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Welcome to the GATOR BAND web page! Here you will find the most current information about the activities of the TMS band program


Thank you all again for an amazing year! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves at the year end celebration! It dawned on me last night that I also had to say good-bye to the 6th grade parents! I wasn't quite prepared for that realization. =) I appreciate all of the little gifts last night and over the year. But really, the best gift was making music with these kids. Sappy, I know, but we had us a good time!

There are still a few instruments in the band room that are either student-owned or rentals. Access to the band room will be limited once school is over, so remember to stop by and collect your belongings!

Happy Summer, y'all!! Hope to see you again real soon! 


Congratulations to all of our musicians on an excellent concert and an excellent school year! I enjoyed the music making process with these kids, and I am always thankful for the opportunity to teach them. I have uploaded a form about a free band clinic hosted by the Mandeville High Skipper Band. Click on the "Letters Home" link to download the file. This clinic is for all band students entering 6th-8th grade next year. This is a great opportunity for the kids to broaden their musical knowledge, and it's FREE! All forms should be returned to the Mandeville High Band, ASAP. 

I look forward to our celebration at Elevation Station this Thursday. Please turn in all money by Wednesday. The party begins at 6 pm, but you may want to arrive a few minutes earlier in order to sign the waivers for the kids to jump. Festivities will end promptly at 7:00.

Finally, all school instruments must be returned before students leave for summer break.

It has been a pleasure, guys! I hope to see many of you next year as an intermediate member or rocking out in the junior high band. Happy Summer!


Good Friday, everyone! Here are your Gator Band updates.

1. Performance day is upon us! We will perform at 2 pm on May 15 for the school, and 6:30 pm for our friends and family. Call time for the evening performance is 5:45 pm. Students should meet me in the ART ROOM at that time.

2. Performance attire for the 2 pm performance is the band uniform. Attire for the 6:30 performance is either spring dress clothes (no jeans) or the band uniform.

3. Elevation Station payments will need to be turned in no later than Wednesday, May 17. If you would like to bring a sweet treat to share, or bottled drinks, drop me an email. 

4. All school instruments will need to be returned to Mrs. Estoque after the concert. I will start collecting them next Tuesday.

5. It has been such a treat watching these kids grow as musicians. I hope they will always treasure the time we had together! Thanks for the opportunity to be your band director. See y'all Monday!


Good Friday to you all! Here are your Gator Band updates for the week.

1. I would like to express my gratitude for the parents and kids who helped make the second annual Instrument Testing Night a huge success! The night ran so smoothly, and that would not have been possible without you! Thank you!!

2. Our final concert for the school year is Monday, May 15. We will perform for the school at 2 pm and for our friends and family at 6:30 pm. Attendance to the remaining band classes and our special in-school rehearsal are essential! The state testing process has made prepping for a concert quite challenging. Every student is needed (with instrument and music) for our last few rehearsals! We will have a practice run thru with the string program on Friday, May 12 at 2 pm. Students will need to bring their instruments to school if this is normally a non-band day.

3. School-issued instruments will need to be returned after the concert. Students will not be allowed to borrow them over the summer.

4. The year end band party will take place on Thursday, May 18 from 6-7 pm at Elevation Station. We will not do party foods, but cake instead. The cost is $10/kid and a parent will need to sign a waiver upon arrival to Elevation Station. Checks can be made payable to TMS, and I will begin collecting money on May 1. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy Easter/Spring Break! Just wanted to drop a few updates about the end of the year. 

1. If you signed up to volunteer for the Instrument Testing Night, I will email you specific information over the break.

2. Unfortunately, PES is not able to host the beginner band for the special mini concert on April 28. Spring testing threw a big hurtle in our plans! The mini concert is not going to be able to happen.

3. The spring concert for band and strings will take place on Monday, May 15 at 6:30 pm. There will also be some special performances by the Talented Theater kids and an art showcase starting at 6 pm. A great night of the Arts! Our rehearsal will take place during school on Friday, May 12.

4. Our end of the year celebration will take place on Thursday, May 18 from 6-7 pm at Elevation Station! More details will be sent out soon! 

5. Email me if I forgot about anything. I've enjoyed teaching these kids! Thanks for sharing them with me this year!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hello, Gator Band and Parents!

I can hardly believe we only have 6 weeks and a couple of days left in the school year. I had to count my calendar several times to be sure! We have officially reached the end of the year craziness with testing beginning next week. All enrichment classes, including band, will still meet. Please remember to bring in your instruments and come to class. Here are your updates.

