Wind Bands Handbook

Olympia High School

Wind Bands 2018


Pride. Courage. Tradition.

Erik Curley - Director of Bands

[email protected]

Course Offerings

Concert Band

Length of class: 1 year

Fine Art or Elective: 9

Prerequisite: Previous experience on a band instrument or piano.

Supplies: Instrument, appropriate concert attire for performances.

For all incoming freshman who have been part of middle school band. There is a strong emphasis on fundamental skill development, refinement, and performance. This class is an introduction to the Olympia High School Band program.

Symphonic Band

Length of class: 1 year

Fine Art or Elective: 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Prior experience or Director Approval of entrance.

Supplies: Instrument, appropriate concert attire for performances.

For advanced winds who wish to explore and perform major works from the band literature. There is an emphasis on further skill development and refinement of abilities.

Wind Ensemble

Length of class: 1 year

Fine Art or Elective: 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: By audition only.

Supplies: Instrument, appropriate concert attire for performance.

This elite ensemble is dedicated to performing the most challenging works in the repertoire. Students are expected to have well-developed skills and habits, and to be committed to the Band program. While exploring challenging wind ensemble literature and developing chamber music skills, select members of the wind ensemble will also rehearse with and perform as members of the Full Symphony Orchestra. Weekly sectionals outside of class are required.

Percussion Ensemble

Length of class: 1 year

Fine Art or Elective: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Previous experience on a band instrument or piano, or Director Approval.

Supplies: Instrument(Sticks/Mallets/Mallet Bag), appropriate attire for performances.

All percussionists are drawn from their corresponding wind bands and placed in this class. Emphasis is placed on learning and refining rudimentary technique of snare, mallets, and timpani in addition to the multitude of auxiliary percussion instruments. Students will perform with their corresponding ensembles at concerts, as well as studying and performing specific percussion ensemble music.

Jazz Band I

Length of class: 1 year, 0-hour (.25 credit per semester)

Fine Art or Elective: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Enrollment in a core music class (Band, Orchestra, Choir) at Olympia High School, by audition only.

Supplies: Instrument, appropriate concert attire for performances.

The emphasis in this advanced-level class is on exploring varying jazz styles, small ensemble skills, and advanced improvisation. Rehearsals are at 6:45AM.

Jazz Band II

Length of class: 1 year, 0-hour (.25 credit per semester)

Fine Art or Elective: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Enrollment in a core music class (Band, Orchestra, Choir) at Olympia High School, by audition only.

Supplies: Instrument, appropriate black attire for performance.

Depending on the amount of student interest, a second Jazz Band may be offered. This course is designed for students who are new to Jazz or are developing their skills, playing in various styles and learning to improvise. Rehearsals are TBD.

Extra-Curricular Performance Opportunities

  • The Olympia High School Marching/Pep Band

  • All-State/All-NW Honor Bands (

  • Western International Band Clinic(WIBC) Honor Bands (

  • Regional/State Solo and Ensemble Festival (Jan/April)

  • Olympia High School Musical Productions (April - May)

  • Student Orchestra of Greater Olympia - SOGO (Year round)

  • PLU Honor Band (January)

  • Music in May Honor Band (

The information that follows is in addition to all policies and guidelines set forth by the Olympia School District.

General Expectations

  • Be On Time (Early is On Time.)

  • Be Prepared (Instrument, Music, Pencil, Attitude)

  • Contribute to the Rehearsal (Ready to WORK)

  • Communicate When Necessary (Raise Hand, Read Your Email)

  • Respect Equipment, Respect Each Other

  • No Food, No Drink (Except Water)

  • Play! Play! Play! (Practice)


In order for you and our groups to achieve high levels of success, and to continue to do so, practice is necessary. Practicing should be an extension of your love of music and your desire to improve. It is expected that you will play your instrument outside of class regularly. Practicing will be reflected in in-class assessments made by the director and in playing exams. There is no shortcut to greatness, and you will be challenged with the performance material this year. Build successful habits now in your practicing. Practicing is the “homework” of Band class. By doing so you not only better yourself, but you improve the amount of music we get to create and the depth of the experience for everyone else in the ensemble. Practice is where you learn your part. Rehearsal is where you learn everyone else’s part.


Band classes at OHS are set up as performance based. Attendance at rehearsals and performances is mandatory and is a major part of your grade. Performances are essentially our “term paper,” “culminating project,” or “final.”  Exceptions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the seriousness of the emergency and the timeliness in which you and your parent contact the director. Concerts are held in the OHS Performing Arts Center and admission is $6 for adults; $4 for students. Season passes are also available beginning in late September/early October.

Pep Band Policy

Each OHS Band student is required to perform at 3 basketball games as part of the Pep Band. Students simply need to pick 3 games of their choice from the calendar that they will attend. Students are of course encouraged to attend more than the 3 required!


