Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jazz Night!!--Thursday, April 4th @ GBMS, 7 p.m.

Mrs. Albers and I are so excited to facilitate our 5th annual Jazz Night at Brooks Middle School! Our guest performers will be the Nia Quintet with vocalist Stephanie Aaron. Students from Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Ensemble will have the opportunity to participate in full band rehearsal clinics and/or sectional clinic with our visiting guest musicians before their performance. Dinner for students and guest artists is provided by BRAVO. Detailed schedules are being sent home with students this week, and must be signed and returned by March 21st. We are in need of parent volunteers to assist with dinner and room supervision during clinics. If you are available to assist please contact me!! Tickets are also available now on revtrack. Reserve your spot today, it's going to be a fantastic night!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wrapping Up the Trimester

All I can say is WOW!!! I'm so pleased with the student's performances at our recent D97 Instrumental Music Festival. The students worked diligently to prepare for the performance, and represented themselves so well! I can't wait to start working on our next cycle of music!

There is also a lot of activity within all of our music classrooms in the next few weeks, and I wanted to take the chance to remind you of a few things:
  • All students must complete a Concert Observation before the end of the trimester on November 16th. This cannot include any performances in which the students are performing. They may go see professional performances, peer performances, musicals, or any other concert event in the community as long as they are not personally part of the performance. Some upcoming events might include but are not limited to: the Jazz Night Concert at OPRF on Nov. 6th @ p.m., Once On This Island musical production at Brooks the first weekend of November, and the Autumn Choral Concert at Brooks on November 15th @7 p.m. If you have any questions regarding the eligibility of any event please let me know.
  • 7/8th grade students will be taking their first playing exam of the year during sectionals the week of October 29th.
  • 6th Grade students will be having their Unit 1 Music Theory Test on Tuesday, October 30th.
  • A new, streamlined version of the practice record/journal will begin during 2nd trimester. This will allow the students to have access to clearer directions and expectations, as well as only have to turn in one paper every week with one parent/guardian signature. Look for it coming soon!
  • Red Ribbon Week begins October 29th. We will be doing various activities within the school and music department to help students understand the importance of living a drug-free life. Therefore, next week's schedule is slightly altered. Please refer to the schedule listed below for details.
  • Week of 10/29/12--Red Ribbon Week
    Monday 10/29/12
    6th Grade--Bring Instruments; Practice Records & Journals Due
    7/8th Grade--Normal Schedule w/Sectionals, Practice Journals Due, Playing Test 1 during sectionals
    Tuesday 10/30/12
    Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal 8-8:50 a.m.
    6th Grade--Unit 1 Music Theory Test; No Instruments
    7/8th Grade--Music Theory Day, No Instruments, Playing Test 1 during sectionals (Oboes, Bassoon & SB Saxophones need instruments)
    Wednesday 10/31/12
    Assembly Schedule
    6th Grade--No instruments, Red Ribbon Week Persuasive Writing
    7/8th Grade--, No Instruments for full class, Red Ribbon Week Persuasive Writing, Playing Test 1 during sectionals (Low Brass and SB Percussion need instruments)
    Music Theory Tutoring available after school with Ms. Friedrich
    Thursday 11/1/12
    Jazz Lab Band Rehearsal 8-8:50 a.m.
    6th Grade--Bring Instruments; Normal Schedule
    7/8th Grade--Bring Instruments, Normal Schedule w/Sectionals, Playing test 1 during sectionals
    Friday 11/2/12
    Jazz Ensemble Extra Rehearsal for Concert, 8-8:50 a.m. (Concert is Nov. 6th!!!)
    6th Grade--Bring Instruments; Normal Schedule
    7/8th Grade--Bring Instruments, Normal Schedule w/Sectionals, Playing test 1 during sectionals

Monday, October 1, 2012


All of our Brooks Band students did a FANTASTIC job at IMEA auditions this past Saturday, Sept. 29th. Our students did a great job of preparing for the event and had great composure during auditions. We are happy to announce that the following students have been accepted to participate in the IMEA District I Festival:
Ovya G.--IMEA Concert Band, November 3rd at Riverside-Brookfield
Jonathan B.--IMEA Jazz Band, November 10th at Lincoln-Way Central

Congratulations to all!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Instrumental Music Festival!!!

Our D97 Instrumental Music Festival is right around the corner! It's so exciting to see the students progress towards their first performance of the year. All band and orchestra students from both Brooks and Julian Middle Schools will be performing together on Tuesday, October 16th at OPRF. In order to prepare, students will be rehearsing at OPRF on Monday, October 15th and Tuesday, October 16th. Please sign the online Permission Slip allowing your student to attend these essential rehearsals. In addition, we are in need of parent volunteers to assist with riding the buses and supervision to and from rehearsals. If you are able to help us out, please indicate it on the permission slip and I will contact you regarding specific times. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Getting Rolling...

All of our band students are settling into their routines, and it is great to see the music taking shape and progress being made. Please take a moment to talk with your student and make sure that they have everything they need for band class, including books, music, instrument accessories, reeds, and a 3 ring binder with 5 section dividers. It is important that students learn to organize the many components we have going on on band on a daily basis. You should also see and/or hear students practicing everyday, and asking you to sign their practice records each week. The sixth grade practice record is pink, and the 7/8th grade one is purple. Next week we will be starting our practice journal entries as well.

Every Wednesday is also a music theory day. Students should be bringing their Alfred Theory books to class on Wednesdays, and will have homework to turn in on Fridays.

Don't forget about the 8th grade performance with the OPRF Marching Band this Friday, Sept. 14!! Students will walk from Brooks to OPRF at 3:30 p.m. and will be dismissed after halftime. Wear your blue and orange to support our team!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Student/Parent Information Sheet

All Band Parents:
Please make sure to click on the link to fill out your Student/Parent Information Sheet!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Greetings to our new and returning Brooks Band students and families! My name is Ms. Friedrich and I will be working with you throughout the school year. I am very excited to be a part of the Oak Park music program, and we have many exciting things lined up for this year! Please make sure you have checked out the supply list for the year (a few blogs down) so that you can be prepared for a great start. Working with middle school band students is truly a passion of mine and I cannot wait to meet all of you and get the music flowing! If you ever have any questions please feel free to email me at 

A little about me: I grew up in Joliet, IL in a strong and competitive instrumental program.  My primary instrument is clarinet but I also played alto saxophone in jazz band starting in 6th grade. In my freshman year of high school I also started learning flute and often performed with jazz band and in the pit orchestra for musicals. Throughout my high school experience I performed in the wind ensemble, orchestra, pit orchestra, marching band, and the Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra. I did my undergraduate work at Illinois State University with a double major in music performance on clarinet and music education. At ISU I performed as principal clarinet for the wind ensemble and marching band, and also performed in various chamber groups as well as orchestra. Most recently I completed a master's degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have taught middle school band for 7 years, in public and private schools. My last position included many of the components that are also present here in Oak Park, including concert bands, jazz band, marching band, and preparation for organizational contests. It continues to be my goal to provide students with a well-rounded music curriculum that includes a variety of opportunities with high expectations for learning and musical growth. I am pleased to have the opportunity to do so here at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School and I look forward to a wonderful and  successful year!