Course Overview and Co-Curricular Opportunities

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1 Course Overview and Co-Curricular Opportunities WELCOME It s that time of year when plans are being made for next school year. I highly encourage you to continue your study of instrumental music by becoming a part of the Freedom High School Band Program! I am very proud that the Freedom Band fosters a strong sense of family between members of the group and teaches important life lessons about leadership, teamwork, and friendship. Any FHS band member will tell you that band is NOT just another class it s so much more. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity by signing up for a band class and getting involved in one of the many co-curricular opportunities such as the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band! The Spirit of Freedom BAND PROGRAM OVERVIEW Marching Band The concert ensembles, Concert Band, Wind Symphony, and Percussion Ensemble, are the foundation of the Freedom High School Band Program. The many varied co-curricular ensembles and other music classes are offered to students to supplement the basic concert band experience. Instrumental Choirs Pit Orchestra for the Spring Musical Concert Band Wind Symphony Percussion Ensemble Winterguard and Indoor Drumline Jazz Ensembles Music Theory Class

2 BAND CLASSES All band classes fulfill one fine arts credit needed for graduation. Subsequent years fulfill elective credits including the sequential elective requirement. Performance Ensemble 1 The Freedom High School Concert Band Intermediate-level concert band. Open to all 9 th 12 th grade brass and woodwind players who have successfully completed 6 th 8 th grade band. No audition is necessary. Students perform in one concert per grading period, at the VBODA District Band Assessment, and at a Spring Trip/Competition (if scheduled). 2-3 extra rehearsals per month outside of school hours are required. A detailed schedule will be provided in advance. Performance Ensemble 2 The Freedom High School Wind Symphony Advanced-level concert band. Open to advanced level 9 th 12 th grade brass, woodwind, and percussion students. Placement into this group is by audition and is highly selective. Private lessons are encouraged for members of this ensemble. As an advanced-level group, members are expected to audition for All- District Band and participate in the Solo & Ensemble Festival. Students perform in one concert per grading period, at the VBODA District Band Assessment, at graduation, and at a Spring Trip/Competition (if scheduled). 2-3 extra rehearsals per month outside of school hours are required. A detailed schedule will be provided in advance. Instrumental Methods Percussion Ensemble Intermediate to Advanced-level percussion ensemble. Members perform as a percussion ensemble and also serve as the percussion section for the Concert Band and Wind Symphony. Open to all 9 th 12 th grade percussion players who have successfully completed 6 th 8 th grade band. Exceptions can be made by director s consent. Students perform in one concert per grading period, at the VBODA District Band Assessment, and at a Spring Trip/Competition (if scheduled). 2-3 extra rehearsals per month outside of school hours are required. A detailed schedule will be provided in advance. Jazz Ensemble Advanced-level performance ensemble. Open to advanced level 9 th 12 th grade saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar, and percussion students. Placement into this group is by audition and is highly selective. Private lessons are strongly encouraged for members of this ensemble. Students perform in one concert per grading period, at local jazz festivals, and at a Spring Trip/Competition (if scheduled). U.S. Department of Education data show that students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music during the middle- and high-school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12. CATTERALL, J., CHAPLEAU, R., AND IWANAGA, J., INVOLVEMENT IN THE ARTS AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, 1999 The U.S. Department of Education lists the arts as subjects that college-bound students should take, stating "Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children s intellectual development. GETTING READY FOR COLLEGE EARLY: A HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS OF STUDENTS IN THE MIDDLE AND JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 1997; Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology (for high school students) play one or more musical instruments. This led the Siemens Foundation to host a recital at Carnegie Hall in 2004, featuring some of these young people, after which a panel of experts debated the nature of the apparent science/music link. THE MIDLAND CHEMIST (AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY) VOL. 42, NO. 1, FEB. 2005

