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Concert Ensemble Overview

posted Aug 17, 2017, 10:21 AM by Athens Drive High School Band
CONCERT ENSEMBLE OVERVIEW
Fall & Spring Semesters, 2017-18

Concert Band
Symphonic Band 
Wind Ensemble 

The following information is intended to provide an overview of each of the concert ensembles offered in our band program.  Please read this document carefully and sign the last page.

Course Descriptions

The Concert Band is open to all students who have successfully completed at least one year of middle school band.  Students who do not meet this criterion should contact the band director to arrange an audition.  It is expected that participants are enrolled in the course for the entire year, that they are serious about music, and that they will practice as needed outside of class in order to perform successfully.  The Concert Band meets every day for one period (block) and performs several concerts throughout the year. 

The Symphonic Band is the intermediate level band class at Athens Drive, with membership granted by director approval only.  It is expected that participants are enrolled in the course for the entire year, that they are serious about music, and that they will practice as needed outside of class in order to perform successfully.  The Symphonic Band performs a wide variety of literature, from relatively simple standards to works for advanced high school groups.  The Symphonic Band rehearses every day for one period (block) and performs several concerts throughout the year including State Festival in March and Graduation in June.  

The Wind Ensemble is the most advanced band class at Athens Drive, with membership granted by audition only.  It is expected that participants are enrolled in the course for the entire year, that they are serious about music, and that they will practice as needed outside of class in order to perform successfully.  Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to study privately throughout the year and audition for regional honor bands.  The Wind Ensemble performs a wide variety of literature, from relatively simple standards to works for collegiate ensembles.  The Wind Ensemble rehearses every day for one period (block) and performs several concerts throughout the year including State Festival in March and Graduation in June.

Materials
Each student will be provided music and instructional books.  It is the students’ responsibility to provide instruments in good condition and accessories such as reeds, oils and mutes.  Members are also expected to purchase concert attire; please see the section entitled “Concert Uniform” later in this letter.

Students who will be using a school-owned instrument on a regular basis (percussion, tubas, baritones, etc.) will be assessed a $90 usage fee for each school year (this is in addition to the “fair-share” fee described below).  The entire fee is due Friday, Oct. 27 (end of 1st quarter) and helps defray the cost of regular maintenance on these instruments (e.g., new drum heads, chemical cleaning of brass instruments, replacing pads on woodwind instruments).  Students using these instruments are expected to perform regular maintenance (swab, oil) and store/transport these instruments carefully.  Students will be charged extra for unreturned materials and repair/replacement of equipment due to neglect or damage. 
At the beginning of the school year, students will complete forms releasing the school district from responsibility for securing personal property (individually owned instruments) as well as forms detailing students’ responsibility for securing/maintaining school-owned equipment.

Fair-Share Assessment
In order to cover the expenses necessary to operate a fine concert program, each student is required to contribute a $110 “fair share assessment” for each year of participation ($140 for Wind Ensemble students).  Students who are participating in the band classes for only one semester are required to contribute $55 ($70 for Wind Ensemble students).  The assessment covers the cost of music (including rental fee for band copier), acquisition of school-owned instruments, stipend for guest instructors/clinicians, supplies such as auxiliary percussion, tuners, mutes, special mouthpieces, ligatures, etc.  We receive NO FUNDING from WCPSS for these needs.

The assessment can be paid in two ways:  1) remit the entire amount by Friday, Oct. 27; or 2) remit the one semester fee (above) by Oct. 27 and the remainder by Mar. 23 (end of 3rd quarter).  Checks should be made payable to “ADHS Band Boosters.”  You may also email our booster treasurer at treasurer@athensdriveband.com to authorize the deduction of this expense from your band account (applicable to students enrolled in marching band or those working fund-raising events).

Concert Uniform
Concert Band:
-Boys – black shoes, black socks, black dress pants, white button-down shirt.We will LOAN each boy a uniform tie.  The tie will be distributed before each concert and collected immediately afterwards. 
-Girls – black closed-toe shoes, black pants or skirt, white blouse.  All hems and slits must be below the knee when sitting, shoulders must be covered, and only small jewelry may be worn.

Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble:
-Boys – black shoes, black socks, black dress pants, white tux shirt, black cummerbund and bow tie.  A black jacket will be provided by the school for Wind Ensemble students. 
For your convenience, a representative from a local formalwear shop will  be visiting our school during the next few weeks to measure the students for the tux shirt, cummerbund, and bow tie.  The total cost of these items is @$40 and is due upon receipt (early October).  
-Girls – uniform black dress, black closed-toe shoes, small jewelry.  Wind Ensemble students will be provided special jewelry.
For your convenience, new members will be measured for a uniform black dress during the first 3 weeks of school.  The cost of the dress is @$65 and is due upon receipt (early October).  

Students will be inspected before each concert begins for proper attire.  Students who are not dressed appropriately may be denied permission to perform with grade deduction.

GRADING SPECIFICS (see rubric at end of packet)

1) Weekly Grades
Weekly grades will be submitted by each student and posted on electronic grade book based on criteria of attendance and quality of participation.  Please note that 
this grade only provides a general idea of how the student is progressing.  

2) Concert and Dress Rehearsal Attendance
A complete concert schedule is included at the end of this packet and is posted on the website.  It is very important that each family examine the schedule carefully for any serious conflicts and, if necessary notify the director ASAP if such a conflict exists.  Due to the “team-like” nature of our ensembles, the absence of a single member can have a significant adverse effect on the quality of performance.  It may be best to think of the schedule as a “contract” between your family and the school:  You and your child agree to attend all dress rehearsals/performances, and the school agrees to avoid making any changes to the schedule without proper and timely notification.

3) Playing Proficiencies 
Concert Band students will be responsible for “checking off” a given number of scales/exercises/musical selections each quarter.  In addition, each student will get the opportunity to perform for the director at the end of each semester.  Results of check-ups can influence chair placements and leadership positions.
Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble students will be responsible for performing in a Chamber Group each quarter as part of their playing proficiency.  Several opportunities will be made available each quarter for students to fulfill this requirement.  Visiting instructors may also assign students etudes/solos, etc. for a grade.

4) Written Assignments/Honors Credit
Concert Band students will be responsible for completing rhythm sheets and other types of written assignments each quarter.  
Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble students will receive a weighted “Honors Credit” each quarter provided they fulfill at least ONE of the following requirements:
a. Participate in an after school or auditioned group that rehearses throughout at least one semester (e.g., Marching Band; Winterguard; Jazz Ensemble; Indoor Percussion; TYP, TYS, TYBB).  Attend a LIVE PERFORMANCE of an approved concert and write a 1 page critique of the event.  Please include program with your submission.
b. Take at least 3 private lessons on their class instrument during the quarter.  A letter must be acquired from the private instructor indicating that satisfactory progress has been made. 
c. Audition and perform in an Honor Band (Central District Honor Band, UNCG Honor Band).

5) Practice Records
Practice outside rehearsals is crucial for musical development.  Students are highly encouraged to block out time each week (daily if possible) to improve their performance.  This type of discipline can be very rewarding if done correctly.  Students will receive points each quarter for submitting a practice record.

6) Extra Credit
Additional credit is awarded for students who take private lessons, participate in an after-school ensemble, an Honors Band, or even a church musical group that performs regularly.  In this way, students are awarded for doing things which promote their overall musicianship and foster good musical instinct.

7) Quarterly Grades
Quarterly grades are determined by the number of points earned for the criteria listed above (#1-6).  At the conclusion of each quarter, students will complete the “Grading Rubric/Contract” which lists the criteria and point values.  (See rubric at end of packet.)

Final Thoughts
We are very fortunate to offer these concert ensembles at Athens Drive.  As each is considered an “elective” and operates as a “team,” students who repeatedly break course policy (making it more difficult for others to learn) will be dismissed.  Thank you for our support and enthusiasm! 

Concert Ensemble Overview 2017-18

Please sign and return by Friday, Sept. 1 acknowledging that you have read the concert ensemble overview and will follow the policies contained within to the best of your ability.  Students must inform the band office immediately if there is a serious conflict with the schedule (printed under separate cover) and/or if there is a problem securing funding for the fair share assessment ($110 Concert Band-Symphonic Band/$140 Wind Ensemble), school instrument usage fee ($90), and/or concert attire.

Student signature ______________________________      

Parent signature _______________________________


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