Liberty High School Concert Band

Course Syllabus 2013/2014

Dear Parent(s) of Liberty Band Students:

The following information will help you and your student understand the expectations used in the concert band at Liberty High School. Please read the information carefully and electronically sign (at the bottom of this document) with your signature, your student's signature and your primary email address. We look forward to seeing you at our performances this year!


Dustin Mott, Assistant Director

Thank you for being in band this year. Whether you are new to band, at the high school level, or if it's your fourth year in band I expect this year to be fun and a rewarding experience for YOUR band.


*We create opportunities for all to pursue their potential and positively influence society.

*We are committed to continuous improvement.

*We believe: Community defines our culture, Learning is our passion, Empowerment inspires our growth, Accountability guides our actions, and Respectful relationships form our foundation.


*To promote and encourage superior playing skills and abilities of all band students.

*To provide the opportunity for a positive and creative musical experience.

*To develop life skills through an enriched musical environment.

*To foster progressive growth in the area of technical facility.

*To create an atmosphere of aesthetic musical quality.

*To instill a life-long appreciation of music.


Mr. Eddie Owen, Director of Bands

Mr. Dustin Mott, Assistant Director

Mr. Jeffrey Lean, Assistant Director

Mrs. Marti Whelan, Assistant Director

Expectations for Concert Band

1. You must be in your designated spot with your instrument/equipment ready by the time the bell rings (see “Tardiness”).
2. You should warm up on pertinent/appropriate material; scales, warm-up routine, music in the folder, etc.
3. When ANY conductor (Director (ME!!) or Clinician) is on the podium/tower, please look at the person on the podium, and stop playing and talking. Sometimes, silence is a sound worth hearing.
4. This is a performance ensemble; please treat all of our performances (concert, jazz, marching, and pep bands) with a high level of professionalism. Attendance at performances is mandatory.
5. You must leave all gum, candy, food, and beverages outside of the rehearsal room/stage, marching field, and performances. Only water is permitted in a rehearsal space unless you are a teacher.
6. You are responsible to have your own copies of all pertinent music/method books/etc. at every rehearsal.
7. All Instruments, chairs and stands: All equipment is to be stored correctly at the end of each rehearsal (i.e. in the appropriate case and locker AND LOCKED). Please treat all instruments, mallets, and accessories with care and respect.

8. Please work out the technical problems at home! We do not have time to work on your individual part; your homework assignment is to have all of the music in your folder technically prepared for class rehearsal. You earn rehearsal points

9) Percussionists must have their OWN mallets (medium hard mallets) and snare drum sticks. You have until Monday November 18th to have a MALLET BAG(!), AT LEAST one set of medium hard mallets (preferably medium yarn mallets as well), and a pair of drum sticks. You will lose points every day after Monday November 18th.

How does one earn points in band?

A) bring your instrument and play it correctly.

B) have your own reeds, music (YOUR MUSIC), warm up book (YOUR WARM UP BOOK), a pencil, a pencil, and...a pencil, mallets, sticks, and your instrument.

C) two assignments worth 10% of your grade.

Assignment A) Go see live music. Any live music (i.e., church performance of ______________, Sprint Center performances of ______________, Liberty Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, go to any of the bazillion performances in Kansas City (research it online), Kauffman Center music performances, your teacher performances (shameless self-promotion...I'll be playing the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th weekends in November in Kansas City for the musical Les Miserables), and anything else that might work for live music. Ask me beforehand if you are unsure whether something you want to go to will count. What doesn't count? Listening to Liberty High symphonic band, concert band, jazz band, choir, or any other music activity you ARE ACTIVE IN at Liberty High School. Before you go see anything ask me if it will be acceptable. Liberty North, all the middle schools, and local music performances will count. This assignment is due by the LAST DAY BEFORE SPRING BREAK. Ask me questions.

Assignment B) Listen to an album (CD, tape, record, 8-track, mp3's, youtube, Spotify, Grooveshark, etc) all the way through. Every song and all the way through. Any genre, artist, or album you want. Write, at least, a page paper describing the songs. What are the lyrics about (if any), what key is it in, what kind of tempo is it (allegro, lento, etc), what time signature, dynamics, instrumentation, etc. Be thorough and have fun with it. This is due by the last day of OF THIS SEMESTER or FRIDAY DECEMBER 20TH

How does one lose points in band?


2) Not bringing a pencil, instrument, mallets, sticks, reeds, forgetting instrument, losing music, not playing your part correctly.

This class, is a class like English or math. Your homework is your music. Study (practice) it. Please and thank you. If you practice 10 - 30 minutes a day then YOU will sound great, we'll sound great, and band will be fun!

Stuff you need to know.

Concert band first chair can challenge up to Symphonic Band. Within concert band you can challenge up to the next seat up. (i.e., 4th chair can only challenge 3rd chair etc). Challenges are over by November 22nd. Next opportunity to challenge would be spring semester.

First chair percussion picks their favorite part and on down the line UNLESS I specifically assign parts. Which might happen.

Tuxedo shirts, black full length (over the calf) socks and black dress shoes will be required for all male students playing in the symphonic and concert band.

Black hose and black dress shoes will be required for all female students playing in the symphonic and concert band.


