Course Syllabi And Assessment Information

Cathedral City High School Bands

Symphonic Band & Concert Band Performance & Course Information.

Matthew Howe, Cathedral City High School Director Of Bands

Adjunct Instructor – College of the Desert

“Excellence Is Our Minimum Standard”

Ensemble Goal  -”Developing The Artist”:

“The artist has all the skills of the player and the musician, but the artist is also a creator. The artist comes to every rehearsal prepared in every way, and leaves the rehearsal with new goals. The artist loves great music making and loves to bring expression and inspiration to the performance. The artist has imagination this is fueled by opportunity. That opportunity might come in a solo passage or in an approach to style that amplifies the intent of the piece. The artist is a collaborator with the other members of the ensemble, with the conductor, and the composer. The artist is intuitive and original, but only uses those skills in pursuit of the most beautiful performance possible. The artist evaluates whether a piece of music is good or not by how it is composed and what it expresses. The artist has the potential to evaluate the listener’s perception of an average piece through an extraordinary performance. The artist loves music because music fuels his/her soul”

- Allan McMurray

Description:

Great artists prepare themselves for rehearsal through daily preparation. In order to assess each student in this preparation, mini-juries are held bi-weekly.

“Mini – Juries” are playing exams. Symphony Band “mini juries” will occur twice per month as scheduled on the band calendar by section/instrument grouping. Concert Band “mini juries” will occur weekly (typically on Fridays).  The purpose of each “mini-jury” will be to assess the performers level of preparedness in completing technique and literature on an individual basis. The grading policy for both Concert Band and Symphonic Band are listed below. The literature for each mini-jury for Symphony Band follows, Concert Band information will be assigned in class on Mondays.

Each student will be assigned a “mini-jury” performance time by section. Symphony Band students are responsible for coming in and completing the jury on their requisite assessment day (Concert Band “mini juries” will be assigned weekly and performed in class). Students are encouraged to use the Cathedral City High School Day Planner for accurate preparation planning and scheduling. Please note that this planner is provided free of charge by CCHS. All mini jury times and dates can be found on the “News/Calendar” link of the CCHS Band website (www.cchsbands.org). Please note that for Symphony Band students, placement in the performing ensemble is decided by the scoring the takes places as a result of a student’s mini-jury performance. LOW SCORING STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PERFORM IN THE CONCERT WITHIN THAT TEST CYCLE DUE TO A LACK OF PROFICIENCY IN INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT. Students NOT enrolled in the scheduled symphonic band course will take an additional “supplemental exams” monthly as scheduled by the Director of Bands.

Note: Mini-juries are “tiered” exams. Specifically, the technique portion of the exams (scales, arpeggios, chromatic triplets) count as HALF of the musician’s mini-jury score. The technique portion of the jury is the first portion of the mini-jury. Students who cannot pass the technique portion of the exam with an “A” average will not be allowed to move on to part two of the mini-jury (where the literature of the ensemble is assessed and scored). If a student does not pass the technique portion of the mini-jury, then the student will fail that particular mini-jury with a score of 50 percent or “E”.

Grades for “mini juries” will be assessed along the following rubric:

Rubric Score: Grade: Description:

90-100 Points             A

Well prepared. No mistakes on literature or technique requirements. Musical terms are defined exactly, students perform in time with metronome.

80-89 Points              B

Some mistakes in literature and technique. Some musical terms are defined. Student performs in time with metronome.

70-79 Points              C

Average performance. Many mistakes in performance. Musical terms are either missing exact definition, or are not defined. Student does not perform in time with metronome.

0-69 Points              F

Too many mistakes in performance. No terms are defined. Student not in time with metronome.

“Full Juries”(Symphony Band Students Only)

Being a great artist involves the serious study of the major etudes and concertos for each musicians instrument. As a part of the course students will end each semester by performing full juries. Full Juries are the major culminating activity of the fall and spring concert season. Juries are a standard performance requirement at a University- level music school. Students in the CCHS Symphony Band will be assigned an etude, concerto, or solo at the outset of the concert season, and will prepare the work along with the compulsory technique exercises in their private lessons. These items will then be presented by the student in a recital-format before a “jury” of CCHS Band staff and music coaches, with principal chair students performing accompanied juries with a pianist. Full Juries are weighted higher than band concerts, and mini-juries. The total point value for Full Juries is 1000 points. Poor performance at at full jury will result in removal from the ensemble.

