Morris Hills High School
Knights Band Program 2014 - 2015
Hills Freshmen and Families,
Morris Hills High School! The music program at Morris Hills is comprehensive
and provides students with a number of programs, regardless of their skill. The
purpose of this booklet is to give you an overview of the variety of
opportunities available for your child.
has two concert bands, a Freshman Concert Band and an Advanced Concert Band.
Both bands meet every other day in a concert band classroom setting. Each band
member receives unlimited group band lessons during lunch and five credits toward
graduation for each year they are enrolled in the class.
Members of the
freshman band are encouraged to audition and perform with the advanced band
during the concert season. Each band performs at concerts in December,
February, and May, as well as at the high school graduation in June. We also
have the opportunity compete in the NJ Region One Concert Band festival held in
band is the core or most important element of our band program. All the other
band programs are voluntary, extra-curricular activities. To use a comparison:
All students must take Phys Ed, but not all students must participate in a
Music Department Spring Trip 2014, ( Next planned trip is April 2016)
the Morris Hills concert bands and marching band will travel and perform in
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Any student enrolled in the band are
welcome to participate. This trip is above and beyond the mandates of the
school curriculum and will be paid for by the individual student. This voluntary
trip is only offered to the students of the Concert and Marching bands.
Students who are interested will participate in fund-raising activities or pay
to participate. The 2014 trip to Orlando will cost $1,250.00 per student
participant. The Morris Hills Band Boosters will run fundraisers to help
subsidize the cost per student for this opportunity. The Morris Hills Band
Parents will set up an individual account for you.
Morris Hills Band Boosters
The Morris Hills Band Boosters meet every second
Tuesday of the month, 7:30pm – 9:00pm, usually in the Morris Hills Band room,
(next to the tennis courts). We hope you are interested and will start fund
raising now. Please come to our meetings and find out what is happening regarding
our current and future plans. You can email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also encourage you to join the MH Band Booster web site for up-to-date
information concerning all our bands. To join, email email@example.com and say Mark,
Please invite me. You will be able to see photos, download documents and
Other band opportunities
From the concert band,
students are invited to join one of the following after-school ensembles:
Jazz Band (Winter/Spring)
Pit Orchestra (Winter for the Musical)
Brass/woodwind ensembles (Spring) student run
Winter Drumline (Winter/Spring)
The Morris Hills Marching Band (Fall/ limited Spring)
Please read the enclosed
flyer for additional information on these programs. A MH band orientation
meeting will take place on May 12, 2015, at 7:30pm in the Morris
Hills H.S. Band Room to discuss the entire Morris Hills Band program
The MH jazz band begins in
December after the marching band season.
The jazz band practices
once a week after school during the winter and spring.
The following instruments
Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes,
Trombones (Baritones and Tubas),
Electric guitar. Bass Guitar,
Drum Set, Traps Percussion
Flute and Clarinets
The Jazz band performs at
the Winter and Spring Morris Hills Band Concerts as well as possible Middle and
Elementary school assemblies. The jazz band takes a break during February and
March to prepare the MH Musical.
Pit band/orchestra rehearsal
begins in February after the February Band Concert. This group performs for the
school musical. Instrumentation is based on Concert and Jazz band requirements.
Brass, and possible
Woodwind Ensembles are usually student driven. Morris Hills H.S. seniors lead
these groups March through May. Each group will rehearse once a week, weather
permitting. Each group will also have the opportunity to perform in the spring
band concert, depending on their readiness.
The marching band is an
after-school activity. During the fall season, the marching band meets Tuesdays
and Thursdays, (6:00pm – 9:00pm), and Saturdays, (9:00am – ? pm for Football games and/or band
Since the marching band is
expected to perform so early in the school year, we conduct a band camp at
Morris Hills High School in August. Next year, the MH Marching Band Camp will
be held at Morris Hills H.S. the first full week in August, 8/3,4,5,6,7, 2015 from 8:00am until 9:00pm. Additional information,
including the requirements for participation in the camp will be discussed at
the band orientation meeting scheduled for May 12, 2015, 7:30pm – 9:00pm in
the Morris Hills Band Room, room 370. Information concerning the entire
band program will be discussed as well as a brief social for both parents and
students after the meeting.
What it means to be a
Morris Hills Scarlet Knights Marching Band Member
Tradition, pride and a
standard of excellence are words that best describe our marching band. We are a
nationally awarded and recognized organization. Our accolades include: 5 time New Jersey State, United States
Bands Champion, 2 time National, United Stated Bands Champion, Super Bowl 48
Cast member for the Pepsi Bruno Mars Halftime Show and a MTV – Top 100 Count
Down commercial. These titles are taken with us everywhere we go. Another title
can and will happen again with your involvement. Please remember; Colleges love to see Marching Band as part
of a high school student’s resume!
Marching bands are grouped
by a national organization according to how competitive the band is and the overall
number students are in each band. Currently we are in the Open Division, the
most competitive, and are classified as a Group 3 with a band membership
between 55 - 75 members. As we look forward to the Class of 2018, we have a
potential for 94 marching band members. This would make us eligible to compete
in the Group 4, Open Division in next year’s competitive season. Please know the new Morris Hills Regional
District policy allows 8th grade participation in our marching band!
Did you know our marching band has electronic violins, violas and
cellos? All string players are invited to join.
