Gerald Ricke, Director of Bands
address: 18725 Bates Avenue, Eustis, FL 32736
phone: 352-357-6220

Friday, May 31, 2013

Band Banquet 2013 and Poll regarding end of the year 2014

We celebrated our annual Band Banquet 

on May 22, 2013

Giving over 300 awards out to the children who 

worked so hard this year.

We had many Soloist rate superior this year.
Our Concert Band and Jazz Bands were 
Music Usa Grand Champions.
We gave away many leadership awards.
We are so proud of what the students 
accomplished this year!
A special mustang thank you to our banquet committee. Teri Ern, Marivel Guava and David DiMassino. We really appreciated the help you guys gave!
Carolynn Ern receiving her first awards from The Eustis Mustang Band. This Year Carolynn was in Beginners Band and she has already tested and has been accepted into the Advanced band program AND the Jazz band program. CONGRATULATIONS Carolynn!
Please click on this link to take our Band Banquet Poll. We have created this poll in order to provide our band families with an opinion.


We are having our first Association meeting on August 12 at 6 pm at the band room to finish this discussion. We must have the answers we need in order to make necessary deposits for May 2014. Everyone is invited to this meeting. 

We will be discussing any sponsorships that were found over the summer, new fundraising ideas, our yearly budget and we will form our committees. 

Our meeting never last an hour unless I start rambling. 

Most meeting are over in a half an hour. So please come join us if you can!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Eustis Mustang Music Association is invited by United We Praise

Last month we applied for a grant. 
It was a Facebook shared process.
Thanks to our band family and friends we all liked and shared our initial application enough to get us an invitation to their community board meeting. They will be hearing from a number of groups in our community. We all know how much each one of us could use the support. But our improvements to our MCSC program really would come faster and easier with any extra funds. So here is to starting the year off right next year!

Our Facebook request to United Praise can be found at
Please find information about our MCSC Program 
right here on this blog.

And for more information on United We Praise here is their Facebook Page

If you have any suggestions please feel fee to 
post a comment or email 
Cherrice Purvee EMMA President

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Eustis Middle School Band beats out 7 top rated schools from our state in Music USA

Here is the link to the photos from Music USA 2013!

The Eustis Mustang Concert Band and Jazz Band beat seven other top rated schools
 The Judges were quoted as saying...."You have made music today, you did not just come in and play notes"

We are so proud of our students.
Please go to this link and check the photos that Music USA took! 

After the contest the kids participated in the Universal Studios Parade. This is the opening parade for the park. It is an honor to participate in this parade and we love doing it every single year!
Thank you to the chaperones who were able to come with us!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eustis Mustang Jazz Ensemble will be at the Bluzberry Festival May 18!

The BlueZberry Festival and all that Jazz, powered by Everglades Farm Equipment

Eustis Middle School Mustang Jazz Ensemble 

will be at the Bluzberry Festival May 18!
Mark your Calendars!
For More Info Or Map 

May 18, 2013
Lake County Fair Grounds, Eustis, FL
The Lake County BlueZberry Festival will be held at the Lake County Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 18 with a V.I.P. Reception for vendors, sponsors and special guests on Friday, May 17.
Visitors will be able to enjoy lots and lots of blueberries, a blueberry pancake breakfasts and plenty of arts & vendors, food vendors, a blueberry bake off competition, and free concerts featuring Jazz and Blues music!
Sponsors Include:
Spring Valley Farms, Umatilla, FL
Cobb's Triangle Tractor
  Classic Tents and Events   Striking Effects  
Triangle News Leader   Hound Dog Entertainment   BusinessMasters.Net  
Lake County Farm Bureau   Florida Food Products   Coldwell Banker Tyure & Taylor Realty, Inc.    
SECO EnergyLake County, Florida

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Eustis Middle School Mustang Band Spring Concert

We are getting ready for the Spring Concert!

Baskets are being made!
Thank you to all the families who 
donated items for our giveaway baskets!
The students are practicing!
Plans are being finalized!

