Western High School Bands

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  • Hello, all!  I would like to remind you of two upcoming events that are important in our department.


    Chilly Jazz--Monday, February 11th--5:45 to 7:00 p.m.

    First, the Chilly Jazz Dinner will be on Monday, February 11th.  This is a fundraiser for the entire band program, and the students performing represent all of us.  It is meant to be a family night out, and we provide dinner and a show that runs from 5:45-7:00 p.m.  It has traditionally been well-attended and well-supported, and we would like to continue that tradition.  


    You can buy tickets at the door, using the Square.  If you’d like to bypass the line, please click on this link to buy tickets in advance:




    To simplify things, we have also have transitioned from people bringing in food items to donating money toward the purchase of them.Please click on this link to help donate toward those items:



    Love and Wars--Saturday, February 23rd at the Cascade Manor House--5:30-10:00 p.m.

    This is also a night out...for grown-ups!  It’s in February, to count as your Valentine’s Day dinner (Love) at the Cascades Manor house, with a cash bar available. It is also a dueling piano show by Piano Wars, and Mr. Bickel is one of the players. This is a rock-and-roll dueling piano show, complete with singing, dancing, and donating toward the cause.  All proceeds raised benefit the band and choir departments. We’d love for you to join us with your significant other, or bring a friend! There are also sponsorship opportunities available for your business (just reply to this email for more information). ANYONE is welcome to attend this event, provided they are an adult.  Bring your friends and fill a table! Please click on this link to buy tickets today!




    Thank you for your support of the students of the music programs! We can't do it without you.
    Best wishes,
    Paul Bickel
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  • Due to the uncertainty of weather conditions on Monday, the Western Bands Chilly Jazz event will be held two weeks later, on Monday, February 11th.

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  • For parents and graduates:  Love and Wars tickets are still available!  Prices go up on Friday, January 11, so get yours this week! Copy and paste the link.



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    *Congratulations to the middle school and high school groups for fine concerts on December 5 and 6. 
    *All new festival concert selections should be in the hands of all students in grades 9-12.  Please contact Mr Bickel if you are missing any of the pieces.
    *All festival concert selections have reference recordings in Schoology so that students can practice along at home.
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    Schoology is up and running for the band classes. In addition to the calendar, there are assignments, listening resources, and course materials posted for each course on Schoology. Playing assignments are also to be posted to Schoology throughout the school year. To do this, students practice at home and make a recording, saving their 'best take' into "Resources" on Schoology. Then, go to the assignment and click the box to the right marked "Submit Assignment." Selecting from the next pop-up box, choose "Resources," then check the extremely small box next to you 'best take' video. Finally, press "Upload" and then "Submit." The video should then be turned in so that I can watch it, make comments, and give it a grade. Most playing assignments can be revised for improvements and resubmitted for higher grades throughout the marking period.
    Instrument supplies are a constant need for our students. We are working to make an order form to help ease the process of getting things like reeds, oils, and cleaning supplies. Expect to see this order form soon! Woodwinds should be swabbing their instruments daily, and brass players should be bathing their instruments at least once every six months. Please help your student to ensure the proper care and maintenance of their instrument. 
    The Band Boosters meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Biggby Coffee in Spring Arbor. Meeting are typically less than an hour long, and greatly benefit the students in our program. 
    There is still room available in the Band Boosters' Private Lesson Program. This is another great opportunity for our students. Click the link here to get more  information:   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfXnUZhutg_IxSoa7NJWPau7EdB62Zp2w_qRZdAije1L1GSyw/viewform
    If all of the links above aren't enough, login to Facebook and join the Western High School Band page. 
    Thank you for taking the time to read this message! If you have any questions, please email me.
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2018-19 Western High Marching Band

This is a picture of the 2018-19 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.

  • 2018-19 Western High School Band Calendar

    Note: all events mandatory unless marked “optional”



     23-27 WHS Marching Band Camp 


     30 WHS Marching Band at Home Football Game and Picture Night-HS


    14  WHS Marching Band at Home Football Game

    22 WHS Marching Band at Parma Day Parade, 11:00 a.m.

    24  WHS Marching Band at Jackson County Marching Band Invitational

    28 WHS Marching Band at Home Football Game (Homecoming) 


    12 WHS Marching Band at Home Football Game

    16 Fall Band Concerts (ALL - 6, 6:45, 7:30 p.m.)


    8 Band Department Small Group Day (during class)


    5  HS Holiday Band Concerts 7:00

    6  MS Holiday Band Concerts (6, 6:45)


    17 Music Department Picture Day (During school. Wear concert uniforms)

    19 HS Band Solo/Ensemble at Onsted High School (optional)

    28 ”Chilly” Jazz Dinner (Jazz Band only)

    30 NW/Western HS Masterworks Concert at Western 7:00 p.m.

    • (NW Band & Vocal Dimension, Western Symphonic Band & Select Choir) 


    28 Band Concerts - HS @ 5:30 , 6th Gr. @ 6:15, and 7th & 8th Gr. @ 6:45


    8-9 Host MS/HS Band Festival here

    16  Band State Solo/Ensemble (optional) 


    26-27 Thornapple Jazz Festival - Hastings (Jazz Band only)


     19 HS Band Concert: 2:00 p.m. - HS Bands

    20 MS Band Concert: 6:00 p.m. - 6th Gr. & 8th Gr. Jazz / 6:45 - 7th & 8th Gr.

    24 Graduation (Symphonic Band Performs)

    27 HS Marching Band (grades 9-12) at Spring Arbor Memorial Day Parade



    22-26 Band Camp at Western



  • 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.