Oakwood Orchestra News

February 2016-5th 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 Contest

Oakwood will host the annual 5th and 6th Grade Solo & Ensemble Contest on Tuesday, April 12th. 5th Grade students can choose to participate by preparing a solo piece to perform 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 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 this year in 5th 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!

Next Year

We would love for your 5th grade students to continue to 6th grade orchestra! We will be having a conversation with the students about 6th grade orchestra in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Events

5th Grade students are invited to attend the following 6th Grade Orchestra performances:

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

  • The 6th grade orchestra will perform for 4th graders touring Oakwood and anyone else shopping at the Book Fair.

March 2: Fine Arts Assembly @ Oakwood

  • The 6th Grade Orchestra, Band, and Choir will perform and give presentations for 5th graders to help them select their elective for next year.
  • During 5th, 6th, and 7th periods

Other concerts this month include:

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

Feb. 21: BVSO @ 5 pm @ Rudder

  • 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.


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