Performance Forums:

Pre-jury performance forums will be scheduled throughout the fall in order to assist students in preparing for their full jury. Students will be encouraged to partake in these forums in order to make their jury performance as musical as possible.

Performance Requirements:

In order to perform in concert, a Symphony Band/Concert Band student must not have more than one “D” on any performance exams. Students who do not attend their section’s assessment day due to student unpreparedness, forgetfulness, etc., will automatically fail their “mini-jury”. Students who do not perform on a concert due to the aforementioned policy will have their course grade lowered two full letter grades. Additionally, as this is a performance based course, students who miss concerts due to ANY other reason outside of illness (with a doctor’s note), will be dropped out of the course at the semester. Concerts are weighted at 200 points per event. Symphony Band students with more than one “D”  in one semester will be dropped from the course at the semester break.

Course Materials:

All musicians who are members of the Symphony and Concert Bands need to have  the following for optimal course success:

  1. Reed players must have a swab for their instruments (silk swabs for clarinets), and a reed holder that holds a minimum of four reeds.
  2. Reed Players: FOUR fully-functioning reeds at all times.
  3. Brass Players: Necessary Oils/Valve And Slide Cream.
  4. Fully Functioning Metronome and Tuner.
  5. Pencils on stands.

Note: These items may be purchased at local music shoppes, and through the internet. Please see the Director of Bands to get further information.

A Word About Music….

Great artists come to EVERY rehearsal prepared for the rehearsal to come, which includes the preparation of all materials that are required for the course. Lost, or forgotten music is unacceptable in an ensemble with the pedigree of the CCHS Bands. Students who are not musically prepared at rehearsal will have their grade lowered by a quarter grade (an A becomes an A-). Leaving music at home, or in the car, or anywhere else except having it at the rehearsal setting is inexcusable.

Attendance At Rehearsals:

Great artists are prepared and present at all scheduled rehearsals and sectionals. Students are expected to attend all rehearsals as scheduled. The CCHS Bands website contains the CCHS Bands calendar, which holds all of the information needed in order to successfully manage the requisite course rehearsal dates. Saturday rehearsals are required for Symphony Band Students, and each Saturday rehearsal is weighted as a test grade. Please note missing more than one Saturday rehearsal will equate to a student not performing on the forthcoming concert. Students who do not perform on a concert due to the aforementioned policy will have their course grade lowered two full letter grades. Additionally, as this is a performance based course, students who miss concerts due to ANY other reason outside of illness, will be dropped out of the course at the semester. There are NO excused absences, and after 5 absences for any reason, a student will have their grade lowered by one quarter grade.

There are many prerequisites for participation in the CCHS Bands but among the most important requirement is the personal commitment to be prepared for rehearsals.  The purpose of our rehearsals is to learn the other musicians’ parts – not to learn your own partLikewise the other musicians cannot learn your part unless you are prepared and in attendance. Therefore your attendance is mandatory at all rehearsals and individual preparation is required. Musical honesty and integrity in concert grows out of our commitment to being prepared for rehearsals.  Every rehearsal is a performance leading up to the culminating experience of the concert.

Individual Preparation and Practice

“Great artists are great artists because they enjoy practice as much as performance.  That is because their practices (or repetitions) are always performances.  Repetition in rehearsal is both repetition and deepening.  One must experience focused repetition in order to discover the mysteries of the art.  One must experience repetition in order to explore the beauties of the piece.  One must repeat in rehearsal in order to learn a fundamental human condition: commitment.”

-James Jordan

The description of practicing quoted above is significant in that it describes the essence of what is required to be an excellent performing musician.  The degree to which we commit to this attitude will be reflected in the quality of our work as individuals and as an ensemble.  Practice often and practice with specific goals in mind.  Be sure to practice those skills you need the most work on work on the music you will be accountable for in upcoming rehearsals.