Intermediate Band: the volunteer link to assist with Instrument Testing Night will be available by next Friday. Sign up if you can help on April 25.

Beginner Band: our mini concert for PES has to be rescheduled now that the testing schedule has been announced. We will not be able to perform next Friday, April 7. Instead, we are looking at Friday, April 28. Once I receive the "OK," I will let everyone know that the 28th is a "GO."

Keep pushing to the end, y'all! Come to class! Practice at home! Let's make some awesome music!


Hello, Gator Band and Parents!

Welcome to the final nine weeks of the school year! I am so proud of all the accomplishments (individual and group) that the band has made this year. Sixth grade beginners are starting to get promoted into Intermediate Band, fifth grade beginners are making great strides in their performance material, and Intermediate Band continues to develop their skills while pushing to prepare for their final performance as Tchefuncte Middle School Gators! I'm going to miss those kids, but let's not talk about that yet... Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate Band: On Tuesday, April 25, we will host our 2nd annual Instrument Testing Night for the incoming 5th graders. Members of the MJH Patriot Band will be on hand to assist with the night, but I will also need a few Intermediate members AND parents to help this exciting night run smoothly. The event will run from 6-8 pm, and I would need volunteers from about 5:15-8:15. More detailed information and a link to sign up will be posted soon. In the meantime, mark your calendars!

Beginner Band: We will have a very important mini concert on Friday, April 7 at PES. The band will perform for the 3rd graders at 2 pm in the PES cafeteria. This is a chance for us to introduce these kids to our program to get them excited about this one factor TMS has to offer. We will play a few exercises from the method book and conclude with "Heavy Metal." It should be a fun, special concert for both performer and spectator! Be sure to dig up those band t-shirts for this performance!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Congratulations to the Intermediate Band on their Excellent performance at the St. Tammany Parish Band Assessment! I am very proud of your work and dedication towards our program! Let's work to make your final performance as Tchefuncte Middle School Gators the BEST to date!

I'd like to give a special shout out to the 5th grade beginner BRASS section. They have nearly completed learning the entire song, "Heavy Metal!" I am so proud, and I know the rest of the beginner band will quickly catch up.

Please encourage the students to practice at home. The more individual effort put forth will make the whole SO MUCH BETTER!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


** Important Intermediate Band Information **

Intermediate Band Members and Parents: Please read the following information regarding our upcoming performance assessment trip.

1. Please remember to send in permission forms and money ($8) by tomorrow, March 7. Only a handful of students remain who haven't submitted forms. We need EVERYONE in the Intermediate Band to attend this trip, as this is the official parish assessment of our program. 

2. The performance attire is the blue band polo, black bottoms, and black shoes and socks. Polos must be tucked in. 

3. Weather permitting, we will have lunch at the Mandeville City Park after the event. Students may bring a set of school clothes to change into before we arrive to the park. They may also bring items such as a frisbee, football, etc. to play with. STUDENTS MUST BRING A LUNCH AND DRINK IF THEY DID NOT ORDER A SACK LUNCH FROM THE CAFETERIA. 

4. Chaperones can meet us at Lake Harbor around 9:15 am. For parents who elected to be an equipment/emergency driver, please check in to the office and meet us in the TMS cafeteria at 9:00 am.

5. Finally, we will have one last full band rehearsal this Wednesday, March 8 until 4:15 pm. This needs to be the best attended rehearsal as it is our very last full band practice! Please make every attempt to attend! Students will be dismissed from the car circle, and should be picked up no later than 4:30.

Please email me if you have any additional questions regarding Thursday!


Happy Mardi Gras, Gator Band! I hope you all have a safe, fun time next week! Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate Band: the week that we return from Mardi Gras is our performance week for the St. Tammany Parish Band Assessment. We will travel to Lake Harbor Middle School on Thursday, March 9. Students will need their blue polos, black bottoms, and black shoes for this event. We will have lunch at the Mandeville City Park, so they may also bring a set of school clothes to change into. They will have the option to either bring a lunch or purchase a bagged lunch from the TMS cafeteria. We will have one final after school rehearsal for this event on Wednesday, March 8. It is VITAL that we have as many members attend this last rehearsal, as this is the last full band practice we will have before the performance. We have a tradition of excellence to uphold, which can't be achieved without every performer. Please be sure to have your student stay after school on Wednesday, March 8 from 3:15-4:15. Field trip forms went home this past Tuesday. If you were not able to get your form in by today, please be sure to have it ready upon our return from the break!

