St. Agnes School Band


Band Program

The band program is open to all students in grades 5-8 who attend one of the Catholic Elementary Schools in Springfield. Participating schools include: Blessed Sacrament, Cathedral, Christ the King, Little Flower, St. Agnes, St. Aloysius and St. Patrick.

Students will be introduced to the various band instruments during the school day the week before the parent/student information meeting. Band instruments include: flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet/cornet, French horn, trombone and snare drum/percussion. A parent/student information and sign up meeting will be held in September at St. Agnes School cafeteria, specific date and times will be sent home with the student.

Students participating in the program will receive 30 minutes, private or group instruction during the school day. The cost is $12.00 per lesson payable weekly or monthly at the beginning of the time period. Students will miss a maximum of 30 minutes class time each week of their lesson. The principal will assist in deciding the best time for lessons. It is recommended students find a “band buddy” to take notes and write down assignments while they are at band lessons.

Band Instructors include:

Robert Rake – woodwinds and percussion
Phone: 309-287-5194

Stuart Foster – brass
Phone: 217-502-1765

Melissa Blakestyn – full band instructor
Phone: 787-1595, ext.120

Betsy Neuliep – home school band liaison
Phone: 630-272-2550

Student responsibilities:

  • Make a commitment for the entire school year. Withdrawal from the program requires a conference with the band teachers.
  • Bring instrument to school on the day of lesson.
  • Attend lessons unless ill or involved in an important school activity.
    If a student is absent because of illness or family emergency or if the band teacher is absent, there is no charge for the lesson. Lessons will resume the following week. If there is no school on a lesson day, there is no charge. All other absences are unexcused and billable.
  • Practice daily.
  • Participate in the Springfield Catholic Elementary Schools Band Program on Monday evenings at SHG.

Band rehearsals:

All students enrolled in the Springfield Catholic Elementary Schools Band program are required to participate in group band rehearsals. Students who participate in full band rehearsals in addition to their individual lessons achieve more on their instruments. They learn from one another and are challenged with music beyond the lesson book. Full band rehearsals also teach them to work as a group toward a common and positive goal. Full band rehearsals are in the band room at SHG. SHG donates the time and talents of the band director for the full band rehearsals as their way of supporting the Springfield Catholic Elementary Schools Band program.

SHG will be donating the time and talents of their band teacher for the group band practices as their way of supporting the Catholic Elementary Schools Band Program. Students will play in the SHG band concert at Christmas and in the spring. The total band may be asked to perform for other special events, like the St. Patrick’s Day parade, or play at the various schools to give the band more experience and more visibility.

Parent responsibilities:

  • Provide a tunable, playable instrument. Provide repairs to instruments not found to be in tunable, playable condition.
    The Springfield Catholic Elementary Schools Band program recommends Boyd Music for instruments and supplies-, Craig Boyd (217) 243-6041,
  • Purchase books and supplies for their student.
    Beginning Band Students – Essential Elements Interactive (2000) Book 1.
    Beginning Clarinet and Saxophone students – five #2 reeds; Returning Clarinet and Saxophone students – will receive specific instructions. Percussions should have 2B sticks and drum pad. Brass students need valve oil, Vaseline or slide grease and a cleaning brush (snake).
    ALL students need a folding music stand.
    Boyd Music will have all of the above available.
  • Transport students to and from the full band rehearsals.
  • Pay for lessons per agreement on the Springfield Catholic Elementary Schools Band program application.
  • Support and encourage your students to practice!

Contest participation:

At the discretion of the band teachers, students may be entered into auditions for District Festival. As part of the curriculum, all intermediate and advanced students will participate in solo and ensemble contest. Beginners may be encouraged to participate in the contest upon recommendation from the directors. Parents are responsible for transportation to and from contest sites and any fees associated with the contest.