Orchestra Handbook

C.E. King Orchestra Program Handbook

“Talent doesn’t grow on trees… it grows in orchestra!

2019-2020 Handbook

Table of Contents 

Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 2

Contact Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Parental Involvement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Orchestra Expectations . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Due Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

KMS Beginner Orchestra . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

C.E. King Orchestra Performing Ensembles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..10

Orchestra Placement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......11

Orchestra Supplies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Uniform Guidelines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Financial Obligations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Fundraising  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Grading Guidelines .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Weekly Practice Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

School Owned Instruments, Music and Method Books  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Instrument Storage and Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Master Classes. . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Chaperones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Trip Criteria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Student  Leadership. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Solo and Ensemble. . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Before/After School Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Photo Publicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Welcome to the C.E. King Orchestra Program. It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I introduce this program to you.  Your child's participation in our orchestra program is beneficial in many ways. Orchestra students are engaged daily in a highly creative performing art that stimulates growth in areas of the human brain that no other discipline can. This growth transfers into your student’s academic life. In addition, our orchestra students will develop traits such as teamwork, responsibility, dedication, self discipline, social skills, confidence, leadership and dependability. Membership in the orchestra program will give your child a sense of accomplishment, pride, and respect as the students develop musical and personal skills that will enrich their lives. The purpose of this handbook is to outline the guidelines and expectations for making this year a success for all involved, and to serve as a guide and resource for students and parents. Both students and their parents should take the time to thoroughly read this handbook. Upon completion, the contract that was distributed to your student during class (or downloaded from our web site) should be signed and returned to school, indicating your understanding of these guidelines and expectations. 

I encourage positive communication and am willing to discuss any aspect of a student’s progress in orchestra with my students and his/her parents or guardians.

Teresa Matchett, Director of Orchestras

C.E. King Middle School and High School



Parent/Teacher Communication

Please understand that communication with you – the parents – is a very high priority for me. I want to take care of concerns and make every situation the best for each student. Please contact me for clarification on any concerns before they become major issues. 

Parents and students are encouraged to have an email address on Charms so that I can easily communicate with you.   It is encouraged for parents to air serious concerns via phone or conference so there are no written miscommunications.  Parents and students should check their email regularly for orchestra emails.

Email is the best way to reach me.  Because I am at two different schools, reaching me by phone can be difficult.  If you decide to reach me by phone and do not get an answer, it is very important to leave a voicemail with your name, child’s name, and phone number. 

You may also send a note with your child. Please include a phone number and/or email address where you can be reached and the best time to reach you.  


Parents and students are encouraged to subscribe to the REMIND text service in order to safely receive text reminders and alerts from the orchestra director.  All students who have texting capabilities need to be subscribed to their class if their parents consent. This program uses an electronically generated phone number so that students and teachers do not have access to each others’ personal information.  

To receive alerts, text your class code to phone number 81010

Class Codes:

KMS Beginner Orchestra:  @kmsbeginne

KMS Chamber Orchestra:  @kmschamb

KHS Symphony Orchestra:   @khssympho

KHS Chamber Orchestra:  @ekc287

*note: a parent email may be required for students under the age of 13.

You may also text me using Remind, however that text will be visible to everyone in the group so don’t share information that you don’t want to be public.


The C.E. King Orchestra programs use the CHARMS program to maintain student records, financial/payment information, rehearsal attendance, calendar, inventory, etc. WE will also email parents through Charms.   Students and parents can check their CHARMS account at any time. This is also where volunteers will RSVP for all events. All group email communications will be through the Charms Program.

I will help your child get on Charms at the beginning of the school year, and sending home information to help parents get on to Charms as well.

Google Classroom

The C.E. King  Orchestra program uses Google Classroom on a regular basis for playing tests, listening assignments, and other assignments that are to be done out of regular class time.  Students may also chat about orchestra related subject. Students should check their Google email (provided by the school) and Google Classroom accounts on a regular basis.

Student/Teacher Communication 

Students are encouraged to communicate with the director before concerns become issues. They should do this in person at an appropriate time, one on one. Again, clarification and solid communication will keep everything running smoothly throughout the entire year. 

