ESPRESSIVO is almost here!

If you’ve not seen the messages yet, below is information on tickets and message from the parents organizing this year’s ESPRESSIVO! On behalf of Ms. Caswell and myself, again, thank you to all the parents who have already gotten involved or made donations. You’re making a huge impact on the kids’ experiences so thank you so very much! We’re really excited to see everyone at ESPRESSIVO on December 4

(PS – Remember, doors and food trucks start serving at 5:00pm, show starts at 6:30 and music students only require tickets if you want them to set at the table with you when they’re not playing. ESPRESSIVO sells out every year, so don’t be disappointed – get your tickets soon!)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Espressivo is only 1 weeks away! 

Espressivo is on Wednesday, Dec.4th and it is our biggest fundraising event of the year. It is a fantastic evening of seasonal music and dining presented by our incredible music department and dedicated parent volunteers. Tickets are on sale now on School Cash online via

In addition to performances by our DW Poppy bands and choirs, the event also includes food trucks for dining at the concert, a silent auction, a 50/50 draw, complimentary desserts, and a balloon pop fundraiser. Preparations are well underway, but we are still looking for some help from our fantastic DW Poppy Music families. 


Here are some of the ways that you can get involved in Espressivo: 


1.  Contact Cathy Gropp ( to see what volunteers are needed on the day/night of the event  


2.  Consider making a donation for our silent auction &/or approaching businesses you may have a connection with (see ideas below).


3.  Donate a gift card or 2 for our very popular balloon pop (if you plan to give a $20 card, please note that 4 cards with $5 amounts are preferable to a single card because it will give us more balloons to pop, a few higher priced gift cards are great too if you have other amounts lying around the house J)


Silent Auction Donation Ideas:

-event tickets (Canucks, concerts, etc) -winter sports/activities basket

-holiday/Christmas theme basket -rain/snow survival kit

-getaways -movie tickets and dinner gift card

-LEGO basket -gardening basket

-scratch ticket basket -bigger gift cards for dining, stores or services

-sports memorabilia -gourmet tea/coffee or chocolate basket


Tax receipts are available for the value of the items donated. Please include your name and contact information with your item. Donations can be mailed in, dropped off at the office or picked up as needed.


Proceeds from Espressivo go to support:

– integration of technology into the band and choir rooms

– growth of the department’s library of print music for band and choir

– additional music and resources for our elementary honour band program

– maintenance of our school instruments

– the purchase of additional instruments

– student opportunities to work with other professional musicians and educators


If you have any questions or would like to help at this year’s Espressivo, please contact Cathy , Jackie at or Laurel at Any and all help and donations are greatly appreciated and absolutely vital to the success of our event!

Fall Showcase Concerts Week is almost here!

As it’s now the waning days of October, we are in the final preparations for the two Fall Showcase Concerts. Juniors (8/9’s) are performing on Tuesday, November 5 and Seniors (10-12’s) are performing on Wednesday, November 6.

A “heads up” for grade 8 parents and reminders for returning families:

  • Students who have signed up for setup crews need to be in the band room right after school on their concert day at 2:30 and they will be dismissed as soon as they are done and our first concert of the year usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour for setup. (Please note that all music students are required to do one setup per semester.)
  • Call for all musicians is 6:30pm. Students need to sign in on their class list in the band room as usual no later than 6:30pm, in uniform with all necessary materials for the concert. The show will start at 7:00pm and run times always vary – please stay for the show and support your child as they have worked very hard to prepare.
  • Uniform is “dress blacks” – black dress shoes, black dress pants, and black dress shirt. Juniors are encouraged to add red accents such as a tie. Seniors need to wear their Poppy Music Scarf or Tie along with their dress black (accent pieces will be distributed to 10’s in band on Friday).
  • As usual, all students are expected to help with cleanup after the concert. Once the dramnasium and band and choir rooms have been reassembled for morning rehearsal, we will post sign-out sheets and kids can be on their way.
  • Admission is by donation at the door and all proceeds go support your child’s music activities here at DW Poppy.

