BISD Orchestra Handbook North Belton Middle School Lake Belton Middle School South Belton Middle School

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1 BISD Orchestra Handbook North Belton Middle School Lake Belton Middle School South Belton Middle School Directors Ann Woodard Lake Belton & North Belton Middle Schools Lydia Christensen South Belton Middle School John Fairlie Assistant, all BISD Middle Schools 1

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3 BISD Orchestra Handbook This handbook is designed to be a standard for organization and operational procedures for the expanding orchestra program in Belton schools. Students and Directors must exhibit the highest professional standards at all times for the orchestra program to continue the successful growth we are now experiencing in BISD. The mission of the BISD Orchestra program is to teach values such as respect, class, work ethic, teamwork, while providing students with positive life experiences and leadership through the pursuit of excellence in Fine Arts. Students and Parents should read this handbook, as it is a valuable tool to ensure the continued success of the orchestra program. John Fairlie, Orchestra Director (BHS) Assistant Director, all BISD Middle Schools Ann Woodard, Orchestra Director (LBMS & NBMS) Lydia Christensen, Orchestra Director (SBMS & BHS)

4 Table of Contents Orchestra Calendar..5 Supply Checklist..6 Instruments..6 Instrument Storage..7 Orchestra Room & Practice Room.. 7 Expectations 7 Consequences.. 7 Grading Policies.. 8 Tips for Success.. 8 Practice 9 Concert Dress Code Attendance Policy..10 Eligibility 10 UIL Concert & SR Contest Parent Drop-Off & Pick-Up Spring Trip Communication 12 FORMS TO RETURN TO DIRECTOR Orchestra Handbook Agreement Form 13 Contact Information Form..14 Boosters Club Interest Form

5 Orchestra Calendar August rd Wednesday- All Supplies due in class (see supply list) September th Wednesday - First $50 payment due (if renting BISD instrument) October th Saturday- High School Region orchestra Temple HS 10 th Tuesday- BHS Chamber Orchestra BEEF Tenroc 6 p.m. 11 th Wednesday- Second $50 payment due (if renting BISD instrument) 21 st Saturday- Middle School Region orchestra Harker Hts. HS 24 th Tuesday- BHS/NBMS Fall PAC 7 p.m. 26 th Thursday- LBMS/SBMS Fall SBMS 7 p.m. 28 th Saturday- High School All-State orchestra recording AMCHS December th Tuesday- LBMS/NBMS Holiday NBMS 7:30 p.m. *NOTE TIME! 7 th Thursday- BHS/SBMS Holiday PAC 7 p.m. 9 th Saturday- HS/MS All Region Baylor January th Saturday- HS UIL Solo & Ensemble Harker Hts. HS February th Tuesday- MS/HS Pre-UIL Benchmark PAC 7 p.m. March nd Friday- MS/HS Temple High School April th Friday MS/HS Solo and Ensemble SBMS May st Tuesday- SBMS/NBMS Spring NBMS 7 p.m. 3 rd Thursday- BHS/LBMS Spring PAC 7 p.m. 7 th Monday- BHS Orchestra Banquet (location TBA) 6 p.m. 21 st Monday- MS Awards night (location & time TBA) 31 st Thursday- Graduation (BHS orchestras Expo Ctr. 2 p.m. NOTE: Event times/locations subject to change! 5

6 Supply Checklist All supplies are due by Wednesday, August Instrument 2. Pencil 3. Method Books note which book(s) are required for each class: Beginning Orchestra: Essential Elements for Strings by Allen, Gillespie and Hayes (Book 1 in the Fall, Book 2 in Spring) Intermediate Orchestra: Essential Elements for Strings Book 2 AND Essential Technique for Strings by Allen, Gillespie and Hayes Advanced Orchestra: Essential Technique for Strings by Allen, Gillespie and Hayes 4. 1 Black Binder 5. Spare Strings (suggested) 6. Music Stand (for home practice) 7. Clean Cloth (piece of an old, clean t-shirt, washcloth, or handkerchief) 8. Shoulder Rest (violin and viola only SUMI recommended) 9. Rock Stop (cello and bass only) 10. Rosin (to be kept in instrument case) Instruments All students are encouraged to rent or purchase their own instruments. Listed below are stores we highly recommend and have approved as our instrument vendors. The Band Room Lisle Violin Shop 2805 N Loop Burke Rd. Belton, TX Pasadena, TX or All students playing an instrument owned by Belton ISD will be required to pay a maintenance fee of $100 per year. There will be a limited number of violins/violas available under special circumstances. The fee is intended to help offset a small part of the normal repair and upkeep cost of these expensive school owned instruments. Students are encouraged to rent or purchase their own instruments. At least one week before the last day of school the instruments MUST be checked in (returned) at the school. Instrument usage fee can be paid in two separate installments of $50 each (Sept. 8 th - first payment due, October 13 th - second payment due). Checks should be made out to BISD. All fees are non-refundable. If a student moves or is no longer part of the orchestra program, they will not receive a refund. All orchestra students that use a school-owned instrument will be responsible for paying the full fee regardless of the enrollment date. Students will not be denied from playing an instrument because they are unable to pay this fee. Contact the orchestra director if you need assistance. 6