Throughout the year, I will be sending quite a bit of information home in the form of letters, emails and texts. Please make every effort to read this information carefully, check calendars often and keep us informed of any conflicts. The sooner I know of a situation, the more options we have in solving it. Students need to submit an Excused Absence from Rehearsal form at least 24 hours in advance prior to missing a rehearsal.  

Your sincere interest in your child’s music participation impacts his/her success in the study of music and the speed of his/her progress more than anything else

  • Select a suitable place in your home to store your child’s instrument.
  • Make certain that your child is on time for all school rehearsals and performances from the first day.
  • Remind your child to practice daily before his/her free time (work before play).  Help you child understand that the more he/she practices now, the more fun and enjoyment he/she will have later.  You child may not particulary like to practice once the “newness” has worn off, but experience proves that with proper encouragement this cycle is short lived and he/she may soon become deeply interested and may practice more that the agreed time.
  • Sign practice sheets the Sunday before they are due.
  • Call, e-mail, or visit with the child’s teacher at regular intervals to keep yourself informed so that you will understand and know your child’s progress and also be able to help him/her with any problems that may occur.
  • Attend all concerts, and never make fun of any strange sounds your child or you child’s friends make.  String instruments are some of the hardest instruments to play!
  • Have them play for you or play for friends and guests.  Even have them teach YOU how to play
  • Praise their effort and patience and let them know that you think orchestra is important.
  • If at all possible, obtain private lessons with a qualified instructor.  Your child’s music teacher is involved in helping many individuals and doesn’t have time to give the much need one-to -one teaching that is most important.  The amount of maoney and time insvested is very minimal when compared to the results.

Orchestra teaches life skills as well as music skills.  Studies show that music students are more disciplined and have more grit than other students.  Playing an instrument is not easy, students will learn how to persevere through frustration, and learn impulse control, critical skills for the adult world.

This is a partial list of skills that orchestra teaches:

  • Organizational skills
  • Practice techniques
  • Mental and physical discipline
  • Citizenship through group endeavors
  • Cultural growth
  • Value judgments
  • Music theory
  • Proper instrumental technique
  • Creative self-expression
  • Aural skills
  • Teamwork/social skills
  • Performance skills
  • Music appreciation 


Absence from Rehearsals or Sectionals

In order to have and maintain a high quality orchestra program, each member’s attendance is essential.   While the King Orchestras follow all school and district policies and procedures, the following additional guidelines outline the attendance procedures and policies for the program. These attendance guidelines also apply to activities held outside of the school day. 

Procedures for Missed Rehearsal

  1. If a student has been absent for the school day or went home before 1 PM on that day, the student will be excused from rehearsal that day.  They will still be held responsible for knowing the material, obtaining rehearsal markings from another student, and/or playing any assignments missed in that rehearsal.

    1. In the event that a student MUST miss rehearsal and no arrangements can be made to work around the schedule, the student must complete the EXCUSED ABSENCE from REHEARSAL form located on Charms.  Students who are at school that day but do not give 24 hours notice will not be excused and will receive consequences for their absence.
  • If  there is an emergency, and 24 hour notice cannot be given, the expectation is that the parent needs to notify the orchestra director via email or phone call as soon as possible.
  1. Students with an unexcused absence to a sectional rehearsal may be required to schedule a make-up time with their orchestra director within one week. A one hour rehearsal is equal to 1 hour of after school individual practice in the orchestra room.  A two hour rehearsal is equal to 2 days of one hour after school individual practice sessions in the orchestra room. If sectionals are not made up, a zero will be given.

Excused Absence to Rehearsal

Absences during the school day will be excused according to district guidelines.  Absences from activities held outside the school day will be excused at the discretion of the director under the following conditions:

  • The student has an excused absence from school on the same day
  • The orchestra director has been notified in writing at least 24 hours in advance using the Excused Absence from Rehearsal form on Charms
  • Appointments that are not due to immediate illness (dental/orthodontist, routine checkups, etc) are not excuses for absence. Absences due to personal illness requiring medical attention, death in the family, or other extenuating circumstances (approved by the director) may be considered for excused status with 24 hour notice as described above.  Students who are continually ill may be required to provide a doctor’s note releasing them from participation. Absences should be discussed with the director to determine whether or not they will be excused. 