3 CO-CURRICLUAR OPPORTUNITIES Spirit of Freedom Marching Band One of the largest and most popular co-curricular activities at Freedom High School. This award-winning group has recently earned many first place awards at local and national competitions. Consists of brass, woodwind, and percussion players plus a color guard. Performs at home football games on Friday nights and in competitions on most Saturdays from September through early November. Participation is strongly encouraged but not required for students enrolled in the band classes. Clinic/Tryout sessions are held on Thursday evenings in May. These sessions serve as basic training. A firm commitment for membership is needed by May 31. Mandatory summer practices include Band Camp for all (August 6-10 and August 13-17) and Percussion and Color Guard Camp for members of those sections (July 30-August 3). Other summer practices include Thursday evenings in July and August Attendance at these rehearsals is expected if the student is in town. When the school year begins, the Marching Band practices 3-4 days per week after school. There is a fee for membership which can be offset through participation in fundraisers. A more detailed information packet and season calendar will be published in February. Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than nonmusic students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades. NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF 1988 FIRST FOLLOW-UP (1990), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. Color Guard The Color Guard is a non-musical section of the Marching Band that provides additional visual aspects to the show through the use of flag spinning, rifles, sabers, and dance. Membership is open to any FHS student. While prior dance experience is helpful, it is not mandatory. See the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band section for more information about the practice schedule and expectations. Winterguard Winterguard is similar to the Color Guard, except that it performs as its own competitive unit indoors during the winter season (December through early April). Membership is open to any FHS student. While prior dance experience is helpful, it is not mandatory. The FHS Winterguard competes at Atlantic Indoor Association and Winter Guard International events. The FHS Winterguard earned a 4 th place finish in Scholastic A2 Class at the 2011 Atlantic Indoor Association Circuit Championships, the highest overall placement out of all Virginia color guards. Indoor Drumline Indoor Drumline is similar to the fall Marching Band percussion section. Like Winterguard, it performs indoors during the winter season (December through early April). Membership is open to any FHS student who plays a percussion instrument. Non-percussionists are welcome to audition, however priority in placement is given to students whose primary instrument is percussion. The FHS Indoor Drumline competes at Atlantic Indoor Association and Winter Guard International events. The FHS Indoor Drumline is the 2011 Atlantic Indoor Association Silver Medalists, winning second place overall in Percussion Scholastic Open Class at the Circuit Championships. "The nation's top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century. "THE CHANGING WORKPLACE IS CHANGING OUR VIEW OF EDUCATION," BUSINESS WEEK, OCTOBER There is a high relationship between interest in school music and high selfperception, high cognitive competence scores and general self-esteem. COSTA-GIOMI, E., THE MCGILL PIANO PROJECT, 1998

4 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What band class should I sign up for? All 9 th grade brass and woodwind players should sign up for Ensemble 1 (Concert Band) and percussionists should sign up for Instrumental Methods (Percussion Ensemble). 10 th -12 th grade students should sign up for the class or classes they most desire to be a part of. In April, Mr. Galway will hear all band members perform an audition to determine placement into Ensemble 2 or Jazz Ensemble. If I sign up for a band class, can I play sports or belong to student activities? Yes! The only after-school time commitments for students in band classes are concerts and 2-3 extra rehearsals per month to combine winds and percussion. Extra rehearsals are scheduled at times that do not conflict with sports practices. Conflicts, if any, are easily worked out between the Band Director, Athletic Director, and Activities Coordinator. A detailed schedule is provided in advance. Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In 2006, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 43 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. Scores for those with coursework in music appreciation were 62 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math portion. THE STUDENT DESCRIPTIVE QUESTIONNAIRE, A SELF-REPORTED COMPONENT OF THE SAT THAT GATHERS INFORMATION ABOUT STUDENTS ACADEMIC PREPARATION, GATHERED DATA FOR THESE REPORTS. SOURCE: THE COLLEGE BOARD, PROFILE OF COLLEGE-BOUND SENIORS NATIONAL REPORT FOR 2006 What about Marching Band? Can I play a fall sport and be in Marching Band? No. Marching Band and sports teams both practice right after school. Can I be in band all four years of high school? Yes! Whether you choose a Standard Diploma or Advanced Studies Diploma track, you will always have at least one class period available for band. The first year of band fulfills one Fine Arts credit needed for graduation. Each subsequent year fulfills elective credits. Advanced studies diploma candidates need three elective credits and Standard Diploma candidates need four. Four years of band equals one Fine Arts credit and three elective credits. In addition, sticking with an activity such as band for four years looks great on college applications and affords members more opportunity for leadership positions and honors such as the Tri-M Music Honor Society and All-District Band. Will being in band have a negative effect on my grades? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, most students in band are in the top of their classes. The past three senior class valedictorians were band members. Research has shown that band not only helps you build your musical skills, but also makes you smarter in math, science, and English. We also have an extensive band tutoring program. See the grey boxes located throughout this document for some interesting facts. Will being in band help me get into college? Yes, definitely! While colleges love to see advanced classes and good grades, they also like to see consistent involvement in student activities. Being in band for four years demonstrates the kind of commitment and dedication colleges are looking for. In addition, in band there are lots of opportunities to hold leadership positions and earn individual awards which are great things to list on a college résumé. I have made a career doing things that weren't even invented when I graduated from high school 40 years ago. It will be the same for today's graduates, only on a sharply accelerating timeline. Much of what I learned in the classroom is obsolete or, at best, only marginally useful. What has made a difference in my life has been the ability to learn as I go, to adapt to new ideas, to have the courage to take risks, and to feel confident I will be able to perform and successfully meet the challenges of new situations. These skills I learned through participation in band and drama. FRED BEHNING RETIRED FROM IBM CORPORATION AFTER A 32-YEAR CAREER THAT INCLUDED ASSIGNMENTS IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT, AND CUSTOMER TECHNOLOGY BRIEFINGS, AND IS STILL AN IBM CONSULTANT. A LIFE-LONG MUSICIAN, FRED PLAYS OBOE AND ENGLISH HORN IN THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND THE AUSTIN SYMPHONIC BAND. How do I audition to get into the Wind Symphony or Jazz Ensemble? In April, Mr. Galway will audition all prospective Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble members both at Freedom and at J. Michael Lunsford Middle School. The audition consists of major scales, a prepared selection, and sight reading much like All-District auditions. Audition materials will be handed out in advance. Once auditions are completed, students schedules will be adjusted to reflect the correct class. Is it hard to make it into the Wind Symphony or Jazz Ensemble? Both the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble have set instrumentations. In other words, we take only a certain number of flute players, oboe players, trumpet players, etc. It can be tough to make it in depending on what instrument you play. Typically the most competitive sections are flute, saxophone, and trumpet. Your chances of making it in are greatly increased if you switch to an instrument in need. We are usually in need of more oboes, bassoons, low clarinets, French horns, and tubas. Seven in ten parents strongly agree that music and arts instruction is very important for their children s school curriculum. CBS NEWS POLL, JANUARY 2010

