FAQ for New Students

Violin1. SHOULD MUSICIANS BRING THEIR INSTRUMENTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL? No. The first day is usually spent getting acquainted and finding out what Maestro Johnson expects of his troops. There is no jazz band on the first day of school.

2. IS THERE SOMEWHERE SAFE TO STASH INSTRUMENTS? Yes, the band room has musical instrument lockers, which students share. You will need a combination lock.

3. WHAT IS THE STUDENT MUSIC COUNCIL? Students are represented by an elected student music council, which helps organize social activities, the Welcome Back BBQ for new and returning students, Pep Band gigs, and other events, including this fall’s outing to the Lesher Center for a multimedia concert, and a movie night in the bandroom. Elections are held each spring, and the concert band elects its representative in the fall. To see a list of this year’s officers, click the “About Campo Music” tab at the top of the page.

4. HOW OFTEN DO THE BAND, ORCHESTRA, ETC. PERFORM? In addition to the Pops Concert in early fall, there are formal concerts in November, February and May, a jazz festival in December, and several ensemble and solo festivals sprinkled in. In addition all music students in grades 9-11 perform at graduation in June.

5. ARE THERE EVER EXTRA REHEARSALS? Yes, the band and orchestra’s section leaders call occasional sectional rehearsals at lunch, after school or on weekends, depending on students’ schedules and the section’s needs. Go.

6. ARE THERE FINALS? HOMEWORK? TESTS? The first semester final is traditionally a solo or small ensemble work of your choice. The second semester final is the graduation “Pomp and Circumstance” gig. Concert reviews are due each quarter. Mr. Johnson will fill in the details on homework, practice expectations and tests.

7. WHAT’S A QUARTERLY CONCERT REVIEW? Mr. Johnson expects his students to sample the Bay Area music scene and write a brief concert review every quarter. You can go hear the San Francisco Symphony, catch jazz at Yoshi’s or applaud your classmates when they perform with other ensembles — many of our musicians perform with the county and state honor bands, the Diablo Wind Symphony, Contra Costa Youth Orchestra or their own jazz bands. The idea is to learn from musicians at your level or above.

8. POPS POTLUCK? It’s a fun, casual event for everybody — musicians, parents and siblings — a few weeks after school starts. Everyone brings food. Dress is casual, even for performers.

9. HOMECOMING CONCESSIONS? BOOSTER WHAT? Campo’s music program is supported in part by the Moraga Education Foundation and the Music Boosters, a large group of parents who donate money, energy and time. Booster funds pay for new instruments, music, festival and honor band entry fees, and the various professional performers, conductors and ensembles who visit the bandroom throughout the year. One of the biggest booster fundraisers is at the Homecoming football game, when we staff the concession booth. Parents flip burgers, assemble salads, bake brownies, etc. Together with band members, they sell the goodies at the stadium snack shack all evening long.

10. AND FINALLY, WHY DOES THE JAZZ BAND DANCE? No, no, no. The annual Jazz Band Dinner Dance is a dinner and a dance, with music provided BY the jazz band. The 2009 Jazz Band Dinner Dance will be February 28 at Temple Isaiah. Big fun.

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