Marching Band Info from Mr. McKeown

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Kevin McKeown, Director of Band­s­­
June 22nd, 2018

Dear Marching Band Parents:

With the end of the school year comes the beginning of summer and the anticipation of our exciting upcoming marching band season! Our upcoming 4th of July mini-camp is crucial to getting a good head start for our fall season, and student attendance and participation is vital. We will have three practices in preparation for our 4th of July parade performance on Main Street:

Friday, June 29th (1-4 p.m.)
Monday, July 2nd (1-4 p.m.)
Tuesday, July 3rd (1-4 p.m.)

(All rehearsals are in the band room, M102)

Students should wear comfortable clothes for the weather, hat, sunscreen, water, etc. Athletic shoes only, no open toed shoes/sandals/flip flops. If students cannot participate due to family vacation that is understandable, but we believe if your child is in town, and is available to be there, they should be there! (We will try our best to accommodate students in need of instruments during that time.)

Color Guard rehearsals for the summer (including the preparation for the 4th of July parade) are:

July 2nd and 3rd

July 16th and 17th

(No rehearsal on June 29th for Color Guard members)

Percussion students will be meeting every Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. (Front Ensemble will meet 2 hours only between those hours. Please contact Mariam Kaddoura for more information:

We will also spend some time with our musicians on our season’s competitive field show, “Wonderland,” inspired by the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland. The music features the unlikely and effective combination of composer Dmitri Shostakovich and Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Band Camp this year will be from August 6th-10th and August 13th-17th from 12-8 pm – the two weeks leading into the beginning of the school year. Attendance for Band Camp is absolutely mandatory. Please do not schedule family vacations during these two weeks. Band Camp is the time when we start to establish technique and begin to learn our field show. In order to set the tone and ensure our students’ success, we need full participation from all!

If your child will be missing a significant part of camp they will most likely begin the school year and season as a marching “alternate”, meaning they will not be put into the show design until they learn the skill set that we are teaching during band camp. This does not exclude them from any activities, just that they may have less time “on the field” during the competitions. They will participate to the fullest of their abilities with the marching band.

Registration for the 2018 marching season will begin on June 29th.

The cost of Marching Band Camp is $250 per student* (plus a $500 donation for the season to cover our costs, including the competitive tournaments, Disneyland, UCLA Band Day, etc.). This insures that we can cover the costs of our show design, coaching, props, transportation, and more. The online registration form includes links to several options for submitting your contributions, including a monthly pay plan to help with the financial request.

CLICK HERE for a direct link to the 2018 Registration Form (opens June 29th)

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at or our instructional assistant, Mariam Kaddoura, at

Welcome! Let’s have another great season, Samohi “Viking” Marching Band!

Kind regards,

Kevin O. McKeown,
Director of Bands
Santa Monica H.S.

*Families that contribute towards the cost of Band Camp will receive a letter acknowledging their contribution as a donation to the Band program.

2018 Grad Nite Soda Pop Drive

Every year, the Samohi Grad Nite Committee reaches out to parent groups like the Band Parents Association, the Orchestra Parents Association, and other booster clubs to help them gather the supplies needed for Grad Nite. Scroll down for more information about Samohi Grad Nite.

The Samohi Band Parents Association has been asked to provide 180 two-liter bottles of soda pop for the Grad Nite ring toss game.

Students toss rings onto the bottles of soda. Winners may collect their preferred soda at the end of the night.

To contribute to the 2018 Grad Nite Soda Pop Drive, click on the “BUY NOW” text below to buy six (6) bottles of soda. Your contribution will be recorded as a donation the Samohi Band program.

Update:  3:30 PM on Tuesday, June 5th – GOAL ATTAINED –


Here’s how many bottles have been purchased so far (updated once daily):

Fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teamsThermometer By ABC Fundraising®

Santa Monica High School’s Grad Nite is one of the city’s most elaborate events:  an all-night party of thoroughly extravagant proportions thrown each June exclusively for the graduating class by the parents, district teachers, staff, local businesses and community.

The rite of passage for graduates involves taking a cruise to the destination of their choice – without ever leaving campus. Grad Nite is drug and alcohol-free graduation party that keeps our students safe, sober and alive on what is statistically the most dangerous night of their lives. Over the last 28 years, we have kept over 14,000 students safe and sober averaging 85 – 95% attendance.

