2019 Wind Ensemble Tour – Passports

ATTENTION: Students and potential chaperones attending the Wind Ensemble Tour in Rome, Italy – April 6-13, 2019:

In order to participate in this tour, you must have a passport that is valid until at least October 14, 2019.

If you are a U.S. citizen you MUST leave and enter the U.S. as a citizen; i.e., even if you are a citizen of another country, you can not legally use your foreign passport to pass through U.S. immigration.

If your passport expires on or after October 14, 2019, please click on the link below to submit a scan of your passport. The travel agent requires this scan, in order to book the flights for you:


If your passport expires before October 14, 2019, please follow the instructions below to renew your passport, or to obtain a new one.

First-Time Passports OR Replacement Passports for applicants who were under age 16 at the time their last passport was issued:

Step 1: Start Early – Gather Documents

Apply for your passport several months before your trip. First-time applicants, minors, and applicants who were under age 16 at the time their last passport was issued must submit their passport application at an authorized Acceptance Facility (see below). The U.S. State Department website explains what you’ll need to bring with you. Here is a summary of the documents you will need:

  1. Application forms (unsigned)
  2. Proof of identity document and a photocopy of the front and back
  3. Acceptable forms of identification include an existing passport, naturalization certificate, driver’s license, military ID card or other current government-issued ID. A photocopy of the identity documents also must accompany the passport application.
  4. Proof of U.S. Citizenship:
  • Birth Certificate showing birth in the US – This must be an original or certified copy of the long-form certificate showing your parents names, issued by the municipality in which you were born. Hospital-issued birth certificates are not accepted. You can acquire a certified copy of your birth certificate from the Office of Vital Statistics in the location of your birth or through VitalChek.com
  • Previous US Passport – Both valid and expired passports may be used. If your appearance has changed significantly since your passport was issued, you may need to submit a different form of proof of US citizenship.
  • US Naturalization Certificate – Original or certified copy.
  • Consular Record of Birth Abroad – If you were born overseas to a US parent, you can submit an original Consular Record of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350).

     5. Passport fees – LINK to current fees


Step 2: Prepare Your Application Package

  1. Visit the U.S. Department of State website to learn how to apply for a passport and what documents you need.
  2. Complete your Form DS-11 Application for U.S. Passport on the State Department website.
  3. Print your completed application.
  4. DO NOT SIGN YOUR APPLICATION. Your signature must be witnessed by a representative of the Acceptance Facility where you submit your application.
  5. Have a passport photo taken.
    NOTE: Many drug stores (Rite Aid, CVS) and Passport Service offices can take your photo. If you plan to have your photo taken at the time of your passport application, call or check the site’s website before your appointment, to confirm whether or not your Passport Service office takes photos.
  6. Photocopy your proof of identity and U.S. Citizenship documents.
  7. Calculate your fees – LINK to current fees
  8. Call or check the website of your Acceptance Facility, to learn what forms of payment they accept for their fees.
  9. Prepare payment for State Department fees. State Department fees are mailed with your application. You can pay with a personal, certified, cashier’s, traveler’s check, or money order, payable to “U.S. Department of State.”


Step 3: Find a Passport Application Acceptance Facility – 2 Suggestions:

  1. The Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office is an authorized United States Passport Acceptance Facility. This is an especially convenient location for Samohi Students. The City Clerk’s Office is located inside City Hall, 1685 Main St, Santa Monica. Passport Service hours are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Click on the link below for more information:

Santa Monica City Clerk – Passport Acceptance Facility

  1. United States Post Offices have set hours for passport services. MANY REQUIRE AN APPOINTMENT. Use the “Find USPS Locations” tool to find the nearest Post Office offering passport services. Here are the instructions:
  • Go to: Find USPS Locations
  • Select Passports from Location Types.
  • Enter a ZIP Code™ or address.
  • Select a mileage range.
  • Click Refine search to select services such as walk-in, appointment, or photos.
  • Click “Search.”


Special Requirements:  Passports for Minors Under 16

Passport applications for children under 16 have special requirements:

  • Both parents/guardians must authorize the issuance of a child’s passport. The best way to give consent is for both parents/guardians to go with the child when applying.
  • Children need evidence of citizenship.
  • Parents/guardians need proof of parental relationship.
  • NOTE: Children’s passports are valid for only 5 years.
  • Click here for the U.S. State Department instructions on how to apply for a passport for children under 16:  Apply for a Passport – Children Under 16 

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: mkaddoura@smmusd.org)

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 komckeown@smmusd.org or our instructional assistant, Mariam Kaddoura, at mkaddoura@smmusd.org.

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 Tuxedo and Dress Returns

Rental Tuxes and Borrowed Dress Returns:

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If you rented a tuxedo from Elite Tuxedo, please bring all 5 pieces (jacket, pants, white shirt, tie and cummerbund)  – inside the garment bag – to school by Friday, June 1st.
There will be a rack for you to hang your tuxedo in the Band Room.
If you do not return your rental tuxedo to Samohi on June 1st, you must return your tuxedo to Elite Tuxedo at 2074 Westwood Blvd in Westwood, (310) 474-9090; otherwise Elite Tuxedo will charge your credit card for missing garments.
If you are performing with the Samohi Bands at the graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 7th:
The Bands request that musicians wear either black slacks with a white shirt, a tie, and black socks with dress shoes, or all-black ladies’ concert attire (dresses, dress slacks, or skirts with black tops and black shoes).

If you borrowed a Concert Black Gown from the Samohi Bands,
You may KEEP it until you leave the Band program!
We hope this saves you the work of hemming the dress every year.
If this is your last year in Concert Band, please bring your borrowed dress to school by Friday, June 1st
Hang your dress on the rack in the Band Room.
We also accept donations of gently used dresses in the 4 approved Samohi Concert Band styles.

