This page was created with you, the Parents in mind. Here you will find much of the information you are looking for and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about any of the performing groups here at Bernardo Yorba Middle School Band & Orchestra.
Students will not need instruments on the first or second day of school. When they start to bring them every day, they can drop instruments off (in the band room) in the morning before school, and come and get them after school for practice at home. An alarm for the band room is set every night.
Description of classes: Beginning band, Intermediate band, Performing band (a.k.a. Advanced band/Marching band/Performing Band), Jazz band and String Orchestra.
- Beginning — Students will take an aptitude test. We have a few instruments that could be checked out. All percussion must purchase a 12” drum pad and pair of sticks. Don’t buy instrument’s from a store where you can also buy groceries……these are considered “disposable” instruments! (We highly recommend Anaheim Band Instruments: 714-999-5015)
- Intermediate band — will review basics. Students were placed into this class with the help of the elem. music teacher and what Mrs. Watson heard when they played last year.
- Performing band — This group is very busy at the beginning of the year. 1st period band (Wind Ensemble) plays a little bit more difficult music and will be performing at two extra parades.
- Jazz band — will begin during the 2nd week of school. Anyone with an interest in being in jazz should come to rehearsals for two/three weeks and then auditions are held. Instruments in jazz band: sax, trumpet, trombone, drum set, bass, piano, and possibly guitar. The classes meet during zero period (7:45 a.m.), so students must have a ride or be able to walk to school at that time of the day. Jazz band will play at Jazz festivals/Big Band Blowout and sometimes Knott’s Berry Farm and Disney Land. This class will receive an actual grade.
- String Orchestra — for string instruments only (violin, viola, cello, and bass) and possibly a piano player. This group is not busy at the beginning of the year, but they do get busier a little later in the school year. This class will be divided into two classes that meet at the same time. We will start all together at the beginning and then place them in appropriate level: intermediate or advanced.
Contacting Our Director: Best way is via email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember there is only one of her and hundreds of parents.
Newsletter — Keep the website bookmarked and make sure that we have updated Email Contact
There will not be a newsletter for the 2018 season
School Loaner Instruments: We do have a few school-owned instruments: baritones, tubas, trombones, French horns, cellos, basses, and bassoon. If you do not have an instrument, you should check an instrument out from Mrs. Watson. There is no fee to use this, but all damages must be taken care of by you, and you need to keep it in good working condition. You will need your own mouthpiece and oils/grease.
Performance Uniforms: The director’s biggest frustration throughout the year: students who do not wear the EXACT uniform at concerts or events. Please make sure that pants are “dressy” black (no stripes, no jeans, no “skinny” jeans), socks are at least to the calf (no “low” socks) and they must be BLACK, shirt is tucked in, and students are wearing a black belt. They are to wear pants – NOT SHORTS, and shoes are completely black and are not tennis shoes. The kids are representing Bernardo Yorba, Mrs. Watson, themselves and you at all of our events and need to be very aware of how they look and present themselves at all times. This is very important.
Instrument Insurance: The district does not provide instrument insurance. That means if your student leaves their personal instrument in the band room and the band room gets broken into or there is some other event like a fire or earthquake, if the instrument is damaged or stolen the district will not fix or replace it. Check your homeowners policy – the instrument may already be covered or you may be able to add it on for only a few dollars. We may have flyers from an insurance company that we can provide for you. Just ask Mrs. Neumayr or one of her T.A.’s when you see them.
Music Performances and Sports: All evening performances (concerts and band pageant) are mandatory. Mrs. Neumayr knows we have a number of students who drop band because of Saturday parade conflicts. Mrs. Neumayr is trying to find a way to keep these students or get these students back. It is just terrible for a student to stop participating in music due to a couple of parades on Saturdays. If you give Mrs. Neumayr a two week notice, you will be able to miss a parade for a sports event without penalty. Please do everything that you possibly can to make it to the parade. Remember, we only have two (or possibly four if you are in 1st period band), so maybe you could miss one or two of the many games in which you will participate. Many people find that they can squeeze both the parade and sports event in on the same day. (You may be changing clothes in the car!) We hope it doesn’t hurt the usual outstanding performances by our kids so please don’t take advantage of it. Again, We must know two weeks in advance so adjustments can be made in our block band.
