This site is VERY MUCH UNDER CONSTRUCTION. This page hasn't been updated since 2007. I'm embarrased for myself.) There is a ton of stuff missing, but for now, enjoy the SUPER OUTDATED accomplishments page! (this is embarrasing . . . I will fix this soon.)
The BC Band has been fortunate enough to be featured in various newspapers, publications, newsletters as well as on TV. Check this page frequently for the latest BC Band News!!
The Enterprise awards recognize top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education even
though their programs are economically underserved.
Brooklyn Center High School is one of two institutions recognized this year with the GRAMMY Signature School Enterprise Award, which acknowledges schools that have excelled despite being economically underserved. T his award is part of the GRAMMY Foundation's Signature School initiative, which annually recognizes high schools across the country for producing extraordinary music programs. This year, 42 schools were selected as Signature Schools, and with the generous support of 7 UP, each of the schools was given a grant to enrich its instructional program.
The Grammy Foundation flew BC Band Director - Chris Porter and one student, Nel Chatham to Washington DC to represent the BC Band at the 2006 Grammys on the Hill.
The event included a gala dinner hosted by Randy Jackson (American
Idol) and Shaun Robinson (Access Hollywood), and honored Senator Dinanne
Feinstein, Representative Mark Foley, Grammy Award Winning Artist -
Kelly Clarkson and the Brooklyn Center Band. The BC Band was honored
for their hard work and dedication to music education. *click
here to see photos from this event!*
Click HERE to see the program notes from the evening event
This year, the BC Band has been fortunate enough to develop a partnership with the University of Minnesota - School of Music - Music
Education Students. It's a program that uses technology to create a very unique experience.
We have been fortunate to have quite a bit of media interest in this partnership with the University. Channel 12 has done two very nice stories about the partnership this year. Most recently, there was a two-page article in the University of Minnesota School of Music Annual Newsletter - "Tutti" that featured the BC Band students and talked about our mentorship program. It's quite an honor and very exciting to be included in such a prestigious publication!!
It all started back in 1963, the “Swingin’ Centaurs” were Band of the Year; the Brooklyn Center Band program was alive and well. However, starting in the late 80’s and early 90’s the band program started to deteriorate. A high director turnover rate and massive school budget cuts took its toll on the Brooklyn Center Band. The beginning band program was cut entirely which resulted in a very low level of participation in the bands and a very low playing level.
By 2002, the band program was nearly extinct. The entire program 7-12, consisted of 54 members, with only 20 members in the 9-12th grade High School Band, 24 members in the beginning 7th grade band, and 10 members in the 8th grade band. Even though the program lacked numbers and funding, the students weren’t about to give up on their program.
The past four years have been dedicated to rebuilding the program and morale. It has been very successful thus far and the program now has the numbers and momentum to continue this success into the future. The program has grown 398% in four years! (from 54 to the current 215 students!)
However, along with the growing program came new issues to resolve; the biggest issue being lack of instruments for students to use and also a shortage of teaching staff to accommodate the high numbers enrolled in the program. Because of a long history of budget problems, no capital funding was devoted to the purchase and upkeep of instruments for the last 20 years or more. Students were using instruments that were literally from the 1960’s. In addition, the majority of band students and their families were unable to rent or purchase an instrument because they simply could not afford it. Luckily, the local music store - Schmitt Music stepped up and provided 45 instruments for us to use for the year at NO CHARGE.
Many hours were spent fundraising for the program and doing inventory at Schmitt Music in exchange for credit to purchase music. Frequent messages were sent out to the public expressing a great need for instruments and as a direct result, many donations of used instruments were made to the BC Band Program.
The Brooklyn Center community has been incredibly supportive of the band program. In the fall of 2005, the Brooklyn Center Rotary Club “adopted” the BC Band and made a donation of $10,000 to be used to purchase instruments. The Rotary Club plans to continue their financial support on a yearly basis!!!!!
All of the success and growth is a direct result of the hard work and
dedication of the truly amazing BC Band students. The students work
extremely hard to build their program. The older students help teach
and mentor the younger students, and everyone volunteers TONS of extra
time to help out with various projects and things that need to be done.
They truly understand and accept the fact that if they want something,
they’re going to have to be very creative and work hard to get
We were fortunate enough to be named Channel 5's High School Sports Wrap "Band of the Week" for the second time
this past fall!
There are some very smart and motivated students in the BC Band program.