If you have any questions please send us an email and we will look forward to seeing you all either Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

Mr. Follett and Ms. Caswell

19/10/15 Music Department Update

Just a quick update as we’re back from the long weekend

  1. Fundraising has started! Neufeld Order Forms have been sent home with kids – extras are available in the Band Room. Deadline for submission is Oct 18 (midnight for online orders) and pickup is Wednesday Oct 30th at 7pm – people must pick up their orders as we cannot hold them. Anyone with questions can email Pamala Combs at or call/text 604.838.7877
    • Hard copies of order forms are still available in the band room
    • Online orders are live through SchoolCashOnline
  2. Practice Cards are live and on to their 3rd week. Please ensure your child asked you to sign off on their Practice Card 2 (weeks 3 & 4) this weekend. I’m asking the kids to log what they are practicing, not how much, as part of their reflection around effort and musical growth. The next one, Practice Card 3 (weeks 5/6), is out in hard copy and live this week.
  3. Concert Uniforms: Concerts are coming so please ensure your child has their dress blacks as outlined in the fall. For seniors, ties and scarves have arrived and will be distributed this week.
  4. Concert Dates – Please be sure you have the following dates saved in your calendar:
    • Oct 22 – Senior Choir – District Choral Festival
    • Oct 30 – Senior Wind Ensemble – District Band Festival
    • November 5 – Junior 8/9 Night of Music at Poppy (6:30 call, 7:00pm start)
    • November 6 – Senior 10-12 Night of Music at Poppy (6:30 call, 7:00pm start)
    • December 4 – ESPRESSIVO
  5. Please consider making a donation towards ESPRESSIVO or volunteering your time to help out for our major event December 4th. Any items for Silent Auction or $5.00+ gift cards for the balloon pop are greatly appreciated! Please contact Cathy Gropp ( and she will connect you with the appropriate parent volunteer/volunteer coordinator.

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend and thank you all for your ongoing support of your child’s music education!

Practice Cards are here…

Band students have Practice Cards this year. Based on the How To Practice handout, the Practice Cards are due every two weeks and give musicians a means of tracking their efforts towards improvement and assist in reflecting on their contribution towards the ensemble. It is not about how much time is spent, but how effectively time is spent. The first Practice Card is due the week of September 30 and will be accepted through that Friday.

Please help your child remember to tag the card and record the material they work on. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

19/09/13 Update

Concert DatesI’d like to take a moment to officially welcome Ms. Caswell to the DW Poppy Music Department. She will be joining us to teach Choir, Musical Theatre, Vocal Jazz and the band/choir programs at Wix-Brown and Coghlan.

We’ve just completed our first full week here at Poppy and there are a few things we need to update everyone on:

  1. The Student Info and Expectation Forms (19|20 – SIUoE Form) that have not been submitted are now due. Please print one off and send it in Monday if you have not yet so that everyone is clear on our school concert dates and other music activities this year. The handbook is available online if you haven’t seen it come home yet (or you are a 11/12 and are viewing only online).
  2. Startup Materials Orders will be placed midweek so please ensure you have paid for the required and optional purchases that apply to your child. Payments for startup item are still on SchoolsCashOnline and deadlines have been extended to Tuesday for:
    • Stick Bag Packages ($85)
    • Band Folders ($27.50)
    • Sound Innovations Book II ($10)
    • Senior Choir and Band ties and scarves ($25)
  3. There are playing assignments for Band 8, Band 9, Band 10 and Junior Jazz due during their first class next week. Assignments are posted to their individual webpages along with reference recordings and other class information. Please ensure your child pulls their instrument out for a few minutes this weekend to prepare!
  4. CareerLife Education 9 is now running in the Band 9 class. These students have their first assignment due Thursday, September 19. All assignments will be available through the CLE 9 page this year.
  5. Please remember to save the date for the DW Poppy Music Parents AGM on Wednesday, September 25. We will start at 8:00pm (after the grade 8 and 12 parent nights conclude) and we aim to run 30 minutes or less but we need your help to ensure a great experience for your kids this year.

Thanks so much for your support of you child’s music education. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Ms. Caswell (Choir 8-12, Musical Theatre 8-12, Poppy Vox 10-12) or myself (Band 8-12, Jazz Band 8-12) via email.

Have a great weekend!


19/09/05: And we’re rolling…

It has been a busy week here in the Music Department. If you have not heard yet, Mr. Ablitt has left for a position closer to home in Surrey. We found out a week before school started so it has been a different startup this fall. Mr. Follett will be taking over the Band 9/CLE class this year I hope to be able to announce our new Choral Director and band/choir director at Wix-Brown and Coghlan shortly.

With the change in staff, there were a few edits missed with this year’s handbook caught after classes yesterday but the full corrected 19|20 – Handbook is available online here. We will be announcing tours next week (but sadly, we won’t be back to ConBrio Whistler this year as indicated in the first version of the handbook).

ACTION ITEMS: Your child needs your help with the following few things to get their year in music rolling.