Absence from a Performance

Concerts and performances are an integral component of the orchestra curriculum. Students should consult their schedules (located in charms) for dates and times. All orchestra students will perform at various times throughout the school year and all performances are mandatory.  Periodically, the schedule may change and updates will be communicated as quickly as possible. Concert grades are considered to have three parts: warm-up, performance, and listening/evaluation of other performers.  For the student, the concert begins at the warm-up. A “call time” (the time to show up) will be given clearly to all students and will usually be different for each orchestra. Punctuality is essential and one point will be deducted per minute the student is late past the call time without prior approval..   It is the expectation that students will remain at all concerts until everyone has performed to fill out their concert evaluation sheet.

The only way a student may be excused from a performance is by parent phone call.

Unexcused Absence 

Students with an unexcused absence from any required orchestra performance will receive a zero in the grade book. Concerts and contests cannot be made up. Students will receive a zero for unexcused missed performances.

Behavior expectations

Orchestra members will observe all procedures set forth by Sheldon ISD, in addition to the following, as they pertain to the instrumental music setting: 

  • Students will follow their director’s instructions the first time given
  • Any behavior which is not representative of good citizenship, as perceived by the orchestra staff, may result in the student's dismissal from the activity at hand as well as the orchestra program. This also applies to the actions of student leaders in both public and private events.  
  • Students will be in their assigned rehearsal area with all necessary equipment at the beginning of rehearsal time.  They will not stand around and talk instead of preparing for class.
  • Students should request permission to speak by raising their hand and waiting to be acknowledged. All rehearsals are expected to be extremely quiet so that time will be utilized as wisely and efficiently as possible. 
  • When allowed in the orchestra room, either before or after school, students will not disturb any rehearsal in progress. 
  • Absolutely no student is allowed in the music library or director’s desk area without permission. 
  • Please respect the teacher’s computer and personal belongings.
  • Students will not bring non-orchestra members into the orchestra room without their  director’s permission.
  • Practice and ensemble rooms are designed for practicing, not social gatherings. 
  • Students must ask permission to use the director’s phone.

Taking Care of our instruments, supplies, and facilities

  • No gum, food or drinks are allowed in the orchestra room except when authorized by the director.
  • All trash is to be deposited in the wastebaskets provided.
  • Do not play the piano without permission.
  • Students will not use or play on equipment they do not own without permission from the director. 
  • Students will not touch, handle, borrow, or use anyone else’s instrument, uniform, or personal belongings. 
  • Students will respect the property of others, and return their equipment to its proper storage place when not in use. Students should keep their equipment in the designated storage area, and keep said storage area clean and neat in appearance. Students who have difficulty with this may lose the privilege of having a storage area in the orchestra room. 
  • Students will not write on the dry-erase boards without permission from their director. 
  • Students will not deface or mark on music stands, chairs, walls, etc. 
  • Acts of vandalism or willful misuse of school property will be dealt with severely and appropriately.  Students may not destroy music, or break school property. Every orchestra member is responsible to help the director monitor the facility and control vandalism, 
  • To preserve our valuable instruments and equipment, horseplay in the orchestra room is not allowed under any circumstances
  • Students who stay after school for rehearsal must stay in the orchestra room.  The same restroom policies apply as during class time.
  • Instruments must be handled with care. 

Concert Etiquette and Expectations

Orchestra students will exhibit proper concert behavior during all performances, in either their own orchestra or as an audience member. Students will be graded on their behavior. Concert etiquette is an integral part of music education. Appropriate conduct in formal and informal concert settings is included in the TEKS. 

The following rules will be followed at all times:  

  • Talking is not permitted on stage or in the audience. It is disrespectful to the performers on stage and audience members.  
  • Do not distract the performing orchestra in any way.  
  • Do not leave your seat for any reason during a performance. You will be given ample time to use the restroom and drinking fountain before the concert begins. If you must leave, do so as quietly and inconspicuously as possible (make sure the doors do not slam shut). Leave between songs only.  
  • No food or drink is allowed on stage, backstage, or in the seating area. This includes water bottles and gum.  
  • Cell phones must be turned off (not on vibrate or silent) and stowed away. Any student using a cell phone during a performance may have consequences.  
  • Move between the seating area and stage in quiet, single-file lines. Sit in your assigned seat/row. Do not talk as you enter or exit.  
  • Support your fellow orchestra members with appropriate applause. Yelling, whistling, shouting names, etc. is not acceptable.  
  • Set a good example for the audience and other students. Other people may not know how to behave in a concert setting. 
  • Stay for the entire concert.
  • We hope all parents and guests will stay for the concert when bringing a student to a concert. If a student needs to be picked up, please do so in a timely manner. .  

