Western High School Bands

2019-20 Western High Marching Band

This is a picture of the 2019-20 Western High Marching Band
  • Welcome to the Western Band page!  We have a long tradition of musical excellence and opportunities. This page has a few details, including a "Calendar of Events" and the Western High School Band Handbook.  For even more information, be sure to join our Western High School Bands Facebook page, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Please email Mr. Bickel at paul.bickel@wsdpanthers.org if you would like more information about the band.

  • Snowy Greetings!


    The Band Boosters meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, Nov. 18 at 7p.m. in the Band Room.


    The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Scholarship auditions have been rescheduled to Tuesday, 11/19, during the school day.


    The cookie dough will be arriving on Tuesday, 11/19. Please make plans to have a vehicle and pick up your dough by 2:30 p.m.


    Meyer Music is hosting a book fair. Music books make great gifts for the holidays! Email Mr. Bickel for a pdf of the catalog at paul.bickel@wsdpanthers.org


    On Monday, Nov. 18, we will be having an Instrument Step-up Meeting. 

    Here are the details from Meyer Music:

    "Your student’s beginning instrument was an excellent start to their musical journey and a Step-Up instrument will allow them to advance even further. Step-Up instruments are crafted from high-end woods and metals, providing students with improvements in tone, as well as additional features (such as extra keys) to assist with speed and technique. 


    Meyer Music representatives will be at the Parma Western Band Room on Monday, November 18 from 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM to assist students and parents interested in Step-Up instruments. 


    Meyer offers Step-Up instruments as rent-to-own, with monthly payment plans.  

    • If you are currently on a rent-to-own plan, you can apply accumulated rental credit toward a Step-Up, continuing the rent-to-own plan on this new instrument or purchasing outright. 

    • If you already own your student’s beginner instrument, you can trade it in toward a Step-Up. 


    Meyer covers all repairs and maintenance to keep your instrument in optimal condition while you are on the rent-to-own plan and a Meyer rep comes to our school weekly to pick up instruments that need repair.  Of course, if the time or situation is not appropriate for you to change instruments now, we certainly understand and are committed to providing your student with the best music education possible, no matter their instrument.


    Please fill out this short form so we will know to expect you on November 18: https://forms.gle/jezeAZvXMTK4DwxD7 We encourage you to attend and talk to the representatives, if at all possible."

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  •  *High School Solo/Ensemble registration is coming! The registration and payment ($12/person per event) is due by Friday, November 15th. The event wil be held at Onsted High School on January 25th.
    *Our annual holiday fundraiser has begun! You have a chance to buy poinsettias or gift cards from Beck's; popcorn from the Jackson Popcorn Depot. Forms and money/checks to "Western Band Boosters" are due by Monday, November 25th. The deliveries on these and the final apparel round of sales will be at the Holiday Concerts on December 4th and 5th.
    *Western Bands Holiday Concert Dates:
    HS, Wednesday, December 4th at 7 p.m.
    MS, Thursday, December 5th at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. 
    *January--Chilly Jazz dinner is coming! Also, the Masterworks Concert with the Western Select Choir and Symphonic Band.
    *February--Pre-Festival Concert
    *March---Hosting Band Festival and New York Trip
    *If you are registered for the New York trip in March, please start conferring and figuring out your two assignments: your bus seatmate, and your hotel roommates (4 to a room for students, 2 to a room for chaperones). Students, having 5 in a room is not permitted, and having 3 in a room results in a higher payment for all three of you.
    Thanks, all! It's a pleasure to be your band director!---Mr. Bickel
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  • Please copy and paste the link below (click "show more") from this website for up-to-date private lessons information through the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (for students looking for lessons on flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, tuba, or percussion).
    We recommend Mr. William Cryderman for trumpet lessons. If interested in enrolling, please contact them, then contact me for the Band Boosters program to be refunded some of the expense.
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  • Band Event Calendar 2019-20 and Confirmation Form---click on link below (identical to what was handed out to all students in high school band next year in class). Please print and return page one, signed by student and parent. Please keep page two, so that you have the events to add to your calendars.

    2019-20 WHS Bands Event Calendar and Confirmation Form

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  • Upcoming Western High School Bands events




    • 18 Booster meetings @ Biggby in S.A., 5:30 - Choir, 7:00 - Band 
    • 19 Blue Lake Scholarship Aud. for Band & Choir Students (in class)




    • 2 Booster meetings--Choir @ Biggby 5:30, Band @ Biggby in S.A., 7:00                                                
    • 4  HS Holiday Band Concerts 7:00



    • 5  MS Holiday Band Concerts (6, 7:00) 
    • January


    • 6 Booster meetings @ Biggby in S.A., 5:30 - Choir, 7:00 - Band 
    • 16 Music Department Picture Day (During school. Wear concert uniforms)
    • 25 HS Band Solo/Ensemble at Onsted High School
    • 27 “Chilly” Jazz Dinner
    • 29 HS Masterworks Concert 7:00 p.m.(Western Symphonic & Select Choir)



    • 10 Booster meetings @ Biggby in S.A., 5:30 - Choir, 7:00 - Band 
    • 14 Love & Wars! Music Booster Dinner and Dueling Pianos @ Cascade Manor House
    • 18 Jackson County Honors Band rehearsal 


    • 27 Band Concerts - HS @ 5:00 , 6th Gr. @ 6:00, and 7th & 8th Gr. @ 6:45



    •  2 Band Boosters 7:00 p.m. @ SA Biggby
    • 6-7 Host MS/HS Band Festival here (6-9 Band Rehearsals on stage)
    • 14 Band State Solo/Ensemble (Optional, @ Okemos HS) 
    • 20-23 Band trip to NYC 
    • 24 Jackson County Honors Band (off site)




    • 13 Booster meetings @ Biggby in S.A., 5:30 - Choir, 7:00 - Band 
    • 17 HS Jazz Band to Elementary Schools 



    • 11 MS Band Solo & Ensemble (optional) - Jonesville High School
    • 24-25 Thornapple Jazz Festival - Hastings 



    • May 


    • 11 Booster meetings @ Biggby in S.A., 5:30 - Choir, 7:00 - Band 
    • 17 HS Band Concert: 2:00 - HS Bands
    • 18 MS Band Concert: 6:00 6th Gr. & 8th Gr. Jazz / 7:00 - 7th & 8th Gr.
    • 22 Commencement (Symphonic Band)
    • 25 HS Marching Band (grades 9-12) at Spring Arbor Memorial Day Parade




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  • Meet the Western High School Band Director!


    Mr. Paul Bickel

    Mr. Bickel started his teaching career in 1992 at Vandercook Lake, where he taught all bands in grades 5-12 (marching, concert, and MS and HS jazz), 9th and 10th Grade English, and restarted both the choir and jazz band programs at Vandercook Lake until 2002.  He teaches band at Western with middle school band director Christina Prater. Mr. Bickel teaches 6th Grade Beginning Brass, HS Concert Band, HS Symphonic Band, the WHS Marching Band, and HS Jazz Band. He also assists the 7th Grade Band and 8th Grade Band. Mr. Bickel is an active trumpet performer in the Jackson French Quarter Dixieland Band (run by father Philip Bickel), piano and vocal performer as a dueling piano player for "Piano Wars!".  He loves teaching because he loves to inspire students to perform and continue through and after high school. He is married to Bethany Bickel, Western Middle School's choir director, and they have two daughters, Julia and Laura.