7 Instrument Storage (if available) Each student will have a locker assigned (if available) to him or her for his or her instrument and orchestra supplies. Use of a lock is required. Lockers are for storage of instruments and music only. Please keep schoolbooks, coats, athletic wear, etc. in other appropriate locations. Orchestra & Practice Room These are your rooms to use! Show respect and pride by keeping them neat and clean. 1. No food, drinks, or gum allowed in orchestra room or ensemble/practice rooms 2. Keep orchestra locker clean and neat 3. No writing on stands, chairs, walls, lockers, etc. 4. Only orchestra students are allowed in the orchestra room at any time Expectations 1. Be on time. 2. Follow directions. 3. When interacting with others, check body language, voice tone and words (Be Positive) 4. Have your instrument and all supplies necessary to play your instrument. PENCIL! 5. No gum, food or drink is allowed in the orchestra rehearsal room. 6. Clipped fingernails on the left hand* *Left hand fingernails must be kept short enough for students to use the tips of their fingers when holding down the string on the fingerboard. For most people, this means that the fingernails should not extend beyond the tip of the finger. Artificial or acrylic fingernails should not be worn. Consequences If rules are not followed there will be consequences including: 1. Warning 2. Parent phone call 3. Office referral 4. Severe consequences might include being excluded from extracurricular activities or removal from the program 7

8 Middle School Grading Policy 60% Major Grade: The major grades are made up of a combination of assigned written quizzes, playing exams, tests, and concerts. The Director will notify the students at least one week in advance of all quizzes or exams. Quizzes may be either a playing quiz or written quiz. 40% Minor Grade: The minor grades are made up of daily participation in class, individual playing checks, and practice records. Concerts: Concerts are a major test grade. A grade will be assigned according to the student s performance. All students are required to stay for the entire concert. No student is permitted to leave early without director s permission or 20 points will be deducted from the concert grade. Tips for a Successful Year in Orchestra Always be prepared for class 1. Instruments and parts (shoulder rest, rosin, rock stop) 2. Orchestra binder and method book 3. Pencil 4. Practice assignment sheet Practice 1. Set a goal when you practice 2. Pick a daily time to practice and stick to it 3. Eliminate distractions 4. Use a music stand 5. Practice with good posture, always listening for a beautiful sound, musical expression, and accurate intonation 6. Start practicing slow and work up to the actual tempo 8

9 Practice Students must practice regularly to improve on their instruments and to achieve a continuing level of success. Practice marathons do not achieve the same positive results as practicing distributed over several days. Therefore, it is suggested that you try to divide your practice time over the entire week rather than crowd it into one or two days. Students are expected to practice at least 100 minutes per week outside of class time. Class meetings and rehearsals are not to be used as a practice session, but as time for working out ensemble concerns. Practice records and playing tests may be administered regularly. Assignments will be determined on a class by class basis. Concert Dress Code Middle School Boys: Orchestra polo shirt (We will be ordering these in early September, and there will be a $20 fee for purchase.) Black pants (no jeans or cargo pants) Black shoes & Black Socks Middle School Girls: Orchestra polo shirt (We will be ordering these in early September, and there will be a $20 fee for purchase.) Black pants (no jeans or cargo pants) or Black skirt (must be over knee when sitting down) Black shoes Black or skin tone stockings (optional) 9

