Welcome Back to the “Bull Dog Band”

The start of a new school year is an exciting time, especially for you as a FGMS “Bull Dog Band” member!  You will be playing music with one of the finest middle school bands in St. Lucie County. Our band earned straight Excellent ratings from the Florida Bandmasters Association last year. We are anticipating Superior ratings for this year. With your full participation in our band program we can meet this goal and have the best middle school band in Florida!

New to the “Bull Dog Band” ?

As a member of FGMS “Bull Dog Band”, you have chosen to be participate with the finest student musicians, and student leaders in our school and county. Don’t hesitate tell your friends to join the band; no experience necessary, learn to play a band instrument and grow your brain. Take a minute to view this short video on how playing music will exercise the brain.  https://www.facebook.com/TEDEducation/videos/1060409360638936/



Band was a very special experience for me as a young person. Many of my friends were in the band and playing music with them was a special experience. When I was in middle school I spent a great deal of my time involved in some aspect of the band program. My band directors at the time were very interesting people with a wealth of life experience and knowledge. They play instruments with us in class and taught us that with patience, practice and persistence we could all learn how to play musical instruments together to make music. Playing in the band offered a very different experience and place to grow intellectually and emotionally. Playing instruments taught me how to make friends, problem solve and think creatively. Teaching and playing music has become a lifelong quest for me. Listed below are a few goals of the Band Program:

  • Provide each student with a comprehensive music education, while teaching the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in life.
  • Benefit the school by presenting concerts of quality music that will in turn create an enriched school environment.
  • Foster the development of essential character traits to include a strong work ethic, personal integrity, a commitment to excellence, and respect for self and others.
  • Provide each student with a positive emotional outlet, a good social experience, and the desire to become a lifelong learner.



FGMS Band Director – (772) 468-5885 ext. 2649
Joseph Colombo – joseph.colombo@stlucieschools.org

Behavior Expectations

Responsibility to the group is essential to the Band program. An individual’s behavior and performance will impact other members of the Band. Students are expected to exhibit their best behavior at all times. Occasionally, we have visitors in our classes and many people will see our concerts and festival performances. One incident of poor behavior can ruin the public’s good impression of our band program and our school. Follow the B.A.R.K. expectations at all times!

Class Routine

  • Place your book bag in front of the risers at the front of the room.
  • Unpack your Planner, Music and pencil.
  • Unpack your instrument.
  • Sit in your assigned seat.
  • Bell Ringer- individual warm up until hand signal to stop is given.
  • Listen attentively for instruction.
  • Warm-up with tuning studies.
  • Work on sections of a concert piece.
  • Play through the concert piece.
  • Pack up instruments 3 minutes before end bell or when directed by the teacher.
  • GUM, FOOD or DRINK not allowed in class.

Classwork/Quiz/Test Routine

  • Place your book bag in front of the risers at the front of the room.
  • Unpack your Planner, Music and pencil.
  • Sit in your assigned seat and prepare for written work.
  • Work quietly on the assignment.
  • When finished read or double check your work until further instruction.
  • GUM, FOOD or DRINK not allowed.

School-Owned Instruments

Our school has a limited inventory of instruments, which include; clarinets, bass clarinets, tenor and baritone saxophones, French horns, euphoniums, trombones and tubas. These instruments are assigned at the discretion of the director. When a school instrument is used, a contract must be completed and a fee of $25.00 is required for the use of the instrument for the school year. Parents and students are responsible for any damages to tor loss of the instrument. Anyone assigned a school owned instrument must have a completed and sighed contract on file with the band director.


70%- Class Participation (playing music)

10%- Test/Quiz

10%- Classwork (small groups, worksheets)

10%- Performance (school concerts, classroom performance)

Class Participation Policy

All students are expected to play every day during Band class. Class participation is a large portion of each students’ grade and musical development.

Purchasing or Renting an Instruments

Music Stores

We recommend “Music Man” or All County Music they provide excellent service and supply quality instruments. The closest Music Man location to FGMS is 950 SW Bayshore Blvd. Port St. Lucie, FL 34983 (772)-466-8764. A “Music Man” representative visits FGMS weekly for instrument delivery, repairs or supplies. Also check All County Music at www.Allcountymusic.com (954) 772-3424 for comparison shopping.  In the event that you decide to purchase a used instrument, here are a few brand names to look for; Yamaha, Selmer, Bach, Buffet, Gemeinhardt and Jupiter.


The mouthpiece is an important factor in the quality of sound that a student can produce.  A beginning instrument with a step-up mouthpiece will give young players the opportunity to produce a more mature tone. The brass and Woodwind mouthpieces listed are step-up sized mouthpieces. These are not required for first year students but are highly recommended for third year band students.