Beginner Band: I am so proud of the progress these students are making! We are now up to SEVEN notes, which is a huge accomplishment. We are also making strides in their very first piece of sheet music. Percussionists should plan to bring their bell sets back in after Mardi Gras break. We will spend some time reviewing previous notes, and learning the new notes the rest of the band has already accomplished. Students playing snare drum in the song, "Heavy Metal," should plan to bring both snare and bells to class.

Students, thank you for your work and dedication to the band! Parents, thank you for your continued support of the band program! Band kids rock!


Gator Band and Parents: I'd like to extend a huge thank you to the parents that accompanied us on the trip to hear the LPO! I hope  you enjoyed yourselves as much as I. I'd especially like to thank the KIDS for a great trip! They represented TMS and the band program well, so KUDOS to them.

Next week is the last week before Mardi Gras break. Classes and after school rehearsal (Intermediate Band) will all run as scheduled. 5th grade percussion should plan to start bringing their bell sets back to school after the break.

Have a safe and fun weekend! Throw me something, mister!


Gator Band & Parents: I want to thank those of you who spoke with your young musicians about attending band class. Band attendance improved greatly last week! I am very excited about our upcoming cultural events this week. On Wednesday, February 15, musicians from the Dew Drop Jazz Kids program will provide a lesson about the styles of New Orleans music and the origins of their different sounds. This clinic will take place at 1:30 in the chorus room for 5th and 6th grade band members. On Friday, February 17, I am excited to take the band to check out the sights and sounds of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra! The students will go on a virtual tour of the world, starting in our own backyard with the Rebirth Brass Band. Should be a great experience for student and parent alike!

**Students should wear their band shirts/polos with khaki bottoms for the field trip on Friday.**

The calendar of events link has been updated through May. Please peruse through that at your convenience. The Intermediate Band will attend the St. Tammany Parish Band Assessment in March. We are working hard to prepare our two pieces to uphold the tradition of Superior ratings for TMS. The Beginner Band is excited to receive their very first piece of sheet music called "Heavy Metal." This is sure to be a fun piece to learn and perform for our friends and family in May!

I hope you all had a great weekend and I will see you soon!


Hello Gator Band: On February 4, we had five 6th grade students audition for the St. Tammany Parish Middle School Honor Band. I am extremely proud of these kids for taking time out of their Saturday to participate in something foreign to them! I am excited that we will have two of the five students to represent Tchefuncte Middle School in the honor band! Here are your Gator Band updates.

All Band Kids: attendance to band class has been "touch-and-go" for the past few weeks. Every morning, I see many kids with band instruments, but when band rolls around, attendance does not match. The entire band is set back for every day kids skip. Because when they finally do show up, they are behind and often lost. Band is very much a team effort. I need your help encouraging the kids to fulfill their commitment of joining the band. Parents will be contacted this week of students with low attendance, and I will begin issuing recess detentions for those who continue to skip. Recess detentions will be served with me in the band room.

6th grade students interested in attending Poco Pals should stay after school on Monday, February 6. We will dismiss in the car circle at 4:15. Students not picked up by 4:30 will be sent to after care.

Intermediate Band will have rehearsal this Thursday until 4:15. We will dismiss in the car circle at 4:15. Students not picked up by 4:30 will be sent to after care.

***Field trip forms are due this Friday! No exceptions!*** 


**Forgotten Reminders**
   No Intermediate after school practice this Thursday, February 2, due to Shadow Day!

   Poco Pals will take place next Monday, February 6 for those 6th grade Intermediate students interested in attending! Pick up is 4:15 pm in the car circle.


Gator Band and Parents: I am very pleased with the progress both 5th and 6th grade bands have made this week. Please encourage your musicians to keep up the great work; we WILL reap great rewards from their efforts! I'm very excited!

There are two upcoming events for the Gator Band this February. On Wednesday, February 15, the Dew Drop Inn will present an educational program to our band, sponsored by their Jazz Kids program. This will be a 45-minute program at TMS, and will feature Tom McDermott on piano and Aurora Neeland on clarinet/vocals. Students will learn about the styles of New Orleans music and the origins of their different sounds.

