J-L band teacher named Band Teacher of the Year, again
By Arielle Breen - Gaylord Herald Times
JOHANNESBURG — Longtime Johannesburg-Lewiston Area Schools teacher Kathy Nieman was named Band Teacher of the Year early this month by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) for the second time.
“I just truly enjoy working with kids, with students,” Nieman said. “I enjoy teaching. I enjoy the teaching probably more than I actually enjoy the music end of it. Teaching is what I wanted to do forever since I was in elementary school.”
Nieman was also Band Teacher of the Year in 2014.
“It’s kind of rare to get it once and then to get it twice was very cool,” Nieman said. “I was very surprised, of course very appreciative and moved. These are your fellow colleagues that are also doing the same teaching and band directing etc. that I am.”
Nieman teaches music at each level in the district including general music for elementary students in the Johannesburg and Lewiston elementary schools, and middle school and high school band.
“Elementary music is singing and basic music theory, and sixth-grade band is a beginning band. So when they come to me in sixth grade, almost all of them know zero about playing an instrument, so we’re literally starting from scratch,” she said. “That whole first year they are just bare-bones learning.”
By seventh-and- eighth-grade, students perform more concerts, solo and ensemble recitals. Nieman said once students are in high school band, the pace picks up.
“(In) high school we have an extremely busy schedule throughout the year with marching band, home concerts, parades and festivals out of the building, solo and ensembles, state solo and ensembles,” she said.
To be considered for the MSBOA Band Teacher of the Year nomination, directors are required to meet a list of qualifications: they need to have a fundamental musicianship of the highest caliber, service to students, community and the profession as well as showing consistency for a number of years.
“Just being able to put instruments in students’ hands and watch them progress and start to move other people in the audience,” Nieman said. “What they can do to move another human being emotionally is pretty amazing by high school levels and they can’t do that in math class."
The JLHS Band traveled to Elk Rapids for District Band Festival at the beginning of March. Each band attending performed 3 concert pieces in a beautiful auditorium for 3 music adjudicators. After the concert performance, bands move on to the sight reading room. In the sight reading room, each band performed a new piece of music for a fourth adjudicator. Cardinal musicians “knock it out of the park”, again! JLHS received 1st Division ratings on stage and in the sight reading room. Bands receive 1st Division ratings from judges when the performance qualifies as “Superior”. Mrs. Nieman says, “It is all about pride, mutual respect and music excellence. Preparing music means every musician in the group must strive for perfection. All 63 HS members must hit the right rhythms and notes, while adding musical style and emotion for a ‘Superior’ rating to be received from judges. We work hard to accomplish our performance goals. This year I selected all Class A level music for the group, and they rose to the higher expectations. Cardinal musicians have certainly represented our J-L community well, throughout northern Michigan. I am extremely proud of each of them.”
Congratulations to J-L High School band members who performed at STATE Solo & Ensemble Festival held in Cadillac on Saturday, March 17. Twenty-one band members performed in 18 different events throughout the day. All events received 1st or 2nd division ratings, which qualifies as “excellent level of performance and musicianship” or “good level of performance and musicianship”. Congratulations to all performers on a job well done!! Special thanks to our piano accompanist, Dr. Wyrembelski for all he does for JL soloists.
7-8th grade Band is also preparing for the Spring Concert on May 16 at 7:00 p.m.
YAHOO! The sixth grade band has nearly completed their method book and will receive a second book. Students are now working on THREE musical pieces to perform at the concert. We do not call ourselves beginners anymore and parents/friends will hear why at the Spring Concert. This has been an outstanding year of accomplishments for band members. 6th grade students can now truly call themselves musicians!
6th Grade band will perform at the Spring Concert on May 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the JLHS gym. Students are to “dress-up” for this performance and report no later than 6:30 p.m.
The Johannesburg-Lewiston Band program has had a great start to the school year. High school band members began marching rehearsals 2 weeks before the start of the school year. The Cardinal Marching Band’s half-time shows featured “Happy” tunes that kept the audience smiling!. Community members and parents were very excited to see a 63 member marching band and we heard many compliments on our show! The J-L Cardinal Marching Band’s performance at the Northern Michigan Marching Band Exposition was simply AMAZING. Many parents and friends of the band supported J-L at an excellent evening of marching performances
Homecoming J-L vs. Inland Lakes Featuring the Cardinal Marching PHOTOS 9/30/16
J-L BAND PHOTOS
J-L Cardinal Marching Band ~ at Traverse City
Visit other J-L Band links...
Always feel free to contact Mrs. Nieman with any questions or concerns