Middle School Orchestra

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1 Middle School Orchestra Mrs. Anita Boyer and Mr. Christopher Cinquini - Directors Welcome to the East/West Middle School Orchestra! Please carefully read ALL of the information in this packet as some of the info has changed since previous years. Thanks! q Instructor Contact Info/Website Information q Orchestra Program Information q Calendar and Performance/Rehearsal Schedule q Grading and Attendance Policies q Orchestra Expectations q Materials Needed for the Year (Order form at end of packet) q Jr. County Audition Information q Forms (Medical, Permission Forms, Pledge Form) Due dates to complete online form and return blanket medical form for concerts/field trips: West September 5, 2017 East September 6, 2017 Online form to fill out by deadline:

2 Middle School Orchestra Mrs. Anita Boyer and Mr. Christopher Cinquini - Directors Instructor Contact Info Mrs. Boyer Middle School East (days 2, 4, and 6) Mr. Cinquini Middle School West (days 1, 3, and 5) Website/Communication Information is always the first method of communication. Messages are sent to parents and student addresses. Everyone may subscribe to the Remind text messaging service as well. Reminders (mostly for students) will occasionally be sent out through text messages too so it s important that everyone joins Remind. Websites for each teacher can be accessed through each school s online website. Check the next two pages for information on how to join the Remind class messaging system.

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5 About the Orchestras CURRICULAR ORCHESTRAS String Orchestra: The string orchestra meets during 10 th period on days 1, 3 and 5 (WEST) and 2, 4 and 6 (EAST). It performs three times a year, playing intermediate level repertoire consisting of classical and popular music. Orchestra members are eligible to participate in county orchestras if selected by audition (both 6 th grade string fest and Jr. County Orchestra for students in grades 7 and 8). Full Orchestra: The full symphonic orchestra includes wind, brass, and percussion players in addition to the string players. Students in these sections (aside from string players) are chosen by recommendation of their respective directors from both middle schools. Rehearsals are schedule primarily in the evening as needed. Students must be involved in Concert Band to be eligible. Due to the limited rehearsal time, students are expected to learn their parts primarily on their own time. EXTRA- CURRICULAR ORCHESTRAS Select String Ensemble: An auditioned group for advanced string players. Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 6-7:30pm at BASH. Auditions will take place on Thursday, September 7 from 6-8pm. Signups will be distributed during the first week of school. Repertoire includes more advanced string literature. The group performs for the community throughout the year, as well at the Spring Concert. The district activity fee applies to this ensemble. Auditions for Select String Ensemble will take place on Thursday, September 7 from 6pm- 9pm in the BASH Orchestra Room. Visit the following website to sign- up for an audition slot.

6 Rehearsal and Performance Schedule All performances and rehearsals are mandatory Winter Concert (combined EAST/WEST): Concert: Friday, December 1, 7pm in the BASH Auditorium. Report time is 4:45pm Dress Rehearsal: 5pm- 6:30pm on Friday, December 1 (before the concert). Students should come dressed in their concert outfit for the dress rehearsal portion. Chicken Dinner (combined EAST/WEST): Saturday, February 24, Plan for an early afternoon performance. More details as the event nears. Spring Concert (combined EAST/WEST): Concert: Monday, May 14, 7pm in the BASH Auditorium. Report time is 4:45pm Dress Rehearsal: 5pm- 6:30pm on Monday, May 14 (before the concert). Students should come dressed in their concert outfit for the dress rehearsal portion.

