Handbook

OMMS Band Handbook 2017-2018  – PDF version

2017-2018
The information outlined in this handbook is designed to help you get a better understanding of the time and effort put into the OMMS Band program, the responsibilities of parents and students, as well as outlining ways you can help. Please carefully read the following and keep this handbook as a reference source for any questions that may occur throughout the school year.

Oak Mountain Middle School Band Statement
The goal of the Oak Mountain Middle School Band Program is to have every child reach his or her individual potential in instrumental music. The band program offers several different levels of instrumental ensembles. Placement in one of these groups is dependent upon the prior experience, work ethic, musical ability and achievement of the student.

Course Offerings

Instrumental Level 1
Membership in Beginning Band is open to all students with no prior instrumental experience. No previous musical experience is required. The fundamentals of playing an instrument and music reading skills are stressed. Beginning Band performs at the Holiday Concert, Spring Concert and the Alabama Bandmasters Association Music Performance Assessment (ABA MPA) if desired by the director.

Instrumental Level 2 – Concert Band
The Concert Band curriculum continues to stress the fundamentals of playing an instrument as well as accuracy in music reading. The members of this band perform at some pep rallies, home football games, the Holiday Concert, the Pre-MPA concert, and the Spring Concert. Concert Band competes at the ABA Music Performance Assessment.

Instrumental Level 2 – Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band curriculum continues to stress the fundamentals of playing an instrument and accuracy in music reading. The Symphonic band performs at some pep rallies, home football games, assemblies, the Fall Concert, the Holiday Concert, the Pre-MPA concert, and the Spring Concert. Symphonic Band also competes at the ABA Music Performance Assessment. Interested students are encouraged to participate in the Solo and Ensemble festival and regional honor bands.

Instrumental Level 3 – Advanced Symphonic Band
The Advanced Symphonic Band curriculum continues to stress the fundamentals of playing an instrument and accuracy in music reading. A special effort is made to prepare the students for proficiency at the high school level. The Advanced Symphonic band performs at some pep rallies, home football games, assemblies, the Fall Concert, the Holiday Concert, the Pre-MPA concert, and the Spring Concert. Advanced Symphonic Band students are strongly urged to participate in the Solo and Ensemble festival, regional honor bands and to audition for Alabama Middle School All-State Band.

Pep Band
All 7th and 8th grade (non-beginner) band students are included in the OMMS Pep Band for home football games. All home games will be played in the OMMS football stadium.

Supplies (in addition to instrument)
ALL STUDENTS SHOULD HAVE A 1-INCH BINDER WITH PLASTIC SHEET PROTECTORS AND A PENCIL!!!!

Beginning Band: Essential Elements Book 1
Trumpet, French horn, Baritone, Tuba: valve oil and cleaning kit
Trombone: slide oil/cream and cleaning kit
Oboe and Bassoon: at least 2 reeds and swab
Clarinets and Saxes: at least 4 reeds, Vandoren 2 1/2 strength, reed guard, swab, and cleaning kit
Percussion: Stick bag
Nametag on case handles for all instruments

Concert Band: Essential Elements Book 1 for review purposes
Trumpet, French horn, Baritone, Tuba: valve oil and cleaning kit
Trombone: slide oil/cream and cleaning kit
Oboe and Bassoon: at least 2 reeds and swab
Clarinets and Saxes: at least 4 reeds, Vandoren 2 1/2 strength, reed guard, swab, and cleaning kit
Percussion: Stick bag
Nametag on case handles for all instruments

Symphonic Band: Essential Elements Book 1 for review purposes
Trumpet, French horn, Baritone, Tuba: valve oil and cleaning kit
Trombone: slide oil/cream and cleaning kit
Oboe and Bassoon: at least 2 reeds and swab
Clarinets and Saxes: at least 4 reeds, Vandoren 3 strength, reed guard, swab, and cleaning kit
Percussion: Stick bag
Nametag on case handles for all instruments

Advanced Symphonic Band:
Trumpet, French horn, Baritone, Tuba: valve oil and cleaning kit
Trombone: slide oil/cream and cleaning kit
Oboe and Bassoon: at least 2 reeds and swab
Clarinets and Saxes: at least 4 reeds, Vandoren 3 strength, reed guard, swab, and cleaning kit
Percussion: Stick bag
Nametag on case handles for all instruments

Individually Owned Instruments
A quality band program requires quality materials and instruments. Students are required to purchase all necessary materials to ensure optimum performance conditions (i.e., mouthpieces, reeds, valve/slide oil, instrument swabs, drum sticks, mallets, etc.). Please attempt to follow the OMMS Recommended Instrument List as closely as possible. This list will be distributed to the Beginner Band parents. The instruments on this list play in tune and have proven to be reliable over time.

