•   Mr. K with Kansas, Wilkes Barre, March 2019
     Mr. Kowalski with the band KANSAS - Wilkes Barre, March 2019
    (Phil Ehardt - drums, Dave Ragsdale - violin/guitar, Rich Williams - guitar, K, Ronnie Platt lead vocals/keyboards, Tom Brislin - keyboards, Zak Rizvi - guitar, Billy Greer - bass)
    Along with the Beatles, Mr. K's favorite group. 
    WELCOME TO THE 2019 - 2020 School Year !

    Ken Kowalski (Students and parents may call me "Mr. K"), has taught in Lancaster since December 1984 starting at Hillview with Mr. Hamilton as principal and Dr. J. Norman 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 32nd school year at the middle school, and with his first two teaching years spent at Westfield Academy and High School from 1981-83, this is my 38th year of teaching.  Still loving it !
    Mr. Kowalski currently directs 2 bands here, and also the LMS jazz ensemble, 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).
    This past summer, I was fortunate enough to hear, and get to know Mr. Ray Coussins.  Ray is best known for being Frank Sinatra's pianist (or as Ray always refers to him, "Mr. Sinatra") for a period of 8 years.  He still works with Celine Dion, and along the way, also Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Barry Manilow and a list that is too long to go into here.  He attended the British Royal Music Academy with Elton John (or at the time still Reggie Kenneth Dwight) and Philip (Phil) Collins.  Since then, this inspiration spurred me to purchase a great piano for home and take lessons.  Never too late to learn. . .  
    This year, I have the privilege again to work with both the Symphonic Band and the Grade 7 and 8 Concert Band (Blue).  The seating charts are done, lockers assigned, folders in place and we are off to a nice start.  Both bands are filled with talented musicians, but even better, with great young adults.  I am VERY pleased with the start of this 2019-20 band year.  
    To see the latest lesson schedule, please click here
     Grand pianos are truly GRAND!
    CONCERT DATES - 2019-20 
    Thursday, November 21 - Symphonic Band - LMS 7 pm
    Thursday, December 5 - Concert Band BLUE - LMS 7 pm
    Thursday, April 30 - Symphonic Band - LMS 7:30 pm (yes, 7:30 pm)
    Monday, June 1 - Concert Band BLUE - LMS 7 pm
    Other Concerts and Events
    November 18 - LMS Jazz Ensemble at LHS 7 pm - Guest Artist Concert 
    Saturday, January 18 - Junior High Solo Festival at Orchard Park HS
    Saturday, May 9 - LMS Marching Band at Holland Tulip Parade - 2 pm
    Friday, May 16 - LMS Jazz Ensemble - Springville Pageant Jazz Competition - Time TBA
    Saturday, May 17 - LMS Marching Band at Springville Pageant of Bands - 1:00 pm
    Saturday, May 23 - LMS Marching Band at Darien Lake
    Monday, May 25 - LMS Marching Band Memorial Day Parade - Lancaster
    Saturday, July 4 - LMS Marching Band July 4 Parade - Lancaster
    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 REGARDING BAND GRADES - 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 2019) the ONLY aspect of the grade is the 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
    Naturally, all my colleagues and I 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 October 2, 2019