Ensembles

BEGINNING BAND

Beginning band is made up of all 6th grade students who are enrolled in band classes. The beginning band class will meet everyday, with very few required after-school rehearsals. Most after school rehearsals will begin during the month of December. This will only occur once or twice to prepare the band for our holiday performances. We will start a weekly sectional/rehearsal during the third quarter usually around the third week of January till the second week of March. Each member of the beginning  band will receive a monthly calendar starting the third quarter with the rehearsal times and dates. We will perform a minimum of at least two concerts this year – a Holiday concert and a Spring concert. Students will be immediately integrated into the total band program and will participate in fundraising, solo and ensemble, and private lessons. Lessons are optional, but highly encouraged for individualized attention and musical development.The top tier 6th grade band is the Cadet Band.

The TMS band staff understands the importance of instrument selection; therefore, each student will undergo a very thorough instrument selection process, whereby the band directors will recommend the instrument on which we believe the student will have the greatest opportunity for success. Once an instrument is chosen, the student is expected to remain on that instrument for as long as he remains in the Tucker band program. Occasionally, we may feel that a student has attained the skills necessary to play a more challenging instrument (i.e. bari-sax, bassoon, etc.) These recommendations will be made on a case by case basis according to the student’s individual (and band’s instrumentation) needs.

CONCERT BAND

The Tucker Middle School Concert Band is comprised of all 7th grade band students. The Concert Band will perform at least three times this year – a holiday concert, GMEA festival, and a spring concert. The musical demand on the ensemble is higher than that of the Beginning band; therefore, we expect all students in the Concert band to practice on a daily basis. The after-school rehearsals will be listed on the monthly band calendar to allow time to plan accordingly. The calendars will be distributed at the beginning of the third quarter in January.  Each student is expected to attend all after-school rehearsal and secure a ride home after practice. Please have your child picked up immediately after practice. A missed after-school rehearsal or performance without notification will result in a lower grade and possible loss of part. . Individual practice is expected and required of all students as part of their daily participation grade. Lessons are optional, but highly recommended and would fulfill part of the “daily practice” requirement.

SYMPHONIC BAND

The Tucker Middle School Symphonic Band is made up of eighth grade band students. This is the most advanced top tier music ensemble at TMS, so they will be involved in many activities throughout the year. The Symphonic Band meets every other day and will have some after-school rehearsals scheduled during the winter and spring terms.There will be several concerts during the year including a fall performance, holiday  concerts at the feeder schools and local businesses, Tucker Holiday Festival Parade, GMEA Festival and a Spring concert. The level of music performed by this ensemble is such that individual practice is not only expected, but required as part of the daily participation grade. Lessons are optional, but are also highly encouraged, and would fulfill part of the “daily practice” requirement.

The concert attire for the Symphonic band consists of black poly-wool slacks, a white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, and black shoes.

PEP BAND

The Tucker Middle School Pep Band is comprised of seventh and eighth grade band students and select outstanding 6th graders. Exceptions include those band students on the football team, the cheerleading squad, and the TMS Majorettes. This group performs at TMS football games, parades, pep rallies, one Tucker High School varsity football game, and possibly some special performances during the year.

The Pep Band will rehearse during class and after-school. As in all performing ensembles, rehearsal and performance attendance is required. Students should be aware that a missed after-school rehearsal or performance will negatively affect his daily participation grade and/or performance grade. The uniform for our performances will be the band T-shirt, hoodie, and khaki shorts.

Jazz Band

The Tucker Middle School Band Program offers students many unique performance opportunities. The Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble,  and Woodwind Ensemble all meet at various times throughout the year. They provide our outstanding and dedicated students opportunities to play more complex literature and perform in a chamber music settings. Each ensemble is considered an extra-curricular activity, thus, it is not associated with the student’s grade. Membership into each ensemble is by audition and/or invitation. Once a student has joined a group, he is expected to attend each rehearsal and performance. Failure to do so, without an excused absence (as stated in Board Policy), will result in immediate dismissal from the group.

Percussion Ensemble/Drum Line

The TMS drum line consists of percussion students that are enrolled in band classes

DAILY PRACTICE/PRIVATE LESSONS

Individual practice is the heart of our band program. A student can not expect to reach his full potential if an individual practice routine is not followed. Lack of practice can lead to much frustration when performing both on and off the stage. Each student in the DeKalb County band program is encouraged to practice at least thirty minutes each day. At the end of each week, a parent will need to sign and verify that the student’s practice log is accurate. Every other Thursday, signed practice logs will be submitted to the director. Ten percent (10%) of the final band grade for each grading period will be based on the student’s having practiced at least one (1) hour per week. We ask parents to encourage their children to practice. The success of the individual student (and our band as a whole) is directly related to the individual practice routine.

Parents, we strongly encourage you to seek private lessons for your child. While our goal is to have highly efficient rehearsals both during and after school, the individualized attention that a student can receive in a private lesson is invaluable. A private lesson is one-on-one instructional time between your child and a qualified and skilled individual accomplished on the instrument your child plays. All attention is focused on your child’s individual needs and development as a musician. Students who take private lessons attain greater levels of achievement and musicianship. The success of any band program depends on the determination and quality of its students. Top band programs across the state have a high participation rate in private lessons. Any extra work and effort outside of the classroom will help ensure the continual development, progression, and success of your young musician.