“A Tradition of Excellence”
2009 - 2010
A handbook for the orchestra at:
Midway Intermediate School
9400 Chapel Road
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 761-5690 ext 4240
Go to Mr. Guerrero’s teacher page on the Intermediate School website for up to date information!
Bookmark it and check it often!
TEACHING STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION
Conductors of the 6th grade Advanced Orchestra:
Mr. Terence Guerrero and Mr. Matt Cross
Director of Orchestras: Ms. Blair Williams
Coordinator of Fine Arts: Darrell Umhoefer
MISD ORCHESTRA BOOSTER CLUB OFFICERS
President: Mrs. Lisa Church
Vice President (Membership) Mr. Steve Rich
Vice President (Publicity) Mrs. Greta Spradling
Immediate Past President: Mrs. Mary Carroll
Patron Drive: Mrs. Georgia Baird
Treasurer: Mrs. Rhonda Jones
Secretary: Mrs. Jennifer Rich
Fundraising: Mrs. Julia Hynson
Intermediate School Representative: Mrs. Shae Dickey
Middle School Representative: Mr. Doug Dotson
High School Representative: Mrs. Karen Dotson
It is the goal of the directors to produce outstanding orchestras. As an active member of the Midway
Panther Orchestras students will develop better self-discipline, responsibility, knowledge, and take
pride in their ensembles. It is expected that members of the Midway Intermediate School Orchestra
will exhibit the highest possible standards in the following areas:
3. Musical Excellence
Alumni members of the Midway Orchestras exhibited these traits and have created the mantra “A
Tradition of Excellence.” In order to keep the established tradition of the program, the orchestra
directors have developed the policies and procedures outlined in this handbook in order to achieve its
goals. The success of the Midway Panther Orchestras is dependent on each student fulfilling their
Orchestra activities are planned with the school calendar in mind to avoid scheduling conflicts as
much as possible. All students are encouraged to participate in other school clubs and organizations
remembering first that orchestra events such as rehearsals and performances are required academic
IMPORTANT: In the event of a conflict, the student has the responsibility of submitting
a signed absence request form from a parent, teacher, or sponsor stating the reason for
the conflict two weeks prior to the orchestra event. Absence request forms are available from
the orchestra office, and do not automatically excuse an absence. Each case is considered
individually and privately according to its circumstances.
Excused Absences: It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the make up assignment(s)
from the orchestra director in order to receive full credit. The assignment(s) will consist of
recording your practice, making written and oral comments and fixing mistakes. This is explained
in more detail on the absence request form. This is not meant to be punitive, but rather to give
students the opportunity to get the feedback that they miss at rehearsal. This assignment will be
due ONE WEEK from the date of the missed rehearsal or performance.
Unexcused Absences: The student may complete the make up assignment for a maximum
of 80% credit on the first unexcused absence from an extra rehearsal. All subsequent
unexcused absences will result in a grade of a zero for that extra rehearsal.
Last minute excuses are not excused with the exception of student illness or a death in the family.
Not having a ride to an orchestra function does not qualify a student for an excused
absence. If this occurs, please try to get a ride from another student. As a last resort, call the
orchestra office. Please make efforts to make sure that you have reliable prearranged
transportation to all activities.
** ALL UNEXCUSED ABSENCES FROM A PERFORMANCE WILL RESULT IN A
FAILING GRADE FOR THAT SIX WEEK GRADING PERIOD **
These attendance guidelines do not apply to social events.
BEFORE/AFTER SCHOOL REHEARSALS
There will be a few before school rehearsals required for the Advanced 6th grade Orchestra after
winter break we begin rehearsals for UIL Contest in March. The morning rehearsals will be held one
day a week from 7:00 – 8:00 am. All students need to arrange transportation to these rehearsals.
There will also be after school required ensemble rehearsals which begin after the winter break and
start during ST and end at 5:00 p.m. A letter will be sent home before these rehearsals to notify you of
the dates and times. Calendars will be included for your reference, and the information will be posted
on Mr. Guerrero’s website.
