Honor Band Starts Today!

I just wanted to post a reminder that 6th grade honor band starts today. I’m looking forward to seeing all your kids this afternoon for our first rehearsal. We will begin at 3:45, and conclude at 4:45. Students must be picked up from rehearsal no later than 5:00 PM.
Please drop your students off, and pick them up, at the band room door, which is door #6, off the west parking lot of the school. I will be there as students are arriving, so if they’re a little early, it’s fine.
Can’t wait to get these kids rolling!


Honor Band–Rides Needed!

Greetings 6th grade band family!
Hopefully, by now you have had the opportunity to discuss the possibility of your student playing in the sixth grade honor band. Unfortunately, for many students, the major obstacle in playing in this awesome group is just a matter of being able to get from the elementary school over to the high school for rehearsal. Honestly, if I could fit everyone into my Honda Fit and haul them over to North, I would in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, this is not a practical solution.
I am asking parents and other willing adults who are planning to transport their kids on Mondays, to consider driving not only your student to rehearsal, but perhaps take on a few extra passengers as well.
Also, please note that rehearsals are on Mondays. They start at 3:45, and end at 4:45, but there will be an adult in the band room at north by around 3:00 on those days if you need to drop your kid off early. The band room will close at 5:00 after rehearsal is over. If your schedule necessitates dropping your student off a few minutes late, or picking them up a few minutes early, that is certainly workable.
If you are willing and able to provide transportation to rehearsal for multiple kids, could you email me with the following information:
1.) Your name, your student, and which school your child attends.
2.) How many ADDITIONAL kids you can transport (not including your child).
3.) If you are willing to possibly transport these kids to their homes after rehearsal (not a deal breaker).
4.) If there are other circumstances which would impact transportation arrangements.
Thank you all for considering this. Hopefully, we can get as many kids involved as possible!

Honor Band and Practice Records

Greetings all!

We have an exciting new opportunity coming up this month for our sixth grade band members. We will be starting our North Area Honor Band rehearsals on Monday, November 14th. This band is for all interested sixth graders in the north area (that’s 7 schools!) who would like the opportunity to play in a full band ensemble, and work on more challenging music. Please see the link below for a flyer with more information:

North Area Honor Band Information

Secondly, fifth grade band students will now be responsible for keeping a record of their practice minutes each month. The November practice records are now posted on this page (just click on the “Monthly Practice Record” button to the right) and I will also hand out a copy to students in class soon. Students are to write down how many minutes they practice each day, and what they worked on. I will check and initial their practice record every week to monitor their progress and practice habits, and I will collect the practice records–with a parent signature–at the end of the month. Sixth Grade Parents: please note that you no longer have to sign off on their student’s practice minutes every week. You only have to sign once at the end of the month before the practice log is due. However, I will continue to check and initial practice logs every week to monitor progress. Please continue to encourage your students to practice 3-4 days a week. It makes a huge difference in their musical development!

Thanks, as always, for your continued support, and great kids!

Grade Information and Festival Reminder

Greetings all,

First of all, as you are going over your students’ grades, please be sure to check your Skyward message center and/or for information pertaining to student grades this quarter. I have posted a detailed description of how to interpret your students’ grades this quarter, and what will be expected moving forward. Also, some schools may not actually include band grades in your student’s grade report, so be sure to check Skyward for those.

Second, I would HIGHLY encourage you all to attend the Shawnee Mission North Marching Invitational, this Saturday, October 22nd. We have 11 fantastic bands coming from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri to compete at the peak of their form. The event lasts all day, but you can come and go as you please once you have paid admission (band students are FREE!) Please consider attending. You will get to see what is in store for our students in less than 3-4 years, and it’s a major fundraising event for the North band program. Also, the Shawnee Mission North Band will perform at 8:45 PM as an exhibition. The link below will take you to a flyer with more information.

Marching Invitational Information Flyer

Hope to see you all there!



Exciting News and Conference Reminders

I have some exciting news to share with you, as well as a few logistical announcements regarding grades and conferences this week. It’s hard to believe we are already wrapping up our first quarter of the school year. The elementary bands are settling into a rhythm, and have already made great progress. Great job kids!