7 Grading Policy Orchestra is a performance class that includes rehearsals, sectionals, and performances all of which occur both during and after school hours. The following categories outline the grading procedures for middle school orchestra. Daily Participation Grade: 70% of final grade in 1 st trimester, 50% in 2 nd and 3 rd trimester Students will receive points based upon participation, promptness, preparation and behavior. Points will be deducted for being late to rehearsal, not having an instrument, forgetting music, disrupting class, or not having a pencil. Instrumental Sectional Attendance: 15% of grade Sectionals occur during the school day on a rotating basis. Students will generally only miss an academic class twice every 60 days (each trimester). Students will be required to attend 5 lessons during the first trimester and 6 lessons during each of the 2 nd and 3 rd trimesters. There are typically 10 lessons each trimester (10 six- day cycles) for students to choose when to attend. Students are not required to come down to lessons if the rotation occurs during their lunch period. Teachers have discretion as to whether students can miss their class for sectionals. Tests, quizzes, group projects, etc. may prevent students from coming down. Attendance is taken at every sectional. If a student is missing (because of lunch, a test in another class, falling behind on classwork, etc.) than a student will receive a 0 for that sectional. At the end of the marking period, 4 or 5 of the lowest sectional grades will be dropped. As long as students have attended the minimum number of required lessons they will receive full credit for all sectionals. Any remaining 0 s will count against the overall sectional grade. In certain situations and with prior teacher approval, students have the option to make up some of the missed lessons by: Auditioning for Jr. County or District Orchestra Participating in after- school sectionals if provided Written research- based paper on repertoire in class Listening journal Other (as agreed upon with the director ahead of time)

8 Grading Policy (continued) Playing Tests: 15% of final grade Playing tests will take place once each trimester during the sectional rehearsals and may consist of solo repertoire, orchestral passages, scales, and technical exercises. Students may also video record their tests and submit them to the teacher electronically (through Google Drive or YouTube). Performances/Writing Assignments: 20% of final grade in 2 nd and 3 rd trimester only 2 nd trimester: Winter concert dress rehearsal and performance. Written reflection assignment. 3 rd trimester: Chicken dinner performance. Spring concert dress rehearsal and performance. Written reflection assignment. Students who miss a concert for an excused absence will need to complete an alternative assignment for credit. Absences Un- Excused / Excused: Tardiness Excused Absence If a performance date conflicts with your schedule that you know of in advance, please submit a written excuse as soon as possible or within 2 days after the event in case of emergency. An Excused Absence consists of a child s illness or a family emergency. If your child is absent from school on the day of a rehearsal or performance, they are considered excused from those events, but still require a note to the director. Please note: Not having a ride to or from school, having to babysit your brother/sister, your dog ate your music, etc. are NOT acceptable excuses. Unexcused Absence a student misses an event without submitting a written excuse prior to the event or, in the event of an emergency, does not submit one within the 2- day grace period. An Unexcused Absence will result in the student losing all of the points assigned to that event. Students arriving late to rehearsals or performances (or leaving early) may have 10 points deducted from their total. This decision will be left to the Director s discretion.

9 Orchestra Expectations and Procedures Orchestral Participation Policy All students are expected to be actively involved during orchestra rehearsals. This means playing your instrument, having all needed materials, demonstrating effort to improve yourself, your section and the orchestra. It includes arriving and setting up promptly at the beginning of class and cleaning up efficiently at the end of the period. Music Folder Responsibilities Students will be given a numbered folder of orchestra music at the beginning of the year. Students are responsible for their folder and its contents. Students will be expected to pay for a lost or damaged folder or music. Music may only be written on in pencil and folders will not be accepted if they are extremely damaged or decorated in any way such as with stickers or other materials. Music Each student will be provided with music. Students must keep the music in good condition and turn it in when requested. Students should only mark music with a No. 2 pencil. All students will be required to tape their music together. No pages should be loose within the folder. Concert Attire All students are required to be dressed in appropriate dress clothing for every concert. Students not dressed in the appropriate manner may be sent home or have points deducted from their grade. Ladies: LONG black dress (below knees when sitting) OR long black pants (this is preferred). Either a black or white top with no printing or patterns. No open- toed shoes, flipflops, sneakers, etc. Men: Long black pants and white button down long- sleeved shirt. Long black tie or black bow- tie. Black shoes AND black socks. No sneakers, flip flops, etc. All clothing should be free of designs, patterns, printing, etc. If you have questions please feel free to contact me. School Owned Instruments School owned cellos and basses are the responsibility of the family to which they were loaned. There is no charge for the loan, except for regular maintenance or damage to the instrument. In the case of negligence, abuse, or mishandling, the student is solely responsible for the cost of the repairs or replacement of the instrument. This includes, but is not limited to the instrument, case, bow, bridge, strings, or rosin.