5 Does the Freedom High School Band take any trips? Yes! Trips are one of the most fun parts of being in band. Last year, we went to Orlando, Florida. In , we are planning another large-scale trip. Do I have to be in Marching Band, or can I just do a band class? You do not have to be in Marching Band if you are in a band class. Participation in Marching Band is highly recommended because of the additional instructional time, performance opportunities, expert staff, and leadership opportunities, but it is not required. Are there costs associated with being in band? Yes, but we do our best to keep costs at a minimum. For band classes (Concert Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble), in addition to the basic minimum supplies needed to play your instrument (quality mouthpiece, reeds, sticks, etc.), members will need to supply a method book and certain uniform components, typically less than $60. Trips are not funded by the school system so if we take a spring trip, students who choose to go will be responsible for providing their own funding. Likewise, co-curricular activities such as Marching Band, Indoor Drumline, and Winterguard are not funded by the county and there are higher costs associated with those activities. Is there a way to decrease the amount of money I have to pay for Marching Band, Indoor Drumline, Winterguard, or the Spring Trip? Yes! Our Band Boosters organization provides several fundraising opportunities for students to earn money for band-related expenses. There are certain fundraisers that are designated as student account fundraisers. 100% of the profits from these fundraisers are placed into an individual student account to use for expenses mentioned above. One example is our annual fresh fruit sale held in October. If a student sells $400 worth of fruit and the profit margin is 50%, $200 is placed into an account for that student which can be used later to cover band costs. If you have any other questions, please send an to Mr. Galway at Schools that have music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than do those without programs (90.2% as compared to 72.9%). In addition, those that rate their programs as excellent or very good have an even higher graduation rate (90.9%). Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3% as compared to 84.9%). HARRIS INTERACTIVE POLL OF HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS CONDUCTED SPRING 2006; FUNDED BY MENC AND NAMM. A four-region public school music education study revealed that students in high-quality school music education programs scored higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs. Students in top-quality music programs scored 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent better in mathematics than students in deficient music programs academic differences were consistent across geographic areas. JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN MUSIC EDUCATION, SPRING 2007 Spring Trip to Orlando, FL, April, 2011

6 TIMELINE January, 2012 Students begin registering for classes for the school year. Rising freshmen who play a brass or woodwind instrument should sign up for Ensemble 1 and percussionists should sign up for Instrumental Methods. February, 2012 Detailed information about the 2012 Spirit of Freedom Marching Band including costs and a full season calendar will be published. In planning summer vacations, keep in mind that mandatory summer practices include Band Camp for all (August 6-10 and August 13-17) and Percussion and Color Guard Camp for members of those sections (July 30-August 3) March, 2012 Audition materials will be handed out for students wishing to audition for the Wind Symphony or Jazz Ensemble. An Atlantic Indoor Association Percussion Competition will be held at Freedom High School on Saturday, March 17. The Freedom High School Indoor Drumline as well as George Mason University and many other local drumlines will be performing, I encourage everybody to attend! April, 2012 Auditions for prospective members of the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble will be held during band class periods at Freedom High School and J. Michael Lunsford Middle School. Upon completion of auditions, new members of the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble will be selected. Any schedule changes, i.e. signed up for Ensemble 1 but placed into Ensemble 2, will be handled by Mr. Galway. May, 2012 Students interested in membership in the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band must attend clinic/tryout sessions Thursday evenings in May (May 3, 10, 24, and 31). There is no session on May 17 because of the band Spring Concert. A firm commitment and initial deposit payment for the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band is due on May 31. June, 2012 Relax and enjoy your month off! July, 2012 Summer rehearsals for the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band begin! Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings (July 5, 12, 19, and 26). Attendance is required if you are in town. August, 2012 Percussion and Color Guard Camp for members of those sections in the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band is held on July 30-August 3. Attendance is MANDATORY. Band Camp for members of the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band is held on August 6-10 and August Attendance is MANDATORY. Additional summer rehearsals for the Spirit of Freedom Marching Band are held on August Attendance is required if you are in town. School starts on August 27!

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