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Symphonic Band Marching Band Jazz Band Percussion Ensemble
Northwest Cabarrus High School 5130 Northwest Cabarrus Rd. Concord, NC 28027 Special Thanks to Dr. Eric Harris Former Band Director at Vance High School in Charlotte N.C. and Currently Associate Professor of Music at Tennessee Technical University for his assistance with this handbook .


Rules/ Grading Policy
2007 School Year
Below are the rules and expectations for the Northwest Cabarrus Symphonic Band. My goal this concert season is to concentrate on personal commitment, hard work, mature behavior, and musical excellence. I would also like to see the level of performance rise to superior heights, leaving students proud of the level of success they achieved. Band provided me with a challenging environment and my desire is to create a program that will have a challenging and positive impact for all students. Northwest has some of the best young adults in the Piedmont area and I would like to see the students use their talents to the best of their abilities. It has been said that

“Young People Can”
    Be responsible, honest, mature, dependable, polite and committed. Be taught that hard work is a good thing. Are capable of accomplishing much more than they are typically asked to. Want to learn, grow, and become better people.

Band students are expected to be:             Disciplined Punctual Persistent Positive Honest Responsible Well- Behaved Prepared Committed Polite Mature Proud

Students will be required to follow the above student expectations in order to be a member, travel, and perform with the Northwest Band.

What You Can Expect Just as I have expectations for each member, there are things that you can expect from me. As a teacher I will work and continue to work to be the following: Firm and Consistent: This is for each student and the band. I will expect your best effort and behaviors at all times and also expect you to show improvement. I will treat everyone fairly, professionally, and with respect. Fair: This is for all policies and procedures. Normally each student has several warnings and each student understands what areas need improvement. Committed: I expect each student to rise to a certain level of performance. I want them to become their personal best. Worthy of your trust: I will continue to work to become a better teacher by listening and learning from my mentors and fellow directors. I will often share this knowledge with the class. Honest: I will always evaluate your attitudes, actions, and performances and will always tell you if a selection or performance it is good or if something needs improvement. I will constantly try to keep corrections on a positive level. Needing improvement is never pleasant to hear that is why I will work hard to keep this as positive as possible. I will also ask for your input on areas that need improvement. Humor: I like to use humor as part of my teaching style both as a group and individually. You can be assured that is it always school appropriate and professional. If this style makes you feel uncomfortable please let me know and I will use a different individual teaching technique for that student. The Band Attitude The Importance of Procedure The policies outlined in this manual are to ensure that the band program runs smoothly and to ensure that each student has a safe .positive, and successful experience. Please do not ask for exceptions. There are times in everyone’s life that things do arise and at the discretion of the director, these will be handled on an individual basis. Band is a rewarding and enjoyable course, however, as the semester progresses the routine of daily rehearsal can become a little boring and monotonous. During these times a student’s body language and verbal comments can send a message of a bad attitude. Keep in mind that a good band takes hard work and this will not be accomplished overnight. Thomas Edison once said that “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Band literature takes many hours of rehearsal for a simple three minute performance but when performed in front of an audience or judging panel, the rewards are endless. Every student is asked to keep a positive attitude about the band and refrain from the following: negative comments both out loud and whispering, rolling eyes, facial gestures, etc. We will all work together as a team because together we can achieve more. I will also try to add a variety to the class by adding different selections from time to time to help the climate fresh and new Please remember that any the above gestures will not be tolerated. 3

The Importance of Discipline Rehearsals

In order for the ensemble to improve, rehearsals must have a disciplined approach. This does not mean that you cannot have an enjoyable experience but improvement cannot occur if rehearsals are not structured. My general rule is to “Treat the band work ethic the same way you would in an academic or advanced placement course.”

Here are some general rules that must be followed: Talking in class: Students are not to miss entrances or simply not play because they are talking. Please remain focused. Remember your grade can be affected for excessive talking. Band classes have more students than most classes, therefore, if everyone talked then the class would be out of control. Out loud comments or jokes: If you have a question or comment, please raise your hand. Constantly making jokes or comments effects the entire rehearsal and your peers. Please refrain from this for it will not be tolerated. Doing Homework from Other Classes: Please put all book bags near the wall. I would like students to use band time to rehearse music. Sleeping In Class: I realize that everyone may have a bad day or simply may not feel well, but if you come to school you should be able to participate. Proper Posture: Sit up with back straight. Sitting with legs crossed will produce bad tone quality.

