A Virtual Fall 2020 & Audition info!

First and foremost, I hope everyone is safe, healthy, and focused on supporting their loved ones. The 2020-2021 school year is about to begin and will be a unique experience for sure. The success of this journey will depend on each of us individually and our commitment to make it work. There will be a learning curve, and adjustments made along the way. That said, a positive attitude and willingness to learn from each student, teacher, parent, and administrator is paramount. Let’s work together and encourage each other to put our best foot forward and produce “Results NOT Excuses” so we can emerge from this experience stronger than ever.

I’m sure everyone is curious about how performance classes will work. Classes will continue to require students to practice their instruments and include weekly virtual rehearsals and sectionals via zoom. How does this work? We will play music together by having students mute themselves as they listen and play along to either a backing track, conductor, metronome, or single student performer. We will focus on fundamentals, playing exercises, and ensemble repertoire. Together, we will learn and discuss the music and continue to build a supportive community of students, friends, and families.

Additionally, there will be a music technology component added to each class. Students will learn the basics of MIDI, music production, and composition. We will learn how to use Digital Audio Workstations, notation programs, and explore various topics such as frequency synthesis and software instruments.  Finally, students will take part in virtual performance videos and learn how to create their own performance videos for various culminating projects.


Band & Orchestra Students should plan on preparing the following:

  • Play a chromatic scale from the lowest to the highest note you know
  • Play a major scale of your choice exemplifying good tone quality, dynamics, and phrasings
  • Prepare a 15-30 second solo of your choice. This could be anything! Feel free to play an excerpt you played in a previous class.

Students will be asked to prepare a video recording of this material and upload it to Schoology as one of the first assignments. They may also be asked to play it live via a zoom sectional.

Late submissions will be allowed for students who don’t yet have an instrument. We will issue instruments to new students when school starts. New students must have at least two years of playing experience. Beginners are encouraged to enroll in the Guitar class.

Percussion students may check out a pair of sticks and a practice pad. If you have one at home, feel free to also use a piano or keyboard.

All students should review the following instrument care videos to make sure your instrument is in working condition. Click here for the link!

Jazz band Auditions!

Click here to download an audition packet. You will find music to two Jazz Standards as well as links to backing tracks. Please prepare one of the two tunes by play the head (melody) and improvising a solo over the changes. Students should be prepared to play this in a Zoom sectional as well as upload a video recording into Schoology as an assignment.

In your audition, students play along to the YouTube accompaniment tracks and play down the form of the tune three times. Links to these tracks are listed below!

1x – Play the melody
2x – Improvise a solo over the changes
3x – Play the melody again & Finé

Changes are inevitable and your patience is greatly appreciated as we continue to work out the details.

Again please continue to stay safe and stay positive!

Musically Yours,

Mr. Sharp

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