Concerts • Summer Rental

Thank you for some great Spring Concert Performances!

Summer Instrument Rental & Lessons

All students are encouraged to rent their instruments for summer (even 8th graders). Summer instrument rental is $25 and I strongly encourage lessons over the summer. If not weekly, bi-weekly or some amount of regularity that keeps practice efforts focused and the instrument dust-free. Practicing in the morning is the best.
If you are interested in lessons, please check out the following fine establishments or reach out to me directly and I'll help you and your student find a qualified private teacher that is a good fit. 

Here are some local establishments. 

Also, as an added bonus (you'll need to talk with you tax professional), but unlike many of the other activities your student might participate in, music lessons and instrument rental are tax-deductible in the state of MN

Instrument Rental Agreement

If you have not returned your instrument rental agreement and rental fee, please do so ASAP. 
If you missed one at the concert, they're available here. 
8th graders are welcome to rent for the summer and we'll coordinate a return in the fall. 

Southwest HS Bandshell Concerts

Thursday, May 24 6:30pm - Band & Orchestra Pops

Wednesday, May 30 7pm - SwHS Jazz Night at the Bandshell


Spring Showcase Concerts
Lake Harriet Concert Hall (Upper Campus Gym)

Orchestras & Jazz Band
Thursday, May 10
7pm - 8:15pm
6:30  - Student Call Time (band room)
7:00 - Prelude Strings (4th)
7:15 - Dragon Strings (5th)
7:30 - Middle School String Orchestra
7:50 - Jazz Ensemble
8:15 - Depart

Tuesday, May 15
7pm - 8:15pm
6:30  - Student Call Time (band room)
7:00 - Beginning Band (4th)
7:15 - Dragon Band (5th)
7:35 - 6th Grade Band
7:50 - 7/8 Combined Band
8:15 - Depart

Concert Dress: Black & White

Chamber Ensemble Recital • RENT! at SwHS • Spring Lessons

Chamber Ensemble Recital
Tuesday, March 27, 7pm. 
Students have been working hard to learn their music; it should be a great evening a musicking.

Get your tickets to experience RENT at Southwest High. (shh...I know the drummer). It opens tonight and runs through March 25. This is a show with some mature themes and a bit of profanity, your call on bringing the littles. 

Private Instrument Instruction
If you are interested in lessons, please check out the following fine establishments listed below or reach out to me directly and I'll help you and your student find a qualified private teacher that is a good fit. There are many teachers in the area (even some LHCS parents) who are not attached to a storefront.
Twin Town Guitars (offers lessons on several instruments)
or Contact Reid Wixson at Southwest High to see if any HS students are available - even as a "practice buddy."

Summer JAM 2018

Summer JAM is back!
Please sign up for a couple weeks of great Jazz instruction and performances.  Students will have the opportunity to work with several MPS teachers including: Corey Needleman, Tim Martin, Andy Nelson, Eric Sayre as well as master Jazz Educators Chris Thomson and Solomon Parham. If that's not enough, each summer we host several professional jazz musicians as clinicians and coaches.
Summer JAM
June 11-22.  Concert June 21 7pm, Jazz Fest performance June 23 time TBD.
NEW DATES: June 18-29.

South High School
3131 S 19th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
M-F. 8:30-3:00, 8:30-12 Friday

Breakfast & Lunch provided (M-Th only)
$200 for MPS Students / $300 non-MPS students
grade levels: entering 7 - entering 12th.

This is a performance-based camp. Students are grouped into combos by experience.
Students will spend time learning about Jazz performance style/techniques, theory-based and aural-based improvisations, Jazz history, and much more. Students not only get to play next to professional musicians, they gain knowledge and insight on what a career in the arts looks like.

To participate, students should be able to perform at least 3-4 major scales fluently (the more the better), have an interest in jazz improvisation, and hopefully experience playing jazz (not required).

I believe this camp is a huge bargain compared to tuition of other camps.

Jazz at Famous Dave's 2/24/18 4:30pm

Saturday, February 24, Jazz band will perform at Famous Dave’s as part of the Lake Harriet Rock Bands showcase and PTA fundraiser. Jazz is scheduled to perform 4:30-5:00pm (full schedule below).

Students need to arrive by 4:00 with their instruments, music and wire music stand.
The event starts at 3pm, so feel free to show up early and support the other acts.
Free will donations are accepted as this show is designed to support the PTA at LHCS. 

Keyboard, amps, drum set & cymbals provided.

