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March is Music In Our Schools Month!!!

March is Music In Our Schools Month in the Torrington Public Schools!

Music In Our Schools Month or “MIOSM” is a the National Association for Music Educators annual celebration during March with engages music educators, students, and communities from around the country in promoting the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools!

The Torrington Public Schools will be celebrating MIOSM with a month long Concert Series! Please support the hard working students and faculty of the Torrington Public Schools Music Department by attending some of the outstanding performances in March. TPS at St. Jude’s Telethon, Beginning Elementary Concerts, Live Jazz from the Midwest at THS and more! Attached is a flyer for your classrooms.

The Torrington Public Schools have been listed as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education in America for 2014″.  Torrington has received this national designation Fourteen times since 2000!

Thank you for supporting Music Education in Torrington!

McNally Smith College of Music Jazz LIVE at THS!!

The McNally Smith College of Music Jazz Orchestra from St. Paul, Minnesota will be performing LIVE at THS on Monday March 9, 2015 7:00pm in the THS Little Theatre.
The Award- Winning THS Jazz Combo will open the concert. FREE CONCERT!

The McNally Smith Jazz Orchestra performs an eclectic program of compositions that range from Hard Bop to Snarky Puppy. Recently the ensemble has toured in Peru, taken 1st place at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival and performed in various venues the Twin Cities, Madison and Chicago. The ensemble is made up of students working towards a Bachelors or Masters in Music at McNally Smith College in St. Paul, MN.

“Where is jazz going? You are the cutting edge!” Jay E. Lewis big band adjudicator at the 2014 Eau Claire Jazz Fest.

The McNally Smith Jazz Orchestra is a highly selective touring ensemble. Students develop their ability to sight read, interpret and improvise through a variety of jazz styles by rehearsing and performing arrangements conceived for large jazz ensembles. Student musicians are pushed to develop awareness of roles in each section, listening through the ensemble, understanding musical hierarchies that enable a large ensemble to quickly find common musical ground in order to perform at a professional level.

Listen to the McNally Smith College of Music Jazz Orchestra!


Mr. Hodgkins receives national recognition

School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s 17th annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” highlights some of the best music educators across all fifty states. These outstanding band and orchestra directors were nominated by our readers, including current and former students, colleagues and peers, parents, and others who’ve had a wonderful experience with the music programs put on by these amazing teachers. SBO asked each teacher the same three questions, including their proudest teaching moments, how they hope to make a difference in students’ lives, and to tell us what the most important lesson they try to teach each of their students is. Their answers are as varied as the geographic locations of these music programs. We found the responses to be inspiring, thought-provoking, and insightful, and think you will, too. And now, SBO proudly salutes the 2014 class of 50 Directors Who Make a Difference!


Name: Dan Hodgkins
School: Torrington Middle School
City, State: Torrington, CT
Total years teaching: 13
Years at current school: 13
Number of students in instrumental music program: 210

What is your proudest moment as an educator?
I am incredibly proud of the number of students who have gone on to pursue music in some fashion after high school. To think that I may have helped shape that love of music makes me incredibly proud.

How do you hope to make a difference in students’ lives?
I’ve shared my joys, my frustrations, my achievements, and my struggles. No matter what, and my students know this, I will give them 100 percent of whatever I can. I truly want my students to know that honesty is always the best policy, and that I care about them – whether they are first or last chair, I want them to be the best musician they can. Not everyone will play every note. I want them to be the best they can be, and I will support them every step of the way.

What is the most important lesson that you try to teach your students?
Do the work. There are no shortcuts, and there is no “easy way.” The only way to better yourself, in any aspect of your life, is to accept the fact that you will have to work at it. Those that do, see the results. Those that shy away from it, are still waiting for the results. It won’t happen on its own.

Used Clothing Drive – THS Band



THS Students selected for ASBDA Honor Bands!

Congratulations to the following THS Band students on being selected to the 2014 Connecticut American School Band Directors Association Honor Band Festival.

The 2014 ASBDA Honor Band Festival will take place at Coginchaug High School in Durham, Connecticut on Monday November 17, 2014 – 7:00pm Concert.

ASBDA Wind Ensemble
Conductor – Dr. Lauren Reynolds – Central Connecticut State University

Kaylee Lanczycki – Clarinet
Tom Killackey – Trumpet

ASBDA Symphonic Band
Conductor – Dr. Kyle Glaser  - Texas State University

Gabrielle Vega – Flute
Andrew Schimanski – Clarinet
Ashley Civelli – Clarinet
Molly Serven – French Horn
Segal Jones – French Horn
Aaron Pelletier – Euphonium
John Thebarge – Tuba



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