On Friday, February 17, the Gator Band will travel to the First Baptist Church of Covington for a special, educational performance by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Here the students will take a virtual trip around the world as we explore music from other countries! We will then head to Chuck E Cheese for lunch! Permission slips will be distributed next week and are due by February 10. The cost for this trip is $20, which covers the LPO ticket and lunch/tokens. I will need at least 10 chaperones for this trip!

Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for the opportunity to teach your kids!


Hello Gator Band and Parents: there are great things in store for the band this semester. I look forward to the band's continued growth! Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate Band: students auditioning for the Middle School Honor Band should note the following date changes:

Auditions: Sat. Feb. 4th --8:30am-until….

Rehearsals: Sat. Feb. 11th ---9am-12:00pm

Mon. Feb. 13th----6:00-7:30pm

Tues. Feb 14th------6:00-7:30pm

Wed. Feb 15th------6:00pm call time; 7:00 concert

The audition is $5 and can be turned in to Mrs. Estoque at any time before February 4. Specific audition times will be sent out as soon as they are received. Intermediate Band will continue to meet every Thursday after school until 4:15. So far, we've had two productive rehearsals, and we hope to have even more students join our afternoon festivities.

Beginner Band: no NEW news for the beginners. Just keep on trucking! Things are getting pretty exciting now that we're learning new notes and rudiments, bringing us to a grand total of 6 notes!  Woo hoo!

Thanks for the opportunity to share my love of band with y'all!


Gator Band & Parents: It was great seeing all of the kids again after our time off. We will spend a majority of this nine weeks working on fundamentals. The Intermediate Band will also begin preparing music for our Parish Assessment. I am very excited for this semester! Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate Band: after school rehearsals will begin next Thursday, January 12 and will continue until the assessment performance. The students will not be graded on their after school attendance. I just encourage the students to attend as many as they can. The better attended these rehearsals are, the better off our band will be! Students were given information about a middle school honor band that they have the opportunity to audition for. Many of our intermediate students would do very well and could make this honor group. Contact me for more information as the deadline to register is Friday, January 13. 

Beginner Band: the after school help sessions will not resume just yet. I will only have Tuesdays available now, since Intermediate Band will have rehearsals on Thursdays. I will inform everyone when I am able to reopen the help sessions for beginners. A few beginners are still missing the method book. Please help your beginner be successful and purchase "Essential Elements for Band" ASAP. Books can be purchased from our local music stores (Lanier Music and C&M Music in Mandeville, Slidell Music and Christy's Music in Slidell), or online. 

Stay warm this weekend! 


Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for the small gifts as well. My family and I have enjoyed them all break, especially the edible ones. I am VERY excited to get started on the new music for this semester; I think the kids will really dig it. =) 

YES! We will have band this week, starting with Woodwind Wednesday! Please be sure instruments come to school this week so we can jump back in to weekly routines.

See ya real soon!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I'd like to take a moment to thank all of the kids for their work towards putting on two great concerts. I've already begun selecting music for the spring concert, and I can barely wait to begin learning new material! Thank you to everyone who brought goodies for our small celebrations. It's always nice just to be able to hang out together.

I only have two items of "heads up" for parents and students. First, if any of you are still hanging on to the sample fundraiser card, please return it to me ASAP. I've met with the fundraiser rep and we still have quite a few cards outstanding. Second, intermediate band will start having after school rehearsals on Thursdays, starting January 12, until 4:15. The 40-minute class sessions simply aren't enough if we intend to uphold the tradition of Superior ratings at our upcoming assessment. Please mark your calendars and make a reminder now.

I hope everyone has a wonderful break, filled with lots of love, joy, and laughter! (....and maybe even a little band music too from your young musicians...)


Greetings all! It's the final countdown to our first performance of the school year! The kids have worked hard these past few weeks, and I look forward to the light in their faces on our special night! I will distribute any remaining shirts/polos on Monday and Tuesday. We will celebrate the students' successful concert on Thursday (6th grade) and Friday (5th grade) of next week. Sign up to bring treats, drinks, or paper products under the menu to the left. These celebrations will occur during the full band class times. 6th grade beginners should plan to attend full band on Thursday. As always, email me with any questions!


Greetings all! Rather than posting all of the updates regarding the end of the semester, you can find the information under the "Letters Home" link. Please read this letter carefully! A hard copy will be sent home next week. Band shirts will also go home next week.

All Intermediate Band members are invited to participate in the next Poco Pals meeting this Monday, December 5. We will meet after school until 4:15, and will be dismissed at the car circle. All are welcome, even if this will be their first meeting.