  1. DUE ASAP: The need their instrument at rehearsal every class from now through the end of the year. If you haven’t got their instrument yet, please make that happen as soon as possible. Please let me know if you need support.
  2. DUE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13: SchoolsCashOnline order for Band Folders (Band 8’s and replacement orders), Sound Innovations Book II (Band 8’s and Band 9 replacements) and Senior Uniform Ties and Scarves (Grade 10’s and 11/12 replacements)
  3. DUE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13: Please complete and return your child’s 19|20 – Student Information and Understanding of Expectations Form
  4. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – SAVE THE DATE: After the grade 8 and grade 12 parent nights will be our DW Poppy Music Parents AGM. I strongly encourage all new families to attend for a brief overview of the program and plans for the year. Poppy Music had over 50 parent volunteers involved last year that helped make the program so successful. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Welcome to DW Poppy’s 2019|20 Season

After a restful summer, we wanted to welcome you back to DW Poppy Music for our 2019|20 season. We have a great year planned including:

  • October 22 is our District Choral Festival (SCC)
  • October 30 is our District Concert Band Festival (SWE)
  • Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6, join us for our fall nights of music from our Juniors and Seniors respectively.
  • Wednesday, December 4th is this year’s ESPRESSIVO: Holiday Spectacular. Kick off the holiday season with family, friends, food and holiday favourites compliments of all our ensembles here at Poppy.
  • January 28, 29 or 30 (TBD) is the District Jazz Festival (SJB)
  • Wednesday, February 13 is the Poppy Jazz Cafe, featuring our jazz ensembles: Junior Jazz Ensemble, Senior Jazz Ensemble, Poppy Vox Vocal Jazz, our guest ensemble and the return of the Parent/Staff/Alumni Band at the Fort Langley
  • Wednesday, March 4 we host the Elementary Zone Concert
  • Tuesday, March 10 is the Sounds of Spring Concert (All non-jazz Ensembles)
  • April and May will see our Senior and Junior music tours which will be announced during the first week of school.
  • Tuesday, June 2 is our Night of Choirs.
  • Wednesday, June 10 is our Night of Bands at DW Poppy

The website is currently being updated, so be sure to check back often. If you have questions, contact me at – I look forward to a great year working with your children.

Busy week for band!

With our last full week of school upon us, this is a very busy week for instrumental musicians at Poppy.

  • Monday is Massed Band at lunch – all band students must attend this dress rehearsal
  • Wednesday morning is our final Senior Wind Ensemble rehearsal. Please in sure you’re there on time with all materials as will be collecting the remaining non-concert music.
  • Wednesday is our final concert and awards night. Call is 6:30 and the show starts at 7:00 – admission is by donation at the door.
  • As Wednesday is our final concert, it is also the last opportunity for students to take care of their second semester concert set up requirement. Set up will start right after school and should be rather quick. I expect we will be done the majority by 3:15. Please remember that concert set up is a requirement for all band students once a semester. If your child did not set up in March or at the jazz or choir night in the last few weeks, they do need to be there to meet this requirement.
  • As is tradition, Friday is the music lunch with Pizza on the department. Please drop by for a slice before the school awards assembly.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. We have a great show planned for Wednesday and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate the successes and achievements of our young musicians.

Poppy Jazz Café on Thursday, May 23 @ Fort Langley Community Hall

PoppyJazzCafeLogo2kScreen Shot 2019-05-07 at 8.43.57 AM
The DW Poppy Music Department is proud to our fourth Annual Poppy Jazz Cafe. Held at the Fort Langley Community Hall (9167 Glover Rd, Fort Langley, BC). This evening features music by our Junior and Senior Jazz Ensembles, the return of the DW Poppy Parent Staff Alumni Band (click for more info regarding our repertoire) and our guest artist, Malcolm Aiken. The performances begin at 7:00pm (musicians call is 6:30pm) and we look forward to celebrating the work of our young musicians and hearing the fabulous music of our phenomenal guest artist. 
Tickets are $10 and will be available AT THE DOOR (Please note that this is not a fundraiser. We only aim to cover the costs of putting on this wonderful event.) 
Setup crew needs to get their own ride to the Fort Langley Community Hall for 3:00pm to setup. Pizza dinner for the crew is on the department – parents are asked to provide an email or note granting permission for the kids to explore the village of Fort Langley once setup is done if they choose to. Also, if you are able to help out with a box-trailer to move our gear that day, please email me at and we will look forward to seeing everyone for Jazz Cafe on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00pm.