Location: Famous Dave’s Calhoun Square
Time: Feb 24, 4:30-5:00 pm / 4:00 call time
Dress: Black Shirt and Jeans
Supplies: Instrument, Music, Folding Wire Music Stand (marked with name)

3:00 - 3:45 Rock Bands
3:50 - 4:25 Team Players (Staff Band)
4:30 - 5:00 Jazz Band
5:05 - 6:00 612LIVE (Current & Former Student Band)

Bridge Concert Success!

Once again, it was an honor to have our Lake Harriet students perform on stage at Southwest High. These students have made Lake Harriet proud through their performance and their overall conduct. 

Our mission with the "Bridge Concert Series" is to have our Lake Harriet musicians envisage themselves as High School musicians (hopefully at SwHS). 

In case you didn't make it out to all the events and you would like to check out what the other events looked and sounded like, here are all the selections put together by Kevin Kinneavy, a Southwest parent volunteer. 

8 Feb 2018 

12 Feb 2018

13 Feb 2018

Thanks for all of your effort.

Bridge Concerts • February 2018

Thursday - Feb 8, 7pm/6:15 Call - Jazz Band 
Monday - Feb 12, 7pm/ 6:15 Call - 7th & 8th Band 
Tuesday - Feb 13, 7pm/6:00 Call - Orchestra 

Concerts at Southwest High School to "Bridge" Middle School and High School experiences.

Southwest High School Auditorium. 3414 W 47th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

DRESS -  Jazz - All Black
Orchestra & Band - Black & White

WARM UP ROOM -  For all concerts students should report to the choir room (upstairs behind auditorium). There will be signage.

PRE CONCERT -  A SwHS jazz combo will being playing in the auditorium at 6:30 while family waits for the concert to begin.

PARKING -  If you park in the lot on Chowen, enter door 5 then head upstairs.
Or you can park on street, but read the signs! It’s easy to enter the main entrance as well. There will be signage directing audience to auditorium & students backstage.

ADMISSION -  Southwest Performing Arts Council (Boosters) collects door admission to concerts. This is a recommended donation, not required. Admission fees directly support the SwHS Performing Arts programs.

January 2018

Happy New Year! 

Welcome back. I sincerely hope everybody had a relaxing winter break. I'm excited to be back in the routine of the school year. 

Middle School musicians have been doing a lot of preparation for another set of concerts at Southwest High - on stage  and in a proper auditorium! This is part of our "bridge" concert series trying to connect 8th grade to High School and have our LHCS students see themselves as 9th grade musicians at Southwest in the fall.

Our Bridge Concerts will be at Southwest. 7pm. Black & White.*
      Thursday, February  8 is Jazz Night 
      Monday, February 12 is Band Night 
      Tuesday, February 13 is Orchestra Night 

February 24 will be the Jazz Band's annual Famous Dave's performance.
Uptown Famous Dave's (in Calhoun Square)
Exact time TBD but plan on around 4-5. The entire event runs 2-6.

Our Middle School Chamber Ensembles recital is Tuesday, March, 27. 7pm. Lake Harriet Gym.

Also, thanks to all the parents who helped out with our IDS performance and a super special thanks to Chris Gegax for filming and doing some video editing of our performance at the IDS Crystal Court.  Very well done! Check the link to his hard work here.

* FYI - Southwest usually has a table set up for donations at concerts, as concert revenue and our Hot Notes Fundraiser (this Saturday).
If you don't feel comfortable, or can't swing the admission right now - no worries. SwHS Performing Arts does kick back some of the revue from these concerts to our program in various ways - Last year they bought us a new baritone horn. This year they've already donated a vibraphone!

Busy November

10 November 2017
I hope the time change (and weather change) is treating everyone favorably. We've been very busy and continue to be.

Importantly, Jazz Band, String Orchestra and 7/8 Band, I need Permission slips returned by Nov 16. We are headed to IDS on Nov 28 for a run out concert. Ps - I need 5-6 chaperones, pretty please.

Nov. 9 - 7/8 Band students were to share a google folder with me for thier 1st playing assignment
Nov 14 - String Orchestra is hosting Tamara Gonzales from MacPhail as a guest clinician.
Nov. 14 - Ben Bussey will also be at LHUC to work with the 7/8 Band during 5th hour.
Nov. 16 - Permission Slips Due. 7/8 band, Jazz Band, String Orchestra
Nov. 16 - 7th & 8th Band 2nd playing test due - #161 & #162 from EE2
Nov. 28 -  String Orchestra, Jazz Band, and 7/8 Band will be performing from 12-1 at the IDS Crystal Court as part of the Holidays Under the Glass Series (HUGS) - Still in need of 5-6 Chaperones. 
Nov. 30 - 7th & 8th Band 3rd playing test due (from concert music)

Dec. 5 - Winter Concert at Lake Harriet, 7pm. String Orchestra, 6 Band, 7/8 Band, and Jazz Ensemble will perform.
Dec. 7 - Orchestra is heading to a dress rehearsal for Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra.
Dec. 9 - SwHS Basilica Concert - many former LHCS students are performing, its a beautiful concert. You should attend if you can.   
Dec 13 - School Concert Assembly - Featured Ensembles TBD.
Dec. 21 - Middle School Practice Journals are due. 6,7,8 bands.