Feb. 6 Bands at the Broad Silent Auction

Our 6th annual BANDS AT THE BROAD fundraiser is TOMORROW, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Tickets available at the door, or CLICK HERE TO BUY ADVANCE TICKETS

Please bring School ID to the Box Office

Check out some of the fabulous offerings at our


  • Up to 4 consecutive nights in a Pioneertown Desert Cottage, nestled against a rock mountain about 20 minutes away from Joshua Tree National Park
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  • Dodgers Tickets – 2 loge level Dodger tickets with preferred parking!
  • Signed Movie Posters – The Drop (James Gandolfini’s last film) poster signed by author Dennis Lehane, and posters signed by the casts of Suicide Squad, Storks, and Ninjago!
  • 3 Hours Private Tutoring at 310Tutors on Wilshire Blvd – All subjects offered except Latin and economics.
  • Youth Guitar Lessons at Boulevard Music – (For ages 9-14) 8 weeks of group sessions, including some of those current songs they can’t wait to play!
  • Birthday party at Santa Monica Playhouse – up to 10 kids!
  • Dinner and Drinks for Two at Felix Trattoria in Venice, named “The Best New Restaurant in America” 2017 by Esquire Magazine.
  • $100 Gift Certificate to Local Kitchen + Wine Bar on Ocean Park Blvd.
  • Custom-Made Cake – $200 value!
  • Sea Glass Necklace by local artist Annie O’Roarke of Pali Bay Sea Glass – Natural Zircon necklace with Peruvian Opal highlights featuring a lovely sea foam piece of Pacific Ocean Beach Glass
  • Hand-Made Ceramics by local artist Liz Comay of Comay Studios Ceramics – Serving plate with carved rim and 4 shades of brown glaze; bowl with a double-edged decorative rim and 4 shades of brown glaze.
  • Custom-Made Orthotic Devices from The Santa Monica Podiatry Group – Everyone can benefit from these custom-made orthotic devices in your shoes (dress or athletic) to help give your feet the exact support that they need.
  • Acupuncture Session with Dr. Bon H. Cho, L.Ac.
  • Circuit Training Fitness Classes at Circuit Works in Santa Monica – 2 weeks free
  • Private Gyrotonic Session at Movement Center LA – one 60-minute session
  • Haircut and Blow Dry at Salon D5 on Lincoln Blvd
  • Artisan Silk Scarf from the world-famous L’Atelier de Soierie workshop in Lyon. 100% silk, made in France.

Band Parent Meeting January 9, 2018

We welcome all parents/guardians of current Samohi Band students to join us for a recap  of Fall 2017 events and information about 2018 concerts and fundraisers. This is for parents of students enrolled in any of our classes – Concert, Marching, or Jazz Band. We hope to see you there!

Samohi Band Parents Association Meeting
Tuesday, January 9 at 7:00 pm in the Band Room (M102)

Barnes & Noble Bookfair Dec. 9-10

Join us Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 at Barnes & Noble on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Wind, brass, and percussion ensembles will perform.

When you present a voucher or bookfair flyer, Barnes & Noble will contribute a portion of the sale to the Samohi Band program!

STUDENTS – Sign up with Mr. Sakow or Mr. McKeown to perform at the Barnes & Noble store.

PARENTS – We need help wrapping gifts and passing out vouchers on the promenade: Click here to volunteer.

EVERYONE – please share our bookfair flyer! Friends and family can earn contributions for the Band, when they shop in Santa Monica December 9-10 or online December 9-14.

Chipotle – One Week After Thanksgiving

Join us for dinner one week after Thanksgiving. It’s for a good cause, and we know you’ll be tired of leftovers!

Chipotle Fundraiser

WHEN:  Thursday, November 30th between 5:00 and 9:00 pm.

WHERE:  Chipotle – Downtown Santa Monica – 1218 3rd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401


Your week after Thanksgiving:

Chipotle_Nov17NOTE:  Santa Monica High School Bands will receive 50% of all proceeds. Click HERE for more information.

We hope to see you there!!!


Garden Sale to Benefit the Samohi Band!

Landscape Designer Gretchen Moore presents “My Yarden Sale”

Labor Day Weekend
Thursday 8/31 + Friday 9/1
Call Gretchen at 310-488-8361 for the address.

Preview Day Friday, August 25th by appointment only 310-488-8361

Gretchen is selling all sizes of succulents, CA natives (salvias), epiphyllums, perennial flowers, bulbs (paper whites), iris tubers, roses, ginger, clivias, sansevierias and a few rare + unusual selections that are not grown commercially. Also available a collection of Italian (roll rimmed) terra cotta planters with mature succulents.

Proceeds benefit the band program!