Letter to Incoming Parents

Dear 8th Grade Band Parents,

We wanted to take a moment to share with you our hope that your child will continue using their musical talents by joining the Sterling Heights Marching and Cadet bands next year. We know that every child has choices to make about the classes that he or she may be taking, and we would like to share with you our family’s experience with the Sterling Heights High School band program.

A child’s first year of high school can be a challenge. Starting a new school, meeting new people, and learning at a faster pace can cause a lot of stress. Some kids have a hard time feeling connected, making new friends, or seeing school as anything other than work. Band helps kids through all of these hurdles. Any child that had band in 8th grade is automatically eligible for both Marching Band and Cadet band at Sterling Heights High School.

Marching band was the best way for our daughter to start high school. Going to band camp for a week was not only exciting, it gave her a chance to make new friends right away so when school started she didn’t feel like an outsider. The kids work hard during camp to put together a great program. They build confidence and learn to value teamwork, but also become good friends in a short time. Because Marching Band brings together kids in all grades, they immediately get connected with role models and kids they can talk to about how things run at the school. Now that our daughter is in her sophomore year, we are really seeing the benefit of having made those friends right from the start. She’s even excited to meet the new kids that are coming in at band camp this year. We are looking forward to our son joining the band this Summer and know that it is the best way for him to make new friends and start high school on the right foot. I can also tell you that if you’re a parent looking to get connected with other parents, Marching Band is where you want your kid to be. As it was even when we were kids, band parents are a great group of friendly people who enjoy being together watching and helping our kids.

While Marching Band is good starting point, and it gets kids connected to the school through football games and fun music, Cadet band is where they really start to develop as musicians. All incoming 9th grade students start in Cadet Band. It brings everyone together at the right skill level and lets Mr. Imbrunone (or “Mr. I” as the kids call him) give them the attention they need to prepare them for Concert or Symphonic bands in later years. Cadet band teaches the skills and self discipline that all students need to be successful.

One of the things that we have seen throughout this year is how the band kids come together as group regardless of any other aspect of their school lives. Kids of all academic abilities, across all grades, and from very different backgrounds work together, laugh together, and grow together. Band was one of our daughter’s favorite classes every day; a balance of rewarding work and fun that was a little break from the daily pressure. As you may know, the bands all received the highest ratings at the District and State band festivals for 2017-2018. While it was an impressive accomplishment, we can only say that it was not surprising after watching how hard the kids worked together to do their best. Sterling Heights has a great band program, but it is only great because of how well the kids work together and how much Mr. I cares and brings out the best in them. He really works with them to give their best every time and teaches them
the value of teamwork.

Whether your child is an outstanding musician or just enjoys playing an instrument, there is a place for him or her in the Sterling Heights band program. We truly hope that you will talk with your child about signing up for Marching Band and enrolling in Cadet band. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Mr. I and he will be happy to talk with you. We hope to see you and your child in the program this fall and look forward to cheering on the home team together.

Lisa and Peter Dobbin