West Genesee High School Performing Arts Department Handbook for 2019-20
Director of Fine Arts
Performing Arts Staff
Anthony Alvaro, Tracy Berner, Gregory Borsz, Caroline Brackett, Kevin Dimmel, Martha Grener, William Mercer, Andrew Perry, Andrea Scerbo, Michael Stachnik
WEST GENESEE HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS
The West Genesee High School Music Department serves as a resource for the pursuit of musical knowledge, aesthetic experiences, and musical exploration provides for the personal growth of each individual. The primary goal of this department is to promote an understanding of music and dance as an art, through self-discipline and self-expression.
The Performing Arts Department affords all students the opportunity to study music, dance, and theatre, providing every child with experiences that promote life-long participation and enjoyment of the arts. We believe that the arts possess a unique ability to enlighten perspectives, expand horizons and enrich, enhance and embolden the human experience.
Through the arts, students learn to think creatively, take risks and discover a sense of self. Through the arts, students explore their passions and in the process realize the value of partnerships in creative endeavors. Through the arts, students recognize, celebrate, and develop deep respect for diversity, an ideal that transfers to all aspects of an individual’s life. Student learning in the arts is rigorous and built on meaningful and authentic experiences that reflect the mindful and emotional investment of collaboration between educator and learner. From knowing and understanding to pursuing the highest form of the art, the classroom environment emphasizes differentiated instruction to support each individual’s artistic aspirations.
The West Genesee Performing Arts Department embraces the cooperative work of parents, teachers, students, and the community. We are invested in a collaborative approach, working in concert with one another to support student development and success in the arts from kindergarten through graduation and beyond.
Our Fine and Performing Arts programs are guided by the four New York State Standards for the Arts: Creating Performing and Participating in the Arts, Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources, Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art, and Understanding the Cultural Dimensions and Contributions of the Arts. Our arts curricula also include the National Core Arts Standards for music, visual art, dance, and theatre: Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting.
WEST GENESEE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS
Successful completion of full year course offerings in dance meet the New York State Fine Arts requirement for graduation.
- Create and perform dance pieces throughout the year
- Work in improvisation, choreography, and creative movement
- Gain knowledge of dance in various cultures through reading, viewing and performing dances from other cultures
- Respond critically to dance performances seen live and on video through written papers, discussion, presentations and performances
- Use resources found in the library, resource centers, museums, dance studios, etc. For written, oral and creative work
- Reflect on personal progress and growth through writing, discussions, and performing.
Students will be expected to:
- Know and demonstrate a wide variety of dance elements related to TIME, SPACE, EFFORT, and WEIGHT, and TECHNIQUE. Requirements vary depending on level.
- To participate fully in structured improvisation sessions and to work with choreographic forms to create movement studies/dance pieces
All students are expected to:
- Perform in-class showings throughout the year
- Perform in two afterschool dress rehearsals and evening concerts at the high school. Written documentation from a parent following a student’s concert absence (sudden illness, family emergency) is required. This documentation is necessary prior to an alternate assessment being administered for the “concert” portion of the grade. Unexcused absences receive a zero for the concert portion of the grade. See “Daily Attendance” in the WGHS Student Handbook for further information. If a student cannot fulfill the concert portion of the class, they should drop the course immediately.
- See at least one live, professional dance performance and to write a critical response/critique on it (approximate cost $40.00).
I. MUSIC ORGANIZATIONS
The music curriculum provides each student with the opportunity to complete a sequence requirement for graduation by offering courses that will allow for school or regents credit.
A sequence for an Advanced Designation Diploma in music can be acquired by earning five (5) units of credit in music, three (3) in a performing ensemble and two (2) in an academic music course.
The following music courses offer a wide range of learning experiences for students at West Genesee.
