Concerts are scheduled during the course of the school year. Most groups perform in two or three regular performances which are noted on the district calendar. Specific concert dates for the present school year will be given to the students early in the fall.
Although concert performance is not the entire focus of the rehearsal activities, it is considered to be a culminating event and an important part of the course work. All students are required to attend and participate in all scheduled concert performances of the group(s) in which they are enrolled. Since a performing group depends on the involvement of all of its members, failure to participate in a concert is detrimental to the performing group. Legitimate excuses, such as illness, are understandable. Otherwise, failure to participate may affect the student’s overall performance grade.
Additional, special concerts may be scheduled after the year has begun. These may be concerts by special invitation, festival or adjudication performances. Letters will be sent to parents informing them of specifics of the concert so as to allow several weeks of planning time.
The audience, naturally, is a vital part of the concert. Please make every effort to attend your child's concert performances. It can be most disheartening, especially as a high school student, to look out into a near empty theater before you are about to perform. Also, please plan to stay for the entire performance. The concerts are designed to last between sixty and ninety minutes.
Expected Audience Behaviors
While attending the concerts we ask that parents and other audience members exhibit good concert etiquette.
- Remain for the entire concert.
- Do not enter and exit while music is being performed.
- Do not talk during the performance.
- Turn off cell phones and pagers.
- Do not take flash photography during the performance.
Students are required to attend all performances scheduled for the group(s) in which they are enrolled. Sometimes, unforeseen situations arise and a student is unable to attend a concert. In cases such as these, the parent should contact the music teacher or the principal for further instructions.
Concert Dress Requirements
Dress requirements vary from group to group, and occasionally, special requirements are made. Generally, however, standard concert dress is as follows:
Elementary and Middle School
Boys - dark pants, white shirt, dark shoes and socks, straight tie
Girls - black skirt, white blouse, dark shoes
Boys – black pants, black long-sleeve shirt, dark shoes and socks
Girls – long black skirt and top or dress (ankle length, shoulders covered)
Dark shoes and stockings or socks. Concert style, loose fitting pants are also acceptable.
Students are responsible for making sure their instrument is in good working order. They should have a supply of emergency reeds, strings, rosin, valve oil, etc. and they should have all of the required music to be performed.
Students should plan on arriving forty-five minutes before a scheduled concert in order to tune and listen to any last minute instructions.
Beginning in Seventh Grade students receive a letter grade for their work in the curricular performing groups. The grade is reflective of the quality of the student's work, effort, progress and participation in the performing group. Performance evaluations derived through regular auditions as well as assignments completed in preparation for sectional rehearsals are also factored into the grade. For more specific information regarding your group, contact your teacher.
How to Practice
The practice session is the most important element to successful musical development. If practice is organized well, steady progress should be noticeable.
- Establish a regular time for practice each day
- Establish a particular place to practice with adequate lighting and a music stand
- Establishing a routine (beginners)
- The beginning method books usually provide a good mix of the various skills that need to be developed. It is important to remember two things though:
1) Make sure that you are playing it correctly the first time, even if you have to play it very slowly. The speed will come as you are more familiar with the exercise or piece.
2) Work on each exercise. Play it through once, then work out the hard parts. After spending some time doing this, play it through again. Tomorrow it will be a lot easier.
Establishing a Routine (intermediate and advanced students):
- Correct practice should include some work in the various areas of development. An amount of time should be spent on technical development (finger exercises), tone development (long tones, bow control, etc.), scale and arpeggio practice, technical studies or etudes (musical pieces focusing on specific technical problems), work on ensemble music, work on solo literature (NYSSMA pieces, etc.).
- Specific time requirements of the practice session depend on your level of development, how much music you have to work on, and at what point in the development of the music you are at, and how fast you want to progress. A general suggestion for time allotment is as follows:
1. finger/technical development - 10%
2. scales and arpeggios - 10%
3. etude or study - 20%
4. ensemble music practice - 20%
5. solo literature - 40%