40% - Performances/Rehearsals/Trips/Activities

Performances are an essential part of any musical ensemble. They are the culminating experience, essential to personal growth and the artistic process. Performances are mandatory. In addition to home concerts, each student is required to perform at 3 Pep Band games during the year, of the students choosing. Make-up work may or may not be given at the discretion of the director.

30% - Participation/Daily Points/Behaviour

Every person in band is essential in making the ensemble excellent; no one “sits on the bench” in a music ensemble. As such, students are expected to know their part and come to ensemble ready to participate with all materials necessary. This grade includes attendance, as a student who isn’t present cannot contribute to the rehearsal. Student behaviour in rehearsal is also directly linked to this grade. We expect your best behaviour before, during, and after Band events.

20% - Recording Assignments and Playtests

Regular playtest will be assigned and performed in class. These very short performances give the director the opportunity to assess and assist students in their playing, as well as encourage students to maintain good practice habits throughout the year.

10% - Concert Critiques

All music students are required to write one concert critique per semester. Please see the concert critique form and example for further details.


The appropriate uniforms are required in order to perform with the corresponding ensembles. Uniforms are designed to enhance the professionalism of the ensemble and to create the appearance of a cohesive musical team. The goal of wearing a uniform is also to blend in, rather than stick out and draw attention to something other than the music. Students’ grades may be lowered if not adhering to the guidelines, up unto the point of being unable to perform with the ensemble.

  • Male:

    • Black Collared Dress Shirt, tucked into Black Slacks with a Black Belt, with Long Black Socks, and Black Dress Shoes.

  • Female:

    • Formal Black Dress (past the knees, shoulders covered.) Black Socks/Hose, and Black Shoes (Close-Toed)

    • Wind Ensemble Females: Seasonal Black Dress, more information coming, new this year.

Required Materials

There are a multitude of equipment options in the Band world. Here are some standard guidelines on what equipment to bring to class.

  • Reeds, Oils, Cleaners, Etc. are necessary to be a functional musician and should be provided by the student.

  • Every Student: Access to a metronome and tuner. These are essential tools to be used in personal practice and sectionals. These can be physical implements or digital.

    • Physical: Korg TM-50

    • Digital:

      • Tunable.

      • Pro Metronome.

      • Tonal Energy Tuner/Metronome.

    • Online:



  • Single Reeds: Vandoren Blue Box with appropriate strength.

    • Multiple Reeds are needed, and with prescribed care should last you months.

  • Single Reeds: Rovner 1R “Dark” Ligatures recommended.

    • Luyben Ligatures are a respectable alternative.

  • Woodwind Players need to have a swab for their instrument. Using a swab is akin to using a toothbrush. Please brush your teeth and also clean your instrument after playing. Please avoid feather swabs that go within the instrument between use.

  • Valve Instruments: Blue Juice brand Valve Oil

  • French Horns: Rotor Oil, Not Valve Oil.

  • Trombone Players: Trombotine Slide Cream

  • All Brass: Superslick Tuning Slide Grease


  • Students should plan on using their rented or purchased instrument for rehearsals and performances.

  • Instruments are available to be checked-out from the school on a case-by case basis.

  • Students/Parents checking out school equipment are liable for cost of any/all damages incurred to instrument, up to and including replacement of instrument.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are not required, but are strongly recommended. Lessons enrich the musical experience you will have inside of rehearsal and will also better prepare you for events like Honor Bands and Solo & Ensemble. By taking lessons from a professional on your instrument you will develop faster and perform at a higher level. You will also enrich the experience for those around you as well. One of the reasons OHS has a music program as strong as it does is due to the number of students studying privately. It is an investment well worth the time and money. If you are looking for a private lesson teacher, please contact the director.

OHS Travel and Behavior Policy

The OHS Band is an ensemble that represents not only the musicians within it, but the Olympia community as a whole. It is expected that students will put forth a shining example of good citizenship at school, when on trips, and at activities. Please keep the following in mind:

  • All school rules and policies will be strictly enforced at all times. Please see the Student Handbook for further details.

  • Absolutely NO illegal behavior or activity will be tolerated. This may result in notification of parents, school staff, and legal authorities. Students may be sent home at the parent’s expense, or will stay in custody of a chaperone until turned over to the proper authorities.

  • No Profanity. Repeat offenders will have their parents notified and may be removed from activities, with their future privileges revoked.

  • Failure to adhere to our school’s rules and regulations, in addition to maintaining a high standard of behavioural decency, may result in expulsion from the OHS Band Program. Students’ safety and well being is central to our mission at OHS and we take it seriously.

  • Represent your school with pride and the correct behavior. Be polite to everyone. You never know what people will remember about you: make a good impression.

  • Be on time, be in the right place. We don’t want to leave you behind! Your safety is paramount to us.


Communication is key in running any large scale program efficiently and productively. The preferred forms of communication for ensembles are Skyward and email. You can expect to receive regular updates on music happenings via the Skyward message center and our Band email list. If your information on file with the school is not correct you will not receive these messages (email, phone.)

Please feel free to contact the director via email about any questions or concerns. Students and Parents please be aware that the director may not immediately answer emails past 8PM.


