Thursday, August 31, 2017

August/September Updates

Hello Parents,

The Charms system is now working. If you tried to login before unsuccessfully, everything should be working now. Charms is an amazing app for music teachers, as it allows our students to record playing tests, log their practice time, submit some forms, etc. through the app! Our 7th Grade students will be turning in a playing test on Charms that is due by the end of next week, and our 8th Graders completed a playing test in class today. Please have your child login to Charms and change their password if they have not already. Here are the login instructions:

Download the charms (blue student) app (if this has not been done already) or go to The app works on all iPhone, iPad, and Android/Google devices.

School Code: DurhamOrch
Password/ID: the first five letters of your child's last name, followed by the first five letters of their first name with no capitalization, dashes, or special characters. If their name is less than five letters, just enter their full name. (Ex: John King would be kingjohn, Jennifer Parker would be parkejenni)

After this, they would change their password to something they can remember. 

For 7th Graders recording their playing tests: 
1. Once you are logged into the app, tap the top right hand corner where the three lines are.
2. Tap "recording studio"
3. On the bottom, press the icon that looks like a sheet of paper, second from the left.
4. Press the red button next to 47- Rondeau Playing Test.
5. Press the big red button when ready to record.
6. Say ok to access the microphone
7. Record the playing test after the countdown, press the stop button when finished.
8. Students can play it back to listen before submitting by pressing the play button. If satisfied, they can press the check mark to send it to me. Press the check mark for the file name. If your child wants to re-record it, they can press the red button again to do it over again. 

If you have any questions about Charms, please let us know. Thank you!

All students should have turned in their blanket permission forms, handbook agreement, and instrument check out form. If you need one of those forms, they are available on the right hand side of this blog. Thank you!

Jennifer Aikey and Selena Sanchez

Friday, August 4, 2017

7th and 8th Grade

Hello 7th and 8th Grade Parents,

Please make sure your students have turned in the handbook form, blanket permission forms, and an instrument check out form (for school instruments) if they have not already! Also, all students should have a binder and instrument, and the 7th graders should also have Essential Elements book 2 by Monday. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Welcome Back!

Hello Durham Orchestra Parents and Students! We are so excited to welcome you all back this year! I am so thrilled that Selena Sanchez will be joining us this year. She will be mostly working with 6th Grade, but hopefully the rest of the Orchestra will get a chance to know her as well. Here is some important beginning of the year info:

8th Grade: Please plan to bring your instruments on the second day of school. We want to get started right away so we can review some concepts and get started on new techniques with FUN music! You do not need to order any method books this year, as we have class sets of a couple of different 8th grade books. Please make sure your parents fill out and sign the last page of the new handbook AND the Blanket permission forms and please turn it in by August 4. PLEASE try on your Orchestra uniforms and make sure they fit so we can get you resized if a new uniform is needed!

7th Grade: Everyone in 7th Grade should have their Essential Elements Book 2 by Monday, August 7. Please call ahead to music shops before going to a store to obtain the books. We will be working on note reading review and are getting started with the books in class!  Please make sure your parents fill out and sign the last page of the new handbook AND the Blanket permission forms and please turn it in by August 4. We will be handing out information about Formal Uniforms within the first two weeks, and boys will be fitted for their uniforms at school during the second week of school. Please be on the lookout for those forms, as they will be due soon. Boys uniforms will be a little different than in the past, with the students wearing black pants, a black shirt, and a black tie. Girls uniforms will be the same as previous years (a black dress), so if you have obtained an Orchestra dress through a neighbor or friend, then you are good to go. Boys uniforms will be $68 and Girls uniforms are $64. Students must order through us so they will have matching uniforms. Please keep their 6th Grade polo shirt as it may be needed for other events.

6th Grade: Please come to the Music Night Open House on Thursday, August 10 from 7-8:30; this is a drop-in event, so come anytime that is convenient for you in that period to meet the music teachers and for your child to try the instruments one more time! We will get everyone signed up for classes on Friday, August 11.

Fiddlers and Cello Choir: Cello Choir will have its' first official rehearsal on Tuesday, August 8 and Fiddlers will have a rehearsal for new and returning members Thursday, August 10. Returning members from Fiddlers have a meeting Thursday, August 3 at 8:15am.

Please email us if you have any questions! Thank you!

---Jennifer Aikey and Selena Sanchez

Monday, May 1, 2017

Concert Mania!