Jan. 17 - 4th & 5th grade spotlight performance for their classmates - 3:15pm.
Jan. 18 - 6, 7, 8 bands - 2nd practice journals due.

Welcome Back • 15 September 2017

I hope everyone had a restful and exciting summer! 

I look forward to making some great music in my fourth year here at LHCS; I am encouraged by excitement of students to get started!
Middle School bands, string orchestra, and jazz band have all started rehearsals, and are already settled back into rehearsal routines. 


  • MusicNotes Blog is a dynamic bi-weekly or monthly announcements vehicle - you can subscribe and receive this embedded in an email. 
  • - for occasional, last minute reminders (more info below)
  • School Website - Updated annually.
  • Email & Phone Calls  - I use these often, but not too often. I don't want to unnecessarily clog up inboxes.  Feel free to call my mobile number, if something is important. My school voicemail is unreliable. 
  • Calendar (see more below)

Middle School Rehearsal Schedule:

Jazz Band - MWF - 8:30-9:25
String Orchestra - TR - 8:30-9:25
Bands TR during grade level specialist times

Private Lessons

Despite our busy schedules including sports, scouts, religious groups, etc.,  I strongly encourage private instruction throughout the school-year. If not weekly, some amount of regularity that keeps practice efforts focused and the individual technique growing and exciting. Due to the schedule at LHCS, middle school students only meet with me in a large ensemble setting for (100 minutes) which is great for developing group performance skills but not so great for individualized technique instruction. If your interested and able, please consider getting your student private lessons. If you need help finding a teacher, reach out to me directly. Also, you'll need to talk with you tax professional, but unlike many of the other activities your student might participate in, music lessons and instrument rental are tax-deductible in the state of MN

Instrument Rental Agreement

If you have not returned your instrument rental agreement and rental fee, please do so ASAP. If you need another one, they're available here.  Or find one at band website. 


First quarter Practice Journals will be handed out next week, Sept 19, for the remaining six weeks of first quarter and will be due Oct 26. Students should be practicing regularly. Aim for 120-150 minutes per week outside of their school rehearsals. If its less, its less, but something is way better than nothing. Your student WILL need adult supervision and encouragement. Do not expect them to do this on your own. When we practice, we're reinforcing that we have don't already know everything - this is counter to the common adolescent frame of mind. They need you to help them with a routine and holding them accountable - this is their homework. When it comes to getting good at any skill, the more practice one puts in, the better the result. More info on practice is available here

Evidence of practice is 20% of Middle School assessment, meaning that without evidence of practice (such as a practice journal), the best mark a student can receive is a B. If you have questions, please reach out to me directly

Upcoming Performances 

Sept 28 - 5:30pm 7/8 band at Southwest Football Game. 
Oct 5 - 2:30pm we are hosting the Southwest HS Chamber Orchestra for a concert assembly.
All 4th and 5th grade classes, as well as all Middle School  Band & Orchestra Students will attend. 
Oct. 7 - MAYBE Star Spangled Banner at MN United FC Game - pending MSL approval
Nov 28 - 12pm - Orchestra & 7/8 Band to perform at  IDS Crystal Court.
Dec 5. - 7pm Winter Showcase Concert - All Middle School Ensembles

Concerts Schedule  | Subscribe to the Google Calendar:  
Google Calendar ID:
(paste this Calendar ID into the "add a friend's calendar" box under the "Other Calendars" heading)

Middle School Band Syllabus

Band Syllabus went home with your student on Thursday, and can be download it here - there's a hidden assignment (at the end).  To receive an occasional text message for upcoming LHCS music events subscribe to the class(es) you're interested in.

  • Middle School BAND - from smartphone browser: or text @lhucband to 81010.
  • Middle School  JAZZ - from smartphone browser:  or text @lhucjazz to 81010.
  • Middle School ORCHESTRA - from smartphone browser:  or text @lhucorch to 81010.
  • 4-5 BAND & STRINGS - from smartphone browser:  or text @lhucband45 to 81010.