Step-Up Mouthpiece

  • Clarinet (Bb and Bass): Vandoren B-45 with a Rovner ligature. Specify Bb or Bass Clarinet.
  • Saxophones (Alto, Tenor, Baritone): Selmer C Star S-8O with a Rovner ligature. Specify alto, tenor, or baritone saxophone.
  • Trumpet: Bach 3C · Horn: Bach 11 · Trombone and Euphonium: Bach 6.5 AL or Schilke 51 (pronounced ‘shill kee)
  • Tuba: Bach 18

Percussion Equipment

7th and 8th Grade percussion students are expected to purchase necessary mallets, sticks, and a mallet bag. A list of necessary sticks/mallets is given below. Percussion students will only be allowed to play the instruments with the correct mallets. With proper care and storage these mallets will last through high school. Percussion students should not depend on other students to provide them with these materials.

  • Mallet Bag: Used to carry, protect and store mallets.
  • Vic Firth SD-1 Snare Drum Sticks: Used for snare drum
  • Medium-Hard Rubber Mallets: Used for xylophone

Class Materials

  • Valve oil and tuning slide grease for brass players.
  • Slide cream or slide oil for trombone players.
  • Cleaning snake & mouthpiece brush for all brass players.
  • Sticks/Mallets for percussionists.
  • Four good reeds Rico 2.5 for first year students and Rico 3 for second & third year students and Reed guard for saxophone and clarinet players.
  • Pencil on the stand at all times (pens, and markers are not allowed in band).
  • A three ring binder for concert music and music theory worksheets.
  • Every instrument case must have an identification nametag.



6th Grade Band
  • Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method by Bruce Pearson, Book 1
7th Grade Band

·       Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method by Bruce Pearson, Book 1 & Book 2

8th Grade Band
  • Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method by Bruce Pearson, Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3


Rehearsals and Performances

Band students at FGMS have many opportunities to perform for school events, concerts and for ratings at Florida Bandmasters Association (MPA) Music Performance Assessment events.

After-school rehearsals will be held at least once per week, however, extra rehearsals may be called depending on the need.  This will allow split classes the opportunity to rehearse together and prepare for concerts and festivals.

Performance Attire

Performing at a concert is a special event. Our bands work very hard over a long period of time in preparation for these concerts, therefor it is essential that our bands look neat and sharp while performing. Please follow the concert dress code as closely as possible in order to create an esthetic experience for everyone.

White dress shirt, black trousers, black dress shoes with black socks.
White blouse and black dress pants or black skirt. All skirts must be below the knee when sitting. Black dress shoes are also required. Absolutely no jeans or sneakers of any color will be allowed.

What to Make MPA Advanced Band? Practice, Practice, Practice

Daily practice time is essential for advancement on your instrument.  If you want to make it into the best band at FGMS, you can do it! Here’s how.  Spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day in individual practice. Daily individual practice will keep you ahead of students who don’t practice. The guidelines below will help to organize your practice time. Remember, practice time is to be spent practicing, not watching the clock, television or getting on social media!

  • Set up a special place that is designated for practice only. Be sure there are no distractions.
  • Begin with long tones. Concentrate on producing a beautiful sound, a sound that you and others like to listen to. Think about your breathing. Produce a steady and controlled air stream. You should love your sound.
  • Spend time on scales. Play them slowly at first and then work for speed. Work from your method book each day. Try to stay several lines ahead of the class. Work for accuracy and be sure to play everything on the page like dynamics and articulation.
  • Practice in front of a mirror to check your embouchure, hand position, and posture.
  • Work on something that your teacher worked on in class. Practice the parts that you cannot play. Practice them slowly at first and then increase the speed. Work one measure at a time for difficult phrases. Once you are able to play a phrase seven times without mistakes then you can increase the tempo. If you do this slowly and accurately you will play that phrase without error every time.
  • Pay careful attention to the music notation such as; correct notes and fingerings, rhythms, key signatures, accidentals, signs and symbols, dynamics and articulations.
  • End by playing something that you know well or just for fun.
  • Swab woodwinds thoroughly, empty water from brasses and secure your instrument safely in the case.





There are many times during the year when the band will need the support and help of parent volunteers. We will have a range of needs in many different areas. Parental help will be needed as chaperones, office help, transportation, piano accompanists, etc. In the event that you are not available to donate time to the band we ask that you make a monetary donation to the band fund.

I am interested in helping the band program in the following ways:

  • ___________chaperone for band concerts or Trips
  • ___________piano accompanist at solo contest
  • ___________programs – printing and designing
  • ___________hospitality-planning receptions, parties, etc.
  • ___________concert equipment and set-up
  • ___________Video recording and production of recruiting videos
  • ___________fund raising help, paper work, organizing etc.
  • ___________transportation of large instruments to and from concerts
  • ___________ Monetary donation of $5.00____ $10.00____ other $__________
  • (Checks Payable to Forest Grove Middle School)
  • STUDENT NAME: __________________________________________
  • PARENT NAME: ___________________________________________
  • CELL TEXT PHONE: ____________________________________________
  • e-mail address: ____________________________________________