NAHS BAND FAQ'S
Q: What is the difference between Concert Band and Wind Ensemble?
A: Concert Band is open to any student who plays a wind band instrument (woodwind, brass or percussion). Membership in Wind Ensemble requires successful completion of an audition and is open to students who play a wind band instrument (woodwind, brass or percussion). Wind Ensemble is designed for serious musicians who seek advanced musical challenges. Both student ability level and the need to maintain two balanced band ensembles are criteria for student selection to this course. Both the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble spend the first quarter of the year performing as a marching band unit then shift to a traditional “concert band” once the football season ends. Both courses work together to perform as a single Marching Band. In other words, once you enroll in either Concert Band OR Wind Ensemble, you are part of Marching Band. Wind Ensemble's official course title is "Honors Wind Ensemble" and receives "Weighted” Honors GPA Calculation. Auditions are for the 2017-2018 Wind Ensemble will take place in February of 2017.
Q: If I am an incoming Freshman, which course should I select?
A: In general, it is appropriate for incoming Freshman to take Concert Band. In rare instances, students with extensive private lesson experience may be ready for Wind Ensemble as a Freshman. During registration, the most important this is to have students enrolled in one of the two band courses. Following auditions, the director will notify the office of the course placements for all students so proper registration is made.
Q: Is everyone in Marching Band?
A: Yes, all High School band students are in marching band. All students are required to learn the music and marching skills taught during the marching band unit of the course, which concludes at the end of the first grading period. However, weekly assessments determine which students will march during halftime and pre-game shows. Omission from shows does not necessarily hurt the student’s band grade. However, the student does not earn “Varsity Start” points toward band honors and awards.
Q: What happens if I do not earn a spot for a show?
A: If a student is not adequately prepared for performance, he/she may be assigned by the director to serve as an “alternate” for that week. He/she will still attend the game in full uniform, perform in the stands and do all other activities associated with the band that night. However, during the pre-game/halftime show, the student will stand at attention and watch the show from the sidelines, or stand still and perform the show music from a fore position on the field (as determined by band staff). The student still receives full credit for attending the game, but does not earn “varsity start” points toward band honors. The following week, the student will have the opportunity to demonstrate readiness for the next week’s performance. Historically, if a student has attended all rehearsals leading up to a performance, he/she nearly always earns a performing spot.
Q: How do drum line auditions work?
A: The drum line is a special section that performs a unique function as a part of the marching band and pep band. In order to place students on the proper instrument for the section, annual auditions take place. Each spring, a multi-day clinic is held after school. At the conclusion of the clinic, auditions are held to determine placements for drum line. Students who do not attend the audition are given last priority for part assignments. All students who have played percussion as their primary instrument for at least one full school year will be guaranteed a position. Wind players may be permitted to fill positions if there are enough spaces, however priority will be given to full-time percussionists. During the marching band season, the drum line holds one additional 2-hour rehearsal each week to prepare additional music. In recent years, this practice has been held 3-5pm on Tuesdays, though it is scheduled each year to best fit into the student's and staff schedules.
Q: What Summer Events are part of Marching Band?
A: Marching Band holds a brief week of practices leading up to the July 4th parade, a short 5-day camp in August and a few rehearsals right before the start of school. The rest of the summer is open for students to participate in athletics, camps, family vacations, etc. Band Camp is scheduled before the OHSAA fall sports season begins, so involvement in both band camp and a fall sport is possible. Band pictures are scheduled during the summer as well. Up-to-date calendars can be found on the band website (www.newalbanyband.com)
Q: Is Band Camp mandatory?
A: Band camp is not mandatory, however, it is extremely useful for students to attend to develop the necessary skills to earn weekly performance spots. Occasionally, strong students can miss camp but still earn a spot for a halftime or pre-game show. Students who miss camp and are not ready to perform still attend the performances (games) and serve as alternates during the game (see below). By serving as alternates, they are spared the pressure of performing before ready.
Many NAHS Band Alumni rate band camp as one of the top memories of high school. It provides an outstanding way to learn the performance material, make new friends and enjoy a focused time working together on music!
Q: What is the cost of band camp?
