Oakwood Orchestra News

February 2016-6th Grade Edition

From Ms. Read and Mr. Urban

Instrument Sizing

Many of your students have grown! We will be checking their instrument sizes during the coming weeks. If your student needs a larger instrument we will give them a form with the new size. Please call your instrument rental shop to find out how they handle instrument exchanges.


Solo & Ensemble Contest

Oakwood will host the annual 5th and 6th Grade Solo & Ensemble Contest on April 12th. Students can choose to participate by preparing a solo piece, performing in a small ensemble, or both. At the event students will perform their solo or ensemble for other string teachers from the B/CS area. This event is optional, but we encourage students to participate because it hones their skills as individual players, give them a chance to perform with their friends, and builds confidence. If your student has specified interest then we will select appropriate music for them to work on. Music will be distributed in the next few weeks.


Composition Projects

You may have noticed that your students are hard at work composing cool music! Their compositions will incorporate the many new skills and elements we have learned in 6th grade orchestra. Students will have a chance to go to the computer lab to enter their music into a music writing software called Finale NotePad. Once we are done with the project, the students will have a chance to perform for their peers. If you haven't already done so, ask your student to perform their piece for you!

Upcoming Events

6th Grade Orchestra Performances:


Feb. 24: Spring Book Fair/4th Grade Open House @ 5:15 pm @ Oakwood Cafeteria

  • ***Required after school rehearsal 3:50-5:00 pm***
  • Uniform: Orchestra Polo, Black Pants/Skirt, and Black Shoes
  • Cellos/Basses: Bring home instruments
  • Students will need a ride home at 5:45 pm


Feb. 27: Empty Bowls Fundraiser (Optional) @ 11:00-11:30 am @ Crystal Park Plaza

  • Volunteer Orchestra will perform for the fundraiser meal
  • Students should arrive no later than 10:45 to tune and set up
  • Students will need a ride home at 11:30 am


March 2: Fine Arts Assembly @ Oakwood Gym

  • Uniform: Orchestra Polo, Jeans (no holes) or Black Pants, Closed Toed Shoes
  • Cellos/Basses: Bring home instruments
  • Students with miss part of 4th and all of 5th, 6th, and 7th periods
  • Students will eat lunch during 4th period. Students will have access to the cafeteria lines but we suggest packing a lunch because of time constraints.


Other concerts going on in B/CS this February:


Feb. 25: AMCMS/AMCHS Orchestras @ 7 pm @ AMCHS Auditorium


Feb. 21: BVSO @ 5 pm @ Rudder Theater

  • This event requires purchased tickets.


Feb. 29: Friends of Chamber Music-Red Priest @ 7:30 pm @ First Presbyterian Church, Bryan

  • This event is free and child care is available.

Practice Records

We want to take this opportunity to remind you about the practice record procedure. Students are supposed to enter their practice time in the online system by Sunday AND turn in a parent signature slip as confirmation on Mondays. We only check Essential Elements Interactive if a student turns in their parent signature page. We record the student's grade and return the parent signature page to them so that they can use it again. We use the same parent signature page for the entire six weeks.


Parent signature sheets are due on Monday but we accept them on Tuesday with no penalty per the school's policy. Starting Wednesday, the highest grade a student can make is a 70.


If you experience computer trouble and your student is unable to record their practice online, please have them record what they practiced and for how long on a piece of paper. They can turn in the paper with their parent signature slip and still receive full credit.


You can find extra copies of the practice record on the orchestra website and in the resource section of Essential Elements Interactive.


We will also be reviewing this policy in class but we wanted to clarify our expectations. Thank you for helping your students keep up with their practicing!

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Mr. Travis Urban