The Eustis Middle School Mustang Band invites you on May 14, 2013 to their annual Spring Concert held at 
The First Baptist Church 
located at 3551 Orange Avenue in Eustis, Florida. 
This is a completely free community event. 
Seating starts at 6:30. Concert is at 7:00 p.m. 
This band is under the direction of Mr. Gerry Ricke
It includes The Mustang Concert Band
Steel Drum Band and Jazz Band. 
There is a basket drawing
and a 50/50 cash drawing at the door.



After the concert we will have our 
Exclusive Butterbraids Available!
 $12.00 Each


This is our last chance to raise funds!

Please feel free to use the share buttons below so your family and friends know!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Concert Band AND Jazz Band Rates Superior on Friday and then Steel Drum Band Rates Superior on Saturday!

The Eustis Middle School Mustang Band Attended Music USA right before marching in the opening parade at Universal Studios. 
It was an early 5:30 am meeting time on Friday.
Both Concert Band and Jazz Band were performing at Music USA and received a rating of Superior!
Then with another 5:30 meeting time on Saturday.
Our Steel Drum Band took a Superior rating at the 
FMEA Steel Drum Festival at UF!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Mustang Caring For School Community (MCSC)

The Eustis Band Program is under the direction of Mr. Ricke, who has over 33 years experience teaching band, 19 of which are here at Eustis Middle School. Our band program is continuing to grow and has been highly successful over the last decade in local, state, and national competitions and festivals. This band is increasingly being invited to perform at these and a variety of other types of events. Every successful band program needs money, and the more successful the program, the more money is needed to ensure continued success. Involvement in the band program offers many benefits to students, including:

Students of music bring creativity to product design and marketing

Study of music helps students to think and work across traditional disciplines. They learn to integrate knowledge and to “think outside the box.”    

Music education teaches students how to work together.

A music education builds an understanding of diversity and the multi-cultural dimensions of our work.

A music education contributes to areas that are important to the future of all Floridians.

Consequently, living in a global world as we do, studying music means participating in a global behavior conducted utilizing universally accepted practices.

What musicians lack in business experience, they make up for in creativity.

Math and science are the big talking and testing points in education these days, but human resource experts believe to truly succeed in today’s global economy, tomorrow’s workers benefit most from studying and participating in the arts.

In order to participate in a band program the children are required to purchase an instrument, buy a uniform, provide many entry fees, pay for accompanists, and pay for transportation and other expenses for trips and outings. Parents bear the burden of most of these costs.
Our band has many underprivileged children that require donated instruments and partial or full financial help with entry fees to such events as State competitions and the end of the year parade and competition at Universal Studios Orlando. Our award winning, first place Steel Drum program is funded almost completely with monies raised by the band and boosters.
As a whole, our community is doing well, with an average income of approximately $42,000/year, and with higher-than-average home ownership. The TOTAL Percentage of our residents living in poverty is only 15 percent, which is a fairly low number.
About 20 percent of the City of Eustis’ population of 18,600 residents is student age.

Right here at our school we have a student population of approximately 1,050 students, which is a large student body. About 28% of the total Eustis student population is at our school, Eustis Middle.

36 percent of our students are minorities.

51 percent of the total student population qualify for and receive free or reduced lunch

Reading and math proficiency is 10-20 percent lower at our school than the statewide average.

Our fine school rates well on FCAT scoring, ranking 72 out of 100, and our school consistently earns an A rating, something of which we are very proud
The numbers show that Eustis High School ranks 50 out of 100 on the FCAT exam. We feel that we can help to raise that number by at least 25% percent on the FCAT standardized exam at the high school if we continue to improve our music education program here in the middle school level.
We know that Eustis High School has a 77% graduation rate, something to be proud of! The graduation rate is high among other cities, but we feel that it could be, and would be, improved upon with improvements to our music program.
Research proves that the long term benefits of a strong music education program can help to raise the graduation rates to 94% and beyond.
Currently, only about 17% of our high school graduates continue on to earn a higher education degree, with only 5 percent earning graduate or higher degrees. This is a number that our program aims to change.
However, among those with a long-term music education, 80% are likely to go on to earn a masters degree or better. In addition, statistics show that of people with a doctorate degree, 80% are well trained in at least one musical instrument. Truly, the statistics show the benefits of a music education!
The Eustis Middle School band averages about 150 total students. Our students are positive role models in the school and in the community, and we are working to develop a program called The Mustangs Caring for School Community (MCSC). The program is designed to create a caring school environment characterized by kind and supportive relationships and collaboration among students from the Mustang Band, staff, and parents. The MCSC model is consistent with research-based practices for increasing student achievement as well as the theoretical and empirical literature supporting the benefits of a caring classroom community in meeting students' needs for emotional and physical safety, supportive relationships, autonomy, and sense of competence.