10 Attendance Policy Orchestra activities are planned so that the least amount of activities will conflict. All students are encouraged to participate in as many activities as they wish, but at the same time, orchestra members are required to participate in all orchestra events, rehearsals and performances - remembering that a grade is given for each event. IMPORTANT: In the event of a conflict, the student has the responsibility of submitting a signed note, , or phone call from a parent or the appropriate teacher or sponsor stating the reason for the conflict. Notes that have not been submitted prior to two weeks before the orchestra event may not be considered. This note does not automatically excuse an absence. Each case is considered individually and privately according to its circumstances. Eligibility It is very important that each student maintains passing grades in all classes in addition to orchestra. If you are having trouble passing a class, please notify your conductor. We expect each member of the Belton Orchestra to do all the work necessary to pass all his or her classes. School performances (events held on a BISD campus) are required regardless of a student s grades. UIL Contests/Extra-Curricular activities (events not held on a BISD campus and/or UIL events) are directly affected by students eligibility. All grades must be passing to attend contests and school orchestra trips (events outside of BISD) UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Competition (Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras Only) This year each Belton Middle School Intermediate and Advanced Orchestra will compete in the annual UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to work towards a common goal, stretch themselves musically, and receive feedback from other professional orchestra directors around the state of Texas. However, this wonderful opportunity takes preparation and work on behalf of both the directors and students. 7th/8th grade students will be required to attend the Pre-UIL concert in early February to be eligible to participate in the competition. If, in case of emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflict, please refer to the attendance policy above for instructions. 10

11 Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up Please take note of when students are scheduled to arrive for concerts and special events. Doors will be unlocked at the time indicated on the arrival sheet. Supervision prior to this time will not be provided. Students are expected to be picked up from field trips and special events at the time indicated on the itenerary. Please make arrangements prior to the event if you forsee a conflict. If you have not picked up your child thirty minutes after the indicated finish time, the police will be called to come wait for you. Spring Trip To be eligible to participate in the end of the year orchestra/band/choir trip, students must: 1. Be academically eligible during the grading period of the trip. This is an extracurricular trip; therefore, students must have passed all classes (70+) on the fifth six weeks report card. 2. Return a signed permission slip, filled out completely 3. Be present and perform at all major/formal performances. These performances are graded and participation is mandatory. 4. If a band/choir/orchestra student loses trip privileges for any of these music organizations, he/she loses trip privileges for the spring trip 5. Have settled all financial obligations to the fine arts organization and to the school before the trip. 6. Have met behavior standards: Zero Suspensions, LTISS, DAEP, JJAEP for the entire school year Second semester only: Less than four (4) days of ISS and Disciplinary Saturday School combined. Directors, counselors, and/or principals will determine who is eligible to make the trip. Any habitually disruptive student may be subject to exclusion. * Please remember to communicate attendance conflicts with directors immediately. One absence may not be held against the student s trip eligibility. A second missed major/formal performance will result in the loss of the privilege of participating in the Spring Trip. 11

12 Communication Charms is a web-based program in which parents and students may view the orchestra calendar, view handouts, communicate with the director, etc. It also allows directors to contact students AND parents through and text. Charms Office- To access your student s information, instrument rental, as well as other documents: Log on to Locate the Parent/Student Login section of the web page Log-in to your child s program account using the following login: School Code: BeltonOrch This will bring up the main parent page. This will allow you to look at your child s orchestra calendar, supply list, handouts and other files Clicking on an event on the calendar brings up details for that event, such as times, attendance requirements and equipment/uniform necessities. Clicking on event list puts all the calendar information in a list form for easy printing. When you enter your child s ID NUMBER, another more detailed screen appears with even more options to view your child s instrument assignment, financial records, forms and inventory. Enter your child s ID FIRST- then you may create your own, unique password by clicking on the keys icon Help the director maintain his/her records o Student Information Form- if the director has allowed it, you may help make changes to your child s student information page (such as updating phone numbers, and addresses if they change) to help the teacher communicate with you more directly Most importantly, the parent page assists both you and the teacher to communicate with each other. Information may also be obtained by going to your student s orchestra website: NBMS: LBMS: SBMS: *****The two pages that follow need to be returned to your orchestra director***** 12