Academic Music Courses
MUSIC THEORY I – 1.2 Theory I is the study of basic musical forms and structures. Elements of music construction are studied and skills in music reading, sight singing and aural instruction are developed. Requirements for this course are as follows: Membership in any of the performing musical groups offered by the school, and/or at least two years of private instruction offering basic musical knowledge in vocal or instrumental music.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT MUSIC THEORY- 1.3
AP Music Theory is the further study of musical forms and structures. The main objectives of this academic music offering are the development of the ability to analyze music aurally and visually, the improvement of music reading and performance and the development of skills in composing, arranging and harmonization. Students must have successfully completed Theory I to enter Advanced Placement Theory. All students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Music Theory examination in May (approx.. $90).
- Wind Ensemble
- Intro to Dance
- Symphonic Band
- Concert Choir
- Intermediate Dance
- Concert Bands W & G
- Advanced Dance/Dance Ensemble
Prior experience in the Elementary and Middle School music program or the approval of the director of each performing ensemble is necessary for participation in any performing ensemble. Membership in vocal and instrumental ensembles require weekly lessons on a rotating basis.
All of the following performing organizations and classes satisfy the Regents Action Plan requirement of one year of high school credit in the Fine Arts. Vocal and Instrumental courses require weekly lessons on a rotating basis.
WIND ENSEMBLE – 1.7 Wind Ensemble rehearses five days a week and frequently performs inside and outside the school district. It is a select organization designed to challenge and exercise the technical ability and musical sensitivity of the more advanced instrumentalists through the study of music from a variety of styles and time periods. Most of the literature studied was composed specifically for wind instruments of various combinations.
SYMPHONIC BAND – 1.8 Symphonic Band rehearses five days a week and frequently performs inside and outside the school district. The membership includes freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Music performed represents the wide variety of styles that are included in the large repertoire for symphonic winds and percussion. Students are encouraged and challenged to grow as individuals and as an ensemble.
CONCERT BANDS W & G – 1.9 Concert Bands W & G rehearse five days per week and are the entry-level bands of the high school program. Membership consists primarily of freshmen, sophomores and some juniors. Music studied and performed presents a wide range of styles.
SYMPHONY – 1.10 Symphony is open to selected musicians in grades 10, 11 and 12 who have had previous experience in the elementary, middle school and high school orchestral programs. The strings meet daily with the full orchestra meeting on a rotating basis. String students are selected by audition. Woodwind, brass and percussion sections are chosen from the Wind Ensemble. Symphony provides a high quality orchestral experience through the study, preparation and performance of orchestral literature of all style periods.
ORCHESTRA – 1.11 Orchestra is open to selected musicians in grades 9-12 having previous experience in the elementary and middle school orchestral programs. The strings meet daily with the full orchestra meeting on a rotating basis. Admission is based on proficiency skills through an audition. Woodwind, brass and percussion sections are chosen from the Symphonic Band. Orchestra provides advancing players the opportunity to study, prepare and perform orchestral literature of many different styles.
CONCERT CHOIR – 1.14 Concert Choir provides students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to sing all styles of music (classical and popular) written for four-part, mixed chorus. Admission is by audition and/or approval of the director. Requirements for membership include: (1) ability to match pitch, (2) consistent and on-time attendance at all rehearsals and concerts, (3) careful maintenance of all music and materials, (4) a willingness to learn.
CHORALE – 1.15 Chorale provides selected singers in grades 9-12 with the opportunity to sing all styles of music (classical, popular and jazz) in a small-group setting. Admission is by competitive audition. Requirements are the same as those for Concert Choir with the added requirements (1) 1.0 credit from a high school curricular performing ensemble, (2) competitive spring audition focusing on the students present level of musical skills development, (3) preparation and performance of a musical solo,
(4) demonstrated proficiency in solfege sight-reading.
INTRO TO DANCE – 1.16 Beginning Dance is an introduction to various dance forms (modern, jazz, folk, aerobics, tap, ballet, etc.) and anatomy in order to experience the full range of the art form. This course should include students who have little or no experience; the premise is that they can benefit from their own experiences with the dance forms and learn ways to include dance as a medium for personal and group creative exploration.
