Shashi  Ramu

Shashi Ramu

Sales Representative

Sutton Group Realty Systems Inc, Brokerage *

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June 2023 Band Updates

Congratulations on crossing the finish line! You made it - Welcome to the pre-summer updates page. Featured here are a few notes about the industry, some early NEW RELEASE band picks, HOLD THE DATE notifiers for some of the OBA Festivals, info for the Beginning Band event in September, and more! Scroll down to check it out!

The 2022-2023 School Year from a Festival(s) perspective

You did it. And it took a great deal of work, dedication, perseverance, and focus. And those are just your accomplishments. Your students? They are full on rock stars. They came to rehearsal, learned their music, adapted to change, and in some cases – they even practiced their parts!

But the two biggest accomplishments of all – for everyone involved – are:

 the act of showing up at a band festival, going through the process and timeline, getting on stage, and performing. And, the adjudication. It takes courage to receive, accept and understand criticism. And then? To adapt and learn from the criticism at the same time. This is not an easy thing to do. I witnessed many of your students and their successes during the winter and spring festival season – so once again – BRAVO to everyone!

The Face(s) of our familal Music Education Industry 

The face(s) of our support industry have changed. What I mean by this is…the people have changed, some of the businesses have pivoted, shifted, amalgamated or ended..but also – the way that teachers conduct their business with the industry is different now.

Digital Sheet Music

Delivery methods for resources, methods and even repertoire is very different than it was three years ago. The digital music era is now upon us.

There is a push to get past the paper hard (bound) versions and instead, encourage more screen time to use online accompaniment/practice platforms or just to read scores and parts on a tablet displaying a PDF file. Band rehearsal and music class were two of the only places left to have a screentime break during the school day. Not anymore!

PDF in real-time delivery is becoming a preference – and I don’t blame anyone for making this choice. I have been using it too for various teaching materials, etc. Just remember – it does make a difference if you can facilitate these downloads through a Canadian Music Dealer.

Composers who self-publish and only sell PDFs directly from their website are very common but do remember that many new and rising star composers (particularly from under-represented communities) are reaching out to Long and McQuade in Vancouver and Murphy Music Press in the USA (L&M is the Canadian dealer for Murphy).

The People and the Businesses

The smaller family owned businesses have fallen by the wayside in all of this. Music publishers have made digital delivery available for direct purchase from their websites, offering very little in the way of incentives for small dealers to participate in the program. And, the bigger publishers are promoting their online platforms (which are AMAZING, and again, I use them too!) but this has also impacted the flow of business and ultimately, the faces that we were used to seeing, the voices on the phone, and the email display names in the Inbox.

If the businesses have continued to operate, they have pivoted/shifted toward an emphasis on equipment, accessories and other PHYSICAL necessities for today’s band program.

To mirror my message from the digital download paragraph – please try and support the Ontario dealers whenever you can. It can seem to be very easy to go online and click and submit with some of the bigger American companies’ e-comm websites. WE all do it, all the time in our home lives. But…this industry in Ontario is truly something special. It’s like a big family. Families support one another.


It’s that time of year again!  Many of you won’t want to look at this until August and that’s ok! Bookmark away!

I am in the midst of the lengthy review process for the new Concert Band titles. Listed below is a very small cross section of titles which will be featured on the annual list. Please note – there are hundreds of new titles coming from many NEW (and old) publishers including independent (sole-proprietor) composers as well. The full list will appear in late August and will carry many more than what you can see below. Some of the grades listed below do not match what is printed on the cover. We’ve all had the “subjective grading” discussion many times (but just in case we haven’t, go see this):

GRADE 0.5-1

Zero to Sixty  (1)                 Grant                         Tyler S Grant Music

Skysplitter Fanfare  (0.5)   Balmages                   MakeMusic              

Clutch  (1)                          Balmages                   MakeMusic             

GRADE 1.5 - 2

Song for Terra (1.5)           Nishimura                   Carl Fischer             

Starfire March (2)              Standridge                  RSM                        

Under the Prairie Sky (2)   Buckley                      HL                            

GRADE 2.5 - 3

Carry on With Pride (2.5)   Sheldon                     Alfred                        

Victory in Defeat (2.5)        Marlatt                       Eighth                       

Music from Stranger Things (3)  O’Loughlin        HL                             


Existence Infinite (4)          Galante                      HL                            

Sixty-Six (5+)                     Sheldon                     MakeMusic               


Hal Leonard Online PD Workshops/Certifications

The FREE Hal Leonard Product Courses in NoteFlight, SoundTrap, Sight Reading Factory, and Essential Elements Online/Interactive. Click here for more info and to register

Hal Leonard is offering a series of free, 9-hour certification courses in August to help music educators prepare for a successful fall. Each course is taught by a professional instructor and all needed software is included for free during the course. 

Course Format

Each course consists of three units and each unit includes a 1-hour webinar session and 2 hours of self-paced assignments. The webinar sessions are presented live, and if you cannot attend live you may watch the recordings afterwards. All courses provide practical lessons that you can use with your students this fall. At the end of each course, you will receive a certificate of completion for 9 hours.