Tuesday, February 7, 2012


The title says it all - sorry for not updating this site!  We have moved most of the current and pertinent information to a Mankato East 7-12 music site.  That site can be accessed at the link below.  This page will be updated mostly to provide practice links for bands. 


Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New School Year!  It is such a great time of year for me and hopefully for you as well.  I love the excitement surrounding the beginning of a school year - everything seems so fresh and new. In the band world everyone is full of musical potential.  I look out at the students from my conducting podium and see and hear where the students are now and I look forward knowing where we will take the songs by the time we get to our first concert in November! I look forward to a great school year!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Time to register!

Tonight is an orientation/registration event at East Junior High for incoming 7th graders.  I am hoping to see many of the current Franklin band members tonight.  It is always an exciting time as we welcome a new grade with new energy to the building.  Wow - to think that we are already on quarter 4 and are looking ahead to next September!  I hope the summer goes slower than that!

If you know of a current 6th grader that didn't participate in band this year but is interested in joining for the fall, please have them contact me at jeichh1@isd77.k12.mn.us or by calling the school.  I will be happy to speak with them!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

And here we are!

It seems hard to believe, but we have one week left in quarter THREE!  Where did that time go?  All three bands (concert and jazz) are off to a great start on their new music.  It is hard stuff, but we have a while to rehearse between now and June 2.  With the end of the quarter comes making sure that you have completed your quarter requirements  - they would include 2 lessons and 6 practice logs.  We will be running a make up lesson schedule all next week - come in and sign up for a time!  Also 7th grade can come in and get extra credit for performing the G-flat and B concert scales.  No appointment needed - just stop in!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Great concert!  It is hard to believe that we just had our concert and are now working on music for our final concert of the school year AND that the concert is not until June 2!  That is our cycle - rehearse music, try to perfect it, perform it, and start all over again. I am excited to be starting new music with you and by now you know that we have some awesome new songs!  But, you also know that these songs are very challenging.  We will have to work hard to be able to perform them the way they deserve to be played - but you are up to the task!  You have done amazing work so far this year - keep it up.  New practice links have been posted on the side of the blog.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Concert Wrap Up

Great job last night, musicians!  You had a lot of focus and concentration on stage which made your group performances really excellent! Way to go!  Now today we start looking at some exciting music for our last concert of the year, June 2.  Practice links and listening links are posted below.  Have a great weekend -

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Winter Concert on March 3!

It seems hard to believe, but our next performance is right around the corner!  Next week in fact.  We have a great performance in store with the 7th grade concert band performing, the 8th grade concert band, and the jazz ensemble.  A wide variety of styles of music will be performed by the groups.  They have been working hard and look forward to sharing their music with you!  Thursday, March 3rd, Mankato East auditorium, 7:30 p.m.  No admission charge.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Afraid to perform in public? Read this...

This is a great article on a former student and how he overcame his fear of performing in public and now is an opera singer.  Check it out!  http://www.stjamesnews.com/features/x1958452912/Conquering-fear-of-public-performance

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Happy New Year! We had a wild time getting our December concert performance in, but we did it!  Thank you everyone for your flexibility.  Now we are on to a new year, with new music.  One of my resolutions is to keep the blog more up to date!  Please help me keep this resolution by making a comment if I don't update regularly. 

Stay warm, start practicing the new music, and look forward to an exciting 2011!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One Quarter (1/4)

It seems hard to believe, but today is the last day of the first quarter.  It also means the school year is 1/4 done.  There have been days that have flown by and days that have crawled, but that is the way it always is.  It seems like most students have finally figured out the ways that band in junior high is different from band in elementary, and a bunch of students have been completing make up practice logs and lessons.  Hopefully, now that they understand the system they will stay on task and not get behind in quarter two!

Our first performance of the year is next Tuesday, November 16th.  This 7:30 p.m. performance will feature all the bands in grades 7-12 and the junior high jazz ensemble.  It should be a great way to showcase the work the students have done so far.  I hope you can make it! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Off and running

We have successfully gotten the 2010-2011 school year off and running.  We are doing a lot of procedural stuff in rehearsals right now as it takes a while for the students (and instructors) to adjust to the schedule and each other.  It is a learning process for sure.  The students have great enthusiasm and the 7th grade band sounds pretty good as we sightread music for our November concert.  We will have our first jazz rehearsal next Friday morning and had over 40 interested students sign up!  It will be interesting to see how many show up next Friday at 7:30! 

Parents and students are invited to scroll though this blog and answer the poll question, check out the weekly schedule, and take advantage of the listening/practice links for each ensemble.  There is a lot of info on this blog! 

Have a great weekend and thank you for some super first days of the school year!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Waiting for music to happen

That title phrase "waiting for music to happen" describes me right now!  I am super excited to see everyone at school on Thursday and start a year of wonderful education and music making with you.  We have a lot in store for you this year - this will be our first full year with the benefit of having a Smartboard in the rehearsal room.  Over the summer the music commons was painted and it looks great!  We are expecting new music stands to be delivered soon.  All of you will have instrument storage cubbies waiting for you on Thursday.  Inside each cubbie will be your new folder with color-coded fingering charts, warm ups and various other sheets.  Also in the folder will be the junior high band handbook and goal form that will need to be taken home, read, filled out, signed, and returned. 

