Class Syllabus/Grading

Class Description

This is an elective class for high school students who play a traditional band instrument (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, percussion) in grades 9-12. The High School Concert Band provides students of the high school the opportunity to play age/skill level appropriate wind band literature at the highest possible standard. Outside of the school day, students may elect to participate in festival competition and/or other outings related to the goals of the class.

 

Prerequisites

Students who were in Concert Band during the previous school year automatically qualify for Concert Band the following year.  All students will audition for the director at the beginning of the school year to determine class seating and individual ability level.  The audition is to the advantage of the student as it allows the teacher to better cater the activities of the class to student needs.  This audition is mandatory and will count as a test grade.

 

Expectations

Band is a class, just like any other academic class—the only difference is the subject matter. Classroom rules still apply:

  • Skipping class is a serious offense.  If you skip class, you will be referred to the Office and forfeit all participation points for that week.  Students who are in both Band and Chorus are responsible for managing their own schedules between those two groups.  On “Band Days,” forgetting your instrument is not an excuse to go to Chorus.  Attending Band in lieu of Chorus (or vise-versa) will not be tolerated either and will be considered the same as skipping class.
    • Band/Chorus Rotation:
      • The different schedules used for band/chorus rotations may be viewed here: Vocal Instrumental Rotation Schedules
      • ***When Mr. Boice is unable to be in school, all band/chorus students will report to band, regardless of the schedule.  When Mr. Neville is unable to be in school, all band/chorus students will report to chorus.
      • The Band/Chorus rotation will be posted weekly on Mr. Neville’s whiteboard.  It is solely the responsibility of band/chorus students to check the schedule.
  • If you need to leave and don’t have a signed pass from another teacher (or had that teacher communicate with me ahead of time), don’t ask me to go anywhere.  I will not call the teacher to verify your whereabouts and I will not allow you leave to get a pass to bring it back to me to sign.
  • Having a signed pass from another teacher does not mean I have to let you miss class or will let you miss class.
  • To leave class to use the restroom, you need permission to take a lanyard—don’t just leave the room.  Leaving the room without a pass will be considered the same as skipping class.
  • No gum, food or drink is allowed in rehearsal, as they are serious choking hazards when playing a wind instrument.  At the very least, playing your instrument after eating can damage the inside of the instrument and require the instrument to be chemically treated.  You are also expected to play an active role in keeping our rehearsal room neat and organized.
  • The only items to be placed in your instrument cubby are your music and your instrument.  Band lockers are not to be used as lockers for books, backpacks, computers, etc.  Instrument and music—THAT’S IT.
  • Respectful behavior is a must during rehearsals.  We cannot work on music in a noisy environment—you have responsibility in ensuring our success.  Please also stay silent for the any afternoon announcements—many of your peers count on hearing those announcements for important information.
  • School-owned instruments and equipment are provided for those who play instruments that are inconveniently large, too expensive to reasonably be purchased, and/or are unavailable through standard instrument rental programs.  Like a textbook, students are responsible for the proper care of these items.  Lost items, or items that become damaged beyond normal/reasonable/expected wear and tear will be the financial responsibility of the student.

Daily Expectations:

  • You’re expected to be in your seat and ready to play by 12:45 at the latest.  If you don’t meet this expectation, you will be marked late—even if you are physically present in the room.
  • The objectives for each day’s rehearsal will be written on the board when you arrive.  Please organize your music appropriately.
  • Your band folder is your “textbook” for this class.  You must have it every day!  Do not rely on a stand partner.
  • You need a pencil for class—every day.  Do not rely on a stand partner!
  • Check your mailbox regularly for new music, handouts, books and other class materials.  You may (and are encouraged) to use your mailbox as a place to store class materials.
  • Active participation in the class is a must to pass the course.
    • “Active participation” includes, but is not limited to; working to one’s full potential, being prepared for class (pencil, music, etc.), and attendance and participation in all band activities and concerts recognized by the school.  Daily participation grades will be given for having all necessary class materials, posture, correct instrument position, etc.
    • Should you not be able to participate in a concert or otherwise be unable to complete a major grade for exceptional reasons, an extra-credit assignment will be assigned by the director to make up for the deficiency. The assignment must be completed in its entirety for you to pass.
    • Should you not be able to participate in a concert or mandatory rehearsal, it is YOUR (not your parents!) responsibility to notify the director by filling out an excusal request found outside the office door.
  • All other aspects of student expectations for the class shall be according to the Student Handbook.