TESTS AND EXAMS
Playing tests and exams consist of an assigned excerpt from the orchestral repertoire of the upcoming
concert or scales. ALL STUDENTS MUST HAVE A RECORDING DEVICE AT HOME TO
RECORD THEIR PLAYING TESTS. Students are expected to turn these tests in on time. Ten
points will be deducted for each day a test is late. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in late tapes
to their teacher. Mechanical problems with a recorder will be excused only with written letter from the
parent verifying the problem. If the test is not turned in within 2 days of being late, the student will
play in class for a maximum of 70% credit and a conference will be arranged with the student.
All students in the Midway Orchestra Program will be required to record playing tests at home in
order to save class time. You may have any number of these devices and many different types of
formats will be accepted. Accepted formats are cassette tape, CD containing MP3, WAV, or video
files, mini disc, mini tape cassette, or an email attachment containing MP3, WAV or video files. Please
see your conductor in order to verify that your format will be accepted before the due date of your
first assigned tape test.
STATEMENT ON STUDENT ASSESSMENT
In order to succeed in the orchestra, a student should demonstrate two things:
1. A willingness to improve their musical skills
2. A work ethic that will improve the orchestra team
It would not be fair to assess a student’s progress based solely upon playing abilities. Instead, the
directors will assess the students on the following criteria.
An improvement in overall performance skills
Being on time to class and rehearsals
Showing commitment to the orchestra
Attitude toward other students as well as the conductors
Willingness to accept comments that are designed to help
Willingness to help with the daily functions of the orchestra
A spirit that is positive toward the image of the orchestra program
Playing tests are graded on the following criteria:
Note Accuracy (playing the correct notes) 20 pts
Pitch Accuracy (playing notes in tune) 20 pts
Rhythmic Accuracy 20 pts
Dynamics 20 pts
Tone and Good Posture 20 pts
Total 100 pts
Each student will be awarded points based upon the following scale.
Table of grade points
Daily Grades 40%
(This grade includes participation in class,
taking your instrument home each day and
having your instrument, pencil, music, and other
necessary equipment, etc.)
Tests (or other assignments) 60%
Rehearsals and sectionals (count as one test grade each)
Performances (count as four test grades each)
Orchestra activities are curricular or co-curricular. However, any student who is not passing any
course may not participate in any extra-curricular activity of the orchestra during that nine-week
period. If you are having trouble passing a class, please notify your conductor right away because they
will find you extra help from a teacher or from a fellow student. We expect each member of the
Midway Orchestras to do all work necessary to pass all of their classes.
Classroom rules are easy to follow and are designed to keep order during classes and rehearsals.
1) Be in your seat with your instrument ready to play and with your practice music folder
under your chair, pencil and any other necessary equipment on your music stand when the
bell rings at 9:55 a.m.
2) Do not talk during rehearsals.
3) Respect the property of other individuals.
4) No food, drink or gum is allowed in the orchestra room.
5) Only Midway Orchestra/Band students are allowed in the orchestra room.
6) Be respectful to everyone in the room.
Most discipline problems will be handled in-house, that is, assignment to orchestra detention hours
for offenses against the classroom rules. The second detention will result in the student calling home
with a directors present; the third offense will result in the student being sent to the principal and will
be subject to the protocol of the school’s disciplinary action.
Daily practice is expected of every member of the orchestra. Class meetings and rehearsals are not to
be used as a practice session, but as time for working out ensemble concerns. Students must manage
their time to include regular practice time in their daily schedules.
The Midway Orchestras are great orchestras because of the quality teaching you received in the early
years of your musical education. It becomes a superior orchestra when all of its members work hard
as a team. Just as in any other class, if there is a problem in the music that you cannot handle, please
talk to your conductor. We are here for YOU!