Fundraising
The funds received at OMMS do not cover the cost of providing the level of Fine Arts program demanded in the Oak Mountain community. To make up for the difference, the OMMS Band relies heavily upon the generosity of parents and community leaders. Throughout the year, the band, as well as the OMMS Arts Council, will conduct various fundraisers to help finance our program. All band parents are strongly encouraged to participate in these events as much as possible.
Expenses
The following is a list of expenses for the band students for the 2017-2018 school year. These expenses are in addition to the “elective amount” paid to the school at registration. No students will be denied the opportunity to participate in the OMMS Band program based on a financial hardship. If you need financial assistance, please contact the band director.

Beginner Band: $40. This includes money for the band t-shirt, purchase of music, and to help offset the cost of providing small group instruction to the students.

Concert, Symphonic, and Advanced Symphonic Band: $50. This includes money for the band t-shirt, purchase of music, small group instruction, transportation costs, and contest registration. Amount must be paid before a student can make a deposit on the Spring Trip.

Percussion: Members of the percussion section pay an additional $50 per school year to cover the cost of rental/use of the larger school equipment and smaller auxiliary instruments.

Concert/Symphonic/Advanced Symphonic Uniform Rental: The formal uniforms are owned by the school and are rented to the students – $25 per school year. This helps cover the cost of maintenance and dry cleaning. The girls will wear a long black dress; the boys will wear a white tuxedo shirt, tie, and vest. Girls are responsible for providing their own dress shoes. Boys must provide their own black dress pants, black socks and black dress shoes. There is a $65.00 replacement fee if the uniform is lost.

School Owned Instruments
Those students using a school-owned instrument are asked to pay a $150.00 per year instrument rental to help defray the cost of maintenance on these instruments. This may be paid in full at the beginning of the school year, or in 2-3 separate payments. Contracts for these instruments will be sent home for a parent signature. Students are responsible for purchasing all cleaning and performance accessories. Brass students will need to purchase their own mouthpiece. Instruments will be inspected for needed repairs at the end of the year.

OMMS Arts Council
Parents of all band members are encouraged to become members of the OMMS Arts Council. This parent group meets once a month and supports the Band, Choir, Broadcast and Art classes with numerous fundraisers. Your attendance is needed and greatly appreciated. AC Meetings will be the second Wednesday of each month at 8:30am in B-17.

Grading
The grading system implemented in the OMMS Band Program is designed to allow a student to earn a grade that is indicative of his/her efforts. It rewards responsibility and improvement and encourages a student to be conscientious about his/her commitment. The 9-weeks grades will be based on the following criteria. Some additions or deletions may occur during the year.

Music Ensemble Effort Assessment* Grade
Performances
Playing Tests/Music Theory Quizzes
Practice Journals
*The rubric for the assessment will be distributed to all students at the beginning of the school year and is posted on the last page of this handbook.
Attendance
Attendance is required at all band performances. As we approach the holiday season and spring semester, concert performance will become a major part of the nine weeks grade. If, for some reason, a student feels he or she has a legitimate excuse for missing a scheduled performance, the director must be notified AT LEAST 2 WEEKS in advance. Students who miss a scheduled performance without excuse may forfeit their opportunity to participate in future concerts or trips.

In the case of an unforeseen emergency, the student must bring a written excuse or email upon returning to school. A missed performance will constitute a grade of 0 until the written excuse is received. Excused absences include student illness, family emergency, religious holiday or other reasons deemed worthy by the director. Organizing your schedule and keeping all parties informed can help you avoid unexcused absences. Please do not allow the following to interfere with band functions:
a. Routine dental and other medical appointments
b. Transportation to a band event
c. Community sports events
Students who are excused from a performance will be given the opportunity to do a make-up project to recuperate the points missed.

Practice Journals
Practice journals provide a valuable way to take interest in and keep track of your student’s practice time during each week. Please take note of the number of required minutes for each student and provide a parent or guardian signature where indicated.

Practice journals are due on days given by the band director. Please remember this is collected like any other homework assignment from other classes.
No practice record results in a zero.
All journals will be submitted via Google Classroom.
ALL STUDENTS (grades 6-8) are expected to complete a minimum of 100 minutes of practice time each week.

After-school rehearsals
All band students will be required to attend a few after-school rehearsals. As long as each student maintains good practice habits at home, there will be minimal after-school rehearsals. All rehearsals will begin at 3:05 and end at 4:00. Attendance at after-school rehearsals is mandatory. Excused absences include student illness, family emergency, or other reasons deemed worthy by the director. Students included in other school related extracurricular actives are encouraged to speak with their coach or sponsor about splitting the time for the rehearsal and other activity if there is a conflict.

Auditions/Chair Placements
Auditions are held each year in late March/early April for all sixth and seventh grade students to determine in which band the student will participate for the upcoming year (Concert, Symphonic or Advanced Symphonic).

Chair placement auditions for Concert, Symphonic, and Advanced Symphonic Band will be held two or three times during the school year. Between these times, if students wish to move up in their section, they may do so through the Challenge System. Challenge forms, rules, and procedures are available in the band room. This process allows students to take ownership of their own advancement.

