Rio Band Welcome, Information and News

Hello Returning and New Rio Band Members and Families,

Welcome to another year of “Great Kids, High Expectations and World-Class Music”! We’re off to a roaring start, and we’ll soon have the bands placed and chaired, so we can really get down to business. We have enthusiastic returning kids, joined by a new crop of talented and excited musicians. Should be a fantastic year in one of the world’s finest band programs!

I’ll be sending out numerous email communications throughout the year, and students and parents will be responsible for the information contained in the emails, so please make sure to read each one thoroughly. Please let me know if any addresses should be added to or deleted from my lists.

New this year- We will be demolishing the band room and moving to temporary housing, as we build a brand-new, state of the art Theater and Music classroom complex. Construction is slated to begin in early Spring. It’s going to be truly amazing, so hang on for the ride. Also, some of our band members will be traveling to Japan for a performance tour next June. More info below.

Lots of nuts & bolts to cover in this first email. I have attached some documents to help everyone to understand how our unique program works, and to plan for the year-

  1. Rio Band Handbook, 2015/16. This outlines our policies and practices, and provides answers to many of your questions. Please look it over and keep it handy. A hard copy was already sent home with every student.
  2. Rio Band Contract. This form must be signed by students AND parents. If you have not already done so, please return it on Monday. Failure to return the contract will result in removal from Rio Band
  3. Rio Band Calendar for 2015/16. Some dates will be added, but it’s a good start. Each event is listed with the bands or students involved. Please mark your calendars, as Rio Band performances are mandatory, and we all want to avoid schedule conflicts.
  4. RABB Membership form. Rio Americano Band Boosters (RABB) is the parent organization that is responsible for keeping our band program afloat financially, and allowing our students to have experiences not available elsewhere. We would like to have every single band family join, so please consider doing so, if you have not already joined.
  5. List of RABB Officers and Chairs. If you’re looking to get involved, these are the people to contact. We need all hands on deck to keep Rio Band strong!

Here’s some information about very important upcoming events:

  1. We will be holding a Japan Trip meeting on Tuesday, 8/18 at 7pm in the Band Room. Anyone interested in going to Japan next summer should attend. We will discuss the itinerary, payment schedule, scholarships, chaperones, expectations and much more. To be eligible for the trip, students must be currently enrolled in our Honors Concert Band, 0 period Jazz, or Small Ensemble. Freshmen are not eligible to travel.
  2. Our first Rio Americano Band Boosters (RABB) meetings will be Tuesday, August 25th, in the band room. The RABB Board will meet at 6pm, and there will be a General Meeting at 7:15. All band parents are encouraged to attend the General Meeting , to find out more about how Rio Band works, and to get involved in helping to keep it going.
  3. A word for parents- We want our students to be as independent and self-motivated as possible. Please encourage your kids to be proactive in their own education, and to approach Mr. Kiesner and me with any questions or concerns they may have. If students are not able to get the information, or if there is something that cannot be answered by your student, please feel free to contact us.
  4. There are many ways to stay connected with Rio Band. Visit for our web presence. We’re on Facebook at, and twitter at The Facebook and Twitter sites are for communication about band events, and are NOT moderated by the Directors. All posts and activity must adhere to SJUSD policy on social networking.

That’s it for now. Look for lots of important information throughout the year.

Josh Murray
Band Director
Rio Americano High School
4540 American River Dr
Sacramento, Ca 95864
(916) 971-7512

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