When do performing arts classes meet? All performing arts classes meet during the school day. The 6th grade band and orchestra is divided into two different class periods due to larger numbers and like-instrument settings.
Are there any after school requirements if I join band choir or orchestra? There are very few after school rehearsals because we do meet during the school day. During the entire 6th grade school year, there are a handful of rehearsals that last only 50 minutes (you are finished by 4:15). The purpose of these rehearsals is to combine both classes together before a concert.
Can I still participate in after school clubs and sports if I join band, choir or orchestra? YES!!! With only a handful of rehearsals for the entire school year, there are very few conflicts, however some do occur. Teachers and coaches at Clay understand the importance of the performing arts program (some of them were in it too!) and will excuse you from that portion of the rehearsal.
What happens during an instrument try-on? When you sign-up for an instrument fitting, you select three instruments you would like to play. Mrs. Pote, Mr. Grifa, Mr. Frizzi or another band or orchestra director (they come from other schools to help out!) will help you make sounds (some sound really funny!) on all three instruments. When you are finished, you get to decide which instrument you would like to play.
What happens if I already play an instrument? If you already play an instrument you can either continue to play that instrument at Clay or try a new one! Several students will try an instrument they've always wanted to play and others will stick with the one they have already learned.
If I have piano background, which instrument would be a good fit? Students with a background in piano generally do really well on any instrument.
Are there cut-offs for any instruments? Unfortunately there are a few instrument sections that have to be restricted by numbers. This is a number changes with the size of each band. Percussion students must demonstrate an ability to recognize and play back rhythms and melodies on snare as well as bells (bells look like a small keyboard that use mallets to be played).
What is summer band and orchestra and what if I cannot attend? Summer band and orchestra takes place during the month of June. The main purpose of the summer program is to get students in like-instrument (violin with violin, trombone with trombone) settings. It is also a great opportunity for students to meet new friends before they even start 6th grade! If you cannot attend summer band or orchestra, it is suggested that students acquire a few private lessons before school starts in August.
Frequently Asked Questions Parent Edition
How can my student get involved with the Clay Performing Arts Program? The first step to joining the band program is to sign up for an instrument fitting (you can do so by clicking on "Try-On Registration" at the top of this page!). If you have a conflict with each of the try-on dates, contact Mr. Frizzi and he will be happy to set up an appointment with you and your student.
What is an instrument fitting and do I need to be present? Instrument fittings take place at Clay Middle School. When they are finished, the student, parent and director decide which instrument would be the best fit for the student. When you leave the instrument fitting, your student will have selected their instrument! Parental consent is required for a student to be assigned an instrument, so it is highly encouraged that a parent be present.
What kind of out of school commitment is made when joining the band program? Because we know students are very busy, after school requirements are at a minimum. During the 6th grade year, performing arts students have only a handful after school rehearsals. The purpose of these rehearsals is to prepare for upcoming concerts. Each rehearsal only lasts 50 minutes and is over by 4:15. All students are offered a late bus pass.
Why is the 6th grade band and orchestra divided into two classes? When beginning a new instrument it is best practice for students to start in small like-instrument settings. Band classes are split into woodwind classes and brass/percussion classes. This is done to ensure students the best small group instruction possible.
When I sign up for an instrument, have I signed my child up for band class? Selecting an instrument at the instrument fitting is the first step to signing up for band class. In February students will register for classes. At this time students and parents will need to make sure they have selected the appropriate performing arts class as their music elective.
What is the cost for joining band, choir or orchestra? During the 6th grade year students will need to purchase a black Clay Performing Arts polo shirt to be used as concert attire. This generally runs around $15. Orders will be taken in early October. If your family already owns a black Clay Performing Arts polo, your child is welcome to use this rather than purchase a new one. Although obtaining an instrument is the family's responsibility, accommodations are made for those unable to make this commitment. Students will never be turned away from the band, choir or orchestra programs due to monetary constraints. Please contact any director with any concerns.