Syllabus and Grading Policy for LHS Band Classes:

Instructors: Mr. Eddie Owen, Mr. Dustin Mott

First Period: Marching Band – Symphonic Band/Concert Band
Textbooks: The only official texts are the sheet music assigned to folders, special handouts, and provided method books.
Course Objective: The purpose of band class is to assist students in the development of both their individual musical skills and those skills necessary to perform in a large ensemble. Included will be a study of many of the fundamental elements of music, including basic music terms, symbols, and concepts. Students will develop an appreciation for and an understanding of a variety of music through rehearsal and performance experiences.
Grade Requirements: Each student must earn rehearsal skill/participation points each day. Six week grades will be determined by several factors, including rehearsal skills/participation, concert skills/participation, assignments, and observation of individual performance and progress. Performance skills/participation, Rehearsal skills/participation, Playing tests/quizzes/assignments, Final Exam (each semester). The following is a list of possible reasons students would not earn skills/participation points:
•No instrument, music, charts, markers, pencil at a rehearsal/performance

  • Tardiness* (see below)
  • Bringing candy, gum, food, beverage into rehearsal space
  • “Marching/Concert Performance Test” (marching execution, music memorization, part-checks during concert season, etc.)
  • Refusal of participation during a rehearsal by a student
  • Unexcused absence from rehearsal** (see below)
  • Unexcused absence from performance*** (see below)
  • *TARDINESS: If a student is not in his or her required spot (rehearsal room, marching field, etc.) with their instrument/equipment ready to go by the time the bell rings, he/she will be counted tardy. A student that arrives to class more than ten (10) minutes late without an excuse must report to the office for an admit slip. An unexcused absence will be recorded if the admit slip is marked unexcused.

    **UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM REHEARSAL: Students are to remain in the room/field until the director dismisses them. A student may leave the room during the hour with a hall pass signed by one of the directors. Students leaving the room before the end of the hour will be marked absent for the entire hour, unexcused.

    ***PERFORMANCE PARTICIPATION: Every student is required to participate in performances pertaining to the group of which he/she is a member. Students will be graded on the following performance criteria: posture, hand position, tone quality, balance, blend, intonation, breath control, rhythmic accuracy, note accuracy, style, phrasing and overall musicality. Students (and parents) need to understand that the performance is the culmination of the preparation for the actual performance, and expectations for both are extremely high. An unexcused absence from any performance (INCLUDING PEP BAND) will result in a zero for that assignment. If you have an excused absence (Student illness or injury OR Family emergency) an alternative assignment will be due upon return of the student. This will involve performing the previously prepared literature (their individual part) for the class (public performance) and receive a critique from the director(s) OR turning in a video recording of them performing the previously prepared literature (their individual part) and receiving a critique from the director(s). Since students receive performance schedules before the school year begins, they are responsible for arranging their schedules accordingly. Work is never an excuse. Notify the director in advance if possible for these types of absences. THE DIRECTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE WHAT CONSTITUTES AN EXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE. THE ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT AS LISTED ABOVE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE UP AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE.

    The following grading scale will be used in this class:

    A: 90 – 100%

    B80 – 89%

    C70 – 79%

    D60 – 69%

    F59% and below

    The group in which you perform is a direct reflection on you as a member of that group; the entire ensemble is no better than its weakest member. Don’t settle for “getting by.” As you strive to make your performing ensemble something of which to be proud, we as a staff will do the same.

    Private Instructors 2013-14

    Private Instructors (2013-2014)
    Please click on this link for the attachment: PRIVATE TEACHER LIST

    This is not an all- inclusive list. There are many other fine instructors in the area. These are just some of the individuals that currently teach students in the Liberty Public School District, or that are known to have successful studios.

    Parents and students are strongly encouraged to consult with the band directors before committing to any private instructor. They will be able to give you detailed insight into the instructor’s personality, general expectations, and track record.

    Lettering Form

    Click the link here for the lettering form: LETTERING FORM

    Please note that the lettering form is due NO LATER THAN APRIL 24, 2014. NO EXCEPTIONS!

    Concert Etiquette

    The Liberty High School music department wants to present the best, most professional setting during concerts for our performers and audience members. There are universally accepted do's and don'ts of which audience members should be aware when attending a musical performance. These include the following:

    1. When you enter the auditorium, be aware that you have entered a performance area, even if the performance has not yet begun. Proper decorum (soft talking with the person next to you, etc.) is expected. PLEASE TURN OFF ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES. We will be making recordings of every concert, and would like to have them free of any ringers or beeps.

    2. When the house lights dim, focus your attention on the stage and wait for what happens next. The dimming of lights is a signal for your attention on stage, and talking becomes a distraction for performers and listeners alike.

    3. If someone other than the conductor walks on stage in front of the ensemble, they are making a formal entrance. You should applaud, if it is a member of the ensemble, it's probably the concertmaster, who will indicate to the ensemble members that they should check their final tuning and wait for the conductor to enter.

    4. When the conductor of the ensemble enters the stage, the ensemble usually stands to acknowledge the audience with the conductor. Although the conductor is the only one who bows, the mere fact that the ensemble stands while the conductor bows includes them in this acknowledgment.

    5. During a concert band performance, it is customary to hold applause until the conductor acknowledges the audience. Do not applaud during the middle of a selection, even if there is a pause during the performance for different movements of an entire work. On the other hand, if you're listening to a JAZZ BAND and someone takes a solo, do show your approval of the individual's solo performance when they finish by applauding!

    6. Applause is the appropriate response for a concert performance. Whistling, yelling, etc. should not be a part of a concert.

    7. Screaming children, like good intentions, should be carried out immediately.

    8. NEVER enter or leave the auditorium when a performance is in progress!!! (Except for the "upset child" scenario mentioned above.) If you arrive late, you should wait until the first selection is over to be seated.
    Public performances are the culmination of the participants' hard work and dedication, and they appreciate your courteous attention to them as they perform for you.

    Please remember that a concert is a formal event, and should be treated as such.


    1) Gaining and losing points/Assignments

    2) Concert attendance étiquette

    3) Band expectations

    4) What is needed for Concert Band

    PLEASE GO TO THE LINK AND SIGN AS WELL AS PARENT SIGN...The date is different on the page below, ignore it. Please sign it by Monday November 18th.

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