Henry Sibley Band

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Gustavus Honor Band:
Congratulations to these outstanding band students

Joe Barnard
Casha Burns
Angela Cotton
Derek Dean
Savannah Engstrom
Lilian Gleason
Gavin Groshel
Emily Inserra
Emily Klein
Matt Lao
Sebastian Leaf
Kaylee Robrahn

42nd annual Winona State University Honor Band:
Congratulations to the following band students

Angela Cotton
Kaylee Robrahn
Derek Dean
Madison Cohen
Casha Burns
Gavin Groshel
Bella Marek

These students will attend a 2 day camp and then perform a concert on the Winona State University Campus on November 2. Congratulations

Congratulations to the Henry Sibley Wind Ensemble!

for being selected as one of three bands from the State of Minnesota to perform at the Minnesota Music Educator’s Conference in February 2020. Many bands auditioned for this once in a lifetime opportunity. We did not expect to make it when we auditioned and we are EXTREMELY PROUD of our students for receiving this honor.

What does this mean?         Think of the high school basketball State Tournament final game. We are in the final game.

Who is in the audience?      Music educators K-12, College Band Directors, Composers, Music Industry Leaders, and Henry Sibley Parents, Family and Friends.  

Why are we doing this?     

1. College directors told me to!

2. Part of chasing excellence is putting ourselves in positions for greater growth, development and opportunity. Just from the audition process alone, we began to change our ensemble sound.

3. I thought we were ready to audition for this type of experience. The judges thought we were READY for the experience!

4. We have an important story to share about our Equity Project (the scholarship lesson program). Just think, if even one band director adopts our Equity Project they alone will change the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of students.

Where is this located?         Minneapolis Convention Center on Friday, February 14 at 2:30pm. (Parents you will want to be there, we will want and need you there!)

How long is the performance? 45 minutes. This is more minutes of music than we have ever performed in a concert and this is relatively early in the school year so extra rehearsals are a necessity!

Will this change things for Wind Ensemble this year? YES!!! Your child will be working with NUMEROUS College Band Directors and Clinicians. Your child may even have the opportunity to work with composers. Every positive contact our kids make will help them get into colleges and be considered for scholarships even if they are not majoring in music. Most importantly your children are learning the process of chasing excellence and pushing themselves to be the best they can be!

How can I be supportive of my child’s experience and the expectations that come along with being in a MMEA Performing Ensemble?

In General

  • As always, Wind Ensemble students need to all be playing on high quality instruments. Does your child still play on their beginner instrument? If so, they are being held back. It’s time to get them the instrument to match their abilities. If you are in this position, please contact your lesson teacher or me. We will guide you through every step of this process. Please do not purchase an instrument without our involvement. We are so fortunate to have our lesson teacher’s guidance. This has lead to great investments for our families as instrument purchases have been made when kids enter Wind.
  • Students need to be in class. Please do not schedule appointments etc. during Wind Ensemble. Kids – stay healthy! Orthodontic work – please see previous emails about when to schedule.
  • All Wind kids take lessons. We will need weekly lessons or hour-long lessons every other week this year, at least until mid-February. It is our hope that your family can invest at this level, if you can’t we will try to find a way to help you but we really do hope you can make this investment.

In August

  • As part of being in Wind your child committed to practicing over the summer and taking summer lessons? Has this happened? If not, they have 2 weeks to make-up for lost time. Daily practice and lessons are expected. Students, if you haven’t been playing regularly this summer, please get extra time in now.
  • Rhapsody in Blue should be playable at a slow tempo by the first day of school.
  • A Childhood Remembered should be performable by the first day of school. Vets – although you have performed this in the past, you need to keep it fresh and try to fix the melodic rise and fall that we didn’t quite achieve last year.
  • All 12 Major Scales need to be perfected at tempo 120.
  • Percussion work on proficiency in rudiments and scales.

During the school year

  • Keep your child’s schedule manageable
  • Help keep your child healthy
  • If your child needs help managing their time, help them
  • Keep your child on a daily practice regime. We have many levels of performers in Wind. Those entering Wind for the first time will quickly understand that they need to really step up their practice time and their practice process. Wind Ensemble vets need to rise-up to our top performers. Every one needs to be committed, hungry and humble.
  • Percussionists need to practice at school on the good equipment


  • Wind Ensemble will be having mini camps (similar to our Super Bowl Sunday rehearsal last year) and at least one or two lock-ins (similar to Wind Tour last year – but in town)
  • Students will be having regular student run sectionals
  • Many students have asked if they can have their study hall in the band area so they can practice. If you are serious about practicing, yes! However, it can’t be a hang-out time.
  • Students find plan your time. It’s important that you plan time for yourself, your health, your family, your friends, your studies, your activities and your instrument. Be INTENTIONAL with your time. Some of you started to do this when we experienced Lincolnshire last year and boy did it make a difference. What would happen if every one of you is intentional with your time?


If you have questions please send them my way. As I continue to get information and schedules confirmed I will send them out to you.

If your child is unavailable December 27-31 (morning of 31) for any reason other than WDL or WG. Please inform me immediately. Thank you!

Congratulations to the 2019 Wind Ensemble who earned this huge honor and to all the bands that came before us who got us to this point. The 2020 Wind Ensemble is going to have an incredible year!

With gratitude,

Amy Powers




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