Reeths-Puffer Middle School Symphonic Band
Richard Erne, Director
Middle School Band Program
The RPMS bands have a long tradition of excellence receiving high ratings annually at the MSBOA State Festival since the early 1970's. Former directors include: John Berry, Don Fretty, Douglas Voller, Tom Adams, Sue Veenstra and Louise Rosswaag who taught at RPMS for 28 years. Over 50% of the 7th and 8th grade students study privately. For the past three decades, Reeths-Puffer has typically sent over ninety events to solo & ensemble festival each fall - most of which are solos. Events must make a two month commitment to free weekly lessons with the director after school. The RPMS bands perform at Veteran's Day ceremonies, three annual concerts, District and State Festivals, school assemblies, and travel for educational outreach experiences. RPMS also has a unique Family Band program where students invite their family members that have played in the past to rehearse and perform in the mid-year concert. Many RPMS students participate in the District 7 Honors Band and seventeen auditioned for All-State Band this past year: six were accepted and two received 1st chair placements.
Instrumental Music Department
The Reeths-Puffer Instrumental Music Department is comprised of four band directors, two full-time and two part-time, as well as 482 band students in the entire band program. Beginning band starts in fifth grade with three directors teaching like instrument classes meeting three times per week for forty minutes. Sixth grade band continues with the same schedule. The seventh grade band meets daily for sixty minutes, divided into three homogeneous classes with three directors. Eighth grade band offers two ability grouped ensembles which are complimented with seventh grade students who qualify through audition. These two bands, Concert and Symphonic, also meet daily. The high school has three ability grouped concert bands as well as the Marching Band, Fall Concert Band and Jazz Band; all are curricular. From the eighth grade on up, all of these bands annually attend the MSBOA District and State Festivals. The Rocket Marching Band has been competing since 1991 and has placed in the top three at finals fourteen times. In 2006, the band won their fifth state championship.