Payne Orchestra Handbook 2019-2020


    Welcome to the Payne Jr. High Orchestra program! I am so pleased that you have chosen to improve your musical abilities this year by playing your instrument in our orchestra ensembles. Making music and working with fellow musicians will enrich your life and help you to express yourself through sound—an intelligence unique to the musical arts. The following is information that will help orient you to the Payne Orchestra program.

    Payne Orchestra Ensembles:

    Cadet Orchestra

    This ensemble is the continuation of the programs begun in the elementary schools. This group will perform string orchestra literature. We'll begin reviewing fundamental theory skills, posture, and sound production.  All students will need to purchase the method book Spotlight on Strings Book 2 for your instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass)—it is a green book. You can purchase this book online or at your local music store. Please have your method book by the end of the first week of school.

    There is a $30 class fee for this ensemble. The fee covers an orchestra t-shirt and transportation costs to adjudicated festival and other field trips. Fees are payable online through the school website, or by check at the office.


    Chamber Orchestra

    This ensemble is comprised of performers with more playing experience who will perform more accelerated and challenging repertoire. We will work on more advanced string instrument techniques such as shifting, phrasing, and vibrato. All students will need to purchase the method book High Tech for Strings for your instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass)—it is a tan book. Please have your method book by the end of the first week of school.

    There is a $30 class fee for this ensemble. The fee covers an orchestra t-shirt and transportation costs to adjudicated festival and other field trips. Fees are payable online through the school website, or by check at the office.


    Rehearsal Expectations

    All Payne Jr. High general school policies for behavior and attendance from the Student Handbook are observed. In order to create a safe and secure learning and rehearsing environment, no profanity will be tolerated.          

    When the bell rings for class, the students will be in their seat with their instruments unpacked ready to tune. For each class period, each student will have the following:


    1. Instrument
    2. Music – method book and sheet music rehearsal copies
    3. Pencil
    4. Accessories (shoulder rest, cello/bass anchor, rosin, etc.)


    If the student is not prepared, his/her rehearsal contribution grade will be affected:

    1st infraction: Verbal warning

    Further infraction: Communication with parents and reduction of weekly rehearsal contribution grade.           

    Rehearsal Etiquette:

    • Stay present in the rehearsal. Do not do homework or read.
    • Do not talk during the rehearsal; listen to what the director is teaching, even if it is not specifically addressed to you.
    • Write reminders in your music: bowing, half step marks, fingerings, etc. However, you may not write in letter names of notes.
    • Raise your hand if you have a question or need clarification.
    • No cell phones during class, unless they are part of an assignment.
    • Use the bathroom before class. The first minutes of class are for you to unpack, get your music and start practicing, not use the restroom.
    • Mutual respect for peers, instructors, equipment, and self is expected.


    Students will be provided practice copies of our orchestra arrangements for rehearsal.  They should be destroyed at the end of the year to comply with copyright laws. The original copies are in the orchestra room. Have your own music every class. Do not rely on your stand partner to bring the music—your music is your responsibility.

    Students are responsible to bring their method book and rehearsal copies to class and to be prepared for the rehearsal as per the agenda items written on the board. Do not waste class time by not being prepared to play your part.

    Practice Records

    Students are required to practice at home approximately 4 days a week. Regular practice will ensure consistent progress. Students will turn in a parent-signed practice record every two weeks. This will be a part of your grade. The teacher will evaluate your practice by doing music checks in addition to major chair tests right before a performance.



    School Concerts

    There will be four evening performances this year, reflecting current student progress. These performances are mandatory and are equivalent to exams in other classes. Please put these dates on your family calendar. Concerts at Payne Cafeteria will have a call time of 6:00 p.m. and begin at 6:30 p.m. The January Step-Up Concert will be at Perry High School, rehearsal at 4:45, Concert at 7:00 p.m.


