R. W. KIDDER

    Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
    Welcome to the R. W. Kidder Northwest Middle School Instrumental Music Program!  You are now a proud member of our school district’s prestigious Mountie Music program.  I am excited to help all of my students excel as young people through the art of music.  As members of the Northwest Bands, we will work together to be our best and show respect and responsibility for each other.  You will be rewarded with an amazing experience – one of music making, pride, discovery, growth, success, and a connection with music.
    Please share this information with your family and, hopefully, it will give you a “big picture” view of our band program.  After reviewing the handbook, please sign and return the information sheet.


    Should you have questions, comments, or concerns about band activities, please call Sherry Dopp at 817-4686 or e-mail me at sherry.dopp@nwschools.org.

    Sherry Dopp
    Director of Bands
    R. W. Kidder Middle School

    Ambassadors of Northwest Community Schools

    All of the Northwest Community is proud of the high level of achievement of the Northwest Band program. Our bands perform at concerts, community events, as well as throughout the country on trips and festival performances. Each time we perform, we represent our community to every person we come in contact with. Whether it is a bus driver, a teacher from another school, or parents from another town, we represent Northwest Schools to all of these individuals. Our community has provided us with the opportunity to travel and experience other places and cultures. It is our responsibility to never let our community down by behaving inappropriately. It is a privilege and honor to represent Northwest and we take extreme pride in being given the opportunity. We ask all band members to be mindful of this honor at all times and at all events. 
    The Band Room
    Our rehearsal area needs to be kept clean. Do not use your instrument storage area as a second locker. Keep the band area for band needs only. Coats, books, bags, and other personal possessions only clutter up the rehearsal area. THERE IS NO FOOD SUBSTANCE ALLOWED IN THE REHEARSAL AREA AT ANY TIME.
    Rehearsal Materials
    All band students must have their instrument, music, pencils, and any other relevant materials at each rehearsal. Students must also have all other supplies (reeds, valve oil, sticks, mutes, etc.) as needed for their instrument.  These items will be available for purchase before or after rehearsal.   All students must have their own materials at every rehearsal. 
    All students will be issued a band folder and are expected to have a Method book, two pencils with erasers, and any band music that has been distributed at every rehearsal.
    * The replacement cost for a piece of music is $1.00.  The replacement for all the band music is no more that $5.00.
    Rehearsal Atmosphere
    Students need to be in their seat with all needed materials no later than two minutes after the tone sounds to begin class. There can be no talking at any time during the rehearsal. Rehearsal time is critical. If a director is working with another group of students, you must remain quiet and involved in the instruction. All of us need to try our very best at all rehearsals. Our band program has worked hard to earn a reputation for quality. Our philosophy is simple… NOBODY OUTWORKS THE NORTHWEST BANDS!
    Instrument Storage
    Band instruments are to be stored in an area designated by the director. Cases are not to be left sitting around the room. The cases must be kept closed and in the appropriate area. Any case in the rehearsal area needs to be closed and under the student’s chair or in the designated storage area.
    Do not touch, play or move any instrument that is not assigned to you. If you are not a percussionist, you may not touch the percussion instruments at any time.


