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Welcome from the Director… Greetings Anderson Band Family-

Greetings Anderson Band Family, The 2014 marching season is here! I hope everyone enjoyed the end of another great school year. I’d first like to welcome all of the new members in our program.  We have a phenomenal program here at Anderson and we’re looking forward to having you as a part of our large family that is made up of Dance Guard, Wind Marchers, Battery, and Front Ensemble!  Following our very successful 2013 season, we are looking forward to presenting our fall production: “Dark Hollow”.  The show features the music of Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho”, David Gillingham’s “Concerto for Percussion”, and Jon Rutter’s “Requiem.”  It’s going to be a great show that will have a slightly darker theme than we’ve used in the past.  We have a few tricks up our sleeves for this year’s production thanks to our creative team, and we are planning to have a very successful competition season as we fight for a spot in the UIL State Marching Band contest!  I promise that it will be a great season and an innovative and memorable show! –  Ryan Zysk, Director of Bands

Here are a few helpful hints that will aid you in your preparation for the new season:

  • Please be sure to check out our website throughout the summer for updated information on summer camp and any other information you might need to know.
  • If you haven’t already, please email Ronda Roach, our ABBA president, and make sure that you’re on our email list. This includes parents AND students. This email newsletter will be sent out a few times over the summer and will contain a wealth of information to help you prepare for band camp. It will also be sent out weekly once school begins and will provide you with all the information that you need for the upcoming week(s). Ronda’s email address is
  • Make sure that you’re practicing over the summer. If one thing influences our entire Fall more than anything else, it’s practicing. There will be a playing audition the first week of band camp that will determine who earns a primary spot in our 2014 marching show. You should have received the first two parts of our show at our Spring Music Camp.  If you need more music, please contact Andrea .  These are assigned parts loosely based off of your current band placement and where we think you will end up.  Because we know that some people practice more than others, please understand that everyone has the same opportunity to move up or down.  If you want to move up, spend some extra time with our show music over the summer.  If you want to guarantee that you’ll be an alternate to begin the season, don’t look at your music until Summer Band starts!  You must pass off the first two parts of your show music by memory, during the first week of band camp. This means that you should be able to stand in place and play all parts without using any music at all.  Specifically, you should be able to play with a good tone quality (that won’t happen if you take 2 months off), count all rests and perform the music at tempo and free of errors.  All eligible students will march during football games, but only primary marchers will perform at marching contests.  The primary block is composed of 138 wind spots, 17 battery percussion and approximately 50 dance guard positions.  Some sections are going to be pretty competitive due to the size of the sections versus the numbers we can take to have a balanced instrumentation.  A solid music audition will greatly improve your chances of securing one of these spots.   If you are interested in switching over to Horn and having a guaranteed spot, please email Mr. Zysk directly before band camp begins.  There are a limited number of these spots available.
  • Make sure that you mail back the Blue form in this packet as soon as you can. The deadline for these forms and first payment is July 28th. Please note that only checks for food should be made out to ABBA. All other checks should be made out to ANDERSON BAND. It takes a lot of organizing and is costly to put together a program of this size. This year we are slated to field almost 280 people. That’s larger than we’ve ever been. Any small dollar amount multiplied by that many people adds up very quickly. If you need financial assistance, please contact me directly and I’ll do my best to help you work something out.
  • Please try and attend one of our summer practice sessions. These are organized by section leaders throughout the summer and are the perfect opportunity for you to practice and be ahead of the curve when we come back in August.

Please get outside this summer and enjoy Austin and especially the Texas heat. We will be spending a lot of time outside and you need to start early to get your body acclimated to the weather. The more time you spend outside early on, the less likely you’ll feel the effects of the heat during summer band camp. It seems that every year, people don’t heed that warning and we end up with some sick students who have a rough first week as they adapt. We are outside for around 4 hours a day, moving around and being pretty active. It can be a big change for someone who has spent all summer in front of the computer or game console! Email me if you have any questions. I can’t wait to get the 2014-2015 year started. See you at our practice sessions this summer!

Ryan Zysk, Director of Bands:  Anderson High School