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First Presbyterian Day School First Presbyterian Day School

Band

jonathan baker-website

The FPD Band offers a complete artistic experience through the world of music. We believe that students can grow and become more meaningful citizens for our society through the opportunities they receive during their time with our program.

FPD has many ensembles that can enrich our students’ lives. Every fall, the Spirit of the Vikings Marching Band and Vanguard- comprised of approximately 65 members – excites the crowd at football games and also competes every year in at least 2-3 events. This puts our students in a position to experience the best possible venues around the southeast.

In the fall we have 3 concert bands that are made up of a 5th grade beginning band called the Concert Band, a 6th-8th grade intermediate band called the Symphonic Band, and the Wind Ensemble made up of 9th-12th grade students.

The FPD Jazz Band and FPD Jazz Ensemble are some of the most energetic performing groups on campus. These groups have performed at the Grand Opera House for the Macon Telegraph Golden Eagle Awards, retirement communities, and has been invited to perform for the Mayor of Macon at Macon City Park.

Jonathan Baker
Director of Bands

Band Curriculum Guide

Intermediate Band Class (6th Grade Band)
6th Grade

Prerequisite – One year of band or with permission of the instructor.
This course is designed as a more advanced class than the elementary beginning band classes. Musicians in this class must have at least one year of experience in band prior. Students will continue to build on previously learned fundamentals and broaden in areas of phrasing, scale and arpeggio study, dynamic contrast and overall technique for the individual instrument. There will be many opportunities for performances and auditions for groups outside of FPD, such as GISA All-Select Band, GMEA District Honor Band, South Region Band, as well as All-State Band. This band will also go to compete at Large Group Performance Evaluation in the spring. The students will study in the Tradition of Excellence Book 2 by Bruce Pearson as a continued curriculum.

Advanced Preparatory Band Class (Grades 7-8)
Grades 7 and 8

Prerequisite – 2 years of band or with permission of the instructor.
This course is a continuation of instrumental music with more complex rhythmic patterns, expanded range on the instrument and more technical facility. Musicians will continue with fundamental training to prepare them for the next level of playing. There is a great deal of focus on technical exercises, scales and scale patterns, articulated exercises, dynamic and rhythmic precision and musical creativity and phrasing. Students will be involved with performing at concerts and are eligible to audition for the Spirit of the Vikings Marching Band and Vanguard. Marching band is an extra-curricular activity and is not mandatory of band students. Students may participate in band class and not be in the marching band if they choose. Students involved in this band class will have numerous performance opportunities with LGPE, GMEA Honor Band, All-State and All-Select Band, as well as South Region Band.

Advanced Band Class (High School)
Grades 9-12

Prerequisite – Students enrolled in this class will have two to four years of previous music experience on his/her instrument.
This class is designed for the mature musician. This class will be performing several times throughout the school year with competitions, festivals, school concerts and more. The band will continue to reinforce fundamentals, exercises, scale study, rhythmic patterns, dynamic contrast, details on all musical notation will be reinforced. A wide variety of repertoire will be explored and performed and many of these band members will also be involved with the Jazz program and Marching Band by audition. There will be many audition opportunities at the district and state level for these advanced musicians.

Band Staff
Jonathan Baker- Director of Bands
Ben Murray- Percussion Instructor
Lydia Gray- Dance Team/Color Guard Instructor

Marching Band
The Spirit of the Vikings Marching Band and Vanguard works to perform at the highest possible level of performance. The students represent our school at marching festivals and competitions and succeed with great performances and recognitions.

The band members are eligible from 7th – 12th Grade and compete in competitions and festivals in the fall. Students practice three days a week from August to October to put together a halftime performance that highlights effort, creativity, and teamwork. Students also participate in a two week band camp in the summer to jump start the show-preparation process.

Wind Ensemble
The Wind Ensemble is the premier instrumental ensemble on campus at FPD. The students participating in this ensemble perform some of the most challenging repertoire written for band. The Wind Ensemble is for high school students. The FPD Wind Ensemble has performed at Walt Disney World, the Grand Opera House in Macon along with members of the Air Force Reserve Band, as well as Large Group Performance Evaluation.

The main goals of this ensemble are to continue into the advanced concepts of music making, ensemble performance, music theory, along with music history. For more information on how to become a member of the Wind Ensemble, please contact Mr. Baker.

Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band is our intermediate or middle school level ensemble.

The emphasis in this group is the continued understanding of all fundamental concepts learned in 5th grade band and the introduction to “next level” concepts. These students will get several opportunities to showcase their individual talents and also the chance to work together as a team. We feel that our future is in these intermediate level students, so we work tirelessly to make sure that all ideas and concepts are understood and put into a practical setting for all students. This is also the first opportunity for our students to get to try out for the District Honor Band, All State Band and various other honor groups throughout the state of Georgia.

This group meets every day and is maintained with a full curriculum breakdown including a practice record, several class quizzes and playing tests. This ensemble has four concerts per year including the fall concert, Christmas concert, the Pre-LGPE Concert and Spring Concert. In the spring, members of the Symphonic Band also have the opportunity to try out for the FPD Spirit of the Vikings Marching Band and Vanguard.

Concert Band
Our youngest ensemble, the 5th grade Concert Band, is our beginning level group. The focus of this ensemble is to teach all the beginning fundamental playing techniques, music reading, musical notation and rhythm concepts to these students. This is a very exciting group as they are all really thrilled to begin learning how to play an instrument and how to be part of a team. Students are required to carry a black three ring binder and their Tradition of Excellence Method Book to class at all times. Class requirements also include practice records, class quizzes, and individual and ensemble playing tests. The 5th grade Concert Band meets four days each week. This group plays in four concerts every year including the Christmas concert, Pre-LGPE Concert, Grandparents Day Concert and the Spring Concert.

To learn more about the 5th grade Concert Band please contact Mr. Baker.

Jazz Ensemble
The FPD Jazz Program features two of the most energetic performing groups on campus. These groups have performed at the Grand Opera House for the Macon Telegraph Golden Eagle Awards and was invited to perform for the Mayor of Macon at Macon City Park. The FPD Jazz Band is our middle school ensemble and the FPD Jazz Ensemble is our high school ensemble. The groups meet before school from 7:00-8:00am once a week. Membership in these elite bands is by audition only.