Remember to click on the "Letters Home" link and look for "Christmastime is Here" for information regarding the end of the semester. Also, there will be no after school help sessions next week. Have a great weekend!


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have much to be thankful for this year. I am quite thankful for my time here at TMS, especially because I get to teach your children in Gator Band! I'd like to take a moment to thank those of you who participated in the fundraiser and made donations to the band program! Every little bit helps.

I'm really excited about the progress the kids have made in preparation for the concert. Keep those calendars marked. You won't want to miss this. Tuesday, December 13 in the TMS Gym at 6:30 pm. 6th graders need black bottoms while 5th graders need khaki bottoms. The shirts/polos will be in after Thanksgiving. If you are unsure as to whether you ordered one for your child, please send me an email asap. There are several students who have not ordered one, and we can still get it taken care of before the concert.

I hope you ALL have a wonderful time with your friends and family this Thanksgiving! Take care.


Happy Veterans Day! Thank you, Veterans, for your service to our country! I'd like to give a special thank you to one of our own Gator Band parents, Sgt. Matt Soukup, for his beautiful playing of Taps for today's school program. Here are your updates.

Intermediate Band: start collecting the remaining items of your performance uniform. You will need black bottoms (skirts or slacks), black shoes and socks, and a black belt. Polos will be here after Thanksgiving break. 

Beginner Band: 5th & 6th Grade Beginners are invited to sign up for after school help sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a great opportunity to get some extra individual attention! On a side note, 5th Grade Full Band rocked it out today...I'm very proud of the students.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the fundraiser or made a donation! If you have not turned in your fundraiser materials, please do so ASAP even if you did not sell any cards. Finally, our concert is December 13 at 6:30 in the TMS Gym. Almost there! Have a great weekend, y'all!


Hello, November! The end of the semester will be here soon, which means our first public performance is quickly approaching. Class attendance and practice at home will help ensure a fun, successful winter concert! Here are your updates for the week.

ALL Gator Band Members: the fundraiser has been extended one additional weekend! Please do what you can to help our program's needs. Students should turn in their materials no later than next Friday, November 11, however students may turn in any time before then. If you have decided NOT to participate, PLEASE return the savings cards ASAP! The cards are samples only, NOT freebies.

Intermediate Band: the second Poco Pals meeting will take place on Monday, November 7 from 3:15-4:15. Students must be picked up from the car circle by 4:30 or they will be sent to after care. Also, there will be no Intermediate Band class on November 10. I was asked to serve on the school's scheduling committee and we are meeting that day. The substitute does not have a music background, therefore, band is cancelled for the day.

Beginner Band: I would like to offer my time for any beginner who is struggling with retention. A sign up sheet will be placed in the band room for after school help. I would like to limit the number to 5 per day in order to give as much individual attention as possible. The available days are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-4:15. Students must be picked up by 4:30 or they will be sent to after care. This will start on Thursday, November 10 since next Tuesday is Election Day. I strongly encourage private instruction if you have the time and means to do so. I have private teacher recommendations for any family interested. 

Happy Weekend! Keep Calm and Play On!


Greetings, Gator Band! I wanted to thank everyone for the well wishes for my daughter. Her test came back positive for strep, so thankfully we have the weekend to nurse her back to health! I have many updates for both 5th and 6th grade bands, so take note.

Gator Band: Please strive to have polo/shirt orders submitted by the end of next week (Nov. 4). I have to get the orders placed in enough time to have them for the winter concert. Order forms can be found under the "Letters Home" link.

We started our Northshore Savings Card fundraiser on Wednesday. The band is in dire need of new stands and a couple of stand racks. Please participate if you are able. If you would prefer to make a donation to the band, that is definitely acceptable. Our fundraiser ends on November 4. 

Remember the winter concert will take place on Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30 pm in the TMS Gym.

Intermediate Band: the second Poco Pals meeting will take place on Monday, November 7. The first meeting was a big hit and the junior high band officers LOVED coming back to their former stomping grounds. If you were not able to attend the first meeting, feel free to join us on November 7th. The release time is 4:15 in the car circle. Any student not picked up by 4:30 will be sent to after care. Also, students have received two pieces for the winter concert and we still have at least two more to go. I hope your homes are resonating with holiday cheer!

