• Welcome !
    Friday, July 3, 2020
    Leonardo Sabatino
    MJS Band Director

    Welcome to the 2019-2020 MJS Bands!  This handbook is designed to give you an outline of the band program.  As many of you already know, the Madison music program has an excellent reputation. As a member of our school band, you are continuing in the proud tradition of representing your school and music department to our community.  Band is fun, but it requires commitment, practice and your best effort.









    Letter Day  A  B    A  B

    PERIOD 2

    No Rehearsal

    7th grade band

    7th grade band

    No Rehearsal

    7th grade band

    PERIOD 4

    No Rehearsal

    8th grade band

    8th grade band

    No Rehearsal

    8th grade band

    PERIOD 8

    No Rehearsal

    6th grade band

    6th grade band

    No Rehearsal

    6th grade band


    Lessons will occur on the same day each week, on a rotating basis.  Please make every effort to attend your lesson, as options for make-up lessons are very minimal.  The only times you are permitted to miss your lesson are:

    1. You are taking a test or state exam that cannot be made-up.
    2. You are absent from school.

    Your grade and success in band depend upon good lesson attendance and preparedness.  In lessons, you learn necessary skills and techniques specific to your instrument, receive extra help with band music, and will also be taking performance quizzes and evaluations at the end of each marking period.  


    Lesson schedules are posted outside of the band room on our bulletin board.  Band lessons will be held either in the band room, auditorium, or cafeteria. Below are the procedures:

    1.  You must come to lessons with a Lesson Pass from your subject teacher.
    2.  If you are in school that day and do not attend a lesson, schedule a make-up time with your band director.  
    3. If you know that you absolutely cannot attend a lesson, please see your music teacher BEFORE the lesson period to reschedule.  If you miss a make-up time, you will need a written pass from your teacher.  
    4.  If you miss your lesson because of an acceptable excuse you will not be penalized.
    5.  Report to your regular subject class first for attendance, then come down for your lesson.
    6. See your director to schedule a time for a make-up.  Make-up lessons will generally be after school during extra help time (2:45-3:15).  


    1. Instrument: LABEL your instrument case
    2. Folder and Book (Yamaha Advantage Book 1 or 2, or Sound Innovations book 1 or 2, Alfred’s Percussion Method book 1 or 2).  Ask Mr. Sabatino or Mr. Rossi which book to purchase.
    3. Pencil: keep at least one in your band folder
    4. Clarinets & Saxes: 4 reeds in good condition, reed case, cork grease, cleaning cloth

    Trumpets: Valve oil, tuning slide grease, polishing cloth, snake brush

    Trombones: Small spray bottle, slide cream, tuning slide grease

    Percussionists:  snare sticks (Vic Firth 5b) stick bag, lesson book.  


    Each student will be assigned to a storage unit.  Please label your case clearly and keep track of where your instrument is.  The school insurance does not cover lost instruments.  With over 300 students in band and orchestra, the teachers cannot keep track of each instrument.  Keep your lockers clean and neat; do not keep anything in them except your instrument, music and supplies (no gym clothes, food, etc.!)  


    Concerts present opportunities for you to showcase your efforts, talents, teamwork and performing skills.  Music is a performing art; concerts are crucial to the band program, and attendance is MANDATORY.  If you miss a concert you will lose 20 points from your overall grade unless you have an excused absence.  Excused absences will be determined by Mr. Sabatino, Mr. Rossi and the MJS Administration.  Excused or unexcused absences, a paper will need to be written as a make-up. Unexcused absences can only receive 10 out of 20 points back on the students overall grade by writing the paper.           

    MJS BAND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE (Please enter these on your family calendar and in your student planner!)  These dates are posted in the band room, on the bulletin board in the music wing, and on the school calendar.  


    MMD Home Competition

    Winter Concert

    *snow date

    Sun, 9/29

    Wed, 1/15

    Wed, 1/22

    About 12:00pm



    7, 8, Bands

    6, 7, 8 Bands

    6, 7, 8 Bands

    All-City Band Concert

    Wed, 3/11


    5, 6 honors band ensembles

    Dessert and Jazz

    District Band Festival

    Sat, 3/21

    Wed, 4/1



    MHS and MJS Jazz  

    6, 7, 8, plus HS Bands

    8th grade / Jazz Trip 

    Wed, 4/29

    8am - 5:30pm

    8 and Jazz Band

    Jazz Fest

    Spring Concert

    Thurs, 4/30

    Wed, 6/3



    MJS and MHS Jazz Band

    6, 7, 8, Bands

    Promotion Assembly

    Fri, 6/19


    Band 7 and possibly Band 6


    Dressing appropriately for concerts is an important part of the performance.  We follow the district guidelines for concert dress as published on the Madison school district website.  Look your best, but please wear comfortable dress shoes. Remember: you are representing your school and music program!  

