Walter L. Sickles High School Bands

HOME OF THE GRYPHONS  ~  7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa FL  33626

HOME OF THE GRYPHONS  ~  7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa FL  33626

Florida Bandmasters Association - District 7

Director of Bands: Keith A. Griffis   |    Principal: Mary Freitas


*MICROSOFT TRANSLATER TOOL will convert website pages to  Spanish.  Works best on laptop or desktop. 




January 21, 2020

Sickles Jazz Parents,

We very much look forward to our upcoming events for the Sickles Jazz Ensemble! Please read below for some important jazz updates and reminders:

This Friday is our annual trip to Smith Middle School for our rehearsathon with the Smith Shark Attack Jazz Band! At this fun and educational event, both the middle schoolers and high schoolers will perform their MPA programs for eachother. After the performances, our Sickles jazz students will sit "side-by-side" with the Smith jazz students and help them with their MPA music (students will be able to recieve service hours for this event). 

By this time, students should have aqcuired permission signatures from their 5-7th period teachers for this in-school trip. We will walk as a group from Sickles to Smith at 1:15pm, and will conclude at Smith by 4:30pm. Students can either be picked up at Smith, or walk back to Sickles to be picked up there. 

Please find attached the itinerary for Jazz MPA on February 6th, 2020 at Plant HS! As you will see, our performancea bit earlier in the evening than in years past - it will be important that students have organized their ride to get to plant right after school. If your student needs help with transportation to Plant HS from Sickles please let me know! If you are willing to come to Sickles after school to help transport students/equipment, please let me know that as well :)

All County Jazz

Students should sign up THIS WEEK if they would like to audition for the Hillsborough All County Jazz band. All materials/information was passed out several weeks ago - I look forward to Sickles having great representation in this ensemble! Auditions will be held on Feb. 24th at Armwood HS. Times and additional info TBA.


Mr. Griffis

January 17, 2020

Wall of Sound Families,

We are excited to again feature The Marching Wall of Sound in Tampa’s iconic Gasparilla Parade on Saturday January 25th This has proven to be a fantastic opportunity for our students to participate in a fun, televised event while performing on a huge scale for thousands of people. Parents will have the opportunity to purchase seats on our parent bus to be transported to/from the event and join the Wall of Sound along the parade route. Please find attached an itinerary for the parade the event.


Please find attached an info sheet for the official Gapsarilla Wall of Sound Spectator Bus. Please READ CAREFULLY the expectations for participating with the Wall of Sound as a spectator – There will be a zero-tolerance policy for violations of these expectations. Please send in your form/payment ASAP to Mr. Griffis, as this bus will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. This is a great opportunity to accompany the Sickles Wall of Sound and experience the Gasparilla Parade!

We are accepting donations of beads for Gasparilla – any donations may be sent in to the band room and are greatly appreciated.

We are still encouraging additional donations of shoes for our inaugural shoe drive. Gently-used shoes may still be sent in through the end of the month. Huge thanks to the many, many that have helped us with this great cause!

Have a great 3 day weekend, and GO GRYPHONS!!!!

Mr. Griffis


I wanted to take a moment to let you know about our inagural Shoe Drive. The Wall of Sound is partnering with "Shoes for Heart" this  year as we seek donations of gently-used shoes. Through the end of the month, shoes can simply be dropped off in the band room or in the main office (simply let them know they are for the band). We would be immensely grateful for any support of this great cause!


For any students wishing to purchase the black concert dress, please see the attached order form. As a reminder, our female concert/symphonic/wind ensemble students must wear either this concert dress or black dress shirt/dress pants/dress shoes/dress socks/belt for performances. If your student already owns a concert dress from their middle school band, they may wear this as well.

Our next performance will be the Pre-MPA Performance at Sickles on Thursday, Feb.13th (performance times TBA). These forms will be due by NEXT FRIDAY, 1/24.


Wind Ensemble Parents,

Please join me in congratulating the members of the Sickles High School Wind Ensemble on their acceptance into the University of Central Florida's Concert Band Invitational! Our Wind Ensemble was selected by merit of a competitive application process that included submission of recordings of past performances. As a result, our students will have the opportunity to perform in the incredible Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando, but to interact and receive feedback from musical experts from around the nation. We will also have the opportunity to hear performances from other selected schools as well as the UCF Wind Ensemble. This will be an extraordinary opportunity and great accolade for our students.  

The event will take place Wednesday, April 8th. Students will be provided transportation to and from the event - this will simply be a day trip to Orlando. I will have more info on this event as we get closer. In the meantime, students should be congratulated for this accomplishment and encouraged to ensure this date is marked on their calendar. 


Please join me in welcoming Mr. Malcom Stewart to our Sickles Band Family this spring as our Student-Teaching Intern from USF this semester! Mr. Stewart is a senior Music Education student and accomplished Saxophonist at USF – I very much look forward to the opportunity for our students to interact and learn from Mr. Stewart!



Bring your gently worn shoes that you no longer need/use to the Band Room throughout December and January.

  • Winter Guard refer to Sensations-specific calendar
  • 1/25 Saturday - Gasparilla Parade
  • 2/6 - Jazz MPA @ Plant High School
  • 2/7-8 Friday & Saturday - Solo and Ensemble Festival @ Plant HS (for participating students)
  • 2/13 Thursday - Pre-MPA Concert (for Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble)
  • 3/6-7 Friday & Saturday - MPA @Blake HS for Concert, Symphonic, and Wind Ensemble
  • 4/7 Tuesday - Sickles Jazz Night (for jazz students)
  • 5/7 Thursday - Band Spring Concert
  • 5/14 Thursday - Band Banquet



A request for applications for the Aria Jackson Memorial Band Scholarship for band seniors in the Spring.  The winner will be announced at the annual band banquet held in May. 




With over 225 band students, individual and corporate donations are necessary to help our band programs operate and to provide and maintain important needs such as uniforms, instruments, music, travel expenses and much more.  Please consider supporting these students and staff by visiting our SUPPORT PAGE to learn more or go directly to the PayPal DONATE button below to proceed with sending your tax deductible contribution to our program.




The Wall of Sound Shutterfly site is a central location for all photos of band. It is a source for the annual band slide show shown at the annual banquet. Please add your photos and videos there for the whole band to see and share. You can send a request to be added from the site or send an email to

Florida State 


Marching Chiefs

University of 


Gator Marching Band

University of 

South Florida 

Herd of Thunder

University of 

Central Florida 

Marching Knights

University of 


Dept. of Music


Wind Band