Beginner Band: our first playing assessment will take place in two weeks. I will have the 5th grade woodwind class attend the assessment day on Thursday, November 10. A reminder to bring their instruments will be sent at a closer time. 6th Grade Beginners will have the opportunity to perform on the winter concert with the 5th Grade Band. Performance material will come from their method book.

I'm looking forward to celebrating their successes in December! Perseverance and patience all the way!


Happy end of the first 9 weeks! I hope all of the students are ready to kick things into high gear as we have our first public performance at the end of this semester. Remember to mark your calendars for the music department's holiday concert on Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30 pm. This performance is not optional; please make every effort to be there! Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate Band: the polo order form was distributed this week and can also be downloaded from this website under "Letters Home". Please start looking for the correct attire that is to accompany the polo. That info can be found in the order form letter and additional questions can be emailed to me. These orders are due by October 27.

Beginner Band: I'd like to give a special shout out to the woodwind section for the most improvement this week! Some students are approaching me with note recognition problems. Repetition is key! Beginners should continue to review over the first 12 exercises in their method book. The more reps they get in (aka practice at home), the easier music reading will become. It's not going to magically get better during class. Their dedication to learning a new instrument can pay off in the future! Please encourage them to do their part at home and practice every day that ends with "y"...or pretty close to that. Remember to return your shirt orders by October 20.

As always, thank you for the opportunity to teach your children. Email me if I can be of any assistance to you and your young musician.


The end of the first 9 weeks of school is upon us and what a ride it has been. We have many exciting things in store for us as we finish up the first semester of Gator Band. One very important event is our first performance of the year! Please mark your calendars for the holiday concert on Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30 pm in the TMS Gym. Both beginner and intermediate bands will perform; 6th grade beginners will perform with the 5th grade. Another important event will be the kick off of our band fundraiser at the end of October. We are in need of music stands and stand racks as our program has grown over the past two years. Any help our musicians can do to raise money for our program will be greatly appreciated! Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate Band: concert music will be distributed next week! All students need their 1/2" Black Binder to keep up with their music responsibly. Sheet protectors are not required, but highly encouraged. Performance polo order forms will go home next Thursday, however the link is currently available under "Letters Home". 6th grade band members will need black pants/skirts, black shoes, black socks, and a black belt to complete their performance uniform.

Beginner Band: beginner students will perform their first individual assessments next week. This first assessment will take place during their regularly scheduled sectional time. Please ensure your student is bringing their instrument to school on the appropriate day. Too many students are coming to class without an instrument, which does not benefit themselves nor the band. Responsibility is vital as a beginner musician. Performance t-shirt order forms went home on Friday. A copy of this order form is available under "Letters Home" for your convenience. 

I hope your homes are being filled with music often! If I can be of any assistance to you or your student, please do not hesitate to ask. "Excellence through Perseverance"


I hope everyone had a wonderful Parish Fair weekend and is ready to finish out the first nine weeks! Just a couple of quick notes about the upcoming week. 

Intermediate Band: tomorrow (October 3) is the first Poco Pals event for those who signed up! The junior high band officers are super excited to return to their old stomping grounds and work with their new pals. Remember that pick up time is 4:15 in the car circle. Band performance polo order forms will be sent home in the near future. 

Beginner Band: I'd like to give a shout out to the percussion class for setting the achievement bar last week. All 5th and 6th grade beginners will begin individual assessments soon, probably next week. Beginner band t-shirt order forms will be sent home in the near future.

Please encourage your musicians to be on top of their band attendance. We can not improve as a band and they will not improve as musicians if they have poor attendance. Every individual is IMPORTANT.


Another week has come and gone! Intermediate Band has done an awesome job with accomplishing our daily goals this week. The 5th Grade Beginner Band had their very first full band experience this Friday. Once they get into a consistent routine of full band procedures, their Friday classes will be the highlight of their week. Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate musicians: remember to bring in a black binder ASAP. Information on our new after school band "club", Poco Pals, was sent home on Thursday. A PDF of the letter is located in the "Letters Home" link on the homepage menu. Permission forms are due Sept. 29 if your musician is interested. Strive to practice four consecutive days at home for 30 minutes.

Beginner musicians: 6th grade beginners are working in the Standard of Excellence method book while 5th grade beginners are in Essential Elements. Please be sure you have the right book. I am transitioning out of the Standard of Excellence and the 6th grade will be the last class in this book. Remember to bring instruments and method books on the correct day. It's hard to progress without an instrument in hand. The schedule can be found under the "Teacher Schedule" link on the homepage menu. Strive to practice four consecutive days at home for 30 minutes.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in bread bags! Keep 'em coming! Excellence through Perseverance...and Patience. =)


I am pleased with the band kids this week. Intermediate Band is gearing up for their first playing assessment and Beginner Band has started working towards playing their very first notes together. Here are your Gator Band updates.

