Welcome to Ridgeview Charter Middle School Band
I’m very glad that you and your family have chosen to be part of an exciting and active band program. Through the study of instrumental music you will have the opportunity to perform for thousands of people in and around Sandy Springs.
Last year our bands had over 28% of the school involved and became the largest band to ever exist at Ridgeview. We had 3 concert bands and 2 jazz bands. This year promises to be even greater in numbers and quality of students. If our 6th grade is as large as last years, we will probably add another band to better serve the kid’s learning requirements.
At Ridgeview each grade level is divided into two periods during the instructional day. By combining students in certain periods we create our performing bands. Because we are combining students across grade levels for performances, after school rehearsals are required and attendance is mandatory. Below is a break down of our performing groups.
Honor Band: This is our top performing band. The music selected is comparable to the GMEA (Georgia Music Educator’s Association) level 3 and level 4 difficulty scale. Students audition in the spring of the previous school year for placement into this group. Weekly after school rehearsals on Monday are required. Excessive misses will result in removal from this group. Members are required to obtain an Honor Band shirt to wear with uniform for each performance.
Intermediate Band: This band is a collection of students assigned to the 8th grade intermediate class, 7th grade intermediate class and 6th grade advanced class. The intermediate band performs music comparable to the GMEA level 2 difficulty scale. After school rehearsals are limited to the 2 Wednesdays prior to each performance listed on our calendar. Extra rehearsals will be scheduled to prepare for Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE). Attendance at after school rehearsals is required to participate in concerts/performances.
Beginning Band: This is a 6th grade group that is composed students who are in their 1st year of band OR come into 6th grade and need remediation. There are no after school rehearsals for this group to prepare for performances. Each student must go through an evaluation period before being assigned an instrument. This is done the 1st two weeks of school.
Jazz Band 1 & 2: These are after school groups open to any student in our band, chorus and orchestra programs that is not a beginner. Students must attend rehearsals (Tuesday or Thursday) and take full responsibility to learn their music by the deadlines provided. Last year our Jazz 1 group performed for 2500 people at the Fulton County Teacher/Employee of the Year Celebration and the Fulton County Ad-Staff meeting for Superintendent Lowe and principals. Members are required to obtain an Jazz Band shirt to wear with uniform for each performance.
Rialto Jazz Combo: This is a select small group (8 max) from our Jazz Bands that works on advanced techniques in Jazz Improvisation. It usually meets one morning each week prior to school. Usually starting at 7:45. 4 or 5 members from this group will be selected to participate with the Rialto All-Star Jazz Band at Georgia State University.
Please note that Concerts are a graded assignment for band participation in middle school. Make sure you mark your home calendar with the dates and work our transportation concerns early. Unexcused misses will result in a lowered grade.
Clarification of Grading in Band Classes
Class Participation: 50%
Classwork/Computer Assignments: 25%
Home Practice Records: 15%
Performances and Written Exams: 10%
Class Participation: Each student must participate in class every day. This includes having all necessary music, music book(s) and equipment (instrument, reeds, oil, sticks, pencil, paper, etc). Not having the necessary equipment for a class period will result in a 3 point reduction from this grade category. ALL Percussion students must have snare drum sticks, hard bells mallets (made of acrylic), and a soft rubber or yarn mallet (you must have yarn to use the marimba and vibraphone).
Classwork/Computer Assignments: These are any assignments that we do during the class time and are turned in for “grading”. They will include worksheets, rhythm studies, scale studies, etc. Computer assignments will be assigned as needed to enhance a student’s learning.
Home Practice Records: Every band student is required to practice outside class for 100 minutes each week. Students will be graded each week. Records are to be turned in on the last day of each week of school (usually Friday). One point for each minute of practice will be awarded. That means that students who practice more then the requirement will receive extra credit for their efforts. To add students with instrument transportation issues, the bandroom will be opened @ 7:45 each morning and selected after school times.
