First Colonial Band Notes

October 16

Letter from the Director

Greetings FC Band Family,

It has been great having (some) of our students back in the building over the past few weeks. Each class is continuing to make progress in this different setting, doing the best we can with the challenges of a virtual setting. While this is nowhere close to what the band experience usually is, we are glad to have the opportunity to keep making music together.

Currently, each class is making progress as expected. The Beginning Band is on line 31 in our method book, having learned our first 5 notes. The Percussion Class is doing well working through rudiments & snare techniques---I am proud of their patience while only working on pads---I wish we were in class (safely) so we could access all of our instruments. The AP Music Theory class has just finished Unit 2 & is doing better than I ever expected, especially in the fully virtual setting. For each class, the one thing I would ask would be for more student involvement & participation. As a teacher, student participation gives me the necessary feedback I need to gauge student learning & progress. Some classes are great, but other classes I never hear or see a student speak or play. If possible, encourage your students to try to participate more actively so I can help them improve faster, it really makes a difference.

Moving ahead, we are excited about the possibility of more students returning, our small chamber ensembles that have recently formed, & the potential for our Varsity Percussion & Marching Band seasons later this year. To prepare for these events, we will be starting a fall fundraising drive on October 20th. It is imperative that we have as many students & families participate as possible---all of our activities have financial needs & we are still $8,000 behind from losing our spring & summer fundraisers last school year. More information can be found below, but this is a fully virtual fundraiser that ships directly to the customer's house. Please make every effort to chip in so that we can continue to offer these ensembles for our students.

Musically Yours,

Luke Walker

Director of Bands

First Colonial High School

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Fall Fundraiser

The FCHS Performing Arts Department will be holding a virtual fundraiser from October 20 - November 5th. The fundraiser will be selling a wide variety of products ranging from sweets, holiday gifts, kitchen items, clothing, food kits, tumblers, & much more. The fundraiser is fully virtual---all we need each member to do is share the link to the online store & help promote the fundraiser.

For Band, this fundraiser is critically important to help us meet our budget. Last school year, we were forced to cancel multiple fundraisers (Spring Tides Game, Summer car washes, Marching Band cookie dough fundraiser), causing us to lose $8000-$10,000 in expected income. Due to this, it is extremely important we do our part to fundraise now so that we can still have our Varsity Percussion Ensemble & Marching Band later this school year. In a typical year, those ensembles would cost us approximately $30,000 in budget---we will be scaling back some this year, but we still need the funds to have the music arranged, obtain copyright permissions, pay membership & competition fees, & compensate our wonderful staff members.

To participate, please follow the following steps:

  1. Go to .
  2. Click on the "Parents & Sellers" button.
  3. Click on the "Parents & Sellers Register" button.
  4. Set up your account (email + password).
  5. Add your students (Name, state: Virginia, School or Group: First Colonial High Music, Teacher's Last Name: Walker)

Once you have set up your account & logged in, you will see your dashboard. From there, you can:

  1. Share our online store via email, text, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & any other method you can think of.
  2. See how many supporters you have reached.
  3. View how much you have helped raise for the group.
  4. See all of your online orders.
  5. See the prizes you have earned.

The best thing about this fundraiser is that it is completely virtual. All shopping is done online, all payment is handled online, all orders ship direct to the customer, & there is a wide variety of items available. All we have to do is share our online store & keep promoting over the course of the sale. If each of our students sold 12 items, we would hit our goal. Please make every effort to participate in this fundraiser so we can continue to offer high quality music experiences to our students. We are counting on everyone doing their personal best to help us reach our goals, be it 1 item or 25 items sold, please do your very best!

If you want to share our online store & do not care about earning prizes, simply share the link to our online store:

Fundraiser Help Videos

  1. Parent Setup
  2. Student Setup

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Tri-M Music Honor Society

The FCHS Chapter of Tri-M will continue this year, even with virtual schooling currently in place. Virtual application packets can be found here:

Tri-M Application

A sample application can be found here (it is recommended you look at this before opening the actual application).

Sample Application

Tri-M is open to all music students in grades 10-12. Applications are due by Monday, November 2 at 1pm. Students selected for Tri-M will be notified via email & Schoology on Wednesday, November 11th. The meeting invite for our first Tri-M meeting will also be shared at that time. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Walker or Ms. Fagan.

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Varsity Percussion Update

At this time, we are still planning on having a 2020-2021 Varsity Percussion Ensemble. While restrictions on wind instruments are significant, it is much more viable for our percussion students to meet & play together while following all VBCPS health & safety guidelines. As of now, WGI has cancelled all in-person competitions, but they have created a virtual circuit that we hope to compete in. AIA, our local circuit, has yet to announce their plans for the season.

All of that being said, we plan to hold a virtual interest meeting in November to go over specific plans, dates, & season information for all students interested in being a part of this award-winning ensemble. The ensemble is open to all students in the FCHS Performing Arts---not just percussionists. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.

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Chamber Ensembles

A Zoom meeting was held in September for all students interested in participating in small chamber ensembles this semester, either virtual or in-person once allowed. Currently, we have approximately 15 students that have expressed an interest in these ensembles. The first ensemble (approximately 9 students) has been formed & has received music. In the coming days, music will be distributed to students in the second ensemble.

For the ensembles, we will be following all of the VBCPS guidelines regarding the performing arts. This includes:

  1. 10 foot distancing for wind players while playing.
  2. Instrument covers/bags for wind players (should be delivered in 2-3 weeks).
  3. 6 foot spacing for percussionists.
  4. No shared instruments/equipment.
  5. 30 minute maximum rehearsal time (winds), then leaving area for air to exchange.
  6. Outdoor rehearsals preferred (weather permitting).

Some ensembles will be 100% virtual, while others will eventually meet in person. If you are a student that is interested in participating, please make sure you have joined our group in the Band App:

FC Band Fall Chamber Ensembles

FCBB November Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 4th, 6pm

This is an online event.

We will hold our monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 4th at 6pm via Zoom. Meeting invites will be posted in the Band App.

If you are a parent/grandparent/guardian/caregiver, you are invited 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.