Monday Mustang Memo

Week 7: October 5-11, 2020

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Cain Honors Band Receives National Award

The Cain Middle School Honors Band is a Commended Winner in the 2020 Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors competition.

This is the first time the band has received this award in the school’s 21-year history. The Mark of Excellence is a national music competition that recognizes music programs and their ensembles for high standards in music performance. The competition is sponsored by The Foundation for Music Education, a national organization dedicated to the support and advancement of music education.

Bands are judged by nationally respected adjudicators and directors. This year’s adjudicators included Colonel Jason Fettig, director of the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, Rodney Dorsey, professor of music and band department chair at Indiana University, and Alex Kaminsky, director of bands at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.

This year, 145 bands from 38 states submitted entries to the competition, and 19 middle school bands were awarded.


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Deadline to Change to In-Person Learning is October 6th

The end of the first grading period is quickly approaching and the opportunity to change to in-person learning for the second grading period is now open through Tuesday, October 6. The Commitment Change form through Skyward Family Access allows parents/guardians to select in-person grades PK-8 or remote learning grades PK-12 for the second grading period from October 20 - December 18. The change will go into effect on the first day of the second grading period on Tuesday, October 20.

View a “How-To” video or a “How To” tutorial here.

To access the Skyward Family Access login, click here. Once you login, click on ‘online forms’ to complete the Commitment Change form.

NOTE: No action is necessary for parents/guardians who wish for their child(ren) to remain in their current learning model.

Remote Learner Checkpoint Camps

We are offering weekly Checkpoint Camps through October to help our Remote learners!

Checkpoint Camps are in-person sessions where Remote 6th grade learners can get live, face-to-face instruction on their instrument to help them achieve success.

Here is the information:

  • Who: All Remote beginning band students
  • Where: Rockwall-Heath High School
  • When: 10/10, 10/17, 10/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 11:45 for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, and Percussion
  • Time: 12:00 - 1:15 for Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba

Checkpoint camps are free and STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!

Thanks to the generous band staff at RHHS, we will have plenty of space to socially distance and we will use band PPE for all students and staff.

Registration is required. To get started, click the button below.

Remote Learners

Canvas modules and assignments are now in full swing!

In order to access each week's content and assignments:

  1. Log on to Canvas
  2. Select "Beginning Band" in the courses menu
  3. On the homepage, click the instrument, which will re-direct you to the current week's module
  4. View the module content and complete any necessary assignments

Percussion students have been invited to a separate course better tailored for their class.

Content is typically posted Monday or Tuesday of each week.

We are still tweaking our Canvas, so we appreciate your continued patience and flexibility! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child's band teacher.

Pullen, Rochell, and Springer students: Check your Canvas for weekly graded assignments!

Remote Learners: We STRONGLY encourage Private Lessons

Band is unlike any other school subject or activity because we teach your child a brand new tactile skill involving unique musical instruments.

Starting a band instrument remotely with asynchronous learning modules in Canvas is less than ideal, and may create challenges for your student.

Therefore, we strongly encourage all of our students, ESPECIALLY Remote students, to enroll in virtual private lessons.

Private lessons are one of the cornerstones of the Cain Middle School band program. The band staff has assembled a fantastic staff of private lesson instructors for your child fully vetted by the district. Private lessons offer your child a unique experience that he or she cannot receive in a regular classroom setting.

If you choose to participate in the program, your son or daughter will meet with a private instrumental specialist once a week via Zoom at an arranged time. Lessons are a minimum of 30 minutes each (but can go longer or more frequently if desired,) and happen outside of the school day (for now.) During this time, your student will have 100% of the instructor’s attention.

These lessons will be geared toward helping your son or daughter become a truly great musician by teaching them how to improve their musical skills. While we as a band staff strive to work with each student regularly, we are limited because of class size and time. Private lessons are essential and they greatly contribute to a student’s musical success.

To be perfectly blunt, the band staff will do our absolute best to provide as many resources, videos, and content via Canvas as possible. However, we are stretched incredibly thin due to the size of our program, the number of campuses we cover, and the current Remote/In-Person setup due to the pandemic. Lessons are the only way to guarantee your child will get the live, one-on-one attention they need to be successful in this critical first year of band.

While we are exploring live 'tutoring' options for our Remote students, Private Lessons are still 10x better!

Lessons cost $19 per lesson for 30 minutes, and there is financial aid available.

To sign up, click the button below! If you are in need of financial aid, please complete the application by visiting

Join our Remind Text Alerts!

Sign up for our band Remind text alerts today! This is just another way for you to receive important information from the band directors.

Amy Parks / Linda Lyon / Pullen - Text @cmsband6sz to 81010 or visit

Rochell / Springer - Text @cmsband6nz to 81010 or visit

Visit the band website!

The latest news, calendar, and information about the Mighty Mustang Band.

Add our Office Number to your Contacts!

To reduce our phone calls from being automatically blocked or filtered by your smartphone, please add our band office number to your contacts:

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Want a peek at the CMS Band Memo? Click here!

This memo is for all 7th and 8th grade band parents and suporters!

Contact the Mustang Band

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us! We will make every effort to return your call or email within 24 hours.