Travel Expectations

The orchestra will frequently travel on either school buses or commercial buses. Students are expected to conduct themselves at the highest level on any trip. 

Students who have been subject to school-level discipline in the course of the school year may be deemed ineligible to participate in non-UIL field trips, at the discretion of the director.

Students must travel to events and return from events on the bus. Any student wishing to arrive or leave with his/her parent must notify the director in writing with parent signature at least 24 hours prior to the event. Permission will be granted or denied based on the circumstances of the occasion. 

Students must have all necessary forms (King  Orchestras Medical/Travel Release) completed and on file with the orchestra office to travel on any trip with the orchestra. 

Bus Expectations

For the safety of all involved, while on the bus students will:  

  • Remain seated at all times.  
  • Sit properly in a forward position and not block the aisle.  
  • Keep the bus clear of food, drinks, and debris.  
  • Keep all body parts inside the bus.  
  • When allowed, use only approved type/headset radios (no speakers).  
  • Remain silent and attentive when addressed by an adult on the bus.  
  • Refrain from loud, boisterous talking, singing, screaming, whistling, inappropriate jokes, etc.  No public displays of affection of any kind. 

Special Note: As a member of the orchestra, you are a representative of your school. Always be on your best behavior. If you are in doubt about an action, do not do it! Your conduct at all times should be considered a good reflection on the school, the orchestra, your home, yourself, and the community. 

All Sheldon ISD students are entitled to due process in accordance with SISD guidelines.  Our goal as a staff is to ensure that all students are treated fairly. Please contact one of the director if you have any concerns. We will work with you to resolve problems. We are here to provide a quality music education for all our students. 

With the very rare, director-approved exceptions, students at KMS Middle School are required to start orchestra in the 6th grade in order to be on the appropriate level of musicianship for consequent grades.  

Instrument Placement

 The KMS Orchestra Director does not discriminate on the basis of physical disabilities, race, gender, or any other characteristic of a child when doing instrument placements.  The director wants all students who are interested in orchestra to play well..  Parents and students should be open-minded and flexible and trust the director’s judgement during the selection process.

More information on instrument placement:

  • Directors will always take into consideration a child’s first choice of instrument and will do their best to place them on that instrument; however, this is not always possible
  • Directors will look at the child’s physical traits, including height, finger length, and other characteristics, and might have to consider any physical limitations that may prevent success on certain instruments.   
  • If the director has a legitimate reason to believe a child will struggle on their instrument of choice, they will suggest a better choice for the child.  We want all of our students to be happy with their instrument choice; but remember--if you are struggling and behind the rest of the class because your body will not let you play the instrument correctly, you are not going to have fun.  Students are happier when they are doing a good job and not having to struggle to be successful.
  • Once an instrument is selected, students will not have the choice to change instruments later in the year or in another grade.  This would require going all the way back to the beginning, and there is simply no time or personnel to do this. On rare occasion, the director may approve an instrument change if and only if 1) there is a medical reason that permanently prevents the student from continuing on the instrument, 2) the director has deemed that the student was not correctly placed on the instrument and will be more successful on another instrument, AND that student shows promise to work hard to catch up as quickly as possible on their own time, or there is a shortage of an instrument in our ensemble and the the director feels that the transition would not be difficult (example  Violin to Viola or Cello to Bass)
  • Directors must consider the number of students on each instrument.  There must be an ample number of each instrument in order to have a well-balanced ensemble  (example: We can not have 30 violins and 0 cellos). If there is an issue with balance in the orchestra the director may offer a student the opportunity to change instruments without going back to the beginning.  