By creating a caring school community, our program seeks to promote pro-social values, increase academic motivation and achievement, and prevent drug use, violence, and delinquency. MCSC has seven components designed to be implemented over the course of the school year:

  1. Meeting the community:  Throughout the year the Eustis Mustang Middle School Band competes in many fairs, festivals and shows. After each performance the members of the band participate with other students in a question and answer session. During this time our students explain all the benefits they receive during their time with the band program. The members of the band each explain how the band has helped them become better students, friends, and how the confidence gained through the music program helps them to become better human beings.
  2. Class Meeting Lessons:  This provides students in the Mustang Band with a forum to spend time with local elementary school students in a classroom climate. During the time spent in the classroom our students will share their experiences and explain why the time they spend with the band is not only good for social awareness but more importantly, how being involved with the arts can improve test results. Our students want to show the younger elementary students that learning notation when reading music equates to reading and understanding fractions. Often times, mastering the use of fractions is a problem for students of mathematics. Understanding and having familiarity with using fractions is one of the keys to understanding and being able to do higher mathematics. Understanding how to use and manipulate fractions is a consistent problem for English Language Learners, so learning music and musical notation as a tool has been proven to raise levels of mathematical comprehension.      
  3. Community Outreach:  Community Outreach is an important tool that the members of The Mustang Band currently use and will continue to build upon. During the school year the Eustis Middle School Mustang Band plays music around our community many times, including at local street festivals, holiday parades and nearby elementary schools. But, we want to take our Community Outreach a step further. Our Community Outreach Program will reach the children who are not always exposed to the fact that children at 10, 12, and 14 years of age can actually learn to play an instrument. We want to reach those children who did not know they had the option to join the band, despite financial constraints. Our program will bring our Jazz Band and our Steel Drum Band to a community day camp or after school program twice per year. During this event the members of the band will reach out to children who are underprivileged and live in disadvantaged settings, letting them know about our instrument donation program. These children are not aware that, thanks to fund-raising efforts, they could also join the band due to the fact that entry fees, instruments and uniforms because the entry fees and uniforms can in fact be donated for their use. Many of these children need something inspirational and fulfilling in their lives, and without our help, many of these children may never know that they too could play a steel drum or saxophone.   
  4. Real World Experience: Once per year we will invite the thirty most needy students from the elementary schools in our jurisdiction based upon grades or poor attendance to our School. We will invite them to a free event hosted by the Mustang Band in the band room where the students will get a chance to see in person the Eustis Mustang Steel Drum Band and The Eustis Mustang Jazz Ensemble.  After the concert the students from the surrounding schools will be able to interact with the instruments, the band members and the director. The students will be able to ask questions, and our hope is that the experience will lead to these students wanting to participate and learn an instrument, thereby improving on both their attendance and grades. After this event the booster committee will talk about the possibility that these children can try something fun and interesting and make a commitment to the band. The committee will then distribute information to the children about our instrument donation program, which these students would not have known about, but for having participated in this Real World Experience. Given the statistics for our community above, we feel that this portion of our program will contribute the most to the students in our community. It has been shown that children exposed to a long term music education program are 85 percent more likely to come to school each day, and learning becomes easier for those students.  
  5. Giving Back:  We are lucky enough to have some of the best role models right here in our band program. The MCSC Program would like to give back to our community by holding three food drives per year. We will schedule these food drives right before our school breaks, by putting bins in the front office, band room And The First Baptist Church in Eustis. The students of The Advanced Band will be involved in the organization, collection and delivery of the collected food. The students will also donate clothing throughout the year to local shelters.
  6. Music Mentors: Music Mentors is a program shared by Eustis High School and the Eustis Middle School Bands. Directors Mr. Ricke of the Eustis Mustangs and Mr. Flenner of The Eustis Panthers created this program to ensure quality music education and performance through mentor-ship. The desire to develop a greater appreciation for the art of music and by giving the next generation an opportunity to receive the best training possible in music education by their peers. Through strategic partnerships, music awareness, and quality teaching, these bands are in the process of building a music program worthy of national and international recognition. Music Mentors is a Bi-weekly program. Any middle school student can sign up, he or she lists what they want or need for example: assistance with the all-state audition, jazz music etc.
  7. The Music Mentor Program is meant to help those who want to advance at a faster rate.
  8. The Music Mentor Program provides a transition into the high school program
  9. It is a fun way to learn from your older piers.
  10. It give the middle school students a chance to get together with piers that play the same instrument as they play in a personal setting.
  11. One on One setting with a “big brother/sister ” environment.
  12. Recruits students into the high school band.
  13. The high school students come early and sit in with the middle school students during their band classes.
7. Mustang/Panther Connection: Statistics prove that younger students who are active in a long term music program become better college students. We are therefore implementing The EMMA Award!  A $250.00-500.00 scholarship that will be presented to a student graduating Eustis High School with a GPA of 3.5 or above and who has been an active participant in the Mustang/Panther band program, grades 6th through 12th. This will be presented by the Eustis Mustang Music Association, bringing full circle our commitment to give back to the community through our MSCS program. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eustis Mustang Music Association is looking for Program Sponsors!

