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Jennifer Knickerbocker Staff Photo


Can I join band if I play a sport?

Yes! A well-rounded education is encouraged. All instrumental lessons and band rehearsals take place during school hours. Concerts and graduation are the only after school commitments and dates do not conflict with school sports.



How much will it cost to play an instrument?

The cost of playing an instrument depends on whether you plan on buying or renting. Buying an instrument will be more cost effective in the long run but can be risky to buy when a student is a beginner and might not play the following year. (Hopefully this is not the case!) Renting an instrument makes it easy to afford monthly but can become expensive as the student plays for many years. A good method is rent to own. The payments will go towards the purchase of the instrument. Check in the links page for the web page of Music and Arts, the store that VES rents instruments through. There are other music stores to check out if you decide to look around. If there are any questions please email me.



What should I wear to concerts and graduation?

Concert attire for all musicians is a white top, black or blue bottoms and dress shoes. No logos, jeans, sweats or sneakers. Graduation attire is the same. Nice shorts or skirts can also be worn as it gets really hot in the gymnasium in May/June. All skirts and shorts must reach fingertips as described in the school dress code in the handbook. Please keep in mind that flip flops are not very safe as the stage is slippery and make a lot of noise, which is distracting to the audience.



Will I miss class to be in band?

Band meets twice a week (Fourth Grade meets once a week) and a set time is scheduled during the day for your weekly instrumental lesson. Symphonic Band meets on B and E Days. Concert Band meets on A and D Days. Lessons are worked out times between your classroom teacher and I. You will miss one class, study hall, or recess a week for your lesson and are required to make up all missed work. If you have a test during your lesson, let me know in the morning and you will be excused.



Will I be in Symphonic Band or Concert Band?

Students in grades seven and eight are in Symphonic Band. Students in grades four, five, and six are in Concert Band.   


Can I join Chorus?

Yes! Chorus is available for students in grades five through eight. We meet weekly on C Days from 2:35-3:17.



What is Jazz Band and how do I join?

Jazz Band is a smaller ensemble focusing on different rhythms and styles of music, as well as improvising. Jazz Band meets on E Days from 8:50-9:35. Instruments in Jazz Band include Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpet, Trombone, Guitar, Keys, Bass, and Drums/Percussion. Students chosen to participate in Jazz Band are selected based on the following qualities. Jazz Band members must continually demonstrate dedication to band. This is shown by not forgetting instruments, showing up to all rehearsals and lessons on time, and practicing at home, as they will be learning additional pieces. Many of our current jazz band members learned a different instrument to participate. If you are interested (regardless of instrument) please see me!



What is the best way to reach you?

Email is the best option. When a call is sent down to the music room it is very distracting for the entire class or ensemble. This can range from a handful of students, an ensemble of forty plus members or during concert season a couple of grades at a time. All bands rehearse on stage and I will not be in my room during these rehearsals. In addition, it is usually loud in the room and difficult to hear the caller. I try not to answer the phone during classes (which is the majority of the day). I check my email in the middle of the day and before I leave. Please don't hesitate to send me an email with any concerns! :)



What instruments can I play in band?

Beginners may choose from the following: 

  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Percussion (bells, drums, and auxiliary)

Why can't I play violin?

Musically, VES offers three levels of band for fourth through eighth grade students and chorus for fifth through eighth grade students. Band and orchestra are two very different ensembles. The biggest difference is that an orchestra has string instruments. Therefore, the music we play does not have parts for string instruments such as violin, viola, and cello. If your child plays a string instrument don't hesitate to contact me, we can try to make arrangements for participation.