Beginner Orchestra Students will have a minimum of two performances and a contest in the 6th grade.  They will perform their winter concert in December and a spring concert in May. They will also participate in Solo & Ensemble Contest may perform in  a spring orchestra festival.

Upon completion of beginner orchestra, students will be placed in a performing ensemble based on audition, director recommendation, and observation throughout the year.  

Note to parents: Most beginner orchestra students come to KMS with little or no knowledge of orchestra.  Parents--THIS IS NORMAL. The orchestra director will start the year teaching beginners simple tasks such as opening the case, proper way to hold the instrument, and instrument care before the students even take the instrument out of the case.  Directors will do everything they can to teach students how to protect their family’s investment.

KMS or KHS Chamber Orchestra

Selection into the group is by a combination of audition, behavior, director recommendation, and demonstration of academic proficiency. Members in this ensemble will participate in Solo and Ensemble contest, preparations for special concerts, and UIL or other Concert and Sightreading Contests.  Chamber students may also participate in the TMEA Region Orchestra process, Members of these groups will have one section rehearsal and/or one assigned orchestra rehearsal time outside of the school day each week for a major grade. Because of lack of facilities, at this time the King High School Orchestra has no scheduled after school rehearsals until we move to the new high school but additional rehearsals may be scheduled if needed at the discretion of the orchestra director. The Chamber Orchestras will give numerous performances both on and off campus. 

KHS Symphonic Orchestra

Selection into this group is by a combination of audition, director recommendation, and demonstration of academic proficiency. These students will participate in Solo and Ensemble Contest, and select members of the Symphonic Orchestra may participate in the TMEA Region Orchestra process. These groups will give a variety of performances on and off campus.

Yearly placement in each orchestra and occasional changes are based on the following criteria:

  • Instrumentation needs and limitations
  • Eligibility status
  • Overall performance and consistent progress on the instrument and music reading
  • Attendance at all orchestra functions
  • Attitude and behavior 

Some tips for advancement

  • Have a good attitude and good behavior in orchestra 
  • Attend all required orchestra events
  • Practice!

All supplies are required, not optional.  Students will need to show me their supplies for a major grade by Tuesday September 3rd. (music supplies may be ordered through the orchestra program by September 3.)

Orchestra Notebook  

  • 1 inch black notebook
  • Pencil pouch
  • 5 dividers
  • 1 highlighter
  • 2 sharpened pencils

Instrument and supplies for your instrument.  

Every child needs an instrument and the supplies needed for that instrument to play in orchestra, If your child is a beginner,  I will help your child choose their instrument.. Everyone else will play the same instrument as last year except for in very special circumstances.  Students must either purchase an instrument, or I have a limited number of instruments that can be rented for the cost of $50 per year.  

Every child needs these supplies:

    • Metronome or Tonal Energy app for your phone
    • Tuner or Tonal Energy for your phone
    • Music Stand (essential for good posture)
    • Rosin for their instrument
  • Soft Cloth

A metronomes and tuner are essential for every music student.  A metronome will help students develop excellent rhythm. All recorded tests will be made by video while using a metronome.  A tuner will help your child tune their instrument at home, and will help them learn to play in tune. The best and most inexpensive way to get a tuner is to put an app on your phone.  My favorite app is called Tonal Energy. It costs 3.99 for a very accurate tuner, sophisticated metronome and has other cool features such as a playing pitches and a recording componant.   You can buy it through the app store for your phone. As an alternative, you may purchase a traditional stand alone metronome/tuner. The least expensive one I could find is $30.00, and may be ordered from the C.E. King Orchestra  Depending on their instrument, your child will also need 

  • Violin 
    • Shoulder Rest (essential for posture) 
  • Viola
      • Shoulder Rest (essential for posture)
  • Cello
  • Rock stop
      • Flat Chair or stool (essential for posture)
  • Bass
  • Special Bass Rosin
  • Rock Stop
    • Tall Stool  

Violins or Violas plus their shoulder rests must be brought to school each day, and taken home evenings and weekends.  Cellos and Basses will have an instrument for use at school, and may rent or buy from a violin shop, or rent an instrument from KMS each year if an instrument is available.  

Instrument specific and music supplies may be ordered from the King Orchestras.  A form will be sent home with your child at the beginning of each school year or is available online on Charms.