It was great seeing so many of you at our orientation/open house night!  I have never had so many parents ask about jazz band before school starts - that makes me think we are going to have another outstanding jazz band this year.  I hope you will be involved!

I have wonder music selected for us.  It will challenge you, teach you, move you, and hopefully inspire you.  I will give you my very best, and I hope that you will give your very best back to me in all aspects of your playing, rehearsing, and actions as a member of our music performance groups!

Check us out and sign up to be a member of our groups through Facebook and Twitter:  You can find us on Facebook by searching for "Mankato East Jr. High Jazz" and "Mankato East Junior High Bands."  On Twitter we can be found at "KatoEastJHBands"  In any case, we want you to stay informed!

Time to close this post out - it is getting too long.  I look forward to an awesome year - see you next week!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Middle Level Bands in Concert

The bands from East Junior High School and Franklin Elementary School will come together for a concert on Tuesday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the East Auditorium.  The concert will feature performances from the Franklin Sixth Grade Concert Band under the direction of Edwin Stock, the Seventh Grade Concert Band and Junior High Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jay Eichhorst, and the Eighth Grade Concert Band under the direction of Craig Kopetzki.  The concert is free and open to the public! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Playing it Forward"

Our KEYC-TV story on the "Playing it Forward" campaign sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trying to get "Smart"

Recently the band rehearsal room received a significant technology update.  In early February we received a SMARTboard! The board was mounted in the front of the room and has been in use daily since it was hooked up.  Most people have heard of SMARTboards by now.  But it is much more than the "interactive whiteboard" that it is often described as.  In a large room with classes our size it is a wonderful tool to be able to project images, video clips, large copies of documents, etc. on a board large enough for all students to see.  It would have been invaluable during general music classes as we would have used the board for many purposes.  Currently I use the board at the beginning to each rehearsal to scroll a powerpoint of that day's rehearsal activities for the students to see as they assemble their instruments.

Perhaps the most exciting application we have so far is the addition of SMARTMusic.  SMARTMusic is an incredible program that allows students to "see" their progress as they work on music.  In our application, by using the SMARTboard with the SMARTMusic, students can play right from the board and this allows a number of students to use the system at a time.  We will be using it for lessons as well as the students will be working on solos.

I am also in the process of teaching students how to use the board and the SMARTMusic program without our supervision.  When they can work alone, then we have truly used the tool for its intended purpose.  Students can even purchase the system at home for $30 a year.  A great investment!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time flies

Wow!  Time flies and then you don't realize how long it has been since the band blog was updated!  There has been and is  lot of stuff going on and I will fill you in very soon on some of the happenings of the band world at Mankato East.  First though I have to concentrate my efforts as this Saturday is the South Central Minnesota Band Directors Association regional honor bands at Mankato West High School.  And I am in charge of making it all come off without a hitch.  So I have a lot to do - I will take the time to say this first: Congratulations to Katilyn H., Collin M., Carlee S., and Chandra B., for being named to the 6-8 honor band!  

Have a great week everyone and I will update you more next week! 

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Hey everyone, the concert is tomorrow!  Quick reminders:  jazz run-through tomorrow on stage during home room. Arrive quickly - we don't have a lot of time!  7th will rehearse on stage for the first portion of rehearsal, then back to the band room.  Ensembles start tomorrow night at 5:50 - be early to run through your ensemble first - remind your members to get there on time.  Concert order for the 6:30 show is 7th Grade Concert Band, choir - set #1, orchestra, choir  - set #2, jazz band.  Order for 8:00 show is jazz band, 8th Grade Concert Band, choir, orchestra. 

Get a good night's sleep and be at your full concentration and effort level tomorrow! Let's make good music!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was nice to talk to so many parents and students at parent / teacher conferences.  It is always nice to touch base and talk about the progress of the students and the bands.  Once we come back next week will forge ahead with the music for the December concert.  The magic number for 7th Grade Concert Band is "7" rehearsals left! Come prepared to make some great music.  Jazz will be back to our regular day of Wednesday morning and we all have to come with with ways to practice our holiday ensembles...any thoughts?  The secret word is gobble. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend! Don't eat too much pie!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Job well done!

Congratulations to the junior high band members on a job well done!  We had our first concert on Tuesday and all of the groups did an excellent job.  It is always difficult for students at the junior high age level to start a new year, in a new school, and with a new director.  Even though our concert was early on the schedule the groups really worked hard and performed well.  I would also like to congratulate the students on the exemplary behavior they displayed at the concert.  I teach that the performance "begins when you walk on stage and continues until the concert is over."  This can be a difficult concept for young minds, especially when the "musical" portion of the concert is over them and they are now sitting in a large group watching.  But, they did great!  

Now we are on to new music for our next concert in December!