Band Parent Support
Many band events and activities will present a need for parent volunteers. Examples of opportunities for parent involvement include fundraising, copying, chaperoning, and a host of other activities. If you are interested in helping, email Mrs. Holmes at hholmes@shelbyed.org.

Favorable Practice Conditions
As a young person advances in his or her musical study, regular practice becomes more important. Regular, quality practice time can be promoted if parents assume responsibility for providing favorable practice conditions. These include:
1. Regular time for practice
2. Praise for work well done
3. Instrument kept in first-rate condition with all necessary supplies (reeds, oils etc.)
4. Avoiding the use of practice time as a form of punishment

Private Lessons
Private lessons serve as an outstanding supplement to the daily instruction received in band. They enable the student to progress more rapidly because of one-on-one instruction. Private lessons make the difference between an average band program and a superior program. A number of professionals in the area offer quality private instruction for middle school students. All students are strongly encouraged to study privately so that they may fully reap the benefits of their music education. Please consult the OMMS Band blog for private instructor names and contact information.

Uniforms
In order to present the band as a unit or team, it is important that students wear the appropriate attire to all performances. In the event that a student forgets a uniform on performance day, every effort should be made to get the uniform to the school before the performance begins.

Beginner Band: Students are responsible for their formal attire for the Holiday and Spring Concerts. Girls should wear a white blouse or nice white top, black dress pants or school dress-code appropriate black skirt, and black dress shoes. Girls are asked to wear black dress shoes that are comfortable to walk in (no tennis shoes). Boys should wear black dress pants (no shorts or jeans), a white polo-type shirt or white button-down shirt (tucked in) and black dress shoes (no tennis shoes).

Concert, Symphonic, and Advanced Symphonic Band: Students should wear the OMMS band t-shirt for school assemblies and pep band performances.
The formal uniform for boys consists of black dress pants, inexpensive black dress shoes, black socks, white tuxedo shirt, black tie and black vest. The tuxedo shirt, vest and tie will be rented through the school.
The formal uniform for the girls consists of black dress shoes and a long black dress (dress will be rented from the school).
Black athletic or tennis shoes ARE NOT appropriate for a formal concert. The formal uniform will be worn at the Fall Concert, Holiday Concert, Pre-MPA Concert, ABA MPA, the Spring Concert and any other formal performances.

Spring Trip
Each year, the non-beginner band students take a fun trip in April or May. Participation in this trip is completely optional. Prices are determined by how many students/parents attend. Information will be given out in September to those interested in attending.

 

OMMS Bandroom P.R.I.D.E./Consequences

All school rules apply in the band room and at all band functions.  By adhering to the following OMMS Band Expectations, we can preserve the highly respected reputation of the OMMS Band Program.

  1. Positivity   Always show your best attitude.  Strive to do your best.
  2. Respect   Treat others, the teacher, and all instruments with respect.
  3. Integrity Be honest.  Say what you’ll do and do what you say.
  4. Determination Keep trying even when it is difficult.  Set goals and strive to reach them.
  5. Excellence Push yourself beyond the minimum; effort makes a difference.

1st Offense – warning (verbal or written)
2nd Offense – Detention and/or writing assignment
3rd Offense – Parent phone call or email
4th Offense – Office referral

OMMS Band Grading Policies

The grading system implemented in the OMMS Band Program is designed to allow a student to earn a grade that is indicative of his/her efforts. It rewards responsibility and improvement and encourages a student to be conscientious about his/her commitment.  The 9-weeks grades will be based on the following criteria.  Some additions or deletions may occur during the year.

Music Ensemble Effort Assessment Grade 100 points possible
Performances 100 points possible
Playing Tests/Music Theory Quizzes 25 points each
Practice Journals 10 points each

Music Ensemble Effort Assessment Grade Rubric

20 points – Excellent

Meets/Exceeds Criteria

16 points – Satisfactory

Mostly Meets Criteria

10 points –

Does not meet criteria

COLLABORATION Works with members of the ensemble/section in an efficient and professional manner Mostly works with members of the ensemble/section in an efficient/professional manner Work is detrimental to the efficiency/professionalism of the group
REFLECTION Reflects with thoughtful consideration.  Shows ability to think critically about one’s performance Shows ability to think critically about one’s performance. Does not reflect in a manner that shows consideration of one’s thoughts/actions/performance
KNOWLEDGE OF MUSIC/PERFORMANCE Student demonstrates high level of knowledge of the music/class goals Student demonstrates general knowledge of the music/class goals Student demonstrates an overall lack of understanding
CREATIVITY Student contributes a high level of creative ideas for the good of the group Student makes some creative contributions Student makes little contribution and hinders group creativity
REHEARSAL PREPAREDNESS Student is highly accountable to the objective, schedule and to others – staying on-task and focused Student is responsible for his/her tasks and sticks to the schedule/objective Student hinders the group’s ability to stick to a schedule and is not accountable

OVERALL POINTS: ____/100