INTERMEDIATE DANCE – 1.17 Intermediate Dance is an intermediate to advanced level course in the study of various dance forms (modern, jazz, ballet, etc.) that will allow the student enhanced experience in the full range of the art form. This course should include students who have had dance previously or are presently studying. Prerequisite is the completion of Intro to Dance or permission of dance instructor through audition. Students will experience dance through creative improvisation, group dance and the development of technical skills.
ADVANCED DANCE/DANCE ENSEMBLE – 1.18 Advanced Dance/Dance Ensemble is an advanced course of dance technique and choreography. The emphasis is on ballet and modern techniques as well as the development of performance skills. This course will only be offered to students who have had considerable previous dance experience/study in grades 10-12 and is open by audition only. Students will experience dance through creative improvisation, group dance and the further development of technical skills.
- Marching Band
- Percussion Ensembles
- Brass Ensembles
- String Quartet
- Jazz Bands
- Woodwind Ensembles
- Chamber Orchestra
- Men/Women Acapella
Co-curricular offerings are a continuation of the music curriculum and provide the talented music student with additional musical opportunities. Participation in these organizations (with the exception of the Musical) carries the prerequisite of membership in a major performing ensemble.
The following co-curricular courses offer a wide range of learning experiences for students enrolled in curricular musical ensembles at West Genesee.
MARCHING BAND – 2.1 Marching Band is open to those interested students in the curricular music program having sufficient technical command of their instrument. Rehearsals are held evenings and Saturday afternoons during the summer and fall. Performances include football games, parades, field competitions and out of state tournaments.
JAZZ BANDS – 2.2 Jazz Bands rehearse Monday evenings during the winter and spring. Form, style and improvisation play a significant role in the group’s study of the many facets of this exciting idiom. Admission is by select audition only.
PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE – 2.3 This chamber group rehearses winter and spring after school. Performances include Kaleidoscope, concerts and recitals. Admission is dependent on the student’s musicianship and is at the discretion of the percussion teacher.
WOODWIND ENSEMBLES – 2.4 Woodwind Ensembles occupy a prominent place in the music program. Various size ensembles ranging from solos to quintets are offered to the advanced woodwind player. Some rehearsals may be after school. Membership in Band is required.
BRASS ENSEMBLES – 2.5 Brass Ensembles occupy a prominent place in the music program. Various size ensembles ranging from solos to quintets are offered to the advanced brass player. Some rehearsals may be after school. Membership in Band is required.
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – 2.6 Chamber Orchestra is a select group of 15-20 string players. Members must be in Orchestra or Symphony and study privately. Seniors who do not study privately may also be placed in Chamber Orchestra at the discretion of the director. Chamber Orchestra meets after school as needed.
STRING QUARTET – 2.7 String Quartet members are selected in the lesson rotation by the Orchestra Director by audition. Membership in Orchestra or Symphony is required. The String Quartet performs for many formal High School and District functions as well as its own performance and recital schedule.
MUSICAL – 2.8 The musical is an annual all-school production. This activity is dedicated to the performance of “Broadway Musicals”. Music, drama, dance, make-up, set construction, lighting, publicity and business related areas are all integral to the production of a professional quality musical theater production. Membership in a musical production is open to all students at West Genesee High School. After school and evening rehearsals are required of all students involved in a musical production.
II. BASIC INFORMATION
ATTENDANCE PROCEDURE – 1.1
Concert Bands W & G
Intro to Dance
Advanced Placement Theory
Co-curricular Programs with After-School Rehearsals
Conflicts with rehearsals should be discussed with the director before the rehearsal. Sudden illness or family emergencies are understandably beyond the control of the individual music student and in such instances; a phone call or email from the parent is expected and appreciated.