Example of a Class Rehearsal  Long Tones- 10 Minutes  Breathing Exercise- 5 minutes  Long Tones Again-5 Minutes  Scales- Run through scale sheet- 10 minutes  Tuning- 10 Minutes  Concert Literature- 20 minutes  Sectional Rehearsals- 20 minutes  Combined Band- 10 minutes

Please note the times for the above are only approximate. They will need to be adjusted depending on the day. 4

Daily Class Procedure ♪ When entering class go to your seat ♪ Call Roll; Announcements and daily objective ♪ 2 minutes to get prepared (be sure to have your chair and stand). You may also visit the restroom. This all must be done in 2 minutes. ♪ Class lesson ♪ After rehearsal, students will be lined up at one end of the room and ordered to walk across and pick up any garbage in their path on the floor, so be sure to keep the band room clean and neat at all times. ♪ Students should return all instruments, materials, chairs, stands, and other equipment at the conclusion of class each day. All cases should be closed and latched. Store your instruments at your own risk. ♪ If time permits, sit in chair until bell rings. Usually we practice up to the bell.

Assignment of Parts.

The band must have a balance sound therefore every part of every section must have strong players. Some upperclassmen may be assigned to 2nd and 3rd parts not as punishment to help in creates the balanced sound. Upperclassmen signed to these parts are eligible to be the section leader for that part.
Visiting the Restrooms We are fortunate to have restrooms as part of the band facility. This, however, in the past has become a problem. Sometimes students have visited the restroom without getting my permission then are either counted absence or turned in for skipping class. I never deny a student a chance to visit the restroom but please follow these procedures:      Get verbal permission from Mr. Whittington Do not ask to go at the beginning of class. Wait until the 2 minutes to get prepared. I will understand an emergency. If you have a health issue, please talk to me privately. I will also need to talk to a parent. Do not get up and walk out then tell me later. Again get verbal permission Sign out on sheet beside my podium. After restroom, do not assemble in the foyer. Come back to the carpeted area.


Curriculum Goals

Individual Wind and Percussion Goals
  Hold the instrument /sticks correctly with good hand position Demonstrate daily the correct posture while playing (The first 15 minutes of class, the students will place their chairs backwards in order to achieve this goal.) Form the correct embouchure or stick grip for the instrument Produce a dark characteristic controlled sound on the instrument. Perform clean articulations including tongue-slur combinations, short roof top accents, long accents, staccato, legato, forte-piano, etc. Demonstrate the ability to care, maintain, and properly store the instrument. Perform major scales such as but not limited to: Bb, Ab, Eb, F, and chromatic. Ability to tune the instrument: tuner or matching pitch.            

Ensemble/Group Goals
Explain and demonstrate the pyramid balance concept. Demonstrate the ability to tune the instrument and perform in tune. Explain and demonstrate stagger breathing. Explain and demonstrate the breathing/air technique Demonstrate long tones without a “wavy sound” Explain and demonstrate the concept of Dovetailing phrases. Perform musical selections with artistry and taste. Successfully sight-read the appropriate level with minimal errors. Perform for a rating at the state contest festival Improve as the year progresses. Understand and demonstrate discipline class rehearsals with minimal disruptions. Limit talking only to questions concerning the daily lesson.

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Citizenship Goals    Exhibit personal integrity, honesty, responsibility, dependability, and commitment. Exhibit a strong and disciplined work ethic. Respect the time, talents, abilities, and accomplishments of your fellow class musicians.

Additional Percussion Goals         Perform basic rudiments: Rolls, flams, paradiddles, ratamacues, etc. Demonstrate suspended cymbal and crash cymbal technique. Demonstrate knowledge of auxiliary technique including triangle, tambourine, sleigh bells, woodblock, cow bell.etc. Demonstrate knowledge of concert bass drum technique Demonstrate knowledge of traditional grip. Demonstrate the proper performing technique: standing behind or beside instrument and never sitting while playing Always practicing the percussion part quietly when the band is working on individual parts. Always stay on task never doing homework etc. Play when the band plays.

Jazz Band Goals

 Perform, understand, and appreciate a wide variety of jazz literature.  Be aware of past and present jazz performers  Perform basic jazz improvisation.  Perform jazz scales with several blues scales  Understand swing rhythms.  Follow the basic wind curriculum goals  Since this is a new class, goals will be added through out the semester.


Grades will be based on the following:
A) Daily Grade – 20%: ♪ Students will be graded daily on participation as well the ability to play and perform the current assignment and will include: playing everyday, proper posture, dynamics, articulations, correct rhythms, correct notes and fingering, tone quality, proper embouchure, long tones, etc. Students not coming to class prepared will receive a 0 for the class period. Students who talk during rehearsal, miss entrances, or do homework from other classes will receive a low or possibly failure for the daily grade. B) Individual Playing /Test Grades- 30% ♪ Students will be tested individually on daily assignments as well as the concert repertoire. Refer to the daily grade for testing criteria. C) In Class Sectional Grade- 20% ♪ Students will be separated into instrumental sections and will be required to practice with the group during class. Each section will be assigned a leader who will instruct the group. Students will be required to follow the instructions of the leader as instructed by the director. This leader must have above average or Superior playing skills, excellent leadership skills and must be able to improve the group on skills stated by the director. This leader also has all of the qualities stated on what band students must be. The director has the right to change or replace any section leader. This grade will be based on participation as well as improvement. Students will be given a 93 or higher if they use this practice time wisely. Students who talk, sleep, or simply not play will receive no higher than a 60 for this grade. D) Practice Records - 20% ♪ Students will be required to have 2 hours per week of in home practice. Records should be turned in on the last day of the month with the amount practiced and a parent signature. If you lose your record, you may find them on the band website at I expect students to be honest about the amount of hours practiced. I will reward for honesty as long as students follow all the rules of the class including class discipline rules.