Marching Band students and
Many parents are concerned
that Marching Band members’ grades will suffer during the fall season due to
the time commitment. Our experience tells us that this is not the case. Upper
classmen assist marching band members by helping them organize their time
during the fall season. Members do homework together during lunch periods and
after school on a Tuesday and Thursday while waiting for rehearsal. The Morris
Hills block schedule allows for alternating day classes giving the students
more time to prepare assignments. Remember, the marching band only meets
Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm and on Saturdays. That leaves Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for students to complete their assignments. By
comparison, any other fall sport meets Monday - Saturday.
What you receive from
Morris Hills as a marching band member
All members will receive a
uniform, (color guard members buy their own shoes and body suits as needed),
transportation to and from performance events, an instrument if needed,
instruction, schedules, music and equipment. Varsity letters are awarded to
those students who participate for three years in the program. An awards dinner
is held in late January or early February. Enclosed
is an existing calendar of rehearsals, football games and competition dates for
2014. The 2015 calendar will be similar.
Marching Band Uniforms
The band boosters will
issue uniforms during summer rehearsals and band camp. All uniforms are free of
charge unless returned damaged. We expect all uniforms to be returned
As a Morris Hills Marching
Band member, you are required to have a physical prior to start of the
2014 Band Camp. All members of the MH Marching band must get their own physical
by their own doctor using and filling out the given Morris Hills H.S. physical
forms after July 1, 2015. Physical/Health forms will be sent to all
incoming eighth graders by mail or delivered to your middle school. Veteran or
new high school members should pick up the correct health forms in the band
room or nurse’s office. All physicals must be completed and turned into me,
MS, or the MH health office prior to band camp. Please remember, all health
forms must be dated after July 1, 2015. Students will be eligible
if they have had a physical post 11/15/14.
Marching Band - Band Camp
Band camp is an essential
requirement of the MH Marching Band program. You must go to camp in
order to learn the marching band’s field drill. Members of the fall season
marching band rely on each other when the field drill is being learned.
Sideline, Pit percussion and string playing members are needed to learn the
music as early as possible and perform it while the field show is being
Band Camp will be held at
Morris Hills H.S. the first week in August from 8:00am – 9:00pm.
Additional staff is present to assist all band members. The cost per student is
$350.00, although our on-going fundraising efforts may help lower the
cost. This fee includes all instruction, lunches and dinners during camp.
Members of the Band Boosters will also be present to provide the lunches and
You can email Cliff or Kim
Blewett at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about “can shake”
fundraising and to reserve your “can shake” spot. Shake that can for donations!
Band Camp payments are due at July rehearsals.
Marching Band - Fall
Beginning September 1,
2014 we have 40 event days planned. Included are rehearsals, football games and
competitions. Some competitions happen directly after a football game. Please
review the enclosed existing schedule. You must attend rehearsals to
perform at football games and competitions. Students must bring a bag lunch
and/or dinner; or bring money for lunch and/or dinner during rehearsals and
Our tradition and history:
The Marching “Scarlet Knight’s” have won local competitions and placed 5th
in the 2014 US Bands, NJ State Championship and 5th in the 2014 USBands National Championship held
at Met Life Stadium. The MH Marching Band and Concert Band students were cast
members of the Super Bowl 48, Pepsi, Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers Halftime
show held in Met Life Stadium. They performed to a record sized audience on
The Marching Band Fall
Season Attendance policy
Our attendance policy
allows for three (3) absences. This is a little less than ten percent of the
events planned for this fall. These may be taken for emergency purposes only
and cleared by Mr. Sopko prior to taking this absence.
Please use this attendance
Work, babysitting, “Aunt
Edna’s” birthday and the school assignments are not emergencies.
Weddings, funerals and severe injury are emergencies.
Parents, we need and encourage
you to join our fun!!! To join, email: email@example.com
and say Mark, Please invite me. You will be able to see photos,
download documents and ask questions.
Equipment Committee: This year’s Marching Band field
show will involve many sideline instruments. Those are the instruments that
cannot march due to their size or nature, (synthesizers, tympani, violins
etc.). We will need help moving and loading this equipment. Please contact Mr.
Cliff Blewett at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Sopko at email@example.com
if you are interested in assisting with this committee.
Committee: We need parent chaperones on
busses and in the stands at football games, parades and competitions. Please
contact Mrs. Liz Kelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Mr. Sopko at email@example.com if
you are interested in assisting with this committee.
Band Camp Committee: We need
parents to serve food and bring water during breaks at band camp. Please
contact Mr. Corey Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in our Band
This activity is a great
experience for the students and parents. It is unique in the world of both
music and sports. Marching band develops leadership
and individual time management. It encourages a life-long friendship with
other members while smoothing the journey from Freshman to Senior. It is fun. I
have had the pleasure of working with marching bands for over thirty years, and
I wouldn’t be doing it if wasn’t fun. I’m also proud to say that Morris Hills
has over 27 alumni who are current band directors through out New
Jersey and the United States.
I also encourage you to
join the MH Band Booster web site for up-to-date information concerning all our
bands. To join, email email@example.com
Morris Hills H.S. has a
great music department.
I hope you can join at
least one, if not all the groups listed.
Good luck with the rest of
the school year. I look forward to meeting you.
Mr. Mike Sopko, Band