DAILY REHEARSAL PROCEDURE – 1.2
Rehearsals In School
Class cuts of rehearsals scheduled during the school day will be treated in a consistent manner with the regular high school attendance policy. In order to achieve a successful rehearsal, students must arrive on time. Students are to warm up quietly, in a manner conducive to appropriate mental and physical preparation for the rehearsal. Students are expected to have their folder/binder at rehearsals even though they may not be able to attend. A pencil is required as a part of their daily equipment, with dance students changing into appropriate clothing for dance class.
Concerts, Performances and After-School Rehearsals
Attendance at all after-school rehearsals, concerts and performances is required as part of the course.
Missing scheduled concerts, performances and/or pre-scheduled after school rehearsals will affect a student’s ability to successfully fulfill the requirements of the course. See “Grading – 1.8” for further information.
Sudden illness or family emergencies are understandably beyond the control of the individual. In such instances, a parent should communicate with the teacher about the student missing the concert as soon as possible, followed by a written excuse are both expected and appreciated.
The daily rehearsal is the “stepping stone” to exciting musical and dance experiences. Peak moments are not limited solely to performances. Sensitivity and awareness of one’s artistic surroundings are essential for the benefit of all involved.
Concerts and Athletic Contests
Since there are unavoidable conflicts between sporting events and concerts during the school year, some guidelines have been created to diffuse parent/student/teacher/coaching conflicts and grading issues.
A. Curricular Concerts will take precedent over league games. Students will attend a concert without negative repercussion in future game participation.
B. One time, non-repeatable sporting events will take precedent over concert attendance (sectional & state tournaments, senior nights). There will be no negative grade impact in the student’s curricular musical/dance ensemble.
C. Students will need to communicate these conflicts with their respective teachers/coaches at least one week in advance to minimize negative consequence to the team/ensemble for the missed event.
LESSONS – 1.3
Music Lessons are arranged according to a rotating schedule, so that no pupil misses the same class each week. Weekly lessons are required of all instrumental major ensemble members and are weighted as 50% of that student’s quarterly grade. In other words, 1/2 of the student’s report card grade is from their music lessons. Each pupil will be given a copy of their schedule and/or it will be posted in their respective music area. The names of students scheduled for lessons will be distributed electronically to all teachers at the beginning of each week.
- The student should notify the teacher whose class they miss for the lesson in advance.
- Students are responsible for all class work and homework missed as a result of the lesson.
- Where a unit test has been scheduled or other major class activity, the student can reschedule the lesson in advance.
- The lesson teacher must be notified by the student before the lesson is missed.
PRIVATE STUDY – 1.4
Private instruction is encouraged by all staff members. However, school lessons are still required for participation in all music organizations. It is suggested that students seek the advice of their school instructor before selecting a private teacher. Dancers are encouraged to start outside dance class and/or continue their dance studies in a private studio.
PRACTICING – 1.5
The minimum practice time expected of students is equivalent to the time spent in rehearsals. Practicing in music is the equivalent of homework in the academic subjects.
AUDITION POLICY – 1.6
Placement is determined by the lesson teacher and conductor, or instructor, and may be changed at their discretion.
CONCERT DRESS – 1.7
Women’s Chorus, Concert Choir, Chorale, Orchestra, Symphony, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band W & G
- Girls: Long black outfit: full or floor-length skirt or dress; outfit should cover shoulders. Dress black slacks are acceptable for cellists and low reeds musicians.
- Boys: Black suits, white shirts, black bow ties, black socks, black Shoes
- Students are required to purchase dance costumes for January and May/June performances (Approximately $100).
GRADING – 1.8
The grades given for all major organizations will be included in the student’s cumulative academic average. Emphasis on grading will be split equally between lesson progress (50%) and major organization performance (40% daily grade/10% concert). Attendance is required at rehearsals and lessons. The “major organization” portion of the grade is split equally between concert attendance and the quality of the student’s daily performance in rehearsal. Failure to attend a required performance will have significant impact (10%) on the marking period grade. Concerts are viewed as “Outcome Based Assessments” of the assigned/prepared curricular materials and are graded similar to a quarterly unit test. Written documentation from a parent following a student’s concert absence (sudden illness, family emergency) is required. This documentation is necessary prior to an alternate assessment being administered for the “concert” portion of the grade. Unexcused absences receive a zero for the concert portion of the grade. See “Daily Attendance” in the WGHS Student Handbook for further information. If a student cannot fulfill the concert or lesson portion of the class, they should drop the course immediately. Performance based ensembles/classes are not offered during homebound instruction.
