As mentioned in a previous email, the Jazz Auditions are on the rise. We were able to hand out the guidelines and information about the jazz auditions today, and many students were excited to get started. In the “Documents Section” you can find the exact information that was handed out to students today, and placed in your emails. Please let me know if you have any questions along the way.
Referenced here is the recording for the “prepared piece” part of the auditions. Students are welcome to listen to it as many times as they like to get a feel for the swing style, and how the melody goes. During the prepared piece, students only need to play until 1:24 in the recording. If you’d like your own personal copy, email me and I can give you one in confidence.
Hope all is well,
This year, the Advanced Band will be participating in two festivals to showcase our hard work. These opportunities are great learning experiences for the students as they get to work with some great clinicians and get All-Star critiques from the best in the business. In order for us to sound at our best, I am proposing weekly sectionals for each instrument section. These sectionals will take place from 2:10-2:30 and feature a new section each day. While we cannot mandate these sectionals, if your child is able to make accommodations for this focused and targeted rehearsal, it would be most appreciated and definitely benefit the band. Below is the schedule each week for the different sections. Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.
Monday – Flutes
Tuesday – Clarinets
Wednesday – Trumpets/Also Saxes/French Horn
Thursday – Lows (Tenor Sax, Tuba, Trombone, Bassoon)
Friday – Percussion
I hope we all had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving Break. In exactly two weeks from today, we will have our first concert of the year. Our “Winter Concert” will include the Beginning Band, Advanced Band, and Jazz Band in a showcase of their hard work this trimester. Our students are really excited to perform for their friends and family members and would love your support. This concert is a mandatory performance and will be graded to our music standards. All students are expected to attend and participate. If you have concerns about the involvement of your student, please contact Mr. Crane as soon as possible.
WHERE AND WHEN
On December 15th we will perform at 7pm in Powers Auditorium on the Willamette High School Campus (1801 Echo Hollow Rd, Eugene, OR 97402). Please plan on arriving extra early if you have not been to Powers. It’s not hard to find, but the school can be confusing sometimes. The Advanced Band students should arrive at 6:30pm and meet in the Band Room, located adjacent to the auditorium where we will warm up and tune. These students may leave their cases and equipment in the band room for pickup after the performance. Beginning Band members should meet in the auditorium at 6:45pm where they will unpack their instruments along the wall and sit together in the front seats reserved for them. The saying in the music industry is, “If you’re on-time, you’re late. If you’re early, you’re on time.” Please help the event run smoothly by ensuring that your child is where they need to be, when they need to be there, and with all of their materials (instrument, book, music, etc.).
The students will wear what is called “Concert Black and White,” which means that they are allowed to wear presentable and professional attire, provided that it is black and white. There are a few exceptions to this rule. No denim, no tennis shoes, and no pictures/logos/words. Gentlemen may wear a button down black or white shirt (ties encouraged) with black slacks, black belt and black shoes. Shirts tucked in please. Ladies should plan on something similar to the boys or with an accompanying skirt/dress. We are on an elevated stage so it is strongly suggested that ladies dresses/skirts be at least knee length and with hose or leggings. Students should have a good understanding of what professional attire is and how they should dress for musical performances, while at the same time, providing a sense of uniformity and cohesion amongst the members.
While I know most of our concert attendees are aware of proper audience etiquette, it bears repeating that there are some behaviors that are encouraged and some that are unwelcome. Even if your child is finished performing, please plan on staying for the rest of the concert and supporting the other ensembles who have worked equally as hard. It is a great opportunity for members of other bands to see each other perform. This is the only time that students get to see the upper or lower classmen perform, which is a motivational experience for all involved. Also, please be courteous to all performers and audience members while they are onstage by choosing to take bathroom breaks and remove fussy young ones in between songs, rather than in the middle of a piece. Lastly, it is important to us that the students sit with each other as a band while they watch the performances. This is a great opportunity for them to focus together on some musical goals that we have been working on and “band” together in their efforts. It is also convenient for administers and supervisors to keep an eye on student behavior during the performance.
If you have any questions or concerns about the night, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We’re really looking forward to having you at a concert and are excited for a great night of music making.
Below is a link to a Tuning Game app available for iPhone and iPad. It’s called InTune and works on developing a discriminating ear for tuning pitches. It’s easy, and fun, and FREE today only! Feel free to download for your kids for a few extra tuning practices. (On my iPad, I had to search for “InTune” under the iPhone Only heading).