Greetings from the BC Band! We have had some very exciting things happening in our department this year that we'd like to share with you. First of all, the numbers in our program are continuing to grow, especially in the Junior High Bands. According to our records, the current BC Band is the largest band this school has seen in over 30 years with an impressive 50 member roster. Next school year is even looking better yet with nearly 70 students registered for the High School Band!!
The BC Band has been busy this year playing for events at the University of Minnesota. They were asked to be Georgia Tech Pep Band for the NCAA Championship Volleyball game in December. Since the band did an oustanding job as the Georgia Tech Pep Band, they were asked to represent the two-time National Championship University of Minnesota Women's Hockey team as their pep band for an important game that was televised on Fox Sports Net. The BC Band also was asked to represent the Providence College Women's Hockey team in the WCHA Championship game but was unable to play due to a schedule conflict.
It is quite an honor to be asked to play at such prestegious events, especially for a high school band!! In both cases, the band was notified only one day in advance and had only one class period to prepare for these events. We are proud to report that we had over 30 kids participate in the Georgia Tech Pep Band (30 is the NCAA limit for pep bands) and 45 students participate in the U of M Gopher Pep Band! This is especially impressive because of the lack of notice and it certainly reflects the level of dedication to the band program our students have.
Most recently the BC Band has been named "Band of the Week" and will be featured on the TV Show, "High School Sports Wrap" on Channel 5. The Band will perform live on the air during the show and a member of the band will also be interviewed. The show will be broadcast on Friday May 20th at 11pm on Channel 5 and also on Saturday May 21st at 5:30pm on Channel 45.
The BC Jazz Ensemble, which meets three times per week at 6:45am is another program that is doing a great job. The Jazz Ensemble roster is currently at 41 students which is twice the size of the band three years ago. Because of the large numbers, the Jazz Band has been split into three different groups! The Jazz Ensemble was recently featured on the radio program entitled, "Inside the Future of Minnesota Jazz" for the second time this year on 88.5FM KBEM-Jazz Radio.
The Jazz Ensembles attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Jazz Festival in January and attended the University of Minnesota-Morris Jazz Festival in April. They are currently working with a jazz composer on a special commissioning project. The band will present the world premier of this piece in the spring.
The BC Drumline is another aspect of the program that is very popular with the students at both the high school and junior high level. The summer Drumline program was a huge success and this success has been continued into this school year. The BC Drumline led the Hmong New Year Celebration Parade at the Metrodome in December. Thanks to the after school/community education programs at Earle Brown, elementary students are now given the option of participating in an after school Drumline program twice a week.
2006 GRAMMY Signature School Enterprise Award Recipient
The Brooklyn Center Junior/Senior High School musical band program is a shining example of success through perseverance. As recently as 2002, the "BC Band" — a celebrated, award-winning program founded in 1963 — teetered on the verge of extinction. As a result of budget cuts, coupled with a rising rate of severe economic challenges faced by a majority of the students' families, participation in the band program plummeted.
But with a lot of hard work by determined students and staff, in the last four years Brooklyn Center's band program has seen a remarkable turnaround. Dogged fundraising helped replace 40-year-old instruments; a local music store loaned instruments at no cost to students whose families could not afford them, and the local Rotary Club came to the rescue with additional financial support. Brooklyn Center also formed a valuable partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Music, which created a mutually beneficial mentorship program between the junior high and high school students and the university's music education students. Slowly and steadily, pride and moral rose — and participation in the program jumped almost 400 percent.
Brooklyn Center High School, located just outside of Minneapolis, is one of two institutions recognized this year with the GRAMMY Signature School Enterprise Award, which acknowledges schools that have excelled despite being economically underserved. This award is part of the GRAMMY Foundation's Signature School initiative, which annually recognizes high schools across the country for producing extraordinary music programs. This year, 42 schools were selected as Signature Schools, and with the generous support of 7 UP, each of the schools was given a grant to enrich its instructional program.
"The best part of receiving this award was seeing the students work so incredibly hard on recording the CD that was required as part of the finalist application process," Brooklyn Center Band Director Chris Porter told the University of Minnesota-Morris News. "The fact that they earned this honor — despite the major lack of resources and staffing — is truly amazing. I am so incredibly proud of these students for all of their hard work and dedication to the program."
Brooklyn Center plans to use its $15,000 Enterprise Award grant to purchase instruments which would allow ALL students, regardless of their financial situation the opportunity to participate in band. A rental program will be put into place and will charge students based on what they can afford. The funds generated from that program will be used to purchase additional instruments.