Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get to be in band and/or orchestra?

There is an audition to be in band and orchestra. It’s mainly used to give the directors an idea of the students’ current ability level, not whether you made it or not. We usually do auditions in January at the end of the first semester. The audition consists of playing a set solo, a few scales or rudiments if you are a drummer, and some sight reading. All wind players and percussionists audition to be in band and all string players audition to be in the orchestra. The winds and percussion in orchestra are chosen by audition from the upperclassmen in the band by their chair audition during the previous year. 

When does the band and orchestra rehearse?

Freedom is on a 6 day cycle, days numbered 1 through 6. Band rehearses all year on days 1,3, and 5 1st block. The orchestra rehearses all year 1st block on days 2,4, and 6.

Can I be in just orchestra only?

Only if your are a string player. If your play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument you must be a member of the band in order to be in orchestra.

Do I have to come to early morning rehearsals?

Yes. The band comes in at 7:00am on band days only during the fall marching season. The orchestra comes in at 7:00am on orchestra days all year. Early morning rehearsals are a part of your participation grade. 

Has anyone ever auditioned and was not accepted into the band/orchestra?

Yes. There have been a few instances where we felt the students were so far behind in where they should be coming into the high program that we recommended they take a year of lessons before being put into the band or orchestra. It’s happened 3 times since 1998. 

Can I be in band and orchestra?

Yes. If you can fit both into your schedule, you can do both. See the first question above about auditions.

Can I be in choir as well as band or orchestra?

Yes. You can be in any combination of band, orchestra, pate choir, or concert choir if your schedule allows it.

What do I do if I’m in concert choir and band since they meet on the same days during the same block? Same thing with orchestra and pate choir?

If you are in music classes that meet at the same time (band and concert choir, orchestra and pate choir) a printed schedule is posted outside the band room and choral room at the beginning of each month. It shows where you go on which day. You basically alternate between classes, meaning you will be in band once every 4 days and concert choir once every 4 days.

Do I receive academic credit for being in band and orchestra?

Yes. You receive 1 credit for being in band if you are in all year and 1 credit for orchestra if you are in all year. You receive 1 credit if you are in band and concert choir. You receive 1 credit if you are in orchestra and pate choir.

Is there a financial requirement to being in the band and/or orchestra?

Every student that is in the band and orchestra has a student account set up for them. It is maintained by the FHSBOPO. Every student in the band and orchestra is asked to contribute $75 each year they are in band and orchestra. This is the operating expense. If you are in both, it is still only $75 for the year. It is $75 per student, not ensemble. In addition to the operating expense, band members are required to purchase uniform items: a band t-shirt, mesh shorts, specific band shoes, gloves, and a garment bag. Boys in the orchestra, wind ensemble, or jazz band are required to rent a tux from CE Roth Formal Wear in Allentown for $40 and girls are required to purchase a black gown for $60. You use the same tux for all three groups mentioned. The band uniform items and the orchestra gown is a one time purchase as long as you don’t outgrow the items. The tux must be rented each year the student is in orchestra, wind ensemble, or jazz band and must be returned each year at a designated time in the spring. The only other financial requirement is having your band uniform dry-cleaned on an as needed basis.

Do I get a uniform?

All band members are given a band uniform. The orchestra uniform is mentioned in the previous question.

Do I have to pay for everything out of my own pocket?

No. Throughout the year, the FHSBOPO sets up many fundraisers you can participate in and all profit goes into your student account automatically.

Can I use my student account for personal and family purchases?

You may use your student account to purchase uniform items, rent your tux, purchase your gown if you need a new one, or make trip payments. If you are new to the program or have a zero balance, you will need to pay for your uniform items out of pocket. You can only use it for school related purchases and it can only be used for your use. This means your student account cannot be used for payments for your parents or relatives that may be going on a music trip. 

How many performances do the band and orchestra do in a year?

The band performs at all home and away football games, plus any post season games the team may get into. The band also does a minimum of 2 parades in the fall, the Bethlehem Memorial Day Parade once every 3 years (we will be doing in 2011), an annual spring concert, and Bethlehem Christmas tree lighting also once every 3 years. The orchestra does 2 concerts combined with the choirs (1 in December and 1 in the spring), a separate holiday concert and spring concert in addition to the combined concerts, and we play at graduation. The orchestra also has performed for the National Honor Society induction in previous years.

How is chair seating assigned?

By a music audition comprised of current literature we are working on and scales or rudiments.

How are grades determined?

Each performance is considered a test and is given a score. We do periodic music and performance evaluations where musical concepts are rated by a rubric. Students are also graded on their daily participation, cooperation, responsibility, punctuality, and preparedness.

Do I have to try out every year?

No. Once you are in the band or orchestra, you do not need to reaudition. However, all students still need to do the chair auditions for part placement and section seating.

Can I learn a new instrument and still be in band or orchestra?

Yes if you are already a member and are taking lessons.

How often does the band and orchestra go on a trip?

Lately we have been taking a trip every year. 

Am I required to go on the trip?

No. All band, orchestra, and jazz band members are encouraged to go but are not required. Depending on who does go will often determine if an ensemble is able to perform or not.

If I am a senior and in orchestra, is it true I don’t get to graduate with my class?

All senior members of the orchestra are required to perform with the orchestra at graduation. Senior orchestra members do not walk in with the class. Seniors in orchestra do wear their caps and gowns, do walk across the stage and have their names read to receive their diploma, and do walk out with the class. They are the last students to recess out of the arena.

How do I get to be in jazz band?

By audition. Auditions are usually held right after the marching season is over. There is a required solo to play, plus sight reading and scales. 

When does jazz band rehearse?

Jazz Band has typically rehearsed from 7:00am to 8:00am on band days after the marching season is over. There have also been after school sectionals from 2:30 to 3:30 on a rotating basis.

Does the orchestra rehearse over the summer?


When is bandcamp?

There are 4 summer rehearsals during July for 2 hours once a week. Band camp is 3 weeks in August Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 1:00pm with the full band and 2:00pm to 4:00pm rotating sections. The complete summer band and band camp schedule can be found on the CALENDAR page of this website.