First Colonial Band Notes
February 22, 2021
Letter from the Director
Greetings FC Band Family,
Tomorrow is the big day we resume face to face instruction for all of our Option 1 students! First, I am very excited to see our students again & have a "more normal" interaction. Second, I am excited to hear our students play live, in real time, again---which will soon allow us the opportunity of modified live performances later in the spring. While this will be a transition for us, with all of the safety & mitigation strategies present, we will do our best to make this return to school as positive & safe as possible. I encourage all of our members to review the VBCPS, FCHS, & FC Band mitigation strategies prior to returning to the building.
With the first grading period quickly coming to an end, I want to take a minute to offer a few words of advice to our students:
- Band is an activity that you must participate in. Actively playing your instrument, asking questions, & participating are critical to success. This is not a class you can disappear in, not play an instrument, & try to complete assignments the day before the grading period ends.
- The more involved you choose to be, the more you will get out of the band experience. If you only do "what is required" in class, you will have a very mediocre band experience. I urge everyone to participate in cocurricular ensembles, ask for help, get to know other band members, & push yourself past what is comfortable. The most successful band students that have gotten the most out of the program are the students that are the most involved.
One last reminder---all classrooms (band room included) will have windows open to allow for increased air circulation (assuming it is 40 degrees or warmer). With that in mind, I would advise all students to bring a jacket or hoodie to school with the likely cooler classrooms.
If you have any questions about the reopening plan, please feel free to contact me & I will do my best to assist!
Director of Bands
Tri-M Music Honor Society Advisor
Performing Arts Department Chair
PBIS Team Leader
First Colonial High School
COVID Mitigation Strategies
- Social distancing: Students will be spaced a minimum of 6 feet while playing a wind instrument or singing. Trombones will be spaced 9 feet. (Notes: We are spaced more than 6 feet due to our available space. We are also facing the same direction in lines, no arcs or circles. This is not a requirement, but a suggestion we are able to follow).
- Personal Protective Equipment: Students will be provided a Musician Mask by FC. The Musician Mask is a special mask that has a slit/flaps in the middle that allow students to play their instruments while still wearing masks. An adapted version of this is specific to flutes/piccolos.
- Instrument Equipment: We have equipment specific to individual instruments that will be distributed to in person students. Brass players will be required to use a puppy training pad (pee pads) to empty all spit/condensation from their instruments (FCHS provided).
- Rehearsal Time: Our rehearsals will be limited to 30 minutes (when playing or singing) in length. At the end of the 30 minutes, we will vacate the area & allow the air to recirculate. This period will last for 5 minutes for outdoor rehearsals & 40 minutes for indoor rehearsals.
- Rehearsal Location: While not required, it is recommended that rehearsals are held outside when possible. Weather permitting (no precipitation, at least 40 degrees), we will do the majority of our playing outdoors.
- Assigned Seating: All teachers at FCHS will be assigning seats for contact tracing purposes.
- Pods: For ensembles that meet after school, students will be grouped into pods of 10 or less. Students will remain in these groupings for the duration of the after school ensembles.
- Schoology & Schoology Messenger
- Remind (Concert Band: @fcbandcb21 , Wind Ensemble: @fcbandwe21)
For all cocurricular ensembles & other information relating to our program:
- BAND app (Marching Band, FCBB, Varsity Percussion, Chamber Ensembles)
- Website: www.fcband.org
- Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/firstcolonialband
- Instagram: @firstcolonialbands
For all communications, messages will be responded to as seen during school hours (6:45am-2:30pm). Office hours are available daily from 2:00-2:30pm. Mr. Walker's Planning Block is from 11:10am-12:25pm.
- Jazz Band / Combo (Jazz, Latin, Swing, Rock)
- Advanced Winds + Percussion (Level 5-6 Concert Literature)
- Intermediate Winds + Percussion (Level 3-4 Concert Literature)
- Percussion: This will take the place of the VPE 2020-2021 Season. More info TBA
The goal for these ensembles will be a live, in person, performance later on in the spring (similar to the Park & Play in November). While our curricular classes during the school day will be studying & performing literature, they will be working towards a virtual performance at this time. These chamber ensembles are specifically designed for those able & willing to do live performances. Further information will be released in class as we enter March.
Marching Band Update
- Office hours after school (2:00-2:30pm daily)
- Tutoring sessions by appointment (after school)
- Group sectionals as needed (after school)
We take pride as a band in helping each other achieve success. There is no shame or embarrassment in asking for help---we view this self-advocacy as a sign of maturity, professionalism, & as an indicator that you are driven to succeed. If you are a student that needs assistance in band, please feel comfortable reaching out to another band member or Mr. Walker for help. We want to see you be successful!
FCBB March Meeting
Tuesday, March 2nd, 6pm
This is an online event.
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.
- All assignments can be attempted multiple times prior to submission (Schoology, Flipgrid, SmartMusic, etc).
- Grading Dates: All work will be graded on Mondays, with progress reports being sent out weekly.
- Missing/Late Work: Assignments can be turned in past the posted due date, but a reduction of points will occur. The deadline for submissions will be posted prior to the end of each grading period. If you submit something late, it is your responsibility to notify Mr. Walker to make sure it is graded.