METRONOMES AND TUNERS
Metronomes and tuners can help every student to practice more efficiently. Below we have listed
brands and model numbers that we recommend each student purchase and use at home. If you have a
question about a tuner or metronome, please ask the directors.
Recommended Music Accessory Suppliers:
Shar Music www.sharmusic.com
Southwest Strings www.swstrings.com
Woodwind and Brasswind www.wwbw.com
Lemur Music www.lemur-music.com
Boss DB-60 “Dr. Beat” $60-$80
Matrix Metronome $40-$50
Sabine Advanced Zipbeat Metronome Z6000 $20-$30
Seiko Quartz Metronome M-380 $20-$30
Korg Chromatic Tuner CA-30 $15-25
Seiko SAT 500 Chromatic Tuner $15-25
Intelli 5 in 1 Digital Metro/Tuner $40-$60
Seiko Digital Quartz Metronome SQ 100-88 $90-$110
We are blessed to have MANY wonderful private lessons teachers in our area. Baylor music and music
education students, CTSA teachers, the Baylor String Project, and others facilitate further in-depth
instruction on your specific instrument. This is a more comprehensive study of each individual’s
instrument than we have time to cover in our ENSEMBLE rehearsals each day. With private lessons,
participating students can have the luxury of extra help on a one-to-one basis. There are several great
programs to take lessons in Waco.
Applications and further information can be obtained from the orchestra office. Lesson slots and
times are honored on a first-come-first-served basis. It would be to your benefit to register early as
time slots and studios fill early.
All students are encouraged to participate in competitions outside of the scope of the orchestra
experience. The Midway Orchestra has been represented well in these types of contests, and has
enjoyed the successes of individual as well as collective performances.
TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) sponsors auditions for the Region VIII Orchestras. This
audition occurs in October and the Clinic/Concert is in December. Check the calendar at the end of
this handbook for more information. More specific information will be sent home at a later date.
Solo and Ensemble: We will be holding a solo and ensemble competition in the spring at Midway
Middle School. Stay posted for more information as the date gets closer!
Students receive extra grade points on the final six weeks average for participation in any of these
activities; however participation in any of these events may not interfere with any work that is
required for the class. Students desiring extra help in preparing for these events should see your
conductor to schedule an appointment.
Last spring, were blessed with permission to travel out of town with the 6th grade Intermediate
Advanced Orchestra. The conductors and the leadership of the Midway Orchestra are committed to
pursuing more of these trips this year and in the future, including a possible trip to perform with the
Campus Orchestra at Baylor University and to observe an open rehearsal of the Dallas Symphony
Orchestra in the Spring of 2010. Students must be academically eligible to travel with the orchestra
for the respective nine-weeks.
All music performed by the Midway Orchestras is purchased and provided by the school district. Any
music used for extra-curricular purposes should be provided by the student. Originals are the
property of the Midway Orchestras. Students are expected to take excellent care of the music.
Markings should be made in soft lead pencil, only. Originals will be collected following a
performance; original parts lost will be replaced by the student at cost. The school provides only one
copy of the music to each student for at-home practice purposes. Any extra copies will be paid for by
the student at $1 per page! After each performance, all photocopies are destroyed.
Each student is expected to have their own practice copy of the music at every class and/or rehearsal.
Even when a stand partner’s copy of the music is being used, each student needs their personal copy
of the music to make markings. Do not assume that if your stand partner’s music is marked, yours is
as well. Furthermore, do not assume that you will remember instructions from the previous rehearsal
the next time. Everyone needs to mark their own music. From time to time, there may be an
unannounced grade given for your work in marking your music correctly.
For all concerts, students need to wear the appropriate uniform. Part of each performance grade is
based upon (how you wear) your uniform -- neatness, alterations, cleanliness, etc. Informal uniforms
are the orchestra t-shirt and blue jeans. This t-shirt must be purchased at the beginning of the school
All informal uniform: orchestra shirts, blue jeans, school appropriate shoes
Ladies’ formal uniform: Long Sleeve White Blouse (no adornments, beads, etc.)
