Junior High Band
Welcome to Gatesville Junior High Band! Our Junior High Band Program is in its third year under the direction of Mr. Jose Sanchez, Ms. Amy Bowden, Mr. Michael Oreka and Mr. Victor Garza. Our Junior High program has a history of success at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest, as well as a history of developing well-rounded musicians. Please be sure to fill out a CHARMS information sheet so that we can properly keep our students and parents informed of any events happening this year.
7th Grade Band
The Gatesville Junior High Concert Band is comprised of students in the 7th Grade. The ensemble reinforces fundamentals learned in beginner band and starts to build the following skills:
– Learning how to rehearse and participate in an ensemble
– Refine note-reading and rhythm-reading skills
– Compete in individual solo competitions
– Compete in group ensemble competitions
7th Grade is the first year that students are eligible to audition for the ATSSB Middle School Region Band, where they individually compete against several schools in our region. Additionally, the Concert Band performs in the UIL Concert & Sightreading Contest each year.
8th Grade Band
The Gatesville Junior High Symphonic Band is made up primarily of students entering 8th grade but may also include a few of our advanced 7th Grade students. Our primary goals for this ensemble are:
– Preparing students for high school band
– Exposure to a broader range of music literature
– Instilling a greater sense of musicality in their playing
– Performing on a more frequent basis
We want our students to continue with us in High School and our 8th Grade Band Night is one of the important experiences that we provide for our students. This event usually takes place towards the end of the regular football season and gives our 8th graders a taste of what a typical Friday night in the Fall is like in High School Band.
Symphonic Band students also participate in the ATSSB Region Band auditions and in the UIL Concert & Sightreading Contest. The Symphonic Band typically performs 3-4 times per year.
The 8th Grade Symphonic Band students, like their 7th grade counterparts, participate in the ATSSB Region Band auditions and in the UIL Concert & Sightreading Contests. The 8th Grade Ensemble typically performs 3-4 times per year.
FAQs about Junior High Band
What are the goals of the Gatesville Junior High Band Program?
Our goals are to encourage and promote musical technique so that our students gain a higher appreciation in music throughout the rest of their lives.
How much time outside of class am I expected to practice?
While we try to cover most issues with our concert repertoire in class, we encourage our students to practice a minimum of 120 minutes per week outside of class. This helps our students to continue to reinforce what we teach during class as well as serving to further their own playing ability.
Can my child participate in both athletics and band?
The answer is an enthusiastic YES! We want our students to be involved in organizations as much as possible. We only ask that students and their parents keep us informed of their conflicts so that we can resolve those conflicts and make sure they’re keeping up.
What is CHARMS?
CHARMS is a program that we use to communicate with our students and parents. It allows us to help you keep track of any band expenses, as well as fundraising balances for your student. You can also see when our next concert is, see important band announcements, or directly message our directors with any questions you may have about band!
When does the band perform?
All band-related events will be posted on Charms and on our website so that students and families can plan accordingly. In the weeks leading up to a concert, directors will pass out information regarding concert attire, itinerary, and concert order. As always, please feel free to e-mail or call our directors if there are any issues with dates or times. Communication is a major key!
Do the students go on any trips?
Yes! We like to reward our students for all of the hard work they put in over the year! This year, we’re looking to take our students on a field trip in the spring semester. Details of the trip will be made available in the spring semester.
What materials are required for class?
Our band boosters provide each student with a method book and 1″ 3-ring binder to hold their music. We charge each student $2 in order to pay them back for the purchase. We ask that all of our students bring a pencil to class every day!
Do I need to purchase an instrument or can I borrow one from the school?
The majority of our students are strongly encouraged to own their own instrument, with a few exceptions (French Horn, Baritone, Tuba, Percussion). We do have limited instruments available for those interested in renting them. An annual fee will be applied to your CHARMS account in order to pay for required maintenance throughout the year.
Are private lessons available for interested students?
We love for our students to take private lessons! We wish that we could give individualized instruction to all of our students every day, but with 50-100 students in each of our classes and only 50 minutes in our class period, it’s just not possible. We currently offer private lessons on flute, but we’ll help students on other instruments find a lesson teacher as often as we are able. Scholarships for private lessons are available from the Gatesville Band Boosters and help defray costs by 50%. Please speak with a director for more information.
My child is getting braces. Is that going to be a problem?
We’ve been there. When your child first gets braces, it can be uncomfortable. It’s actually fairly rare for it to prevent them from playing their instrument. After braces are put on, most students have an adjustment period, and some use wax to help make playing more comfortable. We also provide “bumpers” for students to use on their brackets to protect their mouths while playing. Ask a director for more information.