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Fine Arts: Music

Musical foundations learned in Elementary School continue to be enhanced and reinforced during the Middle School years. At Concordia, students in Grades 5-8 are required to enroll in band, choir, or strings. Here, they expand their knowledge of musical notation, rhythmic/melodic reading, and elements of performance in their ensembles. Students will continue to develop and focus their individual music skills while coming together to create enriching music performances throughout the school year.

Orchestra

GRADE 5/6 ANDANTE STRINGS

Andante Strings is for students who have never played a string instrument. The major objective is to teach students how to play a violin, viola, cello or bass, and how to play in a group, listening to themselves and others as they play. We will work on posture, holding the instrument, bowing, fingering, and learning notes and rhythms. This is a yearlong class at the end of which the students should feel comfortable with their instrument and comfortable playing in the keys of D and G. We will perform on two or three concerts during the year: December, (March), and May.


GRADES 6,7,8 INTERMEZZO STRINGS

Intermezzo Strings is for students who have been playing their instrument for at least one full year. Students should be able to read music easily in the keys of D and G without major mistakes. Throughout the year we will work on ensemble skills, learn new keys, new notes and new bowings, continuing to working on sight-reading and tone. We will start learning vibrato and tuning. This group will perform on three concerts during the school year: December, March and May.

GRADE 7/8 SINFONIA

Sinfonia is an auditioned group for more advanced 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. We play advanced middle school music in the keys of D, G, C, F and B flat. All students will be expected to know or learn higher positions, vibrato and spiccato (bouncing bow). We will continue to practice excellent posture, beautiful tone, sight-reading, ensemble playing and listening skills. This orchestra will perform on 3 or 4 concerts during the school year: (October), December, March and May. Students from this group are also eligible to audition for the South East Asian Honor Orchestra Festival and the AMIS (The Association for Music in International Schools) Asian Honor Orchestra Festival.

Band

CADET BAND 5/6

Cadet Band 5/6 is offered to students with little or no experience playing a musical instrument. Cadet Band is a full-year music course. Instruments taught in Cadet Band are flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, bass tuba and concert percussion.

Cadet Band 5/6 students will have an opportunity to try out several instruments in the spring prior to the start of the following school year (new students during new student orientation). Selection of instrument is based upon student interest, physical characteristics (formation of lips and teeth), piano experience for percussion instruments and instrumentation requirements (the number of each instrument must be kept within reasonable limits in order to maintain a balanced sound be able to perform the music composed for the modern band).

Cadet Band 5/6 is divided into 2 classes: Cadet Band Woodwinds 5/6 and Cadet Band Brass & Percussion 5/6. Students will learn the basics of instrument performance fundamentals, reading music, rhythmic notation, and independent musical performance.

Cadet Band students who play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion are required to purchase their own instruments. Cadet Band students who play oboe, bassoon, French horn or bass tuba are provided an instrument for use by the school. Instrument orders are placed through the school during the first week of school.

Cadet Band students will participate in two mandatory school concert performances per school year: Christmas Concert in December and Spring Concert in May. Students wear their school uniform for concerts.

PHOENIX BAND 6-8

Phoenix Band is an intermediate level band class opened to continuing instrument players in grade 6 & 7 who have at successfully completed one full year of Cadet Band and/or Intermediate Ensemble.

Students will learn to be more skill-proficient and excel in music reading, scales, rhythm, tone production and articulation. The skills learned in Cadet Band and Intermediate Ensemble are further refined; additional scales and more challenging technique is learned.

Knowledge of scales is essential in learning to play an instrument. Students will have performed and memorized 5 to 8 major scales (or more) in Phoenix Band by the end of the year. Students will also be able to write and label each of their scales (all music is based upon some kind of scale).

Percussion students learn scales on the mallet instruments, and, in addition, learn rudiments, exercises that build coordination and control necessary to play percussion parts.

Private lessons are a great help at this level because class size and performance commitments limit the amount of individual instruction a student receives. Students may opt to practice either before or after school when necessary for extra help and/or concert preparation.

CADET BAND 7/8

Cadet Band 7/8 is offered to students with little or no experience playing a musical instrument. Cadet Band 7/8 is a full-year music course. Instruments taught in Cadet Band are flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, bass tuba and concert percussion.

Cadet Band students will have an opportunity to try out several instruments at the start of the school year. Selection of instrument is based upon student interest, physical characteristics (formation of lips and teeth), piano experience for percussion instruments and instrumentation requirements (the number of each instrument must be kept within reasonable limits in order to maintain a balanced sound be able to perform the music composed for the modern band).

Cadet Band students who play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion are required to purchase their own instruments. Cadet Band students who play oboe, bassoon, french horn or bass tuba are provided an instrument for use by the school. Instrument orders are placed through the school during the first week of school.

Cadet Band students will participate in two mandatory school concert performances per school year: Christmas Concert in December and Spring Concert in May. Students wear their school uniform for concerts.

PHOENIX BAND

Phoenix Band is an intermediate level band class opened to continuing instrument players in grade 6 & 7 who have at successfully completed one full year of Cadet Band and/or Intermediate Ensemble.

Students will learn to be more skill-proficient and excel in music reading, scales, rhythm, tone production and articulation. The skills learned in Cadet Band and Intermediate Ensemble are further refined; additional scales and more challenging technique is learned.

Knowledge of scales is essential in learning to play an instrument. Students will have performed and memorized 5 to 8 major scales (or more) in Phoenix Band by the end of the year. Students will also be able to write and label each of their scales (all music is based upon some kind of scale).

Percussion students learn scales on the mallet instruments, and, in addition, learn rudiments, exercises that build coordination and control necessary to play percussion parts.

Private lessons are a great help at this level because class size and performance commitments limit the amount of individual instruction a student receives. Students may opt to practice either before or after school when necessary for extra help and/or concert preparation.  Students will participate in three school concerts per academic year.

Placement in this class is by Director recommendation only!

SYMPHONIC BAND 7/8

SYMPHONIC BAND 7/8 is an upper level advanced band class open by Director recommendation only for students in grade 7 & 8 only.  All Concordia MS Band students who have completed one year of Cadet Band and/or Phoenix Band are matriculated into Symphonic Band 7/8.

New grade 7 & 8 students to Concordia must schedule a formal audition with Director for placement in Symphonic Band 7/8.

Symphonic Band 7/8 members must also demonstrate an ability and commitment to perform more difficult wind literature. In addition, students must have a proven record of reliability, consistent practice and good conduct in order to be considered for this class.  This class is considered high school band preparation in structure and curriculum.

Placement in this class is by Director recommendation only! Private lessons are highly recommended.

PHUZION (MS JAZZ-ROCK BAND) 6-8 CCA

Phuzion is the MS Jazz-Rock Band. It is offered as a year-long morning CCA only. Experienced students in Phoenix Band 6-8 and/or Encore 7/8 who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone/baritone, drum set, piano and bass are eligible.

Phuzion uses a traditional "Big Band" instrumentation. Instrumentation is limited to experienced players on saxophone, trombone/baritone, trumpet, piano, electric guitar, bass guitar (or String Bass) and drums (drum set). In some cases, highly talented students can learn a second instrument for participation (for example, a clarinet player could learn saxophone).

Students wanting to play guitar, bass, piano or drums must first have a consultation with Director for placement consideration.These instruments are highly competitive, have limited number needed and require a certain skill level in music reading and performance.