Casual uniform: all orchestra students must purchase an orchestra t-shirt.  This will be used for casual performances, trips, etc. and may also be worn to school on any day.  They will typically be worn with school-approved jeans and sneakers.

Beginner Orchestra

Beginner orchestra students will wear their orchestra t-shirt, dress code approved jeans, and sneakers for all concerts.  

KMS Chamber Orchestra

All KMS Chamber Orchestra must have an all black uniform.

  • Girls-black shirt, black pants or skirt, black dress shoes.  A black dress below the knee may be worn in place of shirt and pants
  • Boys-black shirt, black pants, black dress socks, black dress shoes

Please no jeans, sneakers, flip flops, or sandals at formal concerts.

Please think ahead and make sure your child has the proper uniform for  allformal concerts.

The dress for casual concerts and most field trips will consist of the orchestra t-shirt, dress code approved jeans, and sneakers 

KHS Chamber and Symphony Orchestra

Formal uniforms will be provided for High School students. Boys will wear a tuxedo, Girls a long black dress.  Students will need to provide:

  • Boys- white dress shirt, black dress socks, black dress shoes
  • Girls-black closed toe dress shoes (no sandals)

A cleaning fee  of 15.00 will be charged to cover the cost of dry cleaning orchestra uniforms.

Students or resposible for any damage to school uniforms.  The student will have to pay replacement costs if this occurs.

The dress for casual concerts and most field trips will consist of the orchestra t-shirt, dress code approved jeans, and sneakers 

It is the policy of the C.E. King Orchestras, that no student should  be excluded from the orchestra because of a lack of resources. Please contact Mrs. Matchett if you can’t afford to buy supplies or pay for an instrument.  I will work something out with you, whether it is making payments, a scholarship, help with purchasing supplies, etc. I expect students to have the required supplies unless you have communicated with me. 

2019-2020 Orchestra Fees

KMS Beginning Orchestra

Supply Fee $33.00

T-shirt Fee $10.00

Total $43.00

KMS Chamber Orchestra

T-Shirt Fee $10.00

Activity Fee $15.00

Total $25.00

KHS Chamber and Symphony Orchestras

T-Shirt Fee $10.00

Activity Fee $15:00

Uniform Cleaning Fee $15.00

Total $40.00

Students in a performing group are responsible for replacing any missing instrument supplies at the beginning of each year.  An order form will be sent home with students at the beginning of the year and is also on Charms.  

The cost to rent an instrument from the King Orchestra program is 50.00

In addition to these required fees, your child may participate in non musical field trips and orchestra social events, These events are optional.

  • Spring Field Trip $25-$50 depending on school and fundraising.
  • Parties $3-$5 for pizza

We have several fundraisers planned for the school year. Participation in fundraisers is encouraged, but not required. Fundraisers are used to defray the costs of student fees and trip expenses and other consumable items for orchestra students (extra food, shirts, supplies for celebrations, incentives, etc) .  Due to budget limitations, this has become a necessity. If the money is not fundraised, then any expenses will be paid to the orchestra department from the family’s own financial resources. 

Remember, the  more we fundraise, the easier it is on our families!

Fundraising will belong to the School and SISD and cannot be refunded to a student. All money raised becomes the property of the KMS or KHS Orchestra Activity Account.

The King Orchestra program has instructional objectives that relate to the mandated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for grade level subjects or courses. These objectives are aligned to address the academic skills needed for successful performance in the next grade or the next course in a 10 year sequence of courses. Assignments, tests, projects, classroom activities, and other instructional activities are designed so that the student’s performance indicates the level of mastery of the instructional objectives. The student’s mastery level of these objectives is a major factor in determining the grade for a subject or course. 

Students will be expected to meet the responsibilities for each orchestra class as determined by the director. Since orchestra is an academic music class with some extra-curricular activities attached, the orchestra student’s grade will reflect achievement in both curricular and extracurricular areas. 