Band Stage Productions – Winter Semester:

As Symphony Band and Concert Band are year-long courses, Symphonic Band students must elect Band Stage Productions in addition to the regular Symphonic Band class in the second semester. This component of the course will meet from 3 pm – 5 pm (estimated) in the winter semester. Instructional coaches will teach sectionals and rehearsals in order to prepare the students for winter festival and concerts. Please note that this is a graded class that occurs in the seventh period of the school day.

Private Lessons:

Great artists seek out and learn from qualified pedagogues in their field in order to deepen and broaden their skill set and musicianship. Students enrolled in the CCHS Bands will have the opportunity to study privately. This opportunity is a way to further the performance goals of both the student, and the overall ensemble. Information regarding private lessons will be discussed at the outset of the concert season. Note: CCHS Symphony Band Students will need to take two private lessons per month as a compulsory assignment of the course. Private lessons are paid by the individual student and can be financed through the many fundraisers scheduled throughout the school year by the CCHS Band Boosters. Please note that lesson attendance is mandatory for successful course completion, and canceling lessons in less that 24 hours will result in financial penalties to families, as many of our private teachers drive a considerable distance to teach here at CCHS. Please note that missing private lessons will equate to students NOT being allowed to perform in concert, or maintaining a position in the course.

All Coachella Honor Band & Solo/Ensemble:

All members of the CCHS Symphony Band MUST complete BOTH of the following solo/ensemble requirements

  1. Audition For All Desert Honor Band in March, 2018
  2. Perform in one Solo/Ensemble Festival in February or April of 2018

Honor Band Auditions:

All students who sit as principal chair players must audition for two of the following honor ensembles:

SCSBOA All Southern Honor Band

CMEA All State Honor Band

RCC John Philip Sousa Honor Band

CSU LA First Chair Honor Band

SCSBOA Solo/Ensemble Festival

All-Coachella Honor Band

All musicians who are not principal chair players may audition for these honor groups as well. Please be sure to calendar all honor group rehearsals and events so as to avoid conflicts with CCHS Band events.

Artists Don’t…..

Lose their music.

Arrive late to rehearsal.

Neglect their individual warmup prior full rehearsal beginning.

Forget or neglect their pencil at rehearsal.

Neglect the study of the entirety of a piece by using all resources available to them to

understand everything they can about a piece they are performing.

Make excuses for why they cannot attend rehearsals/lessons.

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Cathedral City High School Bands

Jazz Band & Percussion Ensemble Performance “Mini – Juries” And Requisite Course Information. Band

Description: “Mini-Juries”:

“Mini – Juries” are playing exams. All Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble “mini juries” will occur weekly.   The purpose of each “mini-jury” will be to assess the performers level of preparedness in completing technique and literature.

Please note all “mini juries” will be performed in class. Students are encouraged to use the Cathedral City High School Day Planner for accurate preparation planning and scheduling. Please note that this planner is provided free of charge by CCHS. All mini jury times and dates can be found on the “News/Calendar” link of the CCHS Band website (www.cchsbands.org).

Grades for “mini juries” will be assessed along the following rubric:

90-100 Points      A

Well prepared. No mistakes on literature or technique requirements. Musical terms are defined exactly, students perform in time with metronome/rhythm section.

80-90 Points      B

Some mistakes in literature and technique. Some musical terms are defined. Student performs in time with metronome/rhythm section.

70-80 Points      C

Average performance. Many mistakes in performance. Musical terms are either missing exact definition, or are not defined. Student does not perform in time with metronome/rhythm section.

0-69 Points      F

Too many mistakes in performance. No terms are defined. Student not in time with metronome/rhythm section.

Jazz Band/Percussion Ensemble “Gigs”:

Throughout the year, both Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble will have scheduled performances outside of the regular school day. These events will be calendared at least two weeks in advance, and will be weighted as any other performance. Absence from these performances will result in a two letter grade deduction in a student’s grade.