Volunteers and Chaperones are both welcome and needed for activities and trips. A background check/volunteer form is required to be filled out in advance and can be found online at

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available through the Olympia School District and Olympia Band Boosters Association. Please contact Mr. Curley privately.

The Olympia Band Booster Association (OBBA)

The OBBA is a non-profit organization made up of Band parents and community members who are dedicated to supporting and improving all aspects of the OHS Band program. We encourage all parents to get involved. More information can be found by contacting this year’s president RaeLynn Stenchever ([email protected] )

OHS Band Calendar 2018-19





9/24 - 9/26

Jazz Band Auditions


Sign-Up in Class

9/24 - 10/2

All-NW/All-State Audition Recordings


Sign-Up in Class


*All-NW/All-State Recordings Due*


*WIBC Recordings Due*


Fall Orchestra Concert




Fall Choir Concert




Fall Band Concert




Veteran’s Day Assembly (WE + SB)




Cool Jazz, Clean Water Festival(Jazz Band)

Washington Center - Olympia



Safeway Canned Food Drive Caroling

Tumwater Safeway

9am-5pm/Sign-Up in Class


Rotary Luncheon (Jazz Band)

Red Lion Inn, Olympia

12pm - 1pm


Holiday Festival

(9th Grade, Jazz Band Only)




Holiday Festival

(Upperclassmen, Jazz Only)




Holiday Festival

(Upperclassmen, Jazz Only)




Girls Basketball




Seattle Opera Trip

(10-12th Grade Only)

Seattle Opera House

4PM-10PM, Sign Up


Boys Basketball




Girls Basketball




Boys Basketball




Regional Solo and Ensemble

Capital HS

All-Day, TBA


Boys Basketball




Girls Basketball



2/14 - 2/17

All-NW Music Educators Conference and All-State Honor Bands

Portland, OR

TBA. By Audition.


All-NW Concert Hour Performance (WE)

Portland, OR

3:30PM. Trip Details TBD.


Festival Orchestra Concert

(Symphony Winds)




Regional Orchestra Adjudication

(Symphony Winds)




Festival Choir Concert



3/15 - 3/16

W-ASTA Orchestra Festival (Symphony Winds)




Festival Band Concert



3/21 - 3/22

Regional Band Adjudication (All-Bands)


TBA (During School Day)


Music For All NW-Division Festival (WE)

Vancouver, WA

TBA. Trip Details TBD.


Jazz Dance (Jazz Band)


6 - 9pm

4/26 - 4/27

State Solo and Ensemble Competition (Ensembles - Friday, Solos - Saturday)




Jazz Night! (WMS, RMS, OHS Jazz)




Spring Band Concert




Band Banquet/Potluck (All Students and Parents invited!)

OHS Commons



Spring Choir Concert




Spring Orchestra Concert (Symphony Winds)





St. Martin’s Pavilion, St. Martin’s U.


8/19 - 8/23

2018-19 Marching Band Camp


9AM - 5PM

*Additional Performances may be added during the year.*

Concert Report

As musicians it is important that we go to other musician’s concerts to support them, think critically about the art, and to apply those criticisms to our own art.

Your assignment is to go to a concert (school, jazz, choir, classical, concert band, community) that you did not participate in and write a response in essay format. Analyze the concert in terms of a critical response of the performers’ execution of the elements of music, the composer’s use of those elements, and your emotional response to what you heard.

Choose one piece of music for your critical response. Evaluate the performers’ execution of any or all of the following categories:

  • Beat/Rhythm

  • Expression (dynamics, style, tempo, phrasing)

  • Pitch/Intonation

  • Timbre/Tone Color

...and the composer’s choices in terms of:

  • Form

  • Harmony

  • Melody

  • Notation

  • Texture

For your emotional response think of how this concert left you feeling. Did the music leave you:

  • Excited

  • Calmed

  • Confused

  • Inspired

  • Other?

In addition to being in essay format with introduction, body, and concluding paragraphs this assignment should be typed or word-processed. Concert Reports may be emailed to the director. Late work will not be accepted.

Student Survey

Name: _________________________________________

Grade: _________________

Primary Instrument: _____________________________________________

Secondary Instrument(s): _________________________________________

Do You Take Lessons? ___________________________________________

If Yes, From Who?____________________

If No, Would You Like Help Finding a Teacher? ___________

What other activities are you involved in?

What are your Musical Goals in both the short term and long term?

  • Short Term:

  • Long Term:

Tell me about yourself:

Please sign, detach and return this sheet, health travel card/permission to travel form, and student survey by Friday, September 7th.

I have read, understand, and agree to the information and expectations put forth within the Band Handbook:

Student Signature:______________________________ Date:_________________

Student Name:_________________________________ Date:_________________

Parent Signature:_______________________________ Date:_________________

Parent Name:__________________________________ Date:_________________

Student Phone_________________ Email:________________________________

Parent Phone__________________ Email:________________________________