 Click the above picture to get to our sponsor page.

The Eustis Middle School Mustang Band requires from $15,000 to $20,000 in annual operating costs. In addition to purchasing an instrument, buying a uniform, providing entry fees, paying accompanists, and paying for trips, the parents bear the burden of most of that cost.
Every successful band program needs money. The more successful, the more money needed for equipment, etc. Please note the following article written in Business Week:
How Arts Education Builds the Skills that Business Values
  • An education in the arts encourages high achievement.
  • Study of the arts helps students to think and work across traditional disciplines.  They learn to integrate knowledge and to “think outside the box.”
  • An education in the arts teaches students how to work together cooperatively.
  • An education in the arts builds an understanding of diversity and the multi-cultural dimensions of our work.
  • Arts education insists on the value of content, which helps students understand “quality” as a key value.
  • An arts education contributes to technological competence.
We would like to give your company an opportunity to financially support the Eustis Middle School Mustang Band.
Level Amount Recognition
Blue $100.00 Name Recognition in the Winter & Spring Concert Programs
Gold $250.00 Business card ad in the winter and spring concert programs. Recognition plaque from the EMS band
Mustang $500.00 Two Tickets to EMS Mustang Band banquet
Director $1000.00 Name on EMS Band Trailer
We would greatly appreciate it if you would consider one of the above! Each of the greater contribution levels will receive the recognition of all lesser levels.

Band Concert Basket Gifts Needed!

Hello Parents of the Eustis Mustang Band!

Gift baskets are needed for this years Spring Concert.

The Concert is May 14, 2013 at 7 p.m.

We always raise extra funds with our gift basket giveaways.

We sell $1.00 raffel tickets and each year it is an important way for us to fundraise.
But this year with our extra expense on becoming a 501 Non-Profit our budget is very tight.
Making this concert more important than any other!

We always have basic baskets.

  • Coffee and Tea
  • Movie Night
  • Sports
  • Bed and Bath

But we are always willing to make other baskets for any giveaway.

Please send in an unwrapped new item before May 10th.
This gives our volunteers the weekend to construct the baskets and have them ready right before the concert!
Please do not spend more than $5.00 on your gift item.

The Dollar Tree makes the perfect store and Kmart is going out of business and is full of good prices on awesome items!    

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Banquet Ticket Sales Are Extended Until May 6th!

Great News!

Our meeting with Lake Receptions to finalize our arrangements has been put off!
If you were not able to send in your form and money,
 you and your family now has until Monday, May 6th to have all forms and monies turned in!
Tickets are $25 each. 
Please let us know if you did not get an invitation that was brought home by students last week.