10 Orchestra Expectations and Procedures Chair Ranking Chair ranking will be determined by the director and will rotate throughout the marking period. Final seating will be determined in a sufficient amount of time before a major concert. Officers Students may hold Executive Officer positions for the entire school year. Each title and its duty are described below: Presidential/Vice President o Call orchestra to order, direct tuning, bring concerns to the director, assist conductor during performances, announce cabinet at concerts, etc. Secretary: o Takes attendance, meeting notes, and correspondence. Elected by simple majority vote. Treasurer: o Handles finances, manages lost and found, and manages supplies. Librarians: o Distribute, collect, file and inventory music, manage folders. Excellent organizational skills are required, along with an attention to detail. Practicing Although orchestra class meets every day, practicing on an individual basis is the best way for the orchestra to achieve success as a whole. I encourage students to take home their instruments as frequently as possible or to have an instrument that stays at school and one which remains home for practice. Any student who is serious about their instrument should be practicing at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (not including orchestra class). I also encourage students to take private lessons to further their musical repertoire, as sectional rehearsal time is usually spent in learning technique and mastering the orchestral repertoire. If you are interested in private lessons, I do maintain a list of teachers in the area. Please contact me if you are interested.

11 MATERIALS NEEDED To facilitate an easy method for acquiring accessories, I have included a list of required and recommended accessories. I will be making one large order at the beginning of the year for BASH, East, and West. You are welcome to purchase these accessories from me at the beginning of the year, or from a vendor of your choice on your own. Please make all checks payable to The String Tree REQUIRED ITEMS: ALL STUDENTS: q PENCIL q ROSIN, IN GOOD CONDITION q MUTE q VIOLIN/VIOLA Students are REQUIRED to use some sort of shoulder rest. A professional model shoulder rest (such as KUN or BonMusica) is highly recommended and should be used at this level. q CLOTH TO WIPE STRINGS OF ROSIN AND OTHER DEBRIS (a handkerchief or cut- up t- shirt is acceptable)

12 SUGGESTED ACCESSORIES q TUNER- All students should have a method of tuning that they can execute at home. A tuned piano OR an electronic tuner are suggested. q METRONOME- Students will master the tempo and rhythm of their music if they have a constant beat to practice against. The metronome is especially valuable in working the speed up of tricky passages, by mastering specific tempos (beginning slowly) and working them up in miniscule increments. q AUDITION MUSIC for Jr. County Orchestra. These are the Solo Time for Strings books. q AN EXTRA SET OF STRINGS Strings do expire after a certain amount of time (usually 6 months, some might last longer). After they expire, the pitch can sag considerable when the string is played and it won t quite ring as much as a new string. Please DO NOT buy the Red Label brand of strings. While they are cheap, their sound quality is terrible and will stick out in an orchestral setting. o Recommended brands: Violin/Viola: Pro- Arte, Dominant, or Zyex Cello: Keep a spare A & D: Pro- Arte or Helicore Bass: Not necessary to keep spares strings rarely break. q SHOULDER REST: VIOLINS & VIOLAS- by this period in orchestral training, all students should own a professional style shoulder rest and not a sponge and rubber band. A KUN style rest is recommended. Please be advised that viola students in a 14 viola will need to order a full sized violin KUN. (The full sized viola KUN rest is suitable for violas) o I personally use a BonMusica shoulder rest. While a bit more expensive, they are fully adjustable to your shoulder. Everyone I have talked to who uses one of these loves it, and I guarantee you will notice the comfort difference one of these provides over a KUN (and especially a sponge). Feel free to try mine out before you purchase your own! Please see the order form at the end of this packet. Circle the price of the item(s) you wish to purchase and return the entire form to me by September 5 th or September 6 th Remember: While some of these accessories are required, you are not required to purchase these through this order form. You are welcome to shop around and choose a vendor on your own as well.

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