Good afternoon!! We are very excited to welcome nearly 100 new freshmen to our band program, and we are proud to say this is the largest band program Mrs. San Roman and I have ever had at OHS. Here in the beginning of the year, we wanted to make sure you and your students are aware of a few things; most of these have been or will be touched on in class, but we wanted to make sure you know what is going on as well.
1) First off, because we have such a large and extensive program, we have a handbook full of expectations, policies, etc. that we need everyone to be on board with. All students received this handbook in class today, or in the freshmen's case, will receive it tomorrow. This can also be accessed digitally by going to our band website, www.ohsband.org , under the "Communication" tab. The front of this book has our yearly calendar in it; please add it to your families' schedules now so we don't have any problems later. Attached to this email is the handbook checkoff form, as well as the student/parent information sheet. Because we do so many things in and out of school, this not only serves as showing you know and understand the rules and procedures, but also allows us to have everyone's contact information in one place should the need arise. These forms are due this Friday, August 21st, and can be signed by you and your student and brought back to school, or scanned in and emailed.
2) Our band room, as well as several other rooms on the school, are "No-Food areas". We have several students with life-threatening allergies to things like nuts, lactose, and food dye, and we need to make sure they can feel safe in our room. We distributed today (or will hand out tomorrow) flyers about this policy to all students. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
3) Every student enrolled in a fine-arts class is required to do a Patron of the Arts project, which means going to an event (high-school level and above) outside of school, and doing a project on it. These projects are typically due the week before finals each semester. Rubrics for these projects can be found on our website under the "Resources" tab. These are worth 5% of the student's semester grade.
4) While the Panther Marching Band is in full swing (our first football game is next Friday), jazz band is just on the horizon. Our jazz workshop is next Tuesday (8/25) right after school in the band room, and auditions are on September 1st. Music can be found by going to the band website; all information is right there. Most students will not start until after marching band is over, but because the top jazz band has a few things earlier then that, we need to do the auditions early.
5) As you may have heard, our music program is going to Orlando this year for our bi-annual trip. The band that will be going on this trip are the upperclassmen bands (Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band, the top jazz band (yet to be auditioned) and the Marching Band. Trip registration and the first payment are due on September 8th. Last school year, information went out to all students about the trip; for those of you new to OHS or perhaps never got it, it is available on our band website. Any questions about payments should be directed to Entourage Management, the company we use (their number is on the registration form). Keep your eyes and ears open for fundraising opportunities.
6) The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a special deal going on for the next two months. Students can see a number of concerts for the low price of $15 a ticket, which is a massive discount over regular price (the lowest tickets are usually $34). Go to the website www.cso.org/students to see which concerts are available for this special deal!
7) For those students involved in Honors Band, we spent some time yesterday talking about the requirements for this added and exciting opportunity. The first important date is next Friday, August 28th, when students need to have chosen their performance and scholarly-based projects for the semester. Not having these turned in will result in removal from the honors program. Handouts went out to all students yesterday, and you can download them off our band website too under the "Bands" tab.
We are very excited to start the year with this great bunch of student musicians. Please let us know if there is anything we can do, or questions we can answer.