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June 4, 2008

Churchville-Chili Music Boosters

Minutes June 4, 2008


People in attendance: Pat Fink, Ellen Morningstar, Lloyd McConnell, Alison Steinmiller, Mary LePore, Dan DeGrave, Irene Glenkowski, Dan Barta, Terry Abrams, Dee Klapp, and Terry Bacon. 

Welcome – Pat and Ellen welcomed everyone to the last meeting of the school year. Pat had invited all of the district music staff to come and give their input on how we did for the year and what we can do to help them next year. Terry Bacon did come, and we did get a few emails.

Treasurer’s Report*

Lloyd gave the Treasurer’s report:


Beginning cash balance (unrestricted)                                    $5764.31

Cash – Restricted to band trips (Jazz Night envelopes)              $ 309.00

Deposits in transit                                                              $1805.53

Total cash and deposits                                                      $7878.84

Outstanding liabilities                                                          $ 297.64

Total Unrestricted funds                                                      $7581.20

Total funds                                                                       $7890.20


*Alison reported that she had received $1220 in revenue from program ads (that is not counted in the above balance sheet). Dan DeGrave commented that his son had wanted to advertise but had not received a letter. Ads were acquired by mailing letters to businesses that had advertised in previous years. Alison will work to consolidate information so that things run more smoothly for whoever takes on advertising next year. 

Old Business

 Year End Review

A.    Community Music festival

There was much discussion on the festival, including comments that Pat brought in from emails.


Who sets the date for the music fest and can it be changed? It is set by the district. There was discussion about whether or not it could be moved so that it would not conflict with the annual Chili travel soccer tournament. Even though the music fest and the soccer tournament are held on the first weekend in June, we had expected that the soccer tournament would be held on the following weekend (the first full June weekend). It would be tough for the music fest to be held on another weekend: any earlier and we risk bad weather, any later and the kids would have had to turn in any rental instruments. We also run the risk of another date interfering with dance recitals, etc. It was concluded that there will always be a conflict with something and that this is the best weekend for most people.


Should we plan to have the music fest inside every year (since we have had to have it indoors for the last three years) and simply make it a really good indoor music fest? There seems to be a lot of merit to this idea: it is easier to set up inside, the sound is better, there would be no last minute decisions to be made about where to have it. No decision was made to permanently have it indoors.


When the music fest is indoors, would it be better to have it in the auditorium (better seating, better sound, etc)? We kicked around a lot of pros and cons about this idea. Some of the major cons would be routing traffic (i.e., kids) to and from the auditorium; food ending up in the auditorium; getting people in and out of seats would be tougher than with the bleachers; no air. At the time there seems to be more cons than pros.



From emails:

We were disappointed that not all groups perform…

  Pat noted that she had had a discussion with Steve Valvano, one of the founding organizers of the music fest, and he had talked to her about the original intent of the music fest. Originally it had been conceived to be an event that the entire community could be involved in and that there would be a mix of groups from the school and the community, perhaps Roberts Wesleyan groups as well. It was never intended to be a concert in which every school group performed.

   Our discussion - The concept has morphed into it being a district-wide event that the entire community is invited to. It can be disappointing when you have a child who wants to perform and can’t because a teacher doesn’t have the group there. Teachers are not obligated to bring a group to this event. Because it is a busy time of year for everyone, there are often conflicts with the date due to personal obligations: weddings, graduations, etc.

   Some members noted that it’s disappointing when a teacher only brings an elite group and not the entire group. It was also noted that there were no elementary vocal groups this year. There was some speculation that this was due to there being relatively new teachers in those roles.


…one thing I think would be great is larger bolder signs to let people know where they need to go to find things.  It was agreed that we should come up with some larger color-coded signs to direct people. This is especially important when the event is held indoors. Music Boosters gratefully acknowledges the effort that Marcie Bacon put in by coming in early and creating all the signs that morning. Color-coding was attempted until the paper supply ran out.


…maybe Booster merchandise could be in two places…near the music and also near the chicken barbecue…  If the event is held outdoors, the Booster merchandise table is located next to concessions, which is conveniently near the music and the chicken. Having the event indoors forced us to split the tables up. This also made it difficult to staff the booths with volunteers. We had to take the original volunteer list and split it three ways: concessions, merchandise, and water. This resulted in there being too few volunteers to staff the concessions area and Mary and Lloyd spent all of their day tied to concessions. Next year we will have to come up with plans that encompass indoor and outdoor scenarios so that the work can be spread more evenly.

  That being said, we had a difficult time getting volunteers. There was discussion on how we found people to volunteer. Pat had sent many requests through eNews. We later found that, because of a glitch in the software, eNews had deleted almost half of our group members.  There was discussion about whether it would make more sense to send out our own emails and not use eNews. We decided that we would make a fresh start with eNews in the fall and explore other ways to get volunteers.