    All students receive a daily participation grade based upon their individual effort during the rehearsal. In addition, performance playing quizzes and tests are frequently given to more accurately measure the student’s progress. Effort is the key to an “A” in band. If you are trying your best and are responsible to the group as a whole, your grade will reflect it with a high mark. Students will also be graded on practice records, which are to reflect a students home practice sessions. Practice records are due at the beginning of each week. Missed practice records will result in the lowering of a student’s overall grade in middle school band. Attendance at performances and rehearsals is a class requirement.
    The grading policy is as follows:
    Practice records - 20 points per week. These are assigned weekly and will be due at the beginning of each week.  Sixth grade students are expected to practice 60 minutes per week (15 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week) and 7th and 8th graders should practice 100 minutes weekly (20-25 minutes a day, 5 times a week.)  Please encourage your student to practice a few minutes a day throughout the week, as opposed to trying to practice it all in one sitting.  Daily practice will bring much better results, as most students do not have the endurance for a lengthy, effective practice session.
    Daily work and effort – 3 points per day.  Students will receive full credit daily when they are prepared with all needed materials and have their instrument, are ready to begin class on time, and treat others respectfully during class.
    Written assignments – 10 to 50 points each.  This would include occasional music theory homework sheets and permission slips that are returned on time.
    Tests, written and playing – Point value will be announced at the time of the test, but students will be expected to play in class for a grade.
    Performances – 100 points or more.  Band members will be expected to participate in all performances in order to be eligible to attend the field trip to Cedar Point at the end of the year. 
    Performance Attendance Policy
    Membership in any of the R. W. Kidder MS bands carries with it certain privileges. It also requires certain responsibilities. ATTENDING ALL PERFORMANCES IS ONE OF THESE RESPONSIBILTIES. The size of music groups and their dependence upon each member makes ATTENDANCE AT ALL PERFORMANCES A REQUIREMENT!
    If you cannot attend a performance because of severe illness or death in the family, notification by parent/guardian must be done by note, email or phone. You will be excused and allowed to do a make-up assignment.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact the director for the assignment and is due 7 days following the performance.  Students with an unexcused absence will not be allowed to make up the concert grade.  The following performances are required to receive a passing grade in class.  Please write them on your family calendar:
    Mountie Montage                  Concert/Symphonic            October 22, 2014
    Winter Concert                      All Bands                            December 10, 2014
    MSBOA District Festival        Concert/Symphonic            Feb. 28/28 or       
                                                                                              March 13/14, 2014
    MSBOA State Festival           Concert/Symphonic            April 23-25, or
                                                                                              May 1-2, 2014
    Collage Concert                     All Bands                             May 13, 2014
    Percussion students are required to provide their own sticks and mallets in a stick bag clearly labeled with their name.
    Students are required to provide necessary accessories for their instrument.
    Reed players are required to have at least three working reeds in cases at all times.  Reeds and valve oil are available from Mrs. Dopp, however, prices and inventory may vary.  I recommend that reed players purchase an entire box of reeds, either by placing an advance order or buying from a local retailer.
    Reeds MUST be purchased before class.
    A small number of school instruments MAY be available for students in need.  An instrument usage contract must be completed and students will be required to provide their own accessories (mouthpieces, reeds, etc.) and will be responsible for any damage that is beyond normal use.  Instruments must be returned at the end of the year in the condition in which it was issued.
    If an instrument is in need of repair, a representative from Quinlan & Fabish Music Company visits each week to pick up needed repairs and returns it the following week. Students will need to fill out the repair tag and place it in the designated place for pick up.  It is your responsibility to pay the repair bill in a timely fashion.
    All band students will need plain black dress socks (crew length), black dress shoes, and a Mountie Music T-shirt, which will be available for purchase.
    Concert and Symphonic Band members are also required to purchase a white tux shirt, black bow tie, and pay a dry cleaning fee, with the cost determined by our supplier.  The school will provide concert vests and pants.  Please notify Mrs. Dopp for help if you are unable to afford these items.  Care of the school uniforms is the responsibility of the student.  Loss or damage to uniform parts will result in a replacement charge. I ask that students keep their uniform cleaned and pressed in order to show the utmost pride in their appearance at all performances.
    Band Boosters
    The Northwest Band Boosters is a voluntary, non-profit organization dedicated to support the instrumental Mountie music program.  Members include any resident of the Northwest School District interested in supporting the bands.  The Band Boosters raise thousands of dollars by operating the football concession stand at home games, MSU concessions, and many other fundraising activities. The Boosters assist with Interlochen expenses, contribute money for our student lesson program, and help with many other band related expenses.  Please join this wonderful group of volunteers in supporting our students.
    Northwest Band Booster Meetings 2014-15
    All meetings 7:00 PM in the Kidder MS Band Room
    September 11
    October 9
    November 13
    January 8
    February 12
    March 12
    April 9
    May 14
    June 11
    Northwest R.W. Kidder Middle School
    Band Calendar 2014-15
    Wednesday, October 1                       Fall Solo Ensemble Registration/Fee Deadline
    Monday, October 6-23                        Yankee Candle Sale
    Wednesday, October 22                 Mountie Montage (@JC-Potter Center)
                                                                Concert and Symphonic Bands
    Saturday, October 25                         Band Booster Mattress Sale
    Saturday, November 22                      MSBOA MS Solo/Ensemble Festival
                                                                @ Charlotte HS
    Wednesday, December 10             Winter Concert (@ Western HS)
                                                                6th Grade, Concert, and Symphonic Bands
    Wednesday, January 21                     Spring Solo Ensemble Registration/Fee Deadline
    February 27/28 or                             MSBOA District Band Festival (location TBA)
    March 13/14                                       Concert and Symphonic Bands
    Wednesday, March 11                        MS Honors Band recording deadline
    Saturday, April 18                               Spring Solo/Ensemble Festival
                                                                @ Jonesville HS
    April 23-25                                         MSBOA State Band Festival
    May 1-2                                              Concert and Symphonic Bands
    Wednesday, May 13                          MS Band/Choir Collage Concert
    (@ JC Potter Center) 6th Grade, Concert, and Symphonic Bands
    May 16-17                                           MS Honors Band (location TBA)
    June 8                                                 Cedar Point Trip
                                                                All band members with perfect concert attendance and a grade of C- or better are eligible to participate
    Dear Mrs. Dopp,
    I have read the Northwest Middle School Instrumental Handbook with my student and find that all the policies, rules and activities are reasonable expectations for my child.
                I will support my student throughout the year in upholding these policies and participating in band activities and the following required concerts.
    1.         Mountie Montage Concert   Concert/Symphonic        October 22
                2.         Winter Concert                       All Bands               December 10
    3.         District Band Festival          Concert/Symphonic        February 27/28-March 13/14
    4.         State Band Festival                Concert/Symphonic   April 23-25 or May 1/2
                5.         Spring Concert                       All Bands               May 13
                            (Parent or legal guardian)
    Please enter an e-mail address to receive band information, permission slips, and volunteer information.
    The e-mail address I check regularly is (PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLY): 
    Optional second e-mail address is:
                I________________________________ have read the Northwest Middle School
                            (Your name)
     Instrumental Handbook and find that all the policies, rules and activities are reasonable and that I can uphold them for the school year.  I will attend the concerts listed above and other band activities.
                            (Band member’s signature)
    Please return this slip by Wednesday, September 10 for full credit for this assignment.