If you borrowed “Dinkles” marching shoes, please bring them to school by Friday, June 1st. There are brown paper bags in the Band Room (against the wall, near Mr. McKeown’s door) for you to return your shoes.
Please do not keep Dinkles over the summer. They are like textbooks:  we take inventory every summer, so that we can prepare for the new season.
We also accept donations of gently used Dinkles from Seniors who bought marching shoes.

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.

May 25 Pops Concert

Samohi Concert Bands Pops Concert – Friday, May 25 at 6:30 PM in Barnum Hall.

The Samohi Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, Wind Symphony, and Wind Ensemble will perform. Musical selections include the Academy award-winning “Remember Me” by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, “My Shot” from the Broadway hit Hamilton, music from The Incredibles, “John Williams Swings!” and more.

Samohi Band students will receive ticket order envelopes at school. Tickets are also available at the door, or at the link below. You may also use the link to order dedications to be printed in the Pops Concert program.

CLICK ON THIS TEXT FOR:  Pops Concert Tickets and Program Dedications – Online Order Form

Families of Band SENIORS:  Don’t forget to submit photos of your student to be printed in the Pops program. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Oh, Baby!

Senior Photo Deadline for the 2018 Pops Concert is Monday, May 14!

The Samohi Bands have a long-running tradition of including baby & early childhood photos of graduating Seniors in the program for the Pops Concert, the Concert Bands’ final concert of the year. We include baby photos of all Seniors, including Seniors in the Jazz, Marching Band, and Color Guard programs.

Senior Band Families, please send us:

  • One baby/early childhood image of your Senior student. It’s especially fun, if you have a photo related to music or instruments, but any childhood photo will do.
  • One recent photo of your student. Scanned Senior portraits look great, but any photo you like will be fine.

Before you upload photos, please zoom in on them to be sure that the resolution is good. Try to use a photo that is at least 300dpi. The same photos will be displayed in the Senior Slideshow.

Please EMAIL PHOTOS to samohiband@gmail.com

Queridas familias de los los músicos en 12° grado,
El Concierto “Pops” del 25 de mayo es también nuestra noche para celebrar su tiempo con las Bandas de Samohi. Las bandas tienen una larga tradición de incluir fotos de los estudiantes cuando eran bebés o niños pequeños en el programa para el Concierto Pops, el concierto final del año escolar. Incluimos fotos de todos de todos los músicos, los estudiantes en los programas de Jazz, Marching Band y Color Guard incluidos. Por favor use este formulario para subir:

  • Una imagen de su estudiante cuando era bebé (o niño pequeño). Es especialmente divertido, si tiene una foto relacionada con música o instrumentos, pero cualquier foto de la infancia servirá.
  • Una foto reciente de su estudiante. Los escaneados de los retratos para el anuario se ven geniales, pero cualquier foto que te guste estará bien.

Intenta encontrar una foto que sea al menos 300 ppp. Las mismas fotos se mostrarán en el video llevado a la gran pantalla durante el concierto.

Please EMAIL PHOTOS to samohiband@gmail.com

May 1st Band Parent Meeting

We’re meeting on May Day! We hope that you will join us for a meeting of the

Samohi Band Parents Association

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Samohi Band Room*

Agenda Items:

  • Election of BPA Officers for school year 2018-19
  • Potential Wind Ensemble Tour in the Spring of 2019
  • Recognition and Thanks:  Parents of the Band Class of 2018!

*We are awaiting confirmation of the location. Please check this web page for updates.

2018 Concert Band Invitational Festival

The 2018 Concert Band Invitational Festival is coming soon!

This is when our students perform some of the most challenging band literature of the entire year. All 5 of our Samohi Concert Bands will perform and receive constructive feedback from adjudicators. 10 visiting ensembles from other schools will be our guests at Samohi.
Family and friends are welcome to attend the performances in Barnum Hall.
Click on the link below for a preview of festival performance times. Note that four of our Samohi ensembles will perform after school (after 3:00 PM). Students will need their concert attire for the performances:
This Festival will be adjudicated by guest judges who are both outstanding educators and exceptional musicians. Here are links to bios for the 3 adjudicators:
We need parent help at the welcome desk in Barnum Hall, to bring snacks for the judges, and to monitor the Band Room.
Students who want to volunteer at the festival should contact Mr. Sakow. Otherwise, Samohi Band students report to Barnum Hall to watch other bands perform during their regular Concert Band class periods.

Samohi Band Students Free Tix to B@B

An Invitation from Mr. McKeown:
Band Students,
I hope you will join us as my guest at the 6th annual “Bands at the Broad” benefit concert on Tuesday, February 6th. The concert supports our Concert Band Tour Scholarship Fund.
All current Samohi Band students may enter without purchasing a ticket. Just show your Samohi ID at the Box Office.
This event is a remarkable opportunity for Samohi Band families to enjoy a relatively low-cost performance at The Broad Stage, a state-of-the-art facility housed within a striking, modern architectural landmark.
This year’s concert celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, featuring some of his best-loved works. The performance also includes portions of the symphonic suite El Olimpo de los Dioses (Gods of Olympus) by Óscar Navarro.
Desserts and beverages are served during Intermission, giving this event a festive “date night” atmosphere. I hope to see you there!
– Mr. McKeown
Bands at the Broad benefit concert
7:00 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018
The Broad Stage – 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica
General Admission $25 adult | $15 youth/student
Tickets available at the door.
For advance tickets CLICK HERE:  Bands at the Broad Ticket Order Form