WESTON

HIGH SCHOOL

Orchestra

HANDBOOK

Christopher Memoli, Director of Music

Concert Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra


Course Descriptions

Concert Orchestra

This course will offer instruction in the development and refinement of advanced performing and ensemble techniques. Emphasis will be on the study of standard orchestra literature. The string orchestra will be a major performing group for the school and community. Additional opportunities will be provided for full symphonic orchestra: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. This will require combining band and string students for instruction periodically. Rehearsals and performances outside of regular school hours will be required.

                

Chamber Orchestra

The course will offer instruction in the development and refinement of advanced performing and ensemble techniques. The Chamber Orchestra will be a major performing group for the school and community. Opportunities for public performances will be provided and attendance will be required. Additional opportunities will be provided for full symphonic orchestra: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. This will require combining band and string students for instruction periodically. Admission to this group is by audition only and based on the instrumentation needs of the group. Rehearsals and performances outside of regular school hours will be required.

Note: Class open to students in Grades 10-12

GRADING

        Students' grades will be determined as follows:

        1.  Skill Development

Students will receive a grade each 8 day cycle for the development of the skills inherent in becoming a contributing member of a orchestra.  Skills to be assessed will include:

Participating actively and cooperatively in class.

Having all necessary equipment and materials.

Being ready for the start of rehearsal.

Attending all rehearsals and concerts.

Preparing daily assignments.

        2.  Performance  

Students will receive grades for playing tests and performances.  Playing tests will be on a variety of music literature and fundamentals.  A performance grade will equal two test grades.  Obviously, an unexcused absence from one performance could significantly lower a student's grade.

        3.  Extra Credit

A student may also earn extra points toward the point average for his/her grade in several ways.  Below are three examples.  Other extra credit opportunities will be announced throughout the quarter.

Auditioning for District or All-State Orchestra

Participation in District or All-State Orchestra

Youth Orchestra Participation

SMARTMUSIC

        

The Weston Public Schools Instrumental Music Program uses an exciting tool in the band and orchestra curriculum, grades 3-12.  SmartMusic is a software program that helps students receive, practice and submit their school music assignments from home.  For example:

SmartMusic is fully integrated into the band and orchestra curriculum.  We ask that all students purchase a subscription for their home computers.  If this is not possible, the student should speak with their music teacher about alternate accommodations.

What is needed to use Smart Music?

SmartMusic works on your PC or Mac and requires an internet connection to activate your subscription and receive assignments on-line.  A microphone is also required.  If you do not already have one, we suggest that you order a SmartMusic microphone.  This special microphone has a clip that allows it to be attached to an instrument or student’s shirt while practicing.   The SmartMusic microphones are also sometimes more sensitive and responsive, which makes the assessment and recording features work better.  System requirements and support contacts are listed at www.smartmusic.com/support.  

What is the cost?

The one-year subscription costs $40.00 per student. Each student must purchase an individual subscription, but each subscription may be used on any number of devices (including iPad). Additionally, external microphones for PC/Mac can be purchased online through SmartMusic.

Families with multiple students using Smartmusic may apply a discount to each subscription due to the new pricing model. Interested families should email Matthew Ferry at mferry@makemusic.com to order these subscriptions.

Instructions for Ordering Smart Music

Smart Music Questions? Contact technical support online at www.smartmusic.com/support or by calling 866-240-4041.

ATTENDANCE

Attendance at all rehearsals and performances, during and after school, is mandatory.  Personal illness or family emergency is the only excuse for missing a performance.  Any such absence must be confirmed by a parent in writing the first day the student returns to school.  All prearranged absences, such as a family wedding, must be given to Mr. Memoli as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks in advance.  Personal illness is defined as being "unable to be up and about."  A band member who is mildly indisposed (headache, upset stomach, etc.) is expected to perform to the best of his/her ability, because the absence would directly affect the quality of the group's performance.  If any student misses too many rehearsals, excused or unexcused, to the degree that the director feels that student is unable to perform adequately at the concert, that student will be expected to attend the concert, but will not participate in the performance.

CONCERT DRESS

LADIES

Concert Black - Black Dress (black blouse and skirt are fine), Black Shoes

GENTLEMEN

Black Suit or Tuxedo, White Shirt, Black Bow Tie and Cummerbund, Black Shoes/Socks

INSTRUMENT STORAGE

Each student will be assigned a space in the band room to keep their instrument during the school day.  The storage area is only to be used for instruments and instrument accessories.  Students should make sure all of their possessions are labeled clearly with their name.    School books, gym clothes, etc. are not to be kept in the storage area.  Instrument storage spaces do not have individual locks.  Instruments are left at own risk.

Student Officers

Band members will elect officers to represent the Weston orchestra.  Officers include President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Librarian(s).

Letter Requirements

Letters will be awarded to students in the orchestra on the basis of participation in Music Department and orchestra activities.  Each orchestra member will complete a Orchestra Award Record to determine if he/she qualifies for a band letter or bar.  The band letter will be earned after a student accumulates 300 points.  A bar will be awarded when an additional 200 points have been earned.  Letter points may be carried over from one year to the next.  Once a student has earned a letter, he/she may start over beginning the next school year and earn a service bar.  A student who has an unexcused absence from a performance will not be eligible for a letter or award.  Letters and all other awards earned by students during the school year will be presented at the year-end awards ceremony.


PARENT SUPPORT

Parental involvement is an important part of a successful orchestra program.  Parents are urged to attend performances, encourage students to practice and become active in the school orchestra program.  Parent volunteers are needed to help with after-concert receptions, uniforms, trips, chaperones, etc.  Please watch for emails from the Weston Friends of Music.

PRIVATE LESSONS

Students can progress at amazing rates while taking private lessons.  All band students are strongly encouraged to seek private instruction to further develop technique, sight-reading ability and repertoire. Please find the sign up form on the High School Orchestra Website or by clicking this link.

MMEA MUSIC FESTIVAL AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Junior District Festival Audition Requirements:  www.mmeaeasterndistrict.org/junior.htm

Senior District Festival Audition Requirements:  www.mmeaeasterndistrict.org/senior.htm

All-State Festival Audition Requirements: www.massmea.org/newsevents/all-state-festival-concert/auditions