First Colonial Band Notes

January 6th, 2022

Letter from the Director

Greetings FC Band Family,

Happy New Year! As we return from winter break, we have a lot of exciting events happening with our band. Our Patriot Percussion Ensemble has started rehearsing & preparing for their competitive season, 17 of our students will be participating in district band soon, & our assessment band students have started working on our program for the VBODA Concert Band Assessment in March. It is wonderful to have so many students making music during the day, after school on Mondays & Thursdays, & on Saturdays. For our new members & families, let me describe a little bit about what each of these events are.

The VBODA Concert Band Assessment is the state level assessment for music programs (band, chorus, orchestra), the equivalent of a "music SOL test" where we prepare 3 pieces of music from a graded list, perform for a panel of adjudicators, then perform a 4th piece after only 7 minutes of preparation time. These judges grade us in 7 categories, averaging out to an overall rating assigned to our band. As we continue to catch up from our year of virtual/hybrid learning, expectations will be raised on our students in this ensemble (more on that later), as we look to get back to where we were as a program prior to March of 2020.

Our Patriot Percussion Ensemble is a competitive, extracurricular ensemble made up of percussionists & other musicians that have decided to learn a percussion instrument to be in this ensemble. Historically, this group has competed at the highest of levels in the AIA circuit (Atlantic Indoor Association), undefeated in all circuit competitions including championships. In 2020, we started to compete in the WGI (Winter Guard International) circuit, with our goal being a world championship in 2020 (cut short by pandemic), a goal we are revisiting this year (pending field trip approval). The ensemble rehearses 3 times per week & will be learning a show based on classic video game music.

For All-District Band, students from VBODA District 2 (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Eastern Shore) auditioned in December to earn placement into the bands. This is similar to an all-region team in sports. The students will represent FCHS at the event in early February, learning an entire concert in less than 3 days to be performed for all in attendance.

With so much going on, please make sure to review the rehearsal & performance dates in the syllabus, on the website, & listed below in the newsletter. Thank you again for your support of the arts!

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 January Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 11th, 6pm

1272 Mill Dam Road

Virginia Beach, VA

We will hold our monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 11th 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.

Patriot Percussion Ensemble

Our 2021-2022 Patriot Percussion Ensemble is set & we have started rehearsing! Our show is based on classical video games. We currently are finishing our first movement, based on the game Tetris (music for the game based on the Russian folk tune Korobeiniki). We will begin working on the second movement this weekend, based on music from Final Fantasy IV.

The ensemble rehearses on Mondays (2:30-4:30pm), Thursdays (2:30-6pm), & Saturdays (9am-2pm) with minor exceptions. The full calendar & up to date information can be found in our BAND group here. We request that all members & parents of members join the group so they do not miss out on important updates & information.

Patriot Percussion Fundraiser

We will be holding a donation drive via FundraiseGenius to raise funds to cover our trip to WGI World Percussion Championships in April (pending VBCPS field trip approval). Our goal is to raise a minimum of $5,000 to help cover the costs of this 4 day trip to Dayton, Ohio. The fundraiser will kick off next week. Each student should be adding at least 15 potential donors into their online platform. Accounts were set up at the end of rehearsal on 1/6/22.

If you are able to assist or would like to make a donation, please consider contacting one of our percussion students or making a donation directly to FCBB to help fund this once-in -a-lifetime experience for our students.

All-District Band

Congratulations to the following students for earning placement in the 2021 VBODA District 2 All-District Honor Band:

Symphonic Band (1st Team equivalent)

  • Max - 5th Clarinet
  • Armin - 6th Clarinet
  • Nathan - 1st Bass Clarinet
  • Tommy - 4th Alto Sax
  • Ben - 1st Tenor Sax
  • Jack - 2nd Tenor Sax
  • Michael - 1st Horn
  • Nash - 7th Horn
  • Foster - 3rd Percussion

Concert Band (2nd Team equivalent)

  • Jayce - 1st Tenor Sax
  • Ian - 3rd Trumpet
  • Justice - 8th Horn
  • Sean - 4th Tuba
  • Devon - 6th Tuba
  • Wyatt - 8th Percussion

We also had multiple students listed as alternates to the ensembles: Daegan on euphonium & Jeremy on oboe.

The students will present a concert on Saturday, February 5th. More information will be distributed in class in the coming days, including information on fees & schedules for each group.

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VBODA Assessment - Symphonic Band

Most of our Symphonic Band members will be participating in the VBODA Concert Band Assessment in March.

The 3 selections we will be performing:

  • El Relicario (Spanish march, Paso Doble) by Jose Padilla.
  • Sanctuary by Frank Ticheli
  • Gandalf (1st movement from "The Lord of the Rings Symphony") by Johan de Meij

All members will have multiple playing assignments per week & should be practicing at home daily.

Combined rehearsals will begin on February 1st, from 5-8pm each Tuesday evening until March 8th. All rehearsals are required/graded & all dates can be found in the syllabus in Schoology & sent home in September.

Those students not participating are due to:

  • Percussion: Only 6 students are needed for the program, as the percussion demands on instrumentation are not as significant as other recent programs. The remaining percussion will be working on technique, music literacy, & percussion ensemble music for the spring concert.
  • Winds: Students were required to submit a part placement audition before winter break, having 3 days of class time to submit. Those that did not submit an audition were not placed on a part for this program. These students will be working through a technique/music literacy unit, with multiple playing assignments due weekly. Each student has also been assigned a 2 minute solo playing assignment, which will be performed in early March.

Community Partners in Music Education

Davenport & Company

477 Viking Drive, Suite 200

Virginia Beach, VA 23452

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