Evaluation specifics vary between marking periods. Class attendance and participation are weighted heavily. Grading is based on the student’s ability to clearly execute complex dance steps appropriate to their level, their ability to improvise, and to demonstrate choreographic forms and patterns studied throughout the year. Students in Advanced Dance are expected to choreograph dances for one of the school dance concerts. Failure to attend a required performance/dress rehearsal will have significant impact (10%) on the marking period grade. Performances are viewed as “Outcome Based Assessments” of the assigned/prepared curricular materials and are graded similar to a quarterly unit test. Written documentation from a parent following a student’s concert absence (sudden illness, family emergency) is required. This documentation is necessary prior to an alternate assessment being administered for the “concert” portion of the grade. Unexcused absences receive a zero for the concert portion of the grade. See “Daily Attendance” in the WGHS Student Handbook for further infor- mation. If a student cannot fulfill the concert portion of the class, they should drop the course immediately. Performance based ensembles/classes are not offered during homebound instruction.
STUDENT RECITAL PROGRAM – 1.9
Purpose: To provide music students with the opportunity to prepare and perform solo and small ensemble literature
Level: 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade Qualifications: Any student may apply for a Student Recital. Procedure for Participation in the Student Recital Program:
a. Student obtains a Student Recital application from the Fine Arts Office.
b. Student consults their lesson teacher for approval.
c. Student carefully reads the instructions which appear on the application.
d. Student presents the recital application to the Recital Program Chairperson.
e. Performance date and time are assigned according to time availability.
Recital Audience Attendance –
- Purpose: To provide students the opportunity to discover that, unlike the other arts, music exists in time rather than space, that it must be heard to be experienced, and remembered to be comprehended in its entirety.
- Procedure: Students who wish to attend a Student Recital Program must obtain a pre-signed recital pass from their respective music teacher. This pass must then be presented to the Study Hall teacher for his/her approval. Students are not to request a Student Recital pass if they have a class scheduled during that period; only Study Hall passes will be honored. Attendance is totally at the discretion of the Study Hall teacher.
ALL-COUNTY AND ALL-STATE FESTIVALS -1.10
We strongly encourage participation in county and state festivals, however, students are selected by their teacher to audition for these events and groups.. The district is a full member of the Onondaga County Music Educators Association and New York State School Music Association which provides the opportunity for our students to participate in these events. The district also provides transportation for these events, in support of our belief that students can benefit from these unique experiences.
Acceptance into a festival is a significant musical achievement and one of which both student and teacher can be proud. However, it is only the first step. Next must come the responsibility of thorough preparation of all parts. Students should seek help from their teacher. Students should participate with the proper attitude; they should be in a frame of mind that permits them to learn and grow as a musician, not worrying about their status or individual recognition.
Finally, if a student is unable to attend all or part of the festival due to illness, emergency, etc., they must contact a West Genesee teacher at once. As a general rule the department does not allow a student to participate who must miss any rehearsal time. The festival dates must be cleared from job, family or personal commitments before a student auditions.
PASS POLICY – 1.11
Pre-signed passes may be given from music teachers only to practice in the performing arts area. A student may sign-out of study hall and come to the music room if he/she intends to practice and has obtained a pre-signed pass.
Pass privileges will be revoked if they are abused. Students are allowed in the music area for music-oriented activities only. Students are not to eat lunch in the music area.
See the recital section for further pass information.