13 Orchestra Handbook Agreement Please fill out the FRONT & BACK of this form and return to your director by August 23 rd. STUDENTS: I have received, reviewed and understand the policies and guidelines in the BISD Orchestra Handbook. I understand what is expected of me as an orchestra member. I will follow the rules and guidelines for the class as stated by the Director and in this handbook and will accept the consequences for my actions. PARENTS/GUARDIANS: I have received, reviewed and understand the policies and guidelines in the BISD Orchestra Handbook. I understand what is expected of my student as an orchestra member. I will encourage my student to follow the rules and guidelines for the class as stated by the Director and in this handbook and my child will accept the consequences for his/her actions. Student Printed Name Student Signature Date Parent Signature Date ************************************************************************ NEW STUDENTS ONLY All BISD Middle School Orchestra students are required to purchase an orchestra polo shirt, which will be part of the uniform for concerts and UIL competition. The same shirts will be used by all Belton middle school orchestras, and can be used for the duration of their middle school years. The shirts are made of wicking high quality material, and will not shrink. The price is $20 per shirt. Note: All sizes are ADULT sizes (not child). Shirts run on the Large side!! Please circle one option: Adult S Adult M Adult L Adult XL Adult 2X Adult 3X Please make checks out to your school orchestra (NBMS orchestra, LBMS orchestra, SBMS orchestra), and note SHIRT in the memo line. You may also pay with cash. Payment should be returned with this form. 13

14 PLEASE PRINT CONTACT INFORMATION FIRST NAME LAST NAME Mailing Address: City, St, Zip: Home Phone: ( ) Student Cell Phone: ( ) Student Birthdate Private Lesson Teacher (if applicable): I am interested in receiving information about private lessons for my orchestra student. Feel free to write same as above for any repeated information. Adult Contact 1 Adult Contact 2 Relation Relation First Name First Name Last Name Last Name Address Address City/State/Zip City/State/Zip Occupation/Skills Occupation/Skills Home Phone Home Phone Work Phone Work Phone Cell Phone Cell Phone New! I would like to receive orchestra reminders and updates via text YES NO Please Select One Option: 1. I have purchased or will rent or purchase my child s instrument from one of the recommended vendors. 3. Availability permitting, I would like to rent a BISD instrument, agreeing to the procedures and $100 maintenance fee described in the orchestra handbook 14

15 Belton Orchestra Boosters Welcome Letter Greetings Parents, Guardians and Students of the Orchestra! We would like to welcome you back to another wonderful school year of music and learning and introduce you to the new Belton Orchestra Boosters! What is the purpose of the booster club? The purpose of the Booster Club is to support all orchestra programs in the Belton Independent School District. Who can join the booster club? The Booster Club is made up of parents, students, siblings, grandparents, teachers and any others in the community that would like to join. No experience necessary. How is the booster club funded? The Booster Club is funded through membership dues, donations from individuals and businesses and through fundraising activities. If I Join, What Do I Have to Do? Once you fill out and pay your membership fee you decide how much you want to be involved. The dates, times, and location of the meetings will be sent through to everyone who wants to come and have a voice. We welcome your ideas, attendance to meetings and your vote in decision making. You can also sign up to help with membership, fundraising, performance and/or uniform committee. It is not a requirement of membership to participate in any way and we welcome any time you can volunteer your time and talents. Annual Booster Club Membership Membership dues are only $10 per person. A booster club membership application is included in this handbook. The board is excited to be working on behalf of all of our wonderful directors and musicians in the orchestra program. Please the booster club at with any questions, concerns or comments. Your executive board, Vicky Finley President Debbie Miller President-Elect Jo Friedman Treasurer Michael Canales Secretary 15

16 Belton Orchestra Boosters Membership Form We are encouraging 100% participation! The Belton Orchestra Boosters exists to support all BISD orchestra programs. Please return this form to your orchestra director. Parent/Student Contact Information Parent Name(s): Address: Address: Student Name(s): Best Phone Number: Is this Cell/ Home/ Work? Best Time to Call? School/Grade/Instrument: Address: Cell Phone Number: Membership Dues and Donations Membership Fee $10 per person) $ Please make check payable to Donation to the Orchestra Boosters $ Belton Orchestra Boosters Total $ Check must accompany membership form Check #: Cash Volunteer Opportunities: Please check your area(s) of interest. Membership Committee Fundraising Committee T-Shirt Committee Uniform Committee Performance Committee Thank you for supporting the Belton Orchestra Boosters! Please with questions. 16