Yesterday marked the one-month countdown to our Winter Concert this year. We will be showcasing our hard work on Tuesday, December 15th @ 7pm in Powers Auditorium on the Willamette High School campus. More information will come out as we get closer but here are some things to remember:
- It is important that ALL STUDENTS ATTEND. This concert is graded and mandatory for several reasons. It is the culmination of a trimester’s worth of hard work; every student is essential to the band’s success; and even just one person missing can dramatically affect the ensemble’s performance.
- “Concert Dress” is defined as nice black and white clothes. Gentlemen should wear black slacks and a button down shirt (or something similar), black socks, and black shoes. Please refrain from Tennis shoes and/or jeans and remember that a tucked in shirt is a good shirt (ties are always encouraged). Ladies should wear something similar to what the boys are wearing or a nice dress or skirt and blouse. We will be sitting on an elevated stage so it is required that skirts and dresses be at least knee length with leggings or hose recommended. The idea here is not to make us all look the same, but to practice dressing professionally for public events and eliminating attire that may detract from our performance.
- Beginning Band Students should plan on arriving at 6:45pm and Advanced band students at 6:30. Previous students know the popular music industry motto: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” Please assist your student in making sure that they are there at the appropriate time.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above items, feel free to contact me at any time. I’ll be sending out gentle reminders as our concert comes closer.
Due to our assembly during 6th period today, the Advanced Band will not have homework tonight. We will continue to finish our playing tests tomorrow, and resume our homework regiment.
- Report Cards go out on Wednesday. Please assist your student(s) in making sure that they have all of their work turned in.
- “Notes and Rests”
- Practice logs are due on Wednesday.
In both Beginning and Advanced Band today, we will be having our first live playing test in which students play an excerpt, skill, or exercise alone in front of the entire class. We’ve been covering and practicing the skills necessary for the test all week, reminding students how it will be incorporated in today’s performance evaluation.
Many parents have expressed how nervous their student is as we approach the playing test. I can reflect on my tests in middle school and, yes, it was stressful. However, I felt that I prepared more when I knew that my peers were watching and listening, and I would love to see that from our students here at Prairie Mountain. I’ve found that our Advanced Band members who only played alone for recording devices last year, are deathly afraid to play alone in front of others, which inhibits their overall performance and ability to learn efficiently.
The live performance serves its purpose in multiple ways. It motivates students to better prepare for tests, which weigh heavily on their overall grade. It provides them with a good idea of how other individuals sound and where they are in relation (i.e. “I need to do more work,” “Wow, I’m not that bad after all,” “Hey, they’re having difficulty with the same things as me,” etc.). It works on presenting in front of others, a skill that is all to commonly omitted in education, but nevertheless essential in day to day life (i.e. engaging with others, presenting a report, public speaking, etc.).
I’m really want to help the students establish an environment where playing in front of others is a supportive, encouraging, and positive process for all. This should be a learning experience, and not a strict evaluation of what the student can’t do. Each student will receive a score sheet which evaluates them on the multiple elements of performance and execution (posture, note accuracy, tone, rhythm, technique, and musicality). They will have a good idea of where they excel, and where they should focus more of their practicing at home.
As always, if you or your student has further concerns or questions about the process of our evaluation system, please contact me by any means. I hope this helps shed some light on how we are moving forward here at Prairie Mountain, and I hope that you’ll encourage and support your student(s) to take that scary leap into playing in front of others.
Thank you for all you do,
Assignment due for tomorrow 10/16/15: “Ledger Lines”
Additionally, we will have our first live playing test of the year. Call it a “midterm” if you will. Students should prepare the “F Remmington” from their AB Warmups (percussion play both snare and mallets) to be played one-at-a-time in front of the class. This public playing test is a wonderful way to learn great performance skills. Please assist your students in ensuring that they are comfortable with the necessary notes, rhythms, tone, posture, and instrument positioning; all things that we have covered in class.
Assignment due for tomorrow 10/16/15: “Ledger Lines”
Additionally, we will have our first live playing test of the year. Call it a “midterm” if you will. Students should prepare #14 from their method book (Standard of Excellence) to be played one-at-a-time in front of the class. This public playing test is a wonderful way to learn great performance skills. Please assist your students in ensuring that they are comfortable with the necessary notes, rhythms, tone, posture, and instrument positioning; all things that we have covered in class.