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Instrumental music can be a wonderful recreational and intellectual pursuit that brings years of enjoyment and enlightenment. Band is an ensemble made up of many individual musicians. The Folly Quarter Middle School Band Program is an academic course in which students learn and acquire concrete, intellectual knowledge, physical skills and disciplines necessary to performing on an instrument, as well as an appreciation for music, musicianship, and beauty. Unlike other academic courses, in the Band Program the quality of the end product and other students1 educational experiences depend on the group1s combined efforts. That is, if an individual student has a particular weakness or lack of understanding, then the entire group suffers.
In any class, proper placement by ability is crucial to the success of the student. If the student is placed in a class beyond their ability level, they may become frustrated, give up, and/or act out inappropriately. Conversely, if students are not challenged the result may be the same. Auditions will be used to place students in ensembles, and then into sections and chairs. The same auditions may be used to place students into smaller chamber ensembles, as well as selecting a few players for participation in the Folly Quarter Chamber Symphony Orchestra.
Concert Band. The Concert Band is comprised of students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade who elect to do band. The class meets everyday during the 50-minute Period 6, and has a full period pull-out sectional once a week. Students are pulled up to two times per quarter per class from their other classes on a rotating basis. The sectional rehearsal will be used to assess individual student performance levels, deliver instrument-specific content knowledge, complete performance quizzes, and to track individual improvement. Students are responsible for all work and material presented in their academic class while at Sectionals.
Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is comprised of students from sixth, seventh and eighth grade selected by audition. The class meets every day during the 50-minute Period 1, and has a full period pull-out sectional once a week. Students are pulled up to two times per quarter per class from their other classes on a rotating basis. The sectional rehearsal will be used to assess individual student performance levels, deliver instrument-specific content knowledge, complete performance quizzes, and to track individual improvement. Students are responsible for all work and material presented in their academic class while at Sectionals. Selected members of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble might be asked to participate in the Folly Quarter Chamber Symphony. The Chamber Symphony is an exciting extended enrichment opportunity where we combine Winds, Brass, Percussion and the full String sections to play symphonic orchestra music. Chamber Symphony will meet in place of a student's pull out sectional time (instead of the regular Symphonic Wind Ensemble sectional time).
Each of the Bands will perform in at least three concerts annually, with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble also appearing at the Howard County Band Assessments, and the Concert Band also appearing at the Howard County Middle School Band Adjudications. Both Bands might appear at other adjudications and/or showcases as well. In addition, other opportunities to perform at the invitation of the community will be considered.
Schedules. Students will have a 50-minute ensemble rehearsal everyday, and will be pulled once a week for an additional sectional. At Folly Quarter, it is possible to be in both Band and Chorus, and (in special circumstances) Band and Orchestra. Students will be pulled for only one ensemble's sectional (Band).
Jazz Band. A Jazz Band will be offered as an extra-curricular activity that will meet once a week after school on Tuesdays for 90-minute rehearsals (from 2:30 - 4:00 pm). Members of the Jazz Band will be selected by audition. All members of the Jazz Band (with the exception of some rhythm instruments such as drums/percussion, guitar, bass, and/or piano) must be members of either the Symphonic Band or the Concert Band. If there is enough interest in Jazz Band, a second jazz ensemble, Blue Jazz Band, may be offered on another afternoon of the week (Wednesdays). We have had a Blue Jazz Band with full instrumentation every year since the school opened.
Chamber Music. Chamber Music refers to small ensembles such as trios, quartets and quintets that will be formed for some selected members of the bands. Some of these groups will rehearse during the day in place of the 50-minute pull-out sectional, while others will rehearse in 60-minute rehearsals after school. Ensembles that rehearse during the school day will be seen as an extension of the band class and rehearsals will be used for weekly individual performance assessments. These ensembles will be expected to perform in the County and State Solo & Ensemble Festivals, and at school concerts throughout the year.FQMS Band Handbook: Previous | Table of Contents | Next