Ensembles

All band classes (except Jazz Band and Drumline) meet during the school day. Band is one of the students six periods. Unlike elementary band, these are NOT pull-out classes. Band class is an actual period! Students do not miss their academic classes. Band class is the students exploratory/elective period in one of the four band levels: Beginning, Cadet, Intermediate or Symphonic Band. ALL band classes are Year-Long courses. All students in band will need to be able to provide their own instrument: acquire one from the school (based on availability) or local music stores.

BEGINNING BAND

ad2_130307090316_lrgThis class is open to any 6th, 7th or 8th grade student who wishes to learn an instrument; however, most of this class is comprised of 6th graders. This class is for students who have never played a band instrument or have less than 9 months playing experience. Beginning Band accepts students with little or NO previous band or music experience. Also, if a student started band in elementary school but had to drop mid-year, this is the perfect opportunity for the student to re-start their band experience. This is where a lifetime enjoyment of music can begin! Instruction in this class will be on student-selected traditional band instruments: Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba and Percussion. This is NOT a guitar or piano class. At the start of each year, students will see instrument demonstrations so they can choose the instrument they want to play. Major focus points are fundamentals of instrumental performance and fingering, posture, breathing, reading rhythms accurately, reading musical notation and developing listening skills. The method text is “Tradition of Excellence, Book 1.” Other music and study materials for performances are passed out during the course of the year. Beginning Band performs mostly at Warm Spring Middle School Band concerts. Practice logs are an essential element of this class. While the class may be completed successfully, a student may be denied promotion to higher band levels if they are missing significant practice logs throughout the year. Students who successfully complete this course are eligible to be promoted to Cadet or Intermediate band the following year. Promotions are offered in mid-spring at school personally from the director to the student.

CADET BAND

flute005_130307090344_lrgThis class is for students who have one year of playing experience. While open to any grade level, Cadet Band is primarily reserved for 6th grade students who successfully completed 5th grade elementary band. This band level starts off the year with a thorough review of Tradition of Excellence, Book 1, the method used in 5th grade band. At the beginning of the year some students may have an opportunity to switch instruments – usually based on needs in other sections – to help build and strengthen the instrumentation of the band. Major focus points are posture, breathing, reading rhythms accurately, reading musical notation and developing listening skills – with the intention to strengthen previously learned skills. The purpose of this band level is to prepare students for Intermediate Band. Other music and study materials for performances are passed out during the course of the year. Cadet Band performs mostly at Warm Springs Middle School Band concerts. Practice logs are an essential element of this class. While the class may be completed successfully, a student may be denied promotion to higher band levels if they are missing significant practice logs throughout the year. Students who successfully complete this course are eligible to be promoted to Intermediate Band the following year. In some very advanced circumstances, a member might be promoted to Symphonic Band, although rare. Promotions are offered in mid-spring at school personally from the director to the student.

INTERMEDIATE BAND

2258794801_f18684cc9b_130307100328_lrgConsisting only of 7th and 8th graders, this class is for students who have successfully completed 1 to 2 years of band instruction in either Cadet Band, and for a select few, Beginning Band. Having completed at least one year of middle school level of study, the students are expected to be able to tackle some concepts on their own. This class picks up where Cadet Band left off, further exploring new rhythms, technique, styles and developing the young musician. The text is “Traditions of Excellence”, Books 1 and 2. Students are expected to retain concepts that were learned in Cadet or Beginning Band. Performances include Warm Springs Middle School concerts and a local band festival. This is the level where students first experience preparing and participating in SCSBOA music festivals; a performance where a panel of judges evaluate the bands performance live, on stage. Student “Challenges” begin at this level, where students are seated in their section by achievement of skill level. Students may challenge each other to advance their seating position within their section, thus improving their chances to promote to Symphonic Band for the following year. Students who successfully complete this course may be eligible for promotion up to Symphonic Band the following year – promotions are not guaranteed, especially in really large sections. Intermediate Band is a level that does prepare most students for participation in the high school band.

SYMPHONIC BAND

Horn and MusicThis is the most advanced group at Warm Springs Middle School – the “Musical Flagship” of the band program. This group is made up primarily of 8th graders, and in some cases of advanced musicianship/ instrumentation needs – some 7th graders. Promotion into the Symphonic Band is by Director recommendation ONLY based on space availability in each section. Promotions are offered by personal phone call home from the director. Membership is very competitive. Essentially not every 8th grader may make it into this advanced ensemble. Membership consideration is based on overall musicianship, history of commitment, practice habits, character, discipline and attendance history, instrumentation needs and in some cases, academic performance. A high standard of commitment and excellence is expected from each student. By this time, students have learned most of what they need to know to play in this band, so instruction moves away from the basic elements of music and concentrates on the more abstract concepts of musicianship and music performance. This is where previously learned knowledge comes together to make great music. The level of music performed in this group is advanced middle school up to high school level literature. The method text is “Essential Elements 2000, Book 2.” Symphonic Band may perform at Warm Spring Middle School concerts, for student body, community and at local festivals.

JAZZ BAND

jazzbandThis ensemble meets before school two mornings a week, generally Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30am – 8:45am. Jazz band is open to 7th and 8th grade students by audition only at the start of each school year and rehearses all academic year. Only in extreme cases where a section may have a shortage will a 6th grader be eligible to participate. It is available to students who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone (baritones if shortage of trombones), piano, drum set, guitar or bass guitar. All Wind players and drummers must be enrolled in a concert band class listed above. Positions for Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar and Piano are open to the entire student population. Students who play other instruments may learn how to “double” on an instrument mentioned previously and participate if they audition in. Students must be able to read music. The focus is to introduce students to the basic techniques of playing swing, blues, rock, Latin, jazz and improvisation. This is a great additional ensemble for your child to participate to strengthen their musical skills. The text is “Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble”. Jazz Band performs on concerts with the Vista Murrieta High School Jazz Ensembles at VMHS (not with Warm Springs Concert bands). One festival in late Spring is also part of the Jazz Band calendar.

DRUMLINE

This is a competitive ensemble and rehearses two days a week either afterschool or in the evenings. Rehearsal schedule may vary year to year depending on instructor availability, but will be set in the early fall. Students must audition to be accepted. When choosing members, preference is given to qualifying current 6th, 7th and 8th grade percussion students enrolled in a Warm Spring Middle School concert band class listed above. All other vacancies can be filled from the general student population. The Drumline will be auditioned in early fall with intensive rehearsals throughout the fall and spring. In the spring the Drumline will be enrolled in a small handful of Saturday competitions throughout mid-southern California ending with a championship competition, pending qualifying scores throughout the competition season. Performances will also include on-campus activities at Warm Springs MS. The main purpose for the Drumline is to teach more advanced percussion techniques on both marching percussion and concert instruments. Concert percussion is combined with marching percussion to create the entire ensemble – known as the Drumline. The competitive show is designed and performed indoors within the boundaries of a basketball court. This is a SUPER exciting activity! Donations are essential to keeping this program available as an offering.