Performance Requirements:

In order to perform in concert, a student must not have more than one “D” on any mini-juries. Students who do not attend their section’s assessment day will automatically fail their “mini-jury” (only excused with a SIGNED doctor’s note). Students who do not perform on a concert due to the aforementioned policy will have their course grade lowered two full letter grades. Additionally, as this is a performance based course, students who miss concerts due to ANY other reason outside of illness, will be dropped out of the course at the semester. Concerts are weighted at 200 points per event. Band students with more than one “D”  in one semester will be dropped from the course at the semester break.

Course Materials:

All musicians who are members of the Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble need to have  the following for optimal course success:

  1. A fully functioning metronome.
  2. A music dictionary: Cited online at the CCHS Bands Website.
  3. Reed players must have a swab for their instruments (silk swabs for clarinets), and a reed holder that holds a minimum of four reeds.
  4. Reed Players: FOUR fully-functioning reeds at all times.
  5. Brass Players: Necessary Oils/Valve And Slide Cream.

Note: These items may be purchased at local music shoppes, and through the internet. Please see the Director of Bands to get further information.

Attendance At Rehearsals:

Students are expected to attend all rehearsals as scheduled. The CCHS Bands website contains the CCHS Bands calendar, which holds all of the information needed in order to successfully manage the requisite course rehearsal dates. Saturday rehearsals may be required for Percussion Ensemble and Jazz Band Students, and each Saturday rehearsal is weighted as a test grade. Percussion Ensemble students performing with the Symphonic Band or Concert Band are subject to their rehearsal schedule as well. Please note missing more than one Saturday rehearsal will equate to a student not performing on the forthcoming concert. Students who do not perform on a concert due to the aforementioned policy will have their course grade lowered two full letter grades. Additionally, as this is a performance based course, students who miss concerts due to ANY other reason outside of illness, will be dropped out of the course at the semester.

There are many prerequisites for participation in the CCHS Bands but among the most important requirement is the personal commitment to be prepared for rehearsals.  The purpose of our rehearsals is to learn the other musicians’ parts – not to learn your own part.  Likewise the other musicians cannot learn your part unless you are prepared and in attendance. Therefore your attendance is mandatory at all rehearsals and individual preparation is required. Musical honesty and integrity in concert grows out of our commitment to being prepared for rehearsals.  Every rehearsal is a performance leading up to the culminating experience of the concert.

Individual Preparation and Practice:

“Great artists are great artists because they enjoy practice as much as performance.  That is because their practices (or repetitions) are always performances.  Repetition in rehearsal is both repetition and deepening.  One must experience focused repetition in order to discover the mysteries of the art.  One must experience repetition in order to explore the beauties of the piece.  One must repeat in rehearsal in order to learn a fundamental human condition: commitment.”

James Jordan

The description of practicing quoted above is significant in that it describes the essence of what is required to be an excellent performing musician.  The degree to which we commit to this attitude will be reflected in the quality of our work as individuals and as an ensemble.  Practice often and practice with specific goals in mind.  Be sure to practice those skills you need the most work on work on the music you will be accountable for in upcoming rehearsals.

Attendance At Rehearsals, Performances, and Jazz Gigs:

Students are expected to attend all rehearsals, Performances, and Jazz Gigs as scheduled and presented to the students. The CCHS Bands website contains the CCHS Bands calendar, which holds all of the information needed in order to successfully manage the requisite course rehearsal dates. Saturday rehearsals, performances or Jazz Gigs in the fall are required for Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Percussion Ensemble Students, and each Saturday rehearsal or Jazz Gig is weighted as a test grade. Please note missing more than one Saturday rehearsal or Jazz Gig will equate to a student not performing on the forthcoming concert. Students who do not perform on a concert due to the aforementioned policy will have their course grade lowered two full letter grades. Additionally, as this is a performance based course, students who miss concerts due to ANY other reason outside of illness, will be dropped out of the course at the semester.

Band Stage Productions – Winter Semester:

As all CCHS Band courses are year-long courses, percussion students performing with the CCHS Concert And Symphony Band will elect Band Stage Productions in the second semester. This component of the course will meet from 3 pm – 5 pm (estimated) in the winter semester. Instructional coaches will teach sectionals and rehearsals in order to prepare the students for winter festival and concerts.