First Colonial Band Notes

November 27th, 2021

Letter from the Director

Greetings FC Band Family,

We have entered the busy holiday season! Family events, school holidays, early dismissals, & plenty of music-making will happen over the next month. Make sure you are up to date on all of our FC Band rehearsals & performances---all of the events can be found in the course expectations & posted on our calendar on the website.

As the year has progressed, it has been great getting to know our students more & more as the classes have settled into a more normal routine. Progress is being made in class, play abilities are increasing, & the sections are truly beginning to click with each other. To take the next step forward, we need to increase the amount of active practice time outside of school for a large number of our members. Students--make sure you are actually taking your instruments home each day & practicing for at least 20 minutes 5 times per week. Parents & family members---help hold them accountable! There is always something to practice & improve on. Each class has been given technique packets specifically designed to function as a practice guide.

One final note---VBCPS has modified the guidelines regarding winter sports & performing arts events. This will limit our audience sizes for events going forward. More information can be found below.

Musically Yours,

Luke Walker

Director of Bands

Tri-M Music Honor Society Advisor

Performing Arts Department Chair

PBIS Team Leader

First Colonial High School

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FCBB December Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 6pm

1272 Mill Dam Road

Virginia Beach, VA

We will hold our monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 7th at 6pm in person in the band room at FCHS.

If you are a parent/grandparent/guardian/caregiver, you are encouraged to be a member of the First Colonial Band Boosters. Meetings are held monthly where we discuss program direction, fundraisers, student events, & much more. All are encouraged to participate & help make our program the best that it can be.

To join FCBB in BAND, click here.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

VB Holiday Parade

The Virginia Beach Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday, December 4th. All band members in the Symphonic Band (Advanced/Intermediate Band classes) will perform in the parade. Music will be distributed in classes on when we return from Thanksgiving Break. Classes will combine for the parade dress rehearsal on Friday, December 3rd from 5-8pm with the students from Lynnhaven Middle School & VB Middle School.

The schedule for the parade:

1:00pm Arrive at FCHS

1:05pm Decorate instruments in sections

2:00pm Rehearse

2:45pm Change into uniform, restrooms

3:15pm Load equipment

3:25pm Load busses

3:30pm Depart FCHS

4:00pm Stage at Oceanfront

5:30pm Parade begins

6:45pm Load busses

7:15pm Return to FCHS

7:20pm Store equipment & uniforms properly

7:45pm Dismissed

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Winter Concert

We will have our Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 14th at 7pm. Student report time is 6pm & doors will open to the theater at 6:45pm for audience members.

Due to changes in the VBCPS Covid protocols, all indoor winter sports & performing arts events are now limited to 25% venue capacity. With this limit in place, we are required to distribute tickets & limit the total number of attendees to 180 persons for this concert. Each student will be given 2 tickets. Tickets will be distributed in class the week of December 6th. Any family not needing their allotment of tickets is requested to return their tickets so they can be distributed to those that would like more.

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After School Rehearsals & Performances

As per VBCPS course requirements, we will be having after-school rehearsals for all Symphonic Band students (brass, woodwind, percussion) leading up to our performances. All dates are listed in the course expectations & handbook. The rehearsals for the next 2 months:

Friday, December 3rd 5-8pm - Holiday Parade Dress Rehearsal*

Saturday, December 4th 3-8pm - Holiday Parade

Tuesday, November 30th 2:30-4:30pm - PERCUSSION ONLY***This is a change***

Tuesday, December 7th 2:30-4:30pm - Winter Concert Combined Rehearsal

Monday, December 13th 5-8pm - Winter Concert Dress Rehearsal*

Tuesday, December 14th 6-8:30pm - Winter Concert

*Dress Rehearsal

Please note, all rehearsals are mandatory & are graded. Rehearsals take priority over work/clubs/sports practice/etc. A 0 will be earned by all with unexcused absences. Students with unexcused absences from the Dress Rehearsal will not be permitted to perform at the concert.

Concert Attire

A reminder that all students are required to be in the appropriate concert attire for all formal concerts.

  • Black tuxedo, white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie & cummerbund, black dress shoes with long black socks.
  • Black concert dress. ("Laurel" model)

All items can be obtained through various avenues, however we recommend using Southeastern Apparel.

District Band Auditions

All students planning to audition for All-District Band must bring in a check for $7.50 made out to FCBB by Friday, December 3rd to be registered for the audition. Auditions will be held virtually via Opus Events during December 9-10-11.

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VBODA Concert Band Assessment

VBODA Concert Band Assessment is the "music SOL" where our performing ensembles are given a rating by a panel of adjudicators. While the assessment does not occur until early March, I wanted to pass along some information & reminders for this concert program, as we will be beginning to rehearse it after the Winter Concert.

  1. Our after school rehearsal times shift from 2:30-4:30pm to 5-8pm on Tuesdays. While this will be new to some of our students, this has been the normal at FCHS & is currently normal for the other VBCPS HS band programs. These rehearsals are later in the afternoon for a few reasons: 1-We rehearse on stage, which is not available directly after school. 2-We bring guest clinicians & adjudicators to work with our students during this concert program.
  2. Not all students will participate in the ensemble that goes to assessment. Students that have demonstrated dependability, regular practice habits, & the ability to be successful on the music will be assigned parts for this concert unit. All of our percussionists will not be used, as the literature does not require 16 percussion. All students that are not assigned to perform for assessment will continue to work on skill development in class & will have different assignments during this period.
  3. All students will have regular, nightly playing assignments either via SmartMusic or Schoology. Instruments should be going home daily (with the exception of percussion & tubas---they will be given 25 minutes per day during Patriot Pause to complete these assignments) & should be practiced with a purpose each day. Full rehearsal schedules & assignments will be given at the beginning of each week.

Patriot Percussion Ensemble

An interest meeting was held on November 15th for all students interested in being a part of the 2021-2022 Patriot Percussion. All forms are due by December 1st to be considered for membership.
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Community Partners in Music Education

Davenport & Company

477 Viking Drive, Suite 200

Virginia Beach, VA 23452

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