Web Spotlight: Pleasant Grove Marching Spartans

Mike Lawson • January 2002 • January 1, 2002

Spotlight on the Pleasant Grove Marching Spartans


A number of impressive Web sites have come our way in the past month, and it gets harder and harder to select only one to highlight. Please continue to send in your Web site URLs — we’ll feature as many sites as possible.

Last month, we featured the Web site of the Mankato West band program in Mankato, Minn., www.isd77.k12.mn.us/schools/west/music/band.htm. The site, designed and maintained by middle school band director Cynthia Shirk, combines clean and colorful graphics with an easy-to-follow navigation bar for a very user-friendly format.

This month takes us to www.pgband.com, the online home of the Pleasant Grove Marching Spartans. This site is extremely comprehensive with a variety of innovative features that other school music Web sites would do well to emulate. For instance, the left-hand bar of the site features links to an interactive Chat Room for students of the program, which is monitored for inappropriate content; a Classifieds section, enabling students to post items they would like to buy or sell; a Message Board, where students can post questions, topics and comments that they would like to discuss at their leisure; a Pictures page with photos from all of the bands’ recent events; a Civic Center link that allows students to sign up to work at upcoming events; a “Band Bucks” page for ordering grocery certificates that help toward the band’s fundraising efforts; a “Pass Off” page that explains the requirements students must complete to continue in the music program; and a Calendar link, where all the upcoming band events are listed.

The center of the page, which is updated regularly, features important announcements for students and their parents. A right-hand “Bulletin” board lists other important notices, such as an item called Congratulations that lists awards the band has won at various events, and a personal message from the director, David Dubose.

The site, which is a joint effort by band parents Terry Justice (Webmaster) and Bobby White (Web Developer), was recently “revamped” to increase its user-friendliness. Justice, a self-taught HTML coder, maintains the Web site as a hobby. White, who has been developing Web sites for about five years, also picked up Web design as a hobby.

“The Web site provides a unique forum from which students, staff and parents can draw information. We always try to highlight student achievements through announcements and photos,” said Justice, who took over the Web site’s maintenance about a year ago. “The new design is user-friendly and allows individuals to find information easily.”

White approached Justice about a new design in August, 2001.

“I envisioned a site that would be easy to manage and get more people involved,” he explained. The Chat Room feature, in particular, follows this vision.

“This is a feature that should appeal to parents and kids alike. It allows you to contact friends in a live chat environment that is monitored for security,” White said.

For band director David Dubose, the Web site has helped him keep the community informed about the bands’ activities.

“Over the last couple of years, the site has served us as an easy opportunity to distribute information to parents and others involved for easy access at any time,” Dubose noted. “It has reduced the number of phone calls and memos being sent back and forth between the band office and parents.”

The band program’s online visibility has had other — unexpected — benefits as well.

“It has led to unsolicited donations by local individuals and businesses who are glad to support something positive and significant for the students,” Dubose said.

The future holds even more possibilities for the Web site, including an automated e-mail notification system that will alert users to new information or scheduling changes, and a video link that will show the bands’ performances.

If you would like to submit your school music Web site for consideration
in School Band and Orchestra’s Web spotlight feature, please contact Editor Christian Wissmuller by e-mail at cwissmuller@symphonypublishing.com.

Web Spotlight ( a.k.a. Internet Sitings) appeared on pages 12 – 14 in the January issue of School Band and Orchestra.

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