31-Jan-16: Band Parent Weekly Update

posted Jan 31, 2016, 1:45 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Jan 31, 2016, 1:45 PM ]

Laura Hendry, Sunday, 1/31/2016


Hello Band Parents, I’m back!  I've been quiet for a couple of weeks, but things have been moving behind the scenes and we did have a good Membership meeting on January 19th.  The slide deck from that meeting is posted on ramband.com.  http://www.ramband.com/board-business/bpa-member-meetings

In the news:

The Ram Band made the agenda at the Board of Education Meeting!  We had a group of parents (alumni and current) who went to the meeting to support the budget request for new uniforms.  We even got to see the town Finance Director wearing the aged red jacket.  The group reports back that the BPA can really make a difference if we find a better way to inform the BOE and the town about what we do, about all of our programs, and about the needs of the program.  Good news – the BOE approved the budget with the cost of the uniforms in it.  Next step is the Town Council!

Uniforms are one item, but are not all that the band and guard programs need to continue to thrive, especially as the program grows.  The BPA has a critical role in funding expenses and that will continue but the BOE and Town Council don’t have a good appreciation of what we do and why we need their support.  We have an opportunity and need to partner better with our town to be able to lessen the load we carry each year to support these programs.  The fundraising market is tight, even for other non-profits, and competition for fundraising grows each year.  We will be talking more as a membership on how to better use advocacy and creative communication to obtain important funding for the programs from our own town.

I’m working on a revised Sponsorship program.  I’d like to present that to the Membership at the next meeting.  This would include advertising in the Music In Motion ad book, but would not be exclusive to that.  The idea is that Sponsors will have opportunity to support scholarships, sponsor a particular program or expense at a particular level, and in turn, will get ad in our book, announced at performances, a banner at events, opportunity to present awards, etc.  Students will have opportunity to obtain sponsors all year long and we will post the form on our site.  Stay tuned.

A Music in Motion Planning and Budget Meeting with the Head Chair, committee chairs from the larger areas (food, program/ads, and beachmaster), and our Treasurer, was held on January 21.  Good discussion and lessons learned reviewed.  A draft budget was put together and additional meetings will be held as part of our overall budget and planning process.  We will be looking for all hands on deck next year in order to make the event a bigger success.  Multiple opportunities to get involved so stay tuned! We are expecting a larger show and have some great feedback from the membership on things we can do to bring in more revenue.


Winter Guard and Winter Percussion Program participation fees are due today.  I’ll be working with the guard and percussion instructors to follow up on those who have not yet paid.  Please let me or the instructors know ASAP if there is a question or issue. The fee is $100.00 and must be paid no later than Thursday February 4th for the student to be able to continue to participate.  The program participation fees are an important part of the BPA’s ability to fund these programs.  Checks should be made payable to “CHSBPA” and put in the forms box. 

The Winter Guard must also submit the CHS Activity fee of $100.00 before the first competition.  Checks should be made payable to Cheshire High School and returned with the Activity Form to Mrs. Sandy Waitkus using the form box.  If you need a copy of the form, please let me know.

Upcoming Events:

The Winter Guard will be hosting a Friends and Family Preview Night on Friday, Feb 5th, the night before the guard’s first show on February 6th.  This is a chance for the Winter Percussion and Winter Guard to perform their 2016 programs in front of an audience before they perform for judges and strangers.  Please invite as many people as you can!  The more people in the stands the better prepared our teams will be!  While admission is free, we will be collecting donations, and the intent is to invite an audience who will donate to the program… so parents, please keep your money in your pockets.  A flyer for this event is attached.  Share with everyone!

Winter Percussion is finalizing dates to perform at 4 shows this season.  More details will follow directly to percussion parents and will be shared in my weekly when the dates are known.

Superbowl Sunday Bake Sale: On Sunday Feb. 7th we will be at 2 locations:  Stop and Shop from 10 am to 2 pm and Bagelicious from 8 am to 12 p.m.  We will need 1 parent and at least 2-3 guard or percussion members per one-hour shift.  Please email Tina Allen directly at teanaa.marie@yahoo.com your availability and Tina will put together a schedule from there.  Since we will be at 2 locations this year, and the guard usually mans the tables on their own, I encourage everyone to sign up.  We will need bakers for the Stop and Shop Fundraiser.  Team themed items would be great, but will accept anything.  Please wrap everything individually and “nut free” is preferred. 

We will be having a Bottle Drive Drop Off on Saturday February 13th in the rear of the high school outside the band room.  We are asking everyone to save their bottles and cans and drop them off between 8-9 am.  We will be doing this approximately every 6 weeks.  A schedule will be shared shortly.

Pasta and Jazz will be Friday, February 26th at 6:00pm in the CHS Cafeteria.  Karen Andes has graciously stepped up again to chair this event with support of Audra Fleury and Mark Nowicki.  A meeting will be held soon and sign-up will be up on ramband.com shortly.  All parents welcome to help, even if your student is not in the jazz band.

The Spring Train Show will be the following week, Sunday March 6.  The sign-up is posted on ramband.com.  We had a meeting over holiday break and Maura Murcko, Maryam Tabatabaie and Sue Delancy are already well under way with the planning and prep.

Thank you to everyone who got back to me on the Nationals Apparel.  I have placed the order and will have a proof of the artwork before it goes to final print.  If you have not provided your check for the apparel, please make it payable to CHSBPA and place in the forms box.  I am holding the order with my personal card so that we could move forward.  I will try to send out an update this week on any missing payments.  I know they sometimes end up in backpacks despite our best efforts!

I will have dates for the by-law committee meeting soon – my day job is keeping me busy so I will catch up this weekend.  Thanks to Kirsten Gunther, Tim Orcutt, Jessica Nowicki, and John DeGennaro who will be helping me prepare a proposed amended set of by-laws for vote by the Membership in May timeframe.  To coincide with the by-laws, we will also look to present a new organization structure for the Band Parent Association with detailed roles and opportunities for more to participate in leading the organization.

Scholarship Committee – stay tuned, I did not forget you.  I will also schedule a meeting this month.

Happy February!  Thank you for your support!  Let me know if you have any questions, ideas or concerns.


Laura Vuolo Hendry

President, CHS BPA