General Grading Guidelines - Beginner Orchestra 

  • Daily Grades
    • Participation, Supplies, Behavior
    • Worksheets
    • Playing Quizzes
    • Written Quizzes
  • Major Grades
    • Practice Records
    • Performances
    • Playing Tests
    • Written Tests
    • Required after school rehearsals

General Grading Guidelines – Performing Ensembles 

  • Participation, Supplies, Behavior
    • Participation, supplies, behavior
    • Worksheets
    • Playing Quizzes
    • Written Quizzes
  • Major Grades
    • Sectionals
    • Rehearsals
    • Performances
    • Playing Tests
    • Written Tests
    • Marked Music Test
    • Practice Records

The rewards of playing a musical instrument increase in direct proportion to the number of hours invested in individual practice. The key is to set aside a designated time every day for practice. Set up a daily schedule to ensure that practice is an important part of your daily studies.  Remember Practice Records are a major grade!

  • Due every Monday or the first day back to school (vacation or sick) 
  • 180 minutes of practice time per week for Performing Orchestra students 
  • 150 minutes of practice per week for Beginning Orchestra students
  • Signed by parent/guardian 
  • Can be turned in one day late for -10 points 
  • Can be scanned and emailed to the director 



KMS provides a limited number of instruments for student use. These instruments include the bass, cello, and a limited number of violins and violas. This equipment is generally purchased by the school district for student use because of its expense. Thus, all district-owned equipment must be handled with care. Students failing to take proper care of their district-owned instruments may lose the privilege of using such instruments. 

The following is a list of general procedures for district-owned instruments:  

  • Students who play cello or bass and are dependent upon SISD buses have the option of renting one instrument from Sheldon ISD for home use in addition to the instrument they use at school. This is an alternative to renting a home instrument from Lisle Violin Shop or other music store..
  • SISD does not provide insurance for individually owned or district-owned equipment. All students utilizing district-owned instruments are required to pay the $50 Instrument Usage Fee for the instruments that have been issued to them.  This fee covers general maintenance and wear and tear. Students will be held responsible for damage caused to a school-owned instrument due to obvious neglect. Students and parents must sign an instrument checkout form and pay the $50.00 yearly Instrument Use Fee before the student can use an instrument. 
  • Each instrument will be issued in good playing condition and any prior damage will be noted on the form.  Students are expected to maintain their issued instruments and return them in the same condition as when they were received.    
  • The orchestra member is financially responsible for all equipment and/or materials checked out to him or her.  
  • All equipment and materials must be kept in their proper storage location with the case closed and latched or zipped when not in use. Students playing school-owned instruments are still responsible for accessories.

Special NoteDistrict-owned instruments are not to be treated as "free" instruments. Basic supplies must still be purchased and repairs must still be made. Please treat these instruments as if they were your own. Most district-owned instruments exceed $2,000 in value. 

School Owned Method Books and Music

Students will be loaned  music and method books owned by the school.  This helps to reduce the financial burden on your family.  I will send a form home stating that the book must be returned in good condition when requested.  Students who lose or damage a book will have to pay for it.  

As a courtesy to students, storage space is available for home instruments during the day. Students may drop their instruments off in the morning and pick them up before leaving for the day.  NO INSTRUMENTS ARE TO BE KEPT IN THE ORCHESTRA ROOM OVERNIGHT OR OVER THE WEEKENDS. Beginner students will begin to consistently bring their instruments home as soon as their orchestra director instructs them.  For your security, the orchestra room will be locked whenever a teacher is not present. 

It is encouraged that all personally-owned  (not school-owned) instruments have the proper insurance coverage.  Instruments ARE NOT insured by King Middle School, King High School,  or Sheldon Independent School District. 

Orchestra students will take home their instruments and orchestra binders every evening. Students are expected to practice regularly outside of orchestra class.

Please make sure that your name is on your instrument case.  The director will help with that task at the beginning of the year, but can’t be responsible if the name tag falls off.  Students are expected to put away their instruments and supplies when not being used. Students are not allowed to leave their instrument unattended at any time. Failure to follow these expectations will mean a consequence.  

In addition to sectionals, students may be required to submit recordings to their director for playing test  grades. The preferred method for this is to video the material on the student’s phone at home and upload the recording to their orchestra’s Google Classroom site. You may also record on a phone and email it to me at teresamatchett@sheldonisd.com.     Students must record alone without anyone else in the room.  All recordings will be made with a metronome. Students will be responsible to record on their own time, not during class.  Deadlines must be met for test credit. I will accept recorded tests up to 1 day late for 10 points off. If a student is absent from school they must speak with the director about making up their test. 

