Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/31/10 UPDATE

Congratulations to the JA Band for earning the following awards at the Bands of America Super Regional in Atlanta on Saturday:

Outstanding Music Performance, Class A
Outstanding Visual Performance, Class A
Second Place Overall, Class A

The JA Band earned their highest score at a BOA event in the past four years. On one of the components of the total score, the Ensemble Visual Performance, the band was ranked fourth overall among the 34 bands at the event, placing them higher than nine of the twelve finalist bands, including perennial powerhouse Kennesaw Mountain.

We are extremely proud of the students for their hard work and dedication throughout the season, making their performance in the Georgia Dome their best of the year.

Thank you to all the band members for their exemplary behavior on the trip as well. They were fine representatives of the band and JA wherever we went.

Many thanks to all of the parents who came along on the trip to help by chaperoning students; loading, transporting, and moving equipment; checking rooms; and many other tasks.

Here are a few of the photos that are now posted in the online photo gallery, which can be reached by clicking the PHOTO GALLERY link in the menu bar above:

JA Guard members Annie Campbell, Caroline Burford, Samantha Hill, & Abbi Thomas in the dome Saturday night after hearing that they had earned spots at callback auditions for the Mississippi All-State Lions Band:

A few from the warmup and performance:

The crowd during prelims at the Georgia Dome:

A few photos from a fun day at Six Flags on Sunday:


Monday - Thursday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 2:45

Friday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 2:45, Home football tournament game vs. Presbyterian Christian at 7:00 - students report at 5:30 in half uniform

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10/24/10 UPDATE

Congratulations to the students for a fine performance at the MAIS Marching Band Festival Saturday. The JA Band received straight Superior ratings from all judges, with the highest numerical score of the day among all bands. The adjudicators had many positive comments about the band's performance. One of the band judges, Wes Parker, from NC State University, commented on the strength of the show concept and the way it was executed. Chris Moss, from Madison, WI, saw the show both Friday night and Saturday and complimented the band on the consistency of their performances. This strength should serve them well in Atlanta next weekend.

Thank you to all the parents who helped at the Festival, with special kudos to Hope Burford for spearheading the volunteer effort. It was great to see many of the parents of our younger students helping out. Everything went smoothly, and we heard many positive comments from the visitors to the JA campus.

A few photos from the football game Friday night, thanks to the Clarion Ledger, where several of them were printed on the front page on Saturday:



Monday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00

Tuesday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 2:45, Color Guard 4:45 - 5:30, Full Band 5:30 - 7:00, Parent Field Crew 6:30 - 7:00 - VERY IMPORTANT REHEARSALS

Wednesday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00

Thursday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00, Parent truck loading 7:00

Friday - Atlanta trip - details below

Good luck to the JA Band members who will be having their MS Lions Band auditions taped on Monday: Bryant Hutchins, Samantha Hill, Caroline Burford, Abbi Thomas, and Annie Campbell


We will distribute and discuss the guidelines for the trip with the students this week. Here is a link to the informational handout: STUDENT ITINERARY

Please take a few minutes to look over the handout and discuss it with your student. A few important reminders:

- Please ensure your student has everything he or she needs for the trip, including all uniform parts, black band t-shirt(s), all black socks, band shoes clean and polished, and all instrument parts

- Students will need approximately $60 in meal money (lunch & dinner Friday, dinner Saturday, lunch & dinner Sunday), plus money for any souvenirs or other items they may wish to purchase. Please discuss with them the need to budget their meal money on the trip. Chaperones can assist with this if requested.

- Report time to the Band Hall on Friday morning with everything needed for the trip is 6:30 AM. It is important we depart on time to avoid traffic delays and stay on schedule. The complete itinerary for the trip is included in the handout linked above.

For those parents who are not able to join us on the trip, a live webcast of the event will be streamed through the BOA Fan Network. Click on this link: SUBSCRIBE, and scroll down for the pay-per-view option for Atlanta. The cost is $19.95. The JA Band's performance time is 11:15 am on Saturday.

