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8th Grade FAQ
If you are an 8th grader or a parent of an 8th grader, welcome to the "Frequently Asked Questions" page of our High School Band Website. We hope that this page can be used as a resource for you as you begin your high school scheduling process, and we hope that you are considering being in the high school band!
The North Royalton High School Band has a long standing tradition of excellence and is the largest student organization in the high school. The band has qualified and participated in the marching band state finals every year since 1986, receiving the highest rating possible, "Superior" since that point. North Royalton is one of the few schools in the state that has 4 concert bands that perform at OMEA Large Group Contest, and all groups consistently receive "Superior" Ratings at that venue as well.
Additionally, the band has performed at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, The Cleveland Indians Parade, The Indianapolis 500 Parade, the BCS Championship in New Orleans, the OMEA State Convention, The Akron Ohio Band Director’s Conference, the Bowling Green State University Reading Clinic, Severance Hall, and Cleveland State, to name a few.
For those 8th graders and 8th grade parents that are new to the high school band program, or considering participating in the high school band, we know that you have many questions, and below are some of the most common questions and concerns, and hopefully this will be helpful resource for you. If you have additional questions or concerns you can ask Mr. Burdick or Mr. Nary (who you see every day for class). Please do not ask your homeroom teacher, guidance counselor, coach, sibling, etc - because information may not be correct - please ask a band director - and Mr. Burdick and Mr. Nary will be happy to answer your questions.
Top Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I be in a fall sport and be in band?
Yes. It is possible to do ANY fall sport and still be in the band. We had students in our band program this year involved in Golf, Tennis, Freshman Football, Varsity Football, Volleyball, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, and over 20 students who ran Cross Country!
Am I allowed to just be in the Jazz Band only, and not regular band?
No. Jazz Band is an opportunity available only to those already enrolled in the band program. NRHS has two Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Band I and Jazz Lab Band II. Both are auditioned groups. Auditions will take place at the conclusion of marching band season, and will meet November through the end of the school year.
What if I play Bassoon or Oboe in 8th grade - what would I play in marching band?
You would return to your original instrument for the marching season because there are no double reed instruments in the marching band. However, it is encouraged that during marching band you still take private lessons and continue practicing on your double reed instrument on your own, since concert band auditions are immediately following the marching band season.
Can I just do concert band but not marching band?
Can I just do marching band but not concert band?
No. The band course meets every day for the full year, and students are awarded one "Fine Arts" Credit for their participation. The class is designed as a comprehensive music education course, encompassing both the marching band and the concert band season. Concepts and skills learned in one directly relate and build on the other, and it is impossible to divorce the two.
When does the band rehearse in the summer?
There are only a few rehearsals in June, but these are essential for a good start to a successful marching band season. Music will be distributed, freshman will receive their Mentor, and the band will begin working on music for the marching band season. Because the class rosters, attendance lists, and contest show lists are being finalized in the month of June, it is important that all members are at the June rehearsals and if members cannot be at the June sessions, a note/email should be sent to Mr. Vitale so that music can be set aside for them. "Band Camp" is the name given to the intensive rehearsal time during the month of August - all rehearsals are at the high school, and there is no traveling to a remote location and no overnight stay. Band Camp runs Monday through Friday during the entire month of August.
When is a good time to go on vacation?
Early July is the BEST time to go on vacation because there are no band obligations associated with early July. (Except for the band front and Percussion)
What is involved with auditioning for the Band Front?
The "Band Front" consists of our Auxiliary groups that perform as part of the marching band; The "Royalettes" are our dance team, and our "Royalaires" are our color guard which spin flags, rifles, and sabres. Band Front Try-Outs will take place in May. Both the Royalettes and Royalaires will have 2-3 clinics followed by a formal audition. It is mandatory that candidates attend all clinics and then the formal rehearsal so that the advisors can see the growth and personal improvement of the candidates over the 2-3 clinic time period. The clinics and auditions are always staggered so that students can participate and audition for both auxiliary groups if they wish. All Royalaire candidates will learn and review basic concepts on a flag, and all Royalette candidates will learn and review basic concepts in dance. Note: previous dance experience is helpful in the auditions for both of these auxiliary groups.
While the rest of the band is "on vacation" in July, The Royalettes, Royalaires, and Percussion Section have added responsibilities during the summer months. Once the membership/auditions lists are posted for these groups in June, they immediately begin rehearsing. Both the Royalettes and Royalaires will have a one week, intense “camp” where they work with their respective advisors working on basics and learning routines. In addition, both groups will practice regularly throughout the months of June and July and the specific rehearsal schedule will be drawn up by the groups’ respective advisors.
It should be noted that our Royalettes and Royalaires have a high standard of excellence and rehearsals are rigorous and intense - there are rehearsal obligations every day of the week, including some Saturdays. Our Royalettes and Royalaires are considered a "sport" themselves, and for this reason no student is permitted to do any fall sport if they participate in either of these groups.
I heard there are "extra rehearsals" if I am in the band - when does the band meet?
The band meets every day 10th period for class. Additionally on Mondays, class is extended beyond the school day until 3:15. Student athletes will report to their athletic practices as soon as they are dismissed from band. The administration has talked with coaches informing them of this part of the course requirement, and coaches understand that athletes in both band and a sport will be reporting late to practice on Mondays.
Wednesday night rehearsals are part of the course requirement for band during the marching band season only. There will be 10 Wednesday night rehearsals, one for every football game. (If the football team advances to the playoffs, there will be additional Wednesday night rehearsals, one for each game). Wednesday night rehearsals will be from 6-9PM. This rehearsal will be not only for working on new music/drill; it is used for reviewing, refining, and perfecting the performance for Friday night. If a student is not at a Wednesday night rehearsal, they are not eligible to perform on Friday night.
The band always rehearses before performances, and on Fridays, report time is 4:30 for away games, and 4:45 for home games. On the days of competitions, the report time will be posted by Mr. Vitale once we know our performance schedule.
Once marching band is over, there are no Wednesday or Friday evening rehearsals, and when the concert band season begins the sectionals for the concert ensembles are scheduled at the discretion of the individual director (only a few per quarter for the 3rd and 4th quarter). A sectional schedule will be drawn up by the director and students will be informed in advance of when their particular section will be meeting.