Music Booster sponsors and parents who make music education in Adrian Public Schools possible.
The busy concert season continued December 12th as the Adrian High School choirs shared their music at the Performing Arts Center. The evening also included a few snow flurries as you'll see in the video above. The choirs were lead by Steve Antalek and student teacher Garrett Glass. Laura Morris provided piano accompaniment. Enjoy the slideshow below as well.
The Springbrook Choirs kicked off the 2019 holiday concert season December 10th in the Adrian High School Performing Arts Center. The groups were under the direction of Barbara Schenck and student director Jordan Golomb. Laurie Cunningham served as piano accompanist. Check out the video above and slideshow below.
On Monday, November 25th, coverage of the Music Boosters' 2019 Pie Day made the front page of Adrian's hometown newspaper, The Daily Telegram. Reporter Brad Heineman and photographer Mike Dickie visited the AHS cafeteria the day we made 1,100 apple pies, then told the story of the annual event through pictures and interviews. They posted an online version of their article, too. See it here.
Our Pie Day tradition continued November 23rd, 2019 as more than 150 student, parent and teacher volunteers came together to make 1,100 apple pies. (Watch some of the action in the video above.)
After preparing ingredients and loading thousands of apples into the AHS cafeteria the day before, many members of our music community worked for up to nine hours Saturday to pull off this annual feat.
Thank you for your support of our Apple Pie Sale and Adrian Music. We appreciate it so very much.
The Adrian Maples got to be Wolverines for a day when they visited Revelli Hall on the University of Michigan campus, November 19th. The band worked with a post-graduate student director. Then, Mr. Mykeloff rehearsed the group for the benefit of U of M music education undergrads. The band also toured Revelli Hall, which is the rehearsal home of the Michigan Marching Band.
On November 6th, the Adrian Maples Marching Band toured the city's elementary schools and Springbrook Middle School to perform their 2019 halftime show, featuring music from the movie "The Incredibles." This wonderful annual tradition brings together current members of the Maple Marching Band with the future members. Enjoy the highlights in the video above.
"Michener students and staff love the marching band visit," wrote Principal Ann Lacasse. "These [band] kids are tremendously talented and a great representation of Adrian Public Schools."
Sam Skeels, Principal of Lincoln Elementary, agrees. "It was great. Lunchtime followed the performance, and it was the talk of the room."
Prairie Principal Carl Lewandowski would like to see the band play at the elementary schools more often. "We need to make it a routine. Heck, even multiple times a year," he wrote.
Guest conductor Damien Crutcher and about 80 of the area's best young musicians came together Sunday, November 3rd at Dawson Auditorium on the Adrian College campus to present a five-song concert as the Lenawee County Honors Band. Enjoy a few of the highlights above.
Mr. Crutcher earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Michigan State University, as well as a Master’s in Conducting from The University of Michigan. He served as Director of Bands and Orchestra at Southfield-Lathrup High School for many years and is the co-founder and CEO of Crescendo Detroit, a nonprofit that works to transform the lives of children ages 5 to 18 by engaging them in intense instrumental and/or vocal music and dance programs that promote artistic excellence and character building.
Each year, the Lenawee County Honors Band brings together the best young musicians from schools all over the area. The 2019 group included 13 students from Adrian High School. Watch as the band rehearses Saturday, November 2nd.
Springbrook Band Director Sheri Powers led her 7th and 8th grade groups through a lively program during their 2019 Fall concert, October 29th in the Adrian High School Performing Arts Center. Enjoy a few of the evening's musical moments in the video above.
Under the direction of Lorri Wittenkeller, the Adrian 7th grade, 8th grade, Concert and Symphony Orchestras presented their 2019 Fall concert October 28th in the Adrian High School Performing Arts Center. Watch a few highlights in the video above.
Visit our friends at Maggard Razors in downtown Adrian or online.
Learn about the 2019 Apple Pie Sale as WLEN morning show host Steve Barkway interviews Adrian Music Boosters President Scott Greggory. Find more details on the Pie Sale here. Through November 9th, you can purchase pies from any Adrian music student or at our secure, dedicated Pie Sale website: www.AdrianMusicBoostersPieSale.com.
Check back often for details on Booster events, plus photos, videos, fundraiser info and more.