Also, there will be professionally recorded DVDs available for purchase. Here is a link to the information: MR. VIDEO

We are looking forward to a great trip. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10/17/10 UPDATE

 Thank you to the students who worked hard on Saturday at the all-day rehearsal. We were happy to have Lenny Westmoreland and Ashleigh Bradley back in town to work with the band, which helped to make it a very productive day.

There is one quality Lenny stressed on Saturday and we as a staff would like to continue to emphasize throughout the remainder of the season: COMMITMENT.

Commitment to the JA Band program - being at every band activity, on time and with everything you need. This often requires parental assistance, especially with our younger students.

Commitment to the performance on the field - continued effort to improve, consistent focus and concentration during both rehearsal and performance. Every day, in every way.

As you can see from the countdown to the right, time is short before the JA Band travels to Atlanta and perform at the Georgia Dome, along with 33 of the best bands in the country. Commitment from every band member will result in a performance to be proud of.


Having a sharp, consistent appearance on the field is important to a successful performance. We noticed during the dress rehearsal on Saturday that some of the students' uniform pants are not being worn correctly, some too long and some too short. We spoke with these students, and we ask that parents help in getting all of the pants to meet the following criteria: with the student's arms/upper body in "horns up" position, the bottom of the pant should hit the top of the foot without a break. This may just require adjustment of the straps, but some might require re-hemming as well.

Also, some of the pants did not look pressed. Please ensure that uniforms are laundered and hung neatly. Actual pressing should not be required as long as the uniform is hung properly.

And one more uniform reminder, all students need calf-high, all black socks. No short socks, no gold toe or colored stripes, etc. Even though shoes are not worn on the mat, they are still part of the uniform and need to be clean and polished.

Thank you for your support in ensuring the band members always look as good as possible.


 If you have not already done so, please contact Hope Buford at to sign up for a shift or two at the MAIS Marching Festival on Saturday. We need everyone's help for a successful event. We especially need help with concessions, which are being spearheaded by Reca Girtmon. Please contact her at if you can help.

Here is the schedule of performances:

3:30 - Starkville Academy
3:45 - Hillcrest Christian School
4:00 - Copiah Academy
4:30 - Jackson Academy
4:45 - Jackson Prep
5:00 - Belhaven University - exhibition
5:15 - DeSoto Central High School - exhibition

The DeSoto Central Band requested an opportunity to perform in exhibition at the festival, and we were happy to have them perform. They are one of the largest public school bands in the state, and a former state marching class champion.

Students need to be at the band hall by 3:00 on Saturday, with all uniform parts and everything needed for performance.


Final preparations are being made for the trip to Atlanta October 29-31.

Students will have an excused absence on Friday, October 29, but they are responsible for all class work assigned and should discuss the absence with their teachers before the trip.

We have received confirmation that the JA Band's preliminary performance time will be 11:15 on Saturday, October 30. More information is available on the BOA site HERE.

Look for more trip details in next week's update. Please ensure you have made all trip payments to Booster Treasurer Frances Anne Dallaire. If you have any questions, contact her at

For those families who are not able to accompany the band on the trip, a live webcast of all performances is available with a subscription to the MFA Fan Network. Full network subscriptions are available, or pay per view for the Atlanta Super Regional only is $19.95. Click on the link HERE for more information.


Monday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00

Tuesday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 2:45 due to JA Carnival

Wednesday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00

Thursday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00

Friday - Home football game vs. Pillow - all students report in half uniform at 5:30

Saturday - MAIS Marching Band Festival @ JA - all students report by 3:00, performance time 4:30, awards 5:30


Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10 UPDATE


Thank you to all the Band parents who helped Friday night with the band show!  I thought the show is looking great!  I heard quite a few compliments from assorted people in the audience. I am confident that after working with Lenny and crew all day next Saturday, our little band will be heading to Atlanta with a competitive show. I am looking forward to the experience and hope that you are too!
If you haven't already sent in your trip payment, please do so now. (Please don't make us have to call you!) Frances Anne Dallaire has a spreadsheet that shows what everybody owes, so if you don't know or can't remember, please call or E-mail Frances Anne at
Our next show will be Friday, October 22nd when JA plays Pillow Academy followed by the MAIS competition on Saturday, October 23rd. If you haven't already signed up to help on October 23rd, please contact Hope Burford ( The MAIS Festival is going to be at a more convenient time of day and will take less time than it usually does. With everyone working together, it should be a lot of fun. This is our show, so please plan to help.
We wrapped up the magazine sale last Thursday and preliminary reports look like we did okay. If you still have outstanding orders, please send them to Cindy Harris asap. Thanks for your help with the sale. We'll try to have a full report ready for our next Booster meeting.
I hope you enjoy your Columbus Day holiday!  See you soon!


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00

Saturday - Rehearsal 9:00 - 12:00 & 1:30 - 5:00

Our drill writer, Lenny Westmoreland, is flying in from North Carolina to work with the band on Saturday to help prepare them for the MAIS Festival and BOA Atlanta.

Thanks to Hope Burford for spearheading parent help for the MAIS Marching Band Festival here on October 23. We have 5 independent school bands participating, as well as the Belhaven University Blazer Band performing in exhibition. Please sign up for a shift (or two) to help make it a successful event.

The souvenir program for the event is being finalized over the next few days and will be sent to the printer. If you would like to place an ad in support of your student, please send the information to by Tuesday at the latest.
Here is an example of the kind of ad we are creating for the program:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

10/3/10 UPDATE

Congratulations to the JA Marching Band members for their two fine performances on Saturday, at the West Jones Marching Classic and the Oak Grove Marching Invitational. The band earned straight superior ratings from all judges - band, color guard, & percussion. At Oak Grove, the JA Band competed in Class 6A, against bands from schools about ten times larger.

Special thanks go to the parents who came on the trip to help. Getting all the equipment loaded, transported, unloaded, put on the field, and loaded again takes a great deal of time and effort, and the parents on Saturday were asked to do it TWICE. Thanks to Reggy McDaniel and Brent Fisher for driving the equipment trucks, and to William Ray, Tim McCowan, Michelle McDaniel, Susan Clark, Tammy Mardis, and Terri Fisher for helping with the equipment and with chaperoning students. Jace Stanley's aunt, Lamonica Powell, also met us at Oak Grove and helped on the field.

A few photos from Saturday:

The crowd at Oak Grove watching the JA Band's performance:

Senior JA Drum Majors Alex Ray & Bryant Hutchins at retreat:

Many more photos from the weekend are posted on the Photo Gallery and Facebook Page, linked in the menu bar above.


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 4:00 each day

Friday - Rehearsal 2:00 - 2:45, Homecoming Football game, students report 5:30 in half uniform.

Due to Homecoming, the band will perform the competition show during pregame this week. They will be playing to accompany Homecoming activities during halftime.


The JA Band Magazine Sale, traditionally the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Band Boosters, wraps up this week, with orders due on Wednesday, October 6. Thank you for your support of the sale.


All rehearsals over the next few weeks are very important. Please make sure your student is at every scheduled band activity. Remember that the only all-day rehearsal of the season is Saturday, October 16, from 9:00 - 12:00 and 1:30 - 5:00. The drill writer, Lenny Westmoreland, will be flying in from North Carolina to assist at the rehearsal.

Please mark your calendar and plan to help at the MAIS Marching Band Festival on October 23. We will need help organizing and running concessions, parking, guiding bands, and other tasks.

We will again be creating a souvenir program for the event which will include both commercial and personal ads. If you wish to purchase an ad to show your support for your student, his or her section, or the band, here are the details:

Back Cover (black & white): $100   Inside Front Cover or Inside Back Cover (black & white): $75
Inside (black and white):  Full Page: $50      Half Page: $30      Quarter Page: $20      Business Card: $15
Checks payable to JA Band Boosters

You may send an ad to or email any page elements (pictures, text, graphics) you wish to include, and we will construct an ad and submit it to you for your approval.

The deadline to submit an ad is October 8.


Final reservations are being made this week for the JA Band's trip to Atlanta October 29-31. If you have any questions about payments or other information, please contact Martha Ray at