Black Slacks, or Black Floor Length Dress
Black Dress Shoes – Closed Toe
Black Socks or Hose
Men’s formal uniform: Long-Sleeved White Button-Down Shirt
Solid Black Tie (No tie pins)
Black Dress Shoes
Midway Middle School owns cellos and basses for students to use in class for a small fee. The
orchestra may have other instruments for check-out on a very limited basis. In order to use these
instruments, the student must pay an annual maintenance fee per instrument.
In addition to the annual maintenance fee, it is the students’ responsibility to provide general upkeep
to maintain that the instrument is in proper playing condition, including replacement of strings.
Midway ISD does not offer an insurance policy on instruments and is not responsible for damage to
instruments while at school or home. It is the responsibility of each student to make sure his/her
instrument is covered while at home, school and on trips.
The Midway Orchestra Booster Club (MOB) has one meeting each month. These meetings will start
in September and will be held the 3rd Monday of each month except December and May. All
meetings will start at 6:o0pm and will be held in the Orchestra Room at the Middle School.
Chaperones are an integral part of the orchestra! The trips and events (including parties, Booster
Club food booths for homecoming carnival and region auditions, UIL help, etc.) we plan would not be
possible without you! Please consider serving as a chaperone for an event this year!
In order to keep all of our students safe, MISD policy states that every adult that works with students
must undergo a criminal background check.
Follow this procedure to complete the volunteer application for the district.
1) Go to the Midway ISD home page, www.midwayisd.org
2) Under the “Quicklinks” scroll bar at the top of the page, select, VOLUNTEER
APPLICATION at the bottom of the menu
3) Fill this page out with the needed information and push the SUBMIT button at the bottom
of the page.
4) This will complete your application.
Please take care of this EARLY! It takes a few weeks for the process to be completed and for your
name to register on the acceptable list for volunteering. Once on the list, you are cleared to work for
ANY organization that your student is in.
Be ready to jump in!
MIDWAY ORCHESTRA SUMMARY OF FEES
**MUST BE returned by
Wednesday, 2 September 2009**
Since there are so many different fees associated with the Midway Orchestra as well as other
organizations at the beginning of school, we have produced this sheet which will hopefully make
these items more clear and so that you can write just one check.
Orchestra T-shirt Size: _____ @ $15.00 each ________
Sizes available: YL, AS, AM, AL, XL, XXL
Instrument Maintenance Fee ($50) ________
Please make all checks payable to the Midway Orchestra
I have read and I understand the contents of the Midway Orchestra Handbook. We wish to assume the
obligations of the Midway Orchestra and wish to do the utmost to accomplish its objectives, following its rules and
regulations. If we are using a school-owned instrument, we understand that it is our responsibility to provide general
upkeep to maintain proper playing condition, including rehairing and replacement of strings due to misuse.
Regarding area news publications and/or the school webpage, I do/don’t give permission for MISD, MHS and/or
the Midway Orchestra to:
Do Don’t (please check one for each line)
____ ____ Publish my student’s photograph, when included in a group
____ ____ Publish my student’s individual photograph or video
____ ____ Publish my student’s name as a member of the orchestra
Student signature: ________________________ Student name printed: ______________________
Parent signature: _________________________ Date: ___________________________________
Student Information Sheet
Student ID: _____________________________________________________
Student Name: __________________________________________________
City, State Zip: ___________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________________ Student Cell: _________________
Student Email: __________________________________________________
Grade: ____________________________ Instrument: __________________
Private Teacher: _________________________________________________
Mother Name: ___________________________________________________
Mother Work Phone: __________________ Mother Cell Phone: _____________
Mother Email: ___________________________________________________
Father Name: ___________________________________________________
Father Work Phone: ___________________ Father Cell Phone: ______________
Father Email: ___________________________________________________