Training Band Q&A

1. When does the Training Band Rehearse?

Wednesday morning before school from 7:30-8:30am. Children should arrive by 7:20am to unpack and setup, ready to start by 7:30am.

2. Who Supervises Rehearsals?

One parent of a child in Training Band will need to volunteer to be the Training Band Coordinator (note: this role can be shared between two parents). They will attend rehearsal each week to assist the conductor in supervision of the children, mark the roll and help the conductor with whatever is needed. They will get to know the children and will be a support to them. If this person can’t attend any of the performances, they will organise another parent to be there in their place.

3. What Happens with Tutorials?

Children are required to have 1 private tutorial per week – this can be individually or as a small group with another student (or students and at the discretion of the tutor) from your band on the same/similar instrument.

4. How are the Tutorials Organised?

Agreement is made privately between the parent and tutor. The Band and Strings Committee can put you in touch with a couple of different tutors.

5. What Other Expectations are There?

Children are expected to attend a half–day Saturday Band Workshop held at school (T1 – 25 March 2017) and Band and Strings Camp (T2 – Apr 28-30 2017). Parents are given a lot of advance notice for festival and performance dates and children should be available to attend those.

6. What are the Various Instruments?

Across our 3 bands we currently have: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet (including Bass Clarinet), Oboe, Saxophone (Alto and Tenor), Trumpet, Cornet, Trombone, Baritone Horn, French Horn, Tuba, Percussion, Bass Guitar, Trombone and Euphonium.

7. Can we Choose our Child’s Instrument?

If your child is set on a particular instrument or instruments, you need to identify that on the Expression of Interest Form. This will be taken into consideration at the Musical Instrument Trial. However, if the conductors assess that a particular instrument or instruments isn’t/aren’t suited to your child, the child may be allocated a different instrument. In most cases, the children try a number of different instruments and then the children are allocated based on interest, physical ability, potential and the balance of instruments required in the band.

8. What do the Conductors Look for in Instrument Allocation?

They look at the child’s mouth on the mouth piece, size of hands and ability to move fingers around the instruments, strength and size of the child for the larger instruments, the ability to make a sound as well as other technical qualities. If they don’t think your child is suited to an instrument, they won’t be allocated it. Additionally they look at the overall balance of the band to ensure there are enough children in the various sections.

9. What is the ‘Instrument Trial’?

Once we receive your Expression of Interest Form, we’ll allocate your child to a timeslot on the morning before school. Children will be introduced to the conductors and will try a variety of instruments – look, feel, touch, attempt to play. Children will give the conductors feedback on how they felt and conductors will observe the physical ability and potential of each child on the instruments that they try.

10. What do I Have to do to Register My Child for Band?

You need to complete the Expression of Interest Form.

11. What is Band Camp?

The Band Camp is located at the Baden Powell Scout Centre at Pennant Hills. Children have a ‘welcome to camp’ evening on the Friday afternoon/evening, then go home for a good night’s sleep. On Saturday morning, children will be dropped to camp by their parents and they will play, rehearse and have fun from Saturday morning through to Sunday afternoon. Camp ends with a concert for parents on the Sunday afternoon. Note that should the number of children in the Normanhurst West Band and Strings Program exceed the number of beds available, there is an option for Year 3 children to sleep at home on the Saturday night instead of at camp.

12. Who Manages the Program?

The Band and Strings Committee oversees and administers the program, manages the finances, signs off on performances, organises parent involvement and liaises with the school. The conductors direct the musical side of the program in regards to music selection, instrument allocations (in liaison with committee), suggested performances and awards.

13. What were the Training Band Performances in 2017?

– Band Workshop T1

– Band and Strings Camp Concert T2

– Grandparents’ Day T2

– Look At Big School Day T2

– Open Day T3

– School Assembly T3

– COLA performance at recess T4

– Musical Gala Evening T4

– Presentation Night T4