    For the evening concerts, concert dress for all Band, Chorus, and Orchestra students is:

    Gentlemen: Black pants, black or dark shoes (NO sneakers), white button-down shirt, long tie

    Ladies: Long black skirt (MUST cover kneecap), dress pants white blouse, black or dark shoes (NO FLIP-FLOPS!) Please do not wear heels that are too high.  


    Please see the MJS MUSIC CONCERT CALENDAR posted outside the band room.  There is also a calendar of district concerts and musicals you may attend for extra credit.  

    Dates to remember:

    MJS Chorus and Orchestra Winter Concert: Wed., 12/12, 6:30pm and 7:45pm

    MJS Chorus and Orchestra Spring Concert: Wed., 5/23, 6:30pm and 7:45pm


    Please see the “MJS BAND BEHAVIOR CONTRACT” in the band handbook


    Extra credit is available for participation in any of the ensembles listed below:

    All-City Band (5th and 6th grade honors band) students are recommended for this group by demonstrating superior performance and leadership in band.  Rehearsals are on Wednesdays, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., from December-April, culminating in a concert.

    Jazz Ensemble  Any band student can audition to be a part of the MJS Jazz Ensemble.  This is a select group of students that rehearse once to twice a week mostly from 7:05am to 7:45am.  The Jazz Ensemble performs at Dessert and Jazz, the Spring Concert, and has various other performance opportunities.

    Region Band (7th and 8th grade only) This is an excellent opportunity for advanced 7th or 8th grade student up for a challenge.  The elite band is comprised of students from across North Jersey, and performs a concert in the spring. Auditions are held in February.  Each student must play a prepared solo, a series of scales, and a short sight-reading example. Solos are available now. See Mr. Sabatino or go to www.njsma.com for more information.

    Morris-Union Jointure Commission (MUJC) Honor Band and Jazz Band  These ensembles are comprised of outstanding student musicians recommended by their teachers from across Morris and Union counties.  The 5-6 Band, 7-8 Band and 7-8 Jazz Band rehearse for typically five evenings in the Spring, and perform a concert.

    New Jersey Youth Symphony and NJYS Percussion Ensemble NJYS has several orchestras and ensembles open to wind and percussion players.  To be eligible to participate in NJYS, you should be enrolled in private lessons outside of school.  Auditions are in the fall; rehearsals and performances take place throughout the school year. This is an amazing experience for wind and brass players who would like to learn more about playing in an orchestra and have the opportunity to meet talented musicians from all across New Jersey.


    Band is a graded course. Students earn letter grades as in other subjects.  The breakdown is simple:

    30 points lesson performance and attendance

    30 points conduct

    20 points band performance and attendance

    10 points practicing (practice charts must be signed by a parent/guardian)

    10 points playing tests / written tests and quizzes

    Bonus Credit Attending a live instrumental musical performance

    Participating in All-City Band, Jazz Ensemble MUJC or

    auditioning for and/or participating in Region Honors Band,

    New Jersey Youth Symphony or other outside ensemble

    Minus Credit Late to band without an excuse

    Talking in band

    Not prepared with instrument, folder, pencil, etc.

    Leaving instrument or folder out!!

    PRACTICING (now online!)

    The Madison Public School District has been given the opportunity to pilot an online music practicing app called “Better Practice.”  The Better Practice Music App is being used in over 600 private music studios, 4 countries and, for the first time ever, one public school district...US!  It is strictly an online tool used to track students’ practicing minutes and monitor their progression. Please note: the student will need access to a computer or smart device for the duration of their practice session.  You do NOT need to download anything from an app store as this is a website. This website will be used in place of practice charts.  More information about this will be sent home very soon.


    It is not too late to join band!  If you have a friend that wants to join, bring them to see Mr. Sabatino or Mr. Rossi after school.


    These are the recommended local music vendors which we support.  They supply excellent instruments and the repairs are high quality.  

    Elefante Music (near McDonalds)

    1790 Springfield Ave.

    New Providence, NJ 07974


    The Music Shop

    56 Fanny Rd.

    Boonton, NJ 07005


    Leonardo Sabatino has earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Rutgers: Mason Gross School of the Arts, and is pursuing his Masters Degree in Music Education Studies from the University at Buffalo.  Mr. Sabatino student taught in the Scotch Plains Fanwood school district and is currently in his 12th year teaching at Madison Junior School.  In addition to teaching in Madison, Mr. Sabatino teaches private lessons on all brass instruments.
Last Modified on February 5, 2020