Concerts

All performances are mandatory and are graded.   All of these events are located under the “Calendar” tab on the high school instrumental music website.

 

  • Winter Concert—December 9, 2015 @ HS Auditorium, 7:00pm.  Students report by 6:30pm.
  • Pasta Dinner (In small ensembles)—TBD
  • Pops Concert–February 22, 2016 @ MS Auditorium, 7:00pm.  Students report by 6:30pm.
  • Spring Concert—April 28, 2016 @ HS Auditorium, 7:00pm.  Students report by 6:30pm.
  • “Pyramid” Concert–May 26, 2016 @ MS Auditorium, 7:00pm.  Report time TBD.
  • Commencement–June 6, 2016 @ Robert Morris University.  Students report by 6:30pm.  (Graduating seniors and immediate family members of graduating seniors are excused).
  • PMEA Adjudication–TBD.
  • Community and/or Educational Concerts—TBD.

Please note that all scheduled concerts may require an additional dress rehearsal during the school day the week of the concert that may require students to miss classes other than band.  Such dress rehearsals are mandatory–students are fully excused from their other classes and are given adequate time to make up any missed work.

 

Symphony Orchestra

Players in the Concert Band who accept the responsibility of Principal chairs are required to play in the Symphony Orchestra, which is the ensemble that includes strings, winds, brass and percussion.  The purpose of this is to ensure that the requisite amount of winds, brass and percussion needed to have a Symphony Orchestra will be fulfilled, and also to give the Principal chairs in Concert Band solo/leadership opportunities relevant to the work they are asked to do in Concert Band. Additional wind, brass and percussion players may also volunteer for Symphony Orchestra.  These additional members may be appointed or auditioned as deemed necessary by Mr. Neville.

Symphony Orchestra will take place in Spring and will generally involve 3-5 after-school rehearsals in the weeks leading up to the concert.  Every effort will be made to schedule these rehearsals around the majority of student availability.  These rehearsals are mandatory for those who commit to playing in the Symphony Orchestra unless a student has an excuse that would legally excuse them from the school day (illness, academic/athletic obligation, extenuating family circumstances, etc.).

 

Principal Chairs

In order to promote student leadership, the title of “principal,” “co-principal” or “assistant principal” player will be granted to students who 1.) demonstrate superior musical ability and personal leadership potential, 2.) request that they be considered for a titled chair during their yearly seating audition and are interested in taking on an active leadership role in the group and 3.) accept the responsibilities of a principal chair.   The decision of whether or not to appoint any or all principal chairs is solely at Mr. Neville’s discretion.

Principal chair responsibilities include, but are not limited to: playing in all concerts that involve Symphony Orchestra as described above, assisting with fingerings/stickings/slide positions, leading the section with issues of style/articulation, dynamics and tempo, and setting positive examples of good etiquette, attitude and musicianship.

All “titled” chairs will be asked to attend extra curricular sessions for leadership training approximately twice a month (12 times per year).  These sessions will be scheduled at everyone’s convenience as much as possible and are required for titled chairs.  The school excusal policy will apply to sessions that a titled chair cannot attend.  Missing more than 3 sessions for any reason may result in that student’s removal from the chair position.  Concert Band students with chair titles who are also officers in the Marching Band and/or have been attending Marching Band leadership training and have so far missed fewer than two sessions will not be required to do this.


 

Dress Code for Performances

Men

  • White collared dress shirt with necktie, black dress pants, black socks and black dress shoes.  Matching black suit jacket or black vest is optional.

Women

  • White blouse, sweater or other white dress top within school dress code. Black dress pants or black skirt of an appropriate length (no higher than two inches above the knee). Appropriate dress shoes.

 

Grading

Students in the Quaker Valley High School Concert Band receive 1.5 academic credits for their participation in the ensemble.  Members of the Concert Band who are also in the Marching Band will receive 1.5 honors credits for their participation in both ensembles (the term for students who are in both Marching Band and Concert Band is Honors Band).  The following are examples of graded items:

  • Rehearsals/Class Participation/Preparation
  • Performances, exams and assignments:

    • Yearly Seating Audition
    • Two Rehearsal Reviews
    • Two Concert Reviews
    • Etudes/Playing Homework
    • Performances
    • Marching Band Rehearsals and Performances (For Honors Band members only)

 

Grades for performances and rehearsals are based upon execution, preparedness and conduct as outlined under “Expectations” above.  All scheduled performances and rehearsals will be graded and are mandatory.