News From Your Director

May 13, 2015

Dear Parents and Students,

I can’t believe I’m writing to you in May! The school year just accelerates to graduation, it seems!

Several things I would like to mention to you as we prepare to close out the school year:

First, congratulations to all of our bands who participated in UIL Concert & Sight-Reading Contest! We had another year where every single Smithson Valley band (including the five middle school bands who participated) made a 1st division… OUTSTANDING!! All of the high school bands earned their 1st division ratings on more difficult programs than last year as well!

Next, we have several events coming up: This Monday (May 18) we will be presenting the HS Concert Bands in their Spring Concert. The HS portion of the concert will begin at 6:30 in the auditorium. On Thursday, May 21st we will be holding the end of year Ranger Band Banquet, themed “Around the World.” The event will be held at Boulder Springs Event Center from 6:30-11:30, tickets are $25 and will be on sale before and after school through this Friday (May 15th). We would love for every student to attend, and parents are also welcome!

Third, I have attached the August Summer Band Calendar for your planning purposes. Please note that all rehearsals and performances are required. Any conflicts will need to be approved by the band directors in advance and may affect a student’s part assignment or marching show “spot” assignment. Evening social events are highly encouraged, but not required. On that note, if anyone lives in the Vintage Oaks subdivision, we rely on a resident band parent each year to help us book our annual pool party. If you would be willing to help with this next year, please contact Mr. Boening.  


Finally, I would like to encourage ALL students to consider attending a band camp this summer as a way to progress on their instrument and have a blast/meet new people at the same time. We are working to send a larger group of Smithson Valley Band Students to the Texas Tech Band & Orchestra Camp (July 5-11) this summer, as having a contingent from your school makes the shared experience even more enjoyable. This is a camp opportunity I truly believe in… my wife and I teach at the camp each summer, as does Mr. Vereen, though we don’t “get anything” out of sending a particular number of students to the camp. My wife, Natalie, and her two brothers actually attended this camp from 6th grade through 12th and STILL keep in touch with people they met during their time there (Natalie actually attended her first Tech Band Camp concert at the age of three days, as her father was conducting one of the bands!).


Students spend a week working with a conductor on fun and challenging music, as well as getting instrument specific instruction, the opportunity to sign up for various electives and enjoy social events each evening. This year, students have the opportunity to sign up for a seat on a charter bus taking San Antonio & Austin area students to Lubbock, so parents would only be responsible for driving to Lubbock at the end of the week to listen to the concert and take them home. While at camp, students are housed in a university dorm and meals are provided in campus dining halls. The SV Band Boosters are also offering partial scholarships to help offset the cost of the Texas Tech camp (amount to be determined). And, as a final incentive… if any seniors are attending Texas Tech in the Fall, you are eligible to attend the camp tuition free, meaning you only pay for housing. This is a great way to meet and get to know the music faculty (even if you are not majoring in music), the marching band director and many of the students you will be around next Fall. I have attached a flyer for more information, or visit their website at


If an out-of-town camp is not your speed, there are also two wonderful ‘local’ camps at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin and Texas State in San Marcos, where students could participate as day campers. The TLU Summer Music Academy runs July 5-10, and the Texas State Camp runs June 7-12.


See you soon!


Matt Boening
Band Director
Smithson Valley HS