Students in grades 4 thru 8 are invited to join St. Mary’s band. Students practice during the school week with a band director provided by CYO.
St. Mary’s students perform at concerts, along with band mates from other diocesan schools who are also members of the CYO band.
Hello, I am Matthew Pytel and I just graduated from eight years at St. Mary’s School. I also used to play in the CYO Band conducted by Mr. Little. I remember first trying to play an instrument at the end of the third grade. When I first met Mr. Little he encouraged me to try the trumpet. When I started playing the trumpet it was tough and I did not like all the work I had to do but I stuck to it because Mr. Little made music fun. I have been playing the trumpet now for five years and have begun to play for the Crown Point High School Marching Band. I feel that all of the practice and time that I have spent playing in the CYO Band has helped me make the jump to High School band. Playing is hard work, but it all pays off. The more you practice, the better you get. Playing an instrument is known to improve test scores, especially in Math. It is also more likely that someone would get a scholarship for college in music. So maybe just try it out see if you like it. If you do not, that’s alright too. I just wanted to add before I finish, Mr. Little has a real sense of humor and really works hard to encourage and inspire all of the kids who join the CYO Band. He will give his very best to all of his students because he wants to see them succeed in music and in their future.
- Matt Pytel
Both of my boys have attended CYO Band at St. Mary’s School. Matt, who will graduate from 8th grade, plays the trumpet and Ben, who is currently in 5th grade, plays the trombone. Both boys have been playing since the 4th grade. Both boys love playing and have had a lot of fun playing for Mr. Little. Mr. Little is a great conductor and teacher. He is patient with the kids and is passionate about music. He spends one on one time with the kids and their individual instruments as well as manages them all together in one band. He encourages the kids to try out an instrument and then continues to encourage and inspire them to keep playing. The kids also obtain a lot of practice playing for audiences throughout their time in the CYO Band including time playing for Andrean High School at football and basketball games, the Grandparents / Special Person’s Day, Veteran’s Day, and various other special occasions such as school concerts. If they continue to play throughout their time at St. Mary’s they will be more than ready to transition into any one of the high school bands that they may attend.
I don’t think that I need to offer a review of all of the positives associated with playing an instrument including improved test scores. Also, the cost of lessons at $35 a month, not including the rental of the instrument, is an extremely small investment in our children’s futures. Finally, don’t let the cost of an instrument prevent your child from trying out an instrument. Mr. Little and the CYO work with a local music store to provide instruments and rentals for the kids.
Our time spent as CYO Band parents has been a rewarding one. My husband and I have watched our children grow from only being able to play a couple of notes (and some of those notes quite badly) to being able to play entire pieces. They have grown to love and enjoy playing music not only with the CYO Band but also for themselves. Matt will continue to play for the Crown Point High School and has begun to talk about taking music to the college level as well. Ben will begin to play Concert Band with the CYO this coming school year and continues to look forward to his time with CYO.
- Mr. & Mrs. Pytel
I am so impressed with the CYO band program! My daughter had her first experience with band in another school, therefore it was a big concern to find a program that would continue to enrich her love of music. The CYO band program surpassed our expectations and was surprisingly very affordable. Our daughter not only has improved with her instrument, she now practices at will and even agreed to compete in a few competitions. Mr. Little even helped her prepare for her flute solo for the Indiana State Music Competition, in which she received a gold star. As a parent, it is so much fun to watch the band students not only improving their playing skills but really enjoying each other!
- Rachel Mouser
Katelyn truly enjoys participating in the C.Y.O band program. Mr. Little , the band director takes the time to make sure each student understands the theory behind the song.
Katelyn has learned about notes, tempo and how each member of the band contributes to make the notes on a page become a song for everyone to enjoy . It has been a joy to watch the members of the band grow each year in their knowledge of music and their ability to play together.
Band has provided Katelyn with the opportunity to learn music, play in concerts , compete individually at Bishop Noll (earning a gold medal) and understand band opens the door to many opportunities. Katelyn has made new friends , and gained an appreciation for how playing the clarinet is now an important part of her education at St. Mary Community Catholic School.
- Laura Bottando