A: The anticipated price for band camp for 2017 will be approximately $250.00. This includes travel, all meals, lodging, low-ropes course, tubing (or canoeing), and other group expenses required to run the camp (i.e. counselor costs, gatorade, band-aids, etc.). A deposit of $50 is required before the end of the school year. The balance is due by July 4, 2017. Partial payments may be made at any time prior to camp. The band uses accounting software that makes it possible to track any payment for your student. For scholarship information, please check with Mr. Falk.
Q: Are there out-of-school practices during the fall?
A: There is a dress rehearsal on Fridays from 2:45-3:30 p.m. Most other schools' marching bands have between 8-10 hours of out-of-school practices per week, but force students to choose between participation in band and other activities/sports. We set our out-of-school time to a minimum to make it possible for the most students to participate. Therefore, full attendance is essential at our small number of after school rehearsals. We feel strongly that active participation in many school activities (including sports, clubs, service organizations, etc.) provides the best experience for high school students. Therefore we work very hard to make involvement in multiple school organizations possible.
Q: Is it true that students may use participation in Marching Band toward the waiver for Physical Education?
A: Yes. Marching Band and Drill Team members may pick up a physical education waiver from the guidance office and have it signed by the band director at the conclusion of the marching band season (late October). Two waivers total (two separate years or used in combination with a waiver from a varsity sport) can fulfill the student's physical education requirement. To qualify, the student have been an active participant the entire season: excessive absences or long-term "non-performance" situations may prevent a student from qualifying for the waiver.
Q: What do the Band Boosters do?
A: In order to support the activities and events of the band program, many parent volunteers are needed throughout the year. The boosters meet monthly (typically the 1st Wednesday of each month) for an hour to coordinate event volunteers, fundraising ideas and other band-support activities. There are an outstanding team of caring parents who enjoy working with the band kids (and put up with the staff)!
Q: How busy is band the rest of the year?
A: Once marching band season ends, high school band has a much calmer activity schedule. The core classes (Concert Band and Honors Wind Ensemble) perform about 3 more concerts and sometimes elect to go to Ohio Music Education Association Contest. The Jazz Band typically has 3-4 additional performances per year. All high school band students perform on a rotating basis in the Pep Band. Students elect which performances/games to attend, but there are minimum performance requirements to be met during the year.
Q: How Does Drill Team Fit into the Picture?
A: Drill team tryouts are in May each year for one week. The dates of tryouts and clinics are advertised in April at both the high school and middle school. During this week of tryouts, Monday - Wednesday will be two hour long clinics. Clinics are designed to teach and practice all of the skills that will be judged at tryouts. Thursday of that week will be tryouts. Students try out in groups of 4. Tryout results will be posted on Friday. There is no pre-determined number of students selected each year.
Once the squad is selected, there are practices twice a week in the summer with just the Drill Team where we work on skills and routines. The Drill Team also participates in all of the pre-camp, band camp, and post camp practices with the Marching Band. Once school starts, practices are once a week after school as well as Fridays with the Marching Band after school prior to Friday night performances. Students may participate in Drill Team AND be enrolled in Concert Band/Wind Ensemble.
Q: What other band-related activities are available at NAHS?
Jazz Band meets before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:15-7:50 am. This group performs several times during the year at concerts and other special events. Jazz Band received 1/2 credit as a "0 period" class. Concurrent enrollment in either Concert Band or Wind Ensemble is required to participate in Jazz Band.
· Pep Band (not credited) meets outside the school day at a schedule set by the director. Typically, the Pep Band plays at the powderpuff game (homecoming week), 8-10 basketball games and a few other school events. Each band member is required to attend a predetermined number of performances during the year to go toward their 2nd semester exam grade.
· Pit Orchestra for the HS Musical is extra-curricular and selected by audition based upon the instrumentation needs of the show. Details are announced once the show has been selected.
· OMEA Solo/Ensemble Adjudicated Events are open to students in the HS band course. Students can work with their private lesson teacher to prepare a solo or small ensemble to receive an adjudicated evaluation from an outside music educator.
Q: What are the various "Pay to Participate Fees" for band-related activities?
A: This list was confirmed by the NAPLS Administrative Offices in Jan. 2015
- Marching Band - No Fee (because it is a sub-component of a credited course)
- Drill Team - $125 Activity Fee (it is entirely extra-curricular)
- Jazz Band - No Fee (because it is a class)
- Pep Band - No Fee (because it is a sub-component of a class)
- Physical Education Fee Waiver - No Fee