•   Mr. K with Kansas Band
     Mr. Kowalski with the band KANSAS - Ryman Auditorium, Nashville - 2016
    (Phil Ehardt, Dave Ragsdale, Dave Manion, K, Ronnie Platt,  Rich Williams, new guitarist Zak Rizvi, Rich Williams)
    Yes, Mr. Kowalski sports a "Kansas" tattoo, as seen above with that same group.  I also have an Abbey Road done by a former student who is an artist.  However, I tell ALL my students to do as I did, and WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE 54 before getting a tattoo! 
    WELCOME TO THE 2nd SEMESTER OF THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR (3rd Quarter) !

    Ken Kowalski (Mr. K),
    has taught in Lancaster since December 1984 starting at Hillview with Mr. Hamilton as principal and Dr. Hayes as Lancaster Superintendent.  Along the way Mr. K also taught lessons at Como Park Elementary and was even was the High School String Director back in the late 80's for a three year span.  However, LMS (or formerly AMS - Aurora Middle School) has been Mr. Kowalski's home since 1988.  Yes, this is my 30th school year at the middle school !
    Mr. Kowalski currently directs 2 bands here, and also the LMS jazz ensemble, new this year the Hand Bell Choir and the High School Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra (CKSO).  Personally, Mr. Kowalski is a HUGE fan of both the BEATLES and KANSAS and also counts among his biggest musical influences Jim Croce , Journey and the group Boston. He has a big black Lab mix named RINGO (photo below) named after, of course Ringo Starr (whom he once met).
    (Back to the first person form!)  This year, I have the privilege again to work with both the Symphonic Band and the Grade 7 and 8 Concert Band (Blue).  I am THRILLED with each group, even this early in the year.  Both are performing really well and are filled with truly wonderful young men and women.    
    (Still true in May! ) - If any parents are reading this, I want you to know how impressed I am with BOTH groups this year.   We are half way through the year and I have been SO impressed by these young people, not only as musicians, but also as respectful, kind young adults.  It is a PLEASURE to work with them in lessons and in band.   I have told the students this countless times, but it may not come up in everyday conversation.  These are WONDERFUL students !    
    Both bands played wonderfully for NYSSMA and earned a Silver rating.     
    Looking ahead . . .  the Symphonic Band Concerts will be Monday, April 30, 2018.
    Concert Band BLUE Concerts will be Tuesday May 8, 2018.
    Concert attendance is required, and is generally 20% of the quarterly grade.
    Quarterly report card grades are issued to band students.  The grade is generally a combination of group participation, lesson attendance, completion of assignments (performance of ensemble and individual assignments and scales), and keeping of a band folder.  Copies of music can be made here at school, free of charge.   Students are encouraged to make copies of ensemble music during lessons, or by coming from lunch, study halls, or any other free periods.  Extra credit may be earned by participation in extra curricular music groups or private lessons, if discussed with the teacher (that would be me!).  
    NEW / PLEASE NOTE - Our quarterly grades are "built" each quarter, rather than a flow of average grades as seen in other classes.   What I mean by that is that things like home folders, quarterly quiz, band and lesson grade are added later.  A low grade now does not necessarily mean a low grade at week 10, and it may not mean the student is in peril.   As of the time of this writing (October 10, 2017) the ONLY aspect of the grade might be lesson attendance.  (Lessons started during week three.)  If you (or your child) attended two of the three lessons, THAT IS PRETTY GOOD, and the one they missed can still be made up!   However, your child's grade might still only be a 66!   One of three lessons would be 33, and of course none made would be ZERO.  That would NOT be the final quarterly grade on the report card, but unless lessons are made up, it would lower the final grade.  Students ARE allowed to attend lessons with alternate groups, come for make up lessons, come during homeroom, and to arrange several available mutually convenient times with Mr. Kowalski.  
    If a student continues to not attend lessons, it can lead to removal from band.  For specific questions regarding YOUR student, please email me at kkowalski@lancasterschools.org
    Click here to see our latest LESSON schedule !   
    Naturally, I, and all my colleagues are looking forward to a wonderful and musical year. 
    If you have any questions about your child or our music program, please call me at Lancaster Middle School at 686-3220 extension 7737. You are also welcome to email me at  kkowalski@lancasterschools.org
    Thank you for your support of music here in Lancaster!
    Mr. K playing out  The "other" Ringo !  Todd Rundgren wearing a Lancaster CKSO shirt on tour with Ringo Starr !
Last Modified on May 11, 2018