Concert Band is a full-year course offered at NAHS for students in grades 9-12. It is worth 5 credits, and considered a major subject. The 50+ members perform a variety of concerts throughout the year including the Winter Concert, the Spring Concert, and the Fine Arts Festival. For dates of performances please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages. The Concert Band also performs at the annual state concert band festival hosted by the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductor’s Association (MICCA).
Concert Band is a course in the study of wind and percussion instruments through the performance of a variety of quality band repertoire. The repertoire of the band will include classic band literature, marches, show music, seasonal music, and other styles as the director sees fit. Emphasis is on building individual musicianship through the use of a warm-up method book authored by Claude T. Smith. Each class period will be spent on the concepts of tonal center, intonation, tonal quality, balance, blend, and technical facility as well as the development of musical phrasing. Following the warm-up period of class, the band will rehearse various musical pieces offering different styles and demands. The band will rehearse ensemble techniques and become a musical team. Performances throughout the year are a requirement of the course. A schedule will be provided at the beginning of the year.
By the end of this course students will:
- show an increased mastery of his/her instrument
- demonstrate enhanced listening skills
- read at sight, moderately difficult melodies
- have performed high quality wind literature
- critically review performance practices
- demonstrate musicality in all aspects of music performance
Students are expected to attend all rehearsals, have their instruments and music available, and practice assigned music. Students are expected to attend all performances as well as a few after-school rehearsals in the month of March. Students are strongly encouraged to take lessons on their instrument. Students may compete for district festivals and/or organize small ensembles to prepare a chamber recital. The study of solo or ensemble literature will be assigned for each student.
Though attendance is not a graded area, attendance at rehearsal is expected during the school day. An excess of field trips which hinder the progress of a student will affect their grade if the student does not make up the time lost. Students are responsible for missed assignments. Students are also expected to be in the classroom on time and ready to perform with instrument, music, and pencil three minutes after the bell rings. Student will be marked down if this is not achieved. A schedule will be given out at the beginning of the school year. Students are expected to be at every concert and performance on this schedule. Changes to the schedule will be given with considerable notice before affected date. In the event that a student cannot attend a concert, a minimum of two weeks notice (with exception to emergencies) must be given. Any unexcused absence must be reported by a parent. Student explanations are not acceptable. Unexcused absences will result in a decrease in final grade by 20 points.
Homework in this class includes practicing outside of class. This is not a generic term. It is the responsibility of each student to learn their music. Class time is used for ensemble playing and ensemble performance. Practicing should include a scale or rudiment warmup, a specific item to be worked on, and a recap of how it fits into the piece you are playing. Practicing should be done with a tuner and a metronome and should not be considered something “extra.” This is to be done by you and not necessarily assigned by the teacher (though it can be). FACT- Your practice habits WILL HAVE A DIRECT EFFECT on your performances in both exam and concert settings. DO NOT TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED.
Rehearsal Preparedness- 20%
It will be necessary for students to attend each rehearsal with their instrument, music, tuner and pencil. Students will be marked down in the event that the teacher finds the student is without one of these.
Rehearsal Etiquette- 20%
During rehearsals, students are expected to be focused, attentive and on task. An excess of talking or inappropriate behavior during class will affect a student’s grade for the day.
Recorded Evaluation- 30%
A section of music will be assigned for each instrument and a taped evaluation will be handed in at the end of each quarter. The rubric for performance will be given out with the assigned section to be played but will always consist of an assessment of dynamics, intonation, technical facility, articulation, and tone.
In-Class Assessments- 30%
All quizzes, tests, and in class playing assessments
Midterm and Finals
Midterms and/or finals may be a recorded evaluation or a written exam. The taped evaluation assignment will be given in the weeks prior to the exam period. The midterm and final exam assignment will be different from the quarterly recorded evaluation.
REQUIREMENTS- Failure to meet a requirement lowers the final grade by one letter for each requirement missed.
- Quarterly Playing test
- Quarterly Tuning chart
- Sight reading exercise with quarterly playing test
- Audition for District Festival by Q2 or create small ensemble to perform at each of the two Recital Concerts.
*small ensemble means one player per part.
- Attend an outside of NA performance of an ensemble of similar type and provide a 1-2 page review accompanied by a ticket stub or program (for example: attend an area high school spring concert, US Marine band tour, Boston Symphony Orchestra) once per quarter (see below).
Review Requirements for Band
- Reviewed group must be at HS level or better.
- Of the four reviews handed in over the course of the year, 3 must be in a Concert setting (Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, etc…). 1 review may be abstract (folk group, jazz trio, musical, etc…)
- At least 1 full page, double-spaced, 1” margin, 12pt font handed in within one week of performance with ticket stub or program.
- Review should focus on terms you think about during your own performance (BIBLE TAPE).
Extra credit may be given to students who
- Fulfill a requirement not necessary to their level.
- Run and/or participate in sectionals after school
- Show proof of taking private lessons
-Participate in All-District/ All-State Festivals
Students will be provided with the Claude T. Smith book, Symphonic Warmups for Band.
Every student must own a metronome with a tuner.
Men: black jacket, black pants, white long-sleeve shirt, formal colored long tie, BLACK SOCKS, BLACK DRESS SHOES.
Women: black slacks or knee or full-length skirts with black blouses or all black dresses
If a student misses a concert with the exception of a true, documented emergency situation, the student’s final quarter grade will be lowered by 20 points. All other absences from performance will be made up at the discretion of the director.
It is the responsibility of the STUDENT to obtain work missed when absent. Absences include illness, field trip, or chorus days (if enrolled in choir). If an assessment is given on the day of an absence, the STUDENT must initiate the conversation to determine a time during or after school for makeup.