Intermediate musicians: remember to bring in a black binder, no bigger than one inch. All sheet music must be kept in the band binders. Next Thursday, a letter will go home regarding a new playing partnership with the Mandeville Junior High Band. The letter will also be available on Gator Band website under "Letters Home."

Beginner musicians: all beginners will follow the regular band schedule starting next week (Sept. 19-23). Students will need their instrument and method book for every band meeting. 5th Grade beginners may now access the online resources that accompany the method book, Essential Elements for Band. Parents can email me to receive the school code and student ID in order to enroll in my online class. Otherwise, students will receive that information next week.

I thank you for the opportunity to teach your children a band instrument! Please encourage them to practice at home as often as possible. It won't be long before those beginning sounds become more pleasing to the ear...right Intermediate parents? Never give up! Perseverance and PATIENCE are key!


Well it's been a whirlwind of a week for beginner band and a progressive week of intermediate band. The kids (and myself) are having to adjust to only a 40-minute band class...yikes! But if we all stay focused, prepared, and organized we can make this work together. Here are a few things that will help next week run even better.

~ 5th Grade Beginner Band Schedule (Sept. 12-16 only) 1:51 - 2:31
   Monday - Percussion Only
   Tuesday - Brass Only
   Wednesday - Alto and Tenor Saxophones Only
   Thursday - Clarinets Only
   Friday - Flutes Only

~ 5th Grade Beginner Band will resume the normal schedule starting the week of September 19. That is when the young musicians will attend band twice a week. You can find the schedule under the "Teacher Schedule" link.

~ 5th Grade Beginner Band will work out of the Essential Elements for Band: Book One method book. I'm am working to set up the online portion of the book, which will be a helpful tool for home practice.

~ 6th Grade Beginner Band will meet every Friday from 10:10-10:50. They will need to have the Standard of Excellence: Book One method book for their instrument.

~ 6th Grade Intermediate Band students need to have no bigger than a one inch black binder ASAP. They are already receiving sheet music and I will not let them take the music until they have an organized place to keep their materials. They will continue to work from the Standard of Excellence: Book One method book this year.

~ All Gator Band Musicians need to bring in clean, empty bread bags. As your family finishes a loaf of bread, please turn the bag inside out, wash the bag, and allow it to air dry. Send them to school with your musician. We still need about 70 bags.

It is my hope that our musicians learn many valuable life lessons by being involved in the Gator Band. Responsibility, teamwork, and perseverance are just a few values that will help make these beginning and developing steps successful. Information packets were issued to every beginner student that would have alleviated much of the confusion that surfaced this week. From now on, I will put all of correspondence from me in the "Letters Home" link in case my info never makes it home. Also, please be sure to sign up for my NewsFlash if you have yet to do so. Information that I post on my home page will also be sent through the NewsFlash.

I'm very excited about this year! We have over 100 students involved in the Gator Band! It will be a busy year, but quite rewarding for us all. As always, call or email if I can be of any further assistance to your family.


Gator Band is here! 5th and 6th grade students received parent packets today. Everything you need to know about beginner band will be found within those papers. If you have any additional questions, contact me at any time.

6th grade Intermediate Band begins NEXT WEEK!!! Percussion attend Monday, Brass on Tuesday, and Woodwinds on Wednesday. Full Band will meet on Thursday. All classes take place from 10:10-10:50.

I anticipate another great year! Let's do this!

"And they all learned happily ever after"

The 2016-2017 school year is drawing near and Gator Band will soon kick off at TMS! I anticipate reaching new heights with both the Beginner and Intermediate Bands this year.

Families new to the band should bookmark this website as you will find the most updated information here. Parents are encouraged to subscribe to the NewsFlash alert. Gator Band information can be emailed and/or texted directly to parents via NewsFlash.

Band classes will NOT begin as soon as school starts. Time will be taken during the first couple of weeks to screen any students who are interested in band, but missed the testing night in May. An announcement will be made at school, and a NewsFlash will be sent informing young musicians when to bring instruments to school.

This is a great time to be a member of the TMS Gator Band! Feel free to email Mrs. Estoque at any time for assistance.