    If you are aware of a schedule conflict, please notify Mrs. Dopp in advance so we can arrange an alternate assignment. Every person is vital to our orchestra so be sure to attend and perform at all concert performances.


    Concert dates for 2019-2020

    Thurs., September 19th, 2019 Fall Concert – Payne Stage

    Wed., December 4th, 2019 Winter Concert – Payne Stage

    Tues., January 14th, 2019 Step-Up Concert (Chamber Only)– Perry HS Auditorium

    Wed., May 6th, 2019 Final Concert – Payne Stage


    Adjudicated Festival Performances

    Students in both Payne Orchestras will have an opportunity to perform for judges at an adjudicated festival in the spring. Students will listen to and evaluate other performing groups from different schools that day. Payne Orchestra students are required to participate in adjudicated festivals to receive full credit for classes.


    Adjudicated Festival dates for 2017-2018

    Chamber Orchestra to NAU Jr. High Orchestra Festival Date – Saturday, April 25 + Castles & Coasters Fun Activity

    Cadet Clinic at Chandler High School (during school day) - Monday, April 27 + Jakes Unlimited Fun Activity


    Concert Dress - The performance uniform for both groups will be as follows:

    Formal: Black pants or long skirt and white blouse (must have sleeves) or dress shirt. Boys will wear a dark tie. Black dress shoes and black socks are required.


    Payne Jr. High Orchestra T-shirt, jeans, sneakers

    Grading Policy

    30% Concerts and Performances

    30% Written and Playing Tests

    25% Classroom Rehearsal Contribution

    15% Student Practice Record – due every 2 weeks, parent signature required        

    Playing tests will be either recorded or live, individual or two students playing together. Practice reflections require students to write how often they practiced at home, and what material they rehearsed. Parent must sign.


    Grading Scale

    The following scale will be used to determine your grade for a particular quarter: 

    90-100% = A,   90-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, 50-59% = F

    Field Trips

    The orchestra may participate in various field trips that are not performance related. Details and itinerary will be provided. Class fees will help pay for transportation. Additional fees will apply for participation in social events such as Castles-n-Coasters (Chamber Orchestra) or Amazing Jakes (Cadet Orchestra)


    To participate in social events (see above) students must pay their own admission, or participate in the Orchestra fundraiser to earn $25 to pay their way.

     Parent Chaperones

    Parent Chaperones are needed for field trips and festivals. I will send out a letter requesting assistance. Thanks in advance for chaperoning if you are available!

     Friday, October 25th the Payne Orchestras will go to the Musical Instrument Museum for a field trip. Parents, if you would like to chaperone, please send me an email.


    Instrument Check out

    I strongly recommended that you rent/ own your own instrument. There are a few school instruments available, but they are reserved for students who have limited financial resources. Once these needs are met, the remaining instruments are available for all students. School cellos and basses rented for in-class use may be assigned to two students in different classes.


    School instrument rental is $40 for the year with a signed contract. Student is responsible for any damages to the instrument while it is in their possession. All repairs will be appraised and executed by district-approved luthier.



    Payne Jr. High School Orchestra

    Receipt of Policies


    Complete the following information – please print legibly:


    I am in this class (circle one):        Cadet Orchestra              Chamber Orchestra                             



    Instrument:                   Violin                    Viola                    Cello                    Bass


    I will need to rent a school instrument:  yes______     no ______   size___________



    I have read and understand the policies and consequences related to my enrollment and participation in orchestra:


    Printed Student Name:_________________________________________________



    Student Signature: ____________________________________________________



    Student email:________________________________________________________



    Student cell phone number: _____________________________________________


    T Shirt Size (circle one):


    Adult Small           Adult Medium         Adult Large         Adult X Large      Adult XXLarge



    Parent Name: ________________________________________________________



    Parent Signature:______________________________________________________



    Parent email:_________________________________________________________



    Parent cell phone number:______________________________________________




    [    ] Yes! I may be interested/available to chaperone daytime field trips.