For students whose recordings can’t be made at home, there will be one chromebook in the orchestra for student recording use.  Students must record on their own time, not during class or rehearsal time.  

This year,the King Orchestra programs will be taking advantage of Houston’s rich cultural arts scene by bringing in professional musicians to work with our orchestra students.  Specialists on various instruments will be on our campuses on a routine basis to teach master classes, in which they will work with students on a sectional basis to learn special skill sets that go beyond what can be taught in the regular orchestra classroom setting.   

Parent chaperones are vital to the success of our orchestra program and any help is appreciated!

Adult chaperones must be Approved Volunteers.   All must RSVP to volunteer (through the CHARMS system) or call Ms. Matchett at least 24 hours before the event.  For field trips during the school day, chaperones MUST visit the front office during school hours before the trip in order to scan their ID for a background check and Visitor Pass. 

Students will treat chaperones  as an extension of the orchestra staff and will be shown proper respect at all times.   

Every year the orchestra takes a field trip in April/May.  This trip rewards the students for all of their hard work throughout the school year.  In order to participate in these trips, the students must do the following:

  1. Students must be academically eligible
  2. Turn in their medical release forms and permission slips by the appropriate due date
  3. Must attend all concerts and contests unless excused by the director 
  4. Must attend scheduled sectionals/practices.  Students must have no more than 2 unexcused absences.
  5. Must attend SISD solo/ensemble contest.
  6. Cannot have been sent to an alternative campus (DAEP/Highpoint, etc) at any time during the school year. 
  7. Cannot have received an office referral any time from an orchestra director during the semester in which the trip occurs. 
  8. Cannot have received more than two office referrals from any teacher or administrator during the semester in which the trip occurs. 
  9. Any serious discipline offenses may be cause for exclusion from the trip (including, but not limited to ISS/Suspension). 

The King Orchestra Program provides many opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills.  Students may apply for both selected officer positions and elected officer positions. In this manner, students can serve their orchestra program and refine skills which they will be able to use in other school organizations, as well as in their future careers.  Officer criterion is selected at the discretion of the director and is communicated to the students. The director evaluates all selected officer candidates based on their performance throughout the school year. At all times, student leaders are expected to be positive role models for all orchestra members. 

All orchestra members will prepare and perform in a solo and ensemble contest unless excused by the director. Grades will be issued for preparation and participation in the solo and ensemble process. Please remember that participation in the SISD Solo and Ensemble Contest does affect trip eligibility. 

As a courtesy to students, SISD provides an activity bus to transport students home on Monday-Thursday.  Students are encouraged to take advantage of this service after sectionals. All students taking an activity bus must get a bus pass from their director before leaving sectionals that day.  Students are welcome to stay in the orchestra room and practice then take an activity bus home even on the days that they do not have a scheduled rehearsal as long as an orchestra director is in the orchestra room. 

Parents must make arrangements for transportation of their children to and from the orchestra room for trips and special events that may require them to be at school early in the day or later than the activity buses run.  The orchestra director will communicate in a timely manner so that parents have plenty of time to make arrangements for travel. Lack of transportation will not be an accepted excuse for missing an orchestra function.  Students/parents are encouraged to have a “buddy” in their neighborhood that they can carpool with in case of emergency/car trouble.  

To ensure the safety of their children, parents must have a plan for drop-off and pick-up of students in a timely manner for all orchestra events.  Parents should plan to be in attendance at evening concerts so that students do not have to wait outside in the dark (in addition to supporting their child’s musical endeavors!).

 For the safety of all involved, students must go home after the orchestra room closes. Parents, please be aware that the main office will be closed before sectionals end.  Students are not permitted to loiter on school property after hours.

Occasionally, photographs will be taken of orchestra students to be published on the school websites, bulletin boards, and social media.  The orchestra director has the right to publish photographs of students at public events, such as concerts, activities, contests, etc. However, if the parent wishes for photos taken at school during the school day to not be released, the parent must notify the director in writing at the beginning of the school year.