From a volunteer – thoughts on traffic control:

Overall, this task went smoothly as far as I can tell. Every child, parent, and music staff member that I interacted with was calm, respectful, and cooperative.


More escorts for younger kids and fewer for older.  The younger kids need more direct guidance and escorts. Especially for the kids who did not connect up with their group and required a personal escort to the gym.

  It was conceded that the younger kids and their parents would not know the high school layout or the procedures to follow for music fest the same way that older kids might who have already been through it. Most of the older kids know the drill and don’t need someone to show them the way to the gym. We did have a few incidents where kids were dropped off at the warm-up site either too early or too late and did not connect with the group. They then had to be escorted. Someone noted that a few kids walked directly onto the “stage” from the crowd, either because they had arrived late or were unaware of where to go.


There needed to be more signage about where to put their instrument cases. During on particularly hectic period, we found that a lot of the younger kids had put their cases in the band room and returned to retrieve them when while one of the high school groups was warming up. Although the younger kids were very good about being quiet while in the band room, I suspect it was still a disruption.


I liked having the performance schedule and the warm-up schedule so that I knew what was happening when….but could they be on different-colored paper (to avoid confusion)? We thought the easiest solution to this would be to note, on the schedule that goes home to parents, that kids should be in the warm-up area 45 minutes before the performance time. In this way anyone could calculate what time his or her child needed to be at school.


The cost of chicken - We were told that the cost of the chicken dinner would be $6 and the cost was actually $7.  This is what the Lions are charging now and they inadvertently put the price at $7. They apologized for the oversight. The Lions reported to us that they didn’t sell as many dinners as they have in the past. We noted that the weather is usually a factor on how much food and drink is sold, from chicken to snow cones. Since the day was cold and damp, people probably weren’t as in the mood for a barbecue.


Weather, and whether we are inside or out. A staff member suggested that the status of whether the music fest would be held inside or outside could be posted on the web site and the fact that it would be posted be made known ahead of time. Great idea!



B. Other thoughts for the year


We received kind comments from staff about the music fest and concert receptions, including the favorite: “The Boosters rock the house.”


…getting a set of keys for the Boosters…A teacher commented that the Boosters should have a key so that we can get into the band room to get supplies for receptions. Our stance is that we do not want the responsibility of having a key that would be passed around to various people. The band room contains a lot of pricey equipment and we would not want to be responsible for its safe-keeping. A comment was made that if Boosters are holding a reception for a performing group, the group’s director should be responsible for giving Boosters access to the band room. The custodians are getting a bit irritated that we have to be let in frequently.


Including the younger grades in Music Boosters - Because of the grade realignment, we have decided that all parents in grades 5 through 12 should be invited to be a part Music Boosters. We would like to be uniform in our treatment of our members. This will be a point of discussion for next year. How can we work with parents of younger students? What will our role be in seeking volunteers? What will the needs of the music staff be? Can we store supplies at other schools for use in receptions? Next year there will be only one PTO for grades 5 through 8. How can we work with or through the PTO?


Will there be a high school music trip next year? The answer to this depends on the actions of the incoming band and choral council (which may switch to just a combined music council next year). Apparently the momentum for this starts with the council and moves along the chain of command.


Minutes - Terry commented that the members of the music staff like to get the minutes of the Booster meetings so that they can keep up with what Boosters are doing. Alison suggested that they might like to attend a meeting.


Music Boosters would like to thank Dee Klapp, student representative, for coming to every meeting and providing invaluable support and information.


Dee offered Music Boosters thanks from the Band and Choral Councils for our support throughout the year.





New Business

New Fund Raiser - There was discussion about a fundraiser that had been brought to Terry’s attention. It appears to be an online magazine subscription service. We gave our input that we didn’t want to interfere with the class magazine fundraiser that was already in place.

News from the Music Department/Council News


How will the 5 - 8 reconfiguration effect music, theater, 5 - 12? (Vocal groups, musicals, jazz bands) What has been decided about how his will be done next year? We did not hold discussion on this. Pat Wheelhouse was unable to attend last night’s meeting and Terry had no information on it.


Will we be hosting a MCMSA/NYSSMA event in 2008-09? We are on stand-by to host a vocal NYSSMA event next year. We are not properly set up to hold instrumental NYSSMA events.


Fruit Sale for next year - Next year’s fruit sale will probably encompass both band and choral groups and be held over two days. There had been discussion about holding the fruit and pie pick-up on just one day. This would probably be overwhelming with all the groups involved.


An August meeting will be set up at the Finks' to plan for next year – probably the week of August 3.


Music Booster Meetings



Sept. 10

Oct. 8

Nov. 19

Jan. 14

Feb. 25

March 11

April 15

May 20

June 3





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