E) ♪ ♪ ♪

Performance Grade -10% This is based on attendance at the following: Spring Concert County Concert Preview


♪ Other concerts that may arise Grading Scale for Daily Grades. (Includes one or more of the following) A: 93-100 Performing all the tasks listed in the daily grade. B: 92-85 Missing 1 task for the day. Missing several notes on daily assignment. C: 85-77 Missing several tasks including some talking, not playing the daily assignments completely correct, bad posture, missing entrances, Etc. D: 78- 70 Not playing assignment more than 1 to 2 measures, no breathing instrument, excessive talking, missing entrances, crossing legs while playing, etc. F: 69-0 Not participating

Breakdown of Grading Policy ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Daily Grade = 20% Individual/Test Grade = 30% Sectional Grade = 20% Practice Records = 20% Performance Grade = 10% Total Grade = 100%


What students need to purchase for their instrument All students are asked to purchase a step up mouthpiece for the instruments. Students in high school are no longer considered “beginners” and therefore they have simply out grown the starter mouthpiece. Buying a new mouth piece will produce a noticeable improvement in the quality of sound and are much more appealing cost wise compared to buying a new instrument. Also to be successful at state contest students need these additions to help produce the sound the judges would like to hear. The following is a list of recomdations for the instrument and can be purchased at any local or national music store. Remember to compare prices to get the best bargain. I will also take orders during the first week of the semester for your convience.

Suggested Mouthpieces      Clarinets- Fobes Debut or Hite ( Rovner Ligature) Alto Sax- Selmer S-80 C star ( Rovner Ligature) Trumpet- 3C or 5C Baritone- 6.5 AL Tuba- Helenburg

Reeds- 3.5 Vandoren or higher. Percussion   1 pair of concert sticks-Vic Firth 1 pair of medium yarn mallets- your choice

    Students will be given a concert folder Store music in concert storage shelf and not in the instrument storage area. Additional music will be on table beside the director’s podium. It is your responsible to get any music that you do not have. Excuses like “I did not get the music” will not be accepted and will reflect your daily grade. You will be responsible for any lost music. This has become an issue and due to the expense of each concert piece, it’s impossible to replace. Please keep up with your music.


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Dress Code for Performances

Men: Black dress pants, Black dress shoes, Tux shirt and tie set Women: Long black skirt, Black dress shoes and Tux shirt and tie set. We will take orders for the tie set closer to contest.

State Concert Band Festival - Symphonic  State concert contest will again this year held at North Lincoln High SchoolLincolnton N.C. We will again plan to attend for a rating. This year we are planning to perform on a grade IV level from the approved N.C. Bandmasters list. This level may be boring and easy to seniors but please keep in mine we also have younger players in the class that may find this difficult. If this is the case, I would like for the more experienced players to help the younger players so that they may become successful. Our goal this year is to receive a high rating therefore everyone must be on the same level of playing. In general the judging at contest is extremely detailed and “picky” therefore below will explain what the judges are evaluating.

State Concert Band Festival Judging - Symphonic A panel of 3 judges evaluates the band’s performance based on the following categories: Tone: beauty.blend,control Technique: articulation, precision, rhythm Interpretation: expression, phrasing, style, tempo Intonation: chords, melodic line, Balance: ensemble, sections Other Factors: choice of music, instrumentation, discipline of group, appearance

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State Jazz Band Festival Recently, the NCMEA added a state festival for Jazz bands. This is based on the same principals as concert festival but only for jazz bands. I would like to either perform at this festival or maybe take the group and let them hear other high school jazz bands. I will make this decision when the details of the festival are finalized. All rules from this handbook apply in order to attend.