Uniform Fitting/Marching Shoes: The performing band gets fitted for uniforms and marching band shoes during the fitting days which is usually the 2nd week of school . They will bring information home to you about costs or you can pick up some info at the parent information night before school starts. Black socks can also be purchased. If you can’t afford marching shoes, we do have a few pairs that have been donated back to our program. Please speak to our uniform chairperson concerning this.
Practice: Don’t let your student cram on the weekends. They should be practicing about 5-6 days a week for at least an ½ hour. You will notice a remarkable improvement. Use a music stand. Practice in a quiet place. Reward them if they are practicing. Use a tuner and a metronome. There are some fun play-along CD’s out there.
3-Ring Binder for music: This is especially important for students in performing band, orchestra, and jazz band. They should have clear pages for putting the music inside. There is nothing worse than not being able to find the correct music because it is all jumbled up in a heap of papers in the backpack. Have your student take the time to organize this, and it will make their life and Mrs. Watson’s a whole lot easier.
Private lessons: They help so much! Some of our classes have more than 70 students. Not a lot of individual attention during class. If you need names of tutors that our district recommends, just email Mrs. Neumayr for a list.
Band shirts: Usually not more than $16. Orders will be placed in late September. Mandatory for orchestra and performing band; optional for beginning and intermediate. Available for parents, too.
Your Students Instrument: This is a great time to step up to a better instrument and especially a better mouthpiece. You probably purchased a basic student-model instrument and mouthpiece. As a student becomes older and has grown and can put more air through an instrument, better instruments can make a big difference. Mrs. Neumayr will send out info in the beginning of the year about mouthpieces that are step-up models. This is a good place to start.
SCSBOA Honor Bands: If you have a son or daughter has been taking private lessons and is quite advanced at playing scales and advanced works of music, there are some very good opportunities that are offered:
a.) SCSBOA (Southern California School Band and Orchestra Assn.) sponsors a Middle School Honor Concert Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Band. Auditions are held in Dec. and Jan. Mrs. Neumayr will receive info on this in the 1st few weeks of school. You can see Mrs. Neumayr if you would like the information for these auditions or you can go to scsboa.org for information.
b.) Mrs. Neumayr will also find out about more opportunities of “honor” groups in southern California in the first few weeks of school. These will be posted on bulletin boards in the band room and forms will be made available to students who may be interested.
Keep instrument in good repair. No one should be without oils for slides and valves for brass instruments and a mouthpiece brush. Your student should have a few extra reeds and a swab for clarinets and saxes. Mrs. Neumayr will send home a complete list of items that you should have. Every instrument needs “tweaking” every once-in-a-while. Mrs. Neumayr has info on good repair stores. (Make sure all tuning slides work on brass instruments.)
Extra rehearsals: Marching band will have a few during the marching season in order to get 1st per., 2ndper., and color guard together before parades. If students practice regularly at home and concentrate during rehearsals, after school rehearsals will be kept to a minimum. It is important that students are in attendance. If students would like extra help, we will hold sectionals or tutoring for small groups after school. If you ever want to check to make sure there is a rehearsal, please contact Mrs. Neumayr.
Volunteers: Please sign up or fill out the “Volunteer” form in the packet you have received or will receive at the parent information meeting at the start of the school year. We can’t do this without a whole lot of help. You will really enjoy this group once you get involved. There will be requests for volunteers throughout the year so there will be plenty of opportunities to lend a helping hand. Remember, many hands make light work!
Event Travel: School district buses take us to most events. These are marked with a “ ^ “ on calendars handed out at the beginning of the year.
CONCERTS: Please stay for entire concert. Don’t leave as soon as your son or daughter is finished. It’s very inconsiderate to not provide an audience for everyone performing during the evening. Most concerts last from one hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
Mrs. Neumayr sets high expectations for all the music groups. You can help us reach our goals with positive reinforcement and perfect attendance!!
You will always be able to find out much info on our website, bymsmusic.org or by going to the Bernardo Yorba website and hit our link.