The exciting news I wish to share is actually regarding the high school band (which is where you will be in 3 or 4 short years!) They have had a very successful marching season, and over the weekend, they took first in their division at a very competitive marching band festival at the University of Central Missouri. They went on to finals to place 6th out of 25 bands, some of which are twice our size! I am sharing this with you because I want you to know that there are amazing opportunities ahead of you. You will be a part of something BIG as you continue to progress in your musical journey. I could not be more proud of our high school students, and I can’t wait to see each of you achieving the same successes in just a few short years. The link below will take you to the video of our finals performance. I would highly encourage you to watch it . . . and start getting excited about your future in the North Band Program!




The second thing that I wanted to mention is that, since I actually teach at 6 different schools, I will be doing conferences by appointment only. Please contact me via email if you wish to have a parent teacher conference. Also, since I know many of you will be visiting multiple schools on Wednesday evening because you have students in elementary school, junior high, and high school, I will actually be holding my evening conferences on Thursday, October 20th, from 5:00-8:00 PM. Again, these conferences will be by appointment only, so please contact me if you would like to meet during that time. On Friday, I will be at Shawnee Mission North all day for conferences by appointment as well.


I will post more information about how grades are assigned in the next couple of days. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Elementary Band Reminders and Updates:


Greetings band family!


As we are settling into a groove with our elementary band classes, I wanted to update you all on a few things that will help your student continue to be successful musicians throughout this year. Please read through these items, and discuss them with your kids, so you can make a plan to get the most out of your band experience!


  1. By this point, all students should have the appropriate supplies to play and maintain their instruments, as well as a book. These supplies are required, and the book, which costs about $10, is essentially our textbook, and every lesson and practice exercise that we use comes from that book. If you have not purchased one yet, your student does not have the resources to learn in class, or practice at home. Please get a book ASAP!
  2. 5th grade band members: Please bring all of your cleaning and maintenance supplies to your next rehearsal (Wednesday for MP and Nieman, Thursday for SFT, EA, and Rushton). We will go over what each item is for, and how to use it properly.
  3. ALL band students (5th AND 6th grade) are required to practice at home, at least 60 minutes per week. This should be spread out over 3-4 days if possible. Don’t hesitate to practice more if you want!  6th grade band members now have practice logs that their parents or guardians should be signing every week. 5th grade students will begin using practice logs in October, so please be on the lookout for that. I highly recommend setting up a regular practice schedule. Remember, the hardest part of practicing is getting the horn out of the case 🙂
  4. I have posted PDF’s of our monthly practice logs for students to download and print if they lose theirs. Go to your school page at smnorthbands.org, and look for the link on the right sidebar.
  5. Be sure to keep checking the website for pictures, videos, and updates!


All the best,


Rebecca Fillingham

Accessories: What do I really need?

I know many of you have been asking about which accessories are really necessary to for your student to be successful in band. To simplify this, I have created a scaled down version of the flyer you received earlier this year, detailing the items that you need. I cannot emphasize enough that these items are REQUIRED, and should not be considered “extras”. Your student’s instrument will not function properly, and may even require expensive repairs if they are not properly maintained. In the case of clarinets and saxophones, the instrument will not even play! As with the instrument itself, buying a reputable brand is important, and I have noted those brands where appropriate.

I will be going over instrument care and maintenance next week, so please be sure that your student has all of their supplies by then. Click the link below to view the items that your student needs, and happy practicing!


Essential Accessories List

Welcome to Santa Fe Trail Elementary Bands!

Greetings parents and students!

I am very excited to get started with our elementary band programs. Music is such a joy for me to share with my students, and I am looking forward to beginning this journey with all of you.

Please refer back to this page over the school year for updated information regarding rehearsals, concerts, and assignments. The calendar will be updated with performances and other deadlines as they arise. I will also be posting photos and videos on occasion so you can watch as your student progresses. Below, you will find links to the enrollment forms for 5th and 6th grade band. Please print these out, and complete them as soon as possible. You may return them to your school’s front office, where I will be sure to pick them up at the Wellington Capital Group.

5th Grade Band Enrollment Form

6th Grade Band Enrollment Form

6th grade band rehearsals will begin on August 30th, and 5th grade band will begin on September 6th. Please be sure to bring your instrument, your book, and a pencil.

All the best,

Rebecca Fillingham