Rules for Attending the State Festival Symphonic Band and Jazz Band
Attending the state festival is a reward and privilege for each student’s hard work. Student will miss at least half of a school day; therefore, the following rules for attending are required.          Must be able to perform all of the curriculum goals. Must have followed the disciplined rehearsal rules Must have a 93 or better on all grades for the class. Must have followed and demonstrated what band students are expected to be: page 1 Must have attended the county concert festival Must have purchased the mouthpieces and or additions for their instrument Personal financial issues need to be addressed with Mr. Whittington privately. Must be able to play the concert music individually according to the curriculum goals. No in class or out of class discipline issues Attend after school rehearsals if necessary

After School Rehearsals for Festival

This year there may arise a need to have after school rehearsals. I can guarantee these will be limited and will take place closer to the time of the festival. Unfortunately after hours are the only time that guest conductors have available. Guest conductors are necessary because they offer critiques and ideas that will improve the performance. Students will be given at least a one week verbal announcement and will be expected to attend. Failure to attend will result in you not attending the state festival


Bus Transportation to State Contest Getting students to state contest has become extremely stressful over the past several years. Due to the opening of several new schools in the county, there is a lack of drivers as well as activity buses during the spring semester. We will need to charter a bus to state competition with each student indivually paying the cost of the chartered bus. The cost analysis per student is listed below. If you have a concern about chartering please call me in the band room office. The number is at the end of the rule sheet. Please keep in mind that the chartered bus is also a reward for the student’s hard work preparing for the festival.      All prices are approximate Bus per student: $20.00 Cost for meal: $10.00 …………………………. Total cost: $30.00 per student.

Private lessons/Fundraising Again this year I would like to bring private teachers to Northwest. We did this last year and the improvement was tremendous. These lesson cost on the average of about $40 per group for a 30-45 minute session. We would like to do a fundraiser for theses lessons and I would like for everyone to participate. I will give you details of the fundraiser when plans are finalized. School Instruments If you are playing a school owned instrument: Tuba, Baritone, French horn, Drum, etc, it is your responsibility to take proper care of the instrument. Make sure the instrument is always put back in the case with case closed and stored in the proper place. Also keep instruments from any dents or scratches. Over the past several years, students have been taking the valves out of the instrument and the cost to replace just one valve is around $150.00 Students must sign a school instrument contract and will be held responsible for any damages to the instrument.


General House Keeping for the Band Room Please help in keeping the band room as well as the instrument storage rooms clean. This has become an issue over the years so the following will now be required:  Put trash in trash can: not on the floor  After rehearsal, stack chairs against the wall in rows of 5  No food wrappers allowed including gum  No water or drink bottles  All stands put in stand rack at end of rehearsal: In the rack not beside it.  Keep instrument cubbies clean: no personal clothing items food wrappers.  If you store your instrument in the room, put on a shelve. This includes the bigger instruments.  All instruments in case with case closed.  Put music in music racks. Do not leave music on floor or put into cubbies.  Basically: KEEP THE ROOM CLEAN!

How Parents Can Help      Support the policies and goals of the program Require practicing at home. Ask your child to play for you at home. Attend all functions of the band when schedules allow. Encourage your child to succeed in the music programs

County Fee Each student is required to pay a $10.00 fee required by the county. This should be paid by the 1st week in the semester.


Classroom Rules Complete rules are posted in the classroom however these are some I would like to point out. 1- When entering the room go directly to your assigned seat. Do not get instruments or go to the restroom. I will take roll, give announcements, and state the objective for the day. 2- After the objective you will then be dismissed to get your instrument, music, stand and visit the restroom. You will have approximately 2 minutes to do all of the above. This is not to be used as a gathering time. 3- All book bags are to be put in the corner of the room. No book bags or personal items are allowed in your playing section. The formation of the band is always changing to create that perfect sound and it is much easier to move yourselves without the book bags. 4- Remain quite during lesson as well as during announcements. 5- All music stands must be put back in the proper rack. If you get it out put it back. 6- During class time you must get permission to get water and use the restroom. There is a sign -out sheet beside my podium. You also must sign back in when returning. This is very important so please follow this procedure. 7- You are responsible for your own music. If you lose it then you must pay for it. 8- Store all instruments at school at your own risk. It is best to take it home nightly. The best place to put your personal instrument is in your locker with a lock. Mr. Whittington will not be responsible for damaged instruments. 9- No food, gum or drinks allowed. 10- Put chairs back in proper order. 11- All instrument rooms are to be kept clean. 12- No one allowed in Mr. Whittington’s office with out permission. Consequences Warning (Students will be given 1 warning during the class period. The 2nd warning will result in a trip to the control room.) This will be for minor offenses only. Major offenses or disrespect will be an automatic control room trip. Private Warning Parent Contact Control Room I look forward to an enjoyable and successful concert season for your child as well as myself. I also look forward to teaching your child and seeing him/her grow in their musical endeavors. If you ever have any questions please feel free to call me anytime. Thanks for supporting the Northwest Cabarrus music program. Todd Whittington Band Room Phone (704) 723 –4115 I have voice mail and will return your call within 24 hours. E-Mail- twhittin @


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