Back to Orchestra Part 1! FAQ's

Emailed on August 27th, 2015

Hello Pioneer Orchestra Families!

I hope you have had a WONDERFUL summer. I look forward to starting the school year strong in a few weeks. 

With that said, I regularly receive several emails after camp asking the same questions. Therefore, I thought I would answer a bunch of them in a FAQ's list. Here you go!

Q. Will we be playing our instrument on the first day of school? 

A. No. We will be assigning schools instruments for use for cellos/basses and a few upper strings on day 1, as well as going over rules/regulations/expectations. In short, we will begin playing on DAY 2! Be ready :)

Q. What time is the orchestra room unlocked in the morning for instrument drop off? What about the end of the day?

A. Usually by 7:20a the room is unlocked. It is usually locked by 3:45p after school. Please plan accordingly. 

Q. Do you have any home instruments for use this year?

A. Yes, but not very many, and most are not of great quality. We ask that you only request access to a school instrument for home use if you simply have no other option. Otherwise, we recommend you visit Shar Music on Industrial Rd to pursue a rental or a rent-to-purchase scenario. 

Q. When will the calendar be ready? 

A. The calendar is about 95% ready for viewing, but there are a few items that need to be added. You will be able to view our CALENDARS (weekly class/event) HERE when they are complete. 

Q. I am starting to receive emails from POPS parents, but I am not fully sure of their roles. Can you explain who does what? 

A. Sure thing! Before I tell you about these folks, please keep in mind that POPS is very mindful not to fill your inbox with multiple emails. Your email lists are not public knowledge beyond the board. If you prefer not be contacted by them, please let me know, but also be aware that the orchestra cannot function without them! Please volunteer your support to these wonderful people!

President: Austin Yu -- You will receive a few emails from Austin from the year informing you about POPS events and opportunities to volunteer. Any message he sends you is also known by me. 

Fundraising: John Janevic -- John heads several fundraising and sponsorship endeavors for POPS.  Usually, his larger messages will come through myself or Austin. He will communicate with you directly only when needed.

Uniforms: Harold Kim -- After the beginning of the year, you will likely not hear from Harold until the end of the year when it is time for uniform returns. Usually, his larger messages will come through myself or Austin. He will communicate with you directly only when needed.

Treasurer: Peter Batra -- Peter runs the POPS financials, and will likely only contact you if there is a   point of financial business that you need to discuss. Though I am aware of POPS finances, it is important you know Peter is the one who ultimate writes checks, and maintains the books. 

Recording Secretary: Helen Johnson -- You will likely not hear much from Helen directly, but she records the POPS meeting minutes. 

Q. I don't think you have my updated email. How can I check it against your records?

A. Emails are constantly changing these days. We aim to have the most updated list by the end of the 1st week of school. Be ready to provide your most updated email in class for both you and your parent(s).  

Q. I think I lost my (insert camp item) at camp. Do we have a camp lost and found? 

A. Yes. There will be a camp lost and found table in the orchestra room on day 1 of school. You can look for it then. At the end of the first week of school, any items in that lost and found will be considered donations either to the orchestra program, or to a thrift store. 

Q. Besides the private Facebook Group, are there any other way for us to get gentle reminders of upcoming orchestra events?

A. Yes. This year we will be pursuing the use of Remind101, a basic one-way texting/app based platform which I can send reminders to parents and students, without having to share private telephone/email data. The product can be made free to you if you are in a wifi zone. This has been a successful endeavor for camp counselors, orchestra council, and several other programs in the past few years, and it is worth it for us to give it a try. More information about Remind101 will be sent to you later. 

Q. I am looking for a private teacher so I can improve my skills. Who do you recommend? 

A. This is GREAT NEWS! I think it is wonderful that you want to receive private instruction. Though this is NOT required to be a part of our orchestra program, it is HIGHLY encouraged. Over the past few years, I have carefully crafted a list for you of private teachers that A)have met the volunteer certification process (background check) and B) have come recommended through your colleagues or by reputation of studio. I would recommend ANY of these teachers to work with you. HERE IS THE LIST OF PRIVATE TEACHERS. It will be updated as new teachers come through our area. 

Q. Are there any scholarships available to help me with private lessons?

A. Yes! Please apply for the Carolyn Tarzia Lesson Fund. We regularly have money in that account that is not being used. Apply today!

Q. When will the orchestras be meeting? 

A. According to the latest schedule, Philharmonia is 2nd hour, Symphony is 5th hour, and Concert is 6th hour. 

Q. "My child" needs "this or that". Can you please help?

A. Yes, I am here as a resource, but with all due respect, I am not a mind reader! I kindly ask that whenever you need something from me, tell me your son or daughter's name first and their ensemble they are in, so I have context for the conversation. This will expedite the process of me being able to assist. I really appreciate this! 

Q. When will we get our seating audition music? I want to start practicing. 

A. I LOVE the enthusiasm, but I need you to be patient. I should have the music chosen for Concert/Symphony a few days before school starts. Philharmonia will begin with a lot of technique work to determine what might be possible. 

Q. I want to do the concerto competition. How do I sign up?

A. First things first. The concerto competition is open to seniors only in the top musical ensembles at Pioneer. If this is YOU, then feel free to browse the website for deadlines, etc. HERE YOU GO!

Q. Do seating auditions determine the entire year? 

A. No, not necessarily. My philosophy is simple. I will rotate principle player positions if I find I can justify it through auditions. If not, I won't rotate. I also try to build strength within a section by creating a strong outer row of musicians when possible.  Though I know it is hard for some of you, I encourage you not to worry about seating, as it can interfere with your enjoyment of the music making process.

Q. Are you taking repertoire suggestions?

A. Yes! Always! Send them my way. 

Q. On the new website, I see this thing called a "Musical Citizenship Requirement". What is that?

A. Yes. This is a new endeavor to make sure all students and families help keep the orchestra afloat. The belief is that you can contribute to helping the orchestra musically as well as through volunteerism.  I will be providing the overview of this in the first week of school with much more information. 

More to come I am sure. Stay tuned!

- Mr. Glawe