Performances and Written Exams: Please know that all performances listed on our calendar are required and graded. Students will receive a 100 as their grade. If a student is tardy, then the grade will be lowered by 1 point per minute late. I check roll at @5 minute intervals. If a student is late or has to miss from some unavoidable reason, a parent must write me a note explaining the miss. The student will be given an alternative assessment. Other deductions from performance grade will include wrong uniform, improper concert etiquette, etc.
School Instrument Usage
It is always best if a child/family provide their own instrument from one of our local dealers, etc. If your family financially can not, we have a limited supply of instruments. Many are several years old and cosmetically they look their age, but all are in good playable condition. Instruments are given out on a modified first-come, first-served basis. Select instruments are reserved for Honor Band and Beginning Band students due to their musical requirements/demands. ALL students using Fulton County Instruments are required to complete a check out form, have it signed by a legal guardian and return to Mr. Gibson prior to usage of the instrument. Fulton County also requires a one time $25 usage fee for the year. Students and their families are also responsible for replacing any instrument that is lost or broken beyond repair due to a student’s negligence.
Usage of Band Lockers:
Lockers are available in the Instrument Storage area for students to store instruments while not in class. Lockers will be assigned based on need. Some lockers may require sharing with another student. Each locker has been furnished a combination pad lock. That lock is assigned to that particular locker and can not be exchanged with another locker without Mr. Gibson’s permission. Students are to use lockers ONLY for instrument storage. Student’s who use lockers incorrectly will be referred to the office for disciplinary action.
Band Performance Uniforms:
Uniforms are to be provided by the student’s family. Please contact Mr. Gibson if difficulties in acquiring the correct pieces arise.
All Bands wear Black Dress Pants, Black Socks, Black Shoes (dress style – not athletic), Black Belt.
Shirts vary by group: Honor Band = Honor Band Shirt, Intermediate, 6th Grade Advanced and Beginning Bands = White Dress (button front) Shirt/Blouse, Jazz Bands = Jazz Band Shirt.
Optional Band Enrichment Opportunities:
Solo & Ensemble Festival: This is an adjudicated event for students wishing to perform in small groups (duets, trios, quartets, etc) or solo. Sign up deadline is listed on our calendar of events. Music must be prepared outside class time. Music will be evaluated by a qualified judge for a rating similar to LGPE. Award Medals are earned by the student for receiving a Superior or Excellent Rating.
District Honor Band: This is an auditioned group selected from the top students in Fulton County, City of Atlanta and Private Schools in Fulton County proper. Students must prepare materials for the 1st level of the All-State Band requirements as outlined on the GMEA website. Audition is traditionally held the first Saturday of December. Students selected will rehearse at a selected sight for 2 days and conclude with a concert.
All-State Band: This is an extension of the District Honor Band auditions. Students who score high enough at the District Audition will be recommended for the state level auditions. If selected for ASB, student will join with other students selected from around the state in Savannah, Ga for 3 days of rehearsals and a grand performance at the Savannah Civic Center.
Rialto All-Star Jazz Band: Selected from our best Jazz Band students, this group meets monthly at Georgia State University to learn about Jazz and Jazz Improve from the Jazz Faculty members of GSU. This group gives 2 to 3 performances during the spring of the year.
Band Summer Camps: There are several opportunities for kids to continue with band during the summer months as well. Most of our local colleges and universities offer week long summer camps (over night or day only) for band students. Many are taught by the university/college faculty and include large group and small group instruction and performances.
Teacher - Band Director
Michael A. Gibson
Holiday Band Concert
Jazz Band Service Project
Panther Pride Jazz Band took part in a River Clean up Service Project on Oct 6th. The students cleaned up the Chattahoochee River area around the Morgan Falls Dam in Sandy Springs. Afterward they performed several songs during the lunch break. The event was sponsored by the Sandy Springs Conservancy and Georgia