SCHOOL INSTRUMENTS AND EQUIPMENT – 1.12
All items that are the property of the West Genesee Schools – i.e., instruments, music, lockers, uniforms, etc. – are the direct responsibility of the user. Any damage or loss of these materials should be immediately reported to the teacher involved. It is the job of the student to be sure that any and all school property is treated with respect and care. We are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment and must rely upon you to be certain it is taken care of as if it were your own.
No music department equipment may be used by non-departmental functions. No sound equipment may be taken from the storage room without permission from the Director of Fine Arts.
ORDERING SUPPLIES – 1.13
The following are a few places to order music books, accessories and supplies for instrumental music students:
MIDSTATE MUSIC (lesson books, supplies, instruments) www.midstatemusic.com
8033 Brewerton Rd, Cicero, NY 13039 – 315-699-21874 OR
264 West 2nd St., Oswego, NY 13126 – 315-349-7477
MUSIC & ARTS CENTER STORES (lesson books, supplies, instruments) www.musicarts.com
4106 Route 31 Suite 901
Clay, NY 13041
HOSMER VIOLINS (string supplies)
7101 East Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066
(315) 637-1900 • (877) 773-1402
MCBLANE STRINGED INSTRUMENTS (string lesson books, supplies) 6784 Corl Drive
Preble, NY 13141-0182
ORDERING SUPPLIES – 1.13
EMPIRE WINDS. (woodwind and brass lesson books, supplies & solos) www.empirewinds.com
912 Church Street
North Syracuse, NY 13212 315-458-0036
Other places to purchase music and supplies that we have found success with are as follows:
www.wwbw.com…… instrument accessories such as clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces, ligatures and band instruments.
www.nielsen-woodwinds.com…… oboe and bassoon reeds and accessories.
www.hickeys.com…… solos and sheet music.
www.sharmusic.com…… music, string instruments and string supplies
STUDENT TRANSPORTATION – 1.14
Music students participating in Sectional or All-County auditions or festivals, “away” events (including concerts, NYSSMA solo or major organization competitions, marching band activities, etc.) are expected to observe the following regulations:
- Students are required to use school transportation, if provided, both to and from the event.
- Students wishing to depart or to return home with parent(s) or legal guardian must present a written permission slip to the teacher responsible and a copy provided to the Director of Fine Arts. This must occur in the presence of all above mentioned parties. Insofar as possible, this should be cleared before the trip begins. A phone call will be made to verify this type of request.
- At no time will students transport themselves or other students to any events.
III. ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY POLICY (revised 2014-15)
Eligibility – Grades 9-12
The West Genesee Central School District appreciates the benefits which may accrue through voluntary participation in school sponsored co-curricular student activities. For the purposes of this policy, the term “school sponsored co-curricular student activities” shall include interscholastic athletics, marching band, and drama activities, for which advisors/coaches are approved by the Board of Education.
Academic standards of eligibility for participation in school sponsored co-curricular student activities at West Genesee High School are established as follows:
A. BEGINNING OF FALL ACTIVITES:
Use fourth quarter marking period (Summer School may be used during the appeal process only.)
- Vertical average of 70% or more
- Cannot be failing more than one subject
B. BEGINNING OF WINTER ACTIVITIES:
Use first quarter marking period **
- Vertical average of 70% or more
- Cannot be failing more than one subject
C. BEGINNING OF SPRING ACTIVITIES:
Use second quarter marking period **
- Vertical average of 70% or more
- Cannot be failing more than one subject
** Seniors in the current school year who are failing courses required for graduation will be considered ineligible.
D. APPEAL PROCESS:
- A committee to review appeals related to eligibility will be created for each case. Appeals should be directed to the District Director (Athletics/Fine Arts) who will convene the committee. The committee will review the facts, call witnesses, and make a recommendation to the High School Principal. The committee may consist of: a. Student’s guidance counselor; b. District Director or appropriate advisor; c. faculty representative
- The eligibility of any student may be appealed to the committee within 10 days of notice of in-eligibility.
- The eligibility of any student, who fails to meet the eligibility requirements above, as indicated on a five week report, will be reviewed by the committee.
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