Ford Evening in the Garden (fiddlers only)
Tuesday, May 2
Students stay after school and are transported by bus to Ford Elementary. We perform from 5:45-6:15pm. The Fiddlers will come back to Durham via bus. Students must have a ride back at Durham by 6:25pm.

6th Grade Orchestra, Fiddlers, and Cello Choir
When: Wednesday, May 3
Time: Students Report by 6:30 PM, Concert is at 7:00 PM
Where: Durham TheaterUniform for 6th Grade: DMS White Polo shirt, Black Dress Pants/Floor Length Skirt, Black Dress ShoesFiddlers: Green Fiddlers shirt, Jeans (no shorts!!)

Cello Choir: Blue Cello Choir shirts, Jeans (no shorts!!)

7th Grade Orchestra and 8th Grade Orchestra
When: Thursday, May 4
Time: Students Report by 6:30 PM, Concert is at 7:00 PM
Where: Durham Theater

Uniform: Tuxedos and Black Gowns, Black Dress Shoes

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Last Minute Disney Reminders

Last Minute Reminders for the Disney Trip

REPORT TO DURHAM NO LATER THAN 5:30 AM, PREFERABLY ARRIVING AT 5AM.  Chaperones MUST be at Durham by 5am. The sooner we get on the road, the sooner you get into the park.  Put luggage/instruments/case and water in designated areas outside. Go into theater and sit in chaperone groups. (Parents, this is a good time to meet your child's chaperone if you have not already.) Students, use the restroom before we leave.  The buses depart at 6:00 am sharp! Set multiple alarms if needed and pack EVERYTHING you can tonight!!

MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD BRINGS ANY NEEDED MEDICATIONS!! We will not have their medicines from school. so PLEASE make sure they bring their medicines, ESPECIALLY rescue items such as Epi-pens or inhalers. Please make sure to bring any needed medical forms as well. I have attached all forms in case you need another.

(The rest of this email was sent in a handout to students)

We are going immediately to Hollywood Studios when we arrive in Orlando. All items going into park, including money, sunscreen, etc., need to be on the bus with you.  You will not have access to suitcases when we arrive. We will give you the string bag Wednesday before departure so that you may organize your items.  

No pajamas are allowed on bus or public areas. Do not come to breakfast in the motel in your pajamas.

Always be quiet and listen when an adult is speaking.

No gum is allowed on bus. We keep our own buses clean, therefore, if you make a mess, you clean it up.

Remember to drink, drink, drink, water. You do not want to get dehydrated and get sick.

No flip flops are allowed in the park.  This is a safety issue.

Rest area stops are for restrooms ONLY. Do NOT go to concessions. Bring your snacks/drinks with you.

Band and orchestra students only need their instruments/supplies. No music or stands are needed.

Due to federal regulations for bus drivers, once you get off the bus at night, the buses are unavailable.  Please make sure you have everything.

Please bring only one small suitcase and one carry on bag per student.

Please bring G or PG DVD’s for bus.

We need one case of water per family. Just bring it tomorrow morning. Thank you!!

Please do not bring iPads, computers, or any device larger than a phone or mp3 player.

Bring a portable cell phone charger/cords for the park. Keep your phones charged!!

Please eat healthy while at the hotel and at the park.

Go to bed early and get plenty of sleep tonight!!

You are required to HAVE FUN!!

If you have any additional questions or concerns, PLEASE contact me today. We will be extremely busy in the morning loading buses and taking care of items. Thank you,

Jennifer Aikey

Monday, March 20, 2017

8th Grade Night at Harrison

Dear 8th Grade Parents,

8th Grade Night at Harrison will be on Thursday, March 30th at 7:00pm. Students will need to get a ride to Harrison after school at 5 if possible and will need to be picked up by 8pm. Please attend the concert if you can. This concert is graded but is NOT a part of the Disney contract since the date was changed for this concert. Students will be fed a FREE pizza dinner. Thank you,

Jennifer Aikey

Friday, March 17, 2017

Jamboree Info

Hello 6th Grade Orchestra Parents,

Your child’s next concert is the 6th Grade String Jamboree District 12 West. Your child will perform alongside other 6th Grade Orchestra students from Lost Mountain, McClure, and Lovinggood. This concert takes place at Harrison High School on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. We are requesting that all students bring in $13 for a pizza dinner and for transportation costs. They will come down to the theater that day during 7th Period and will bring their belongings on the bus with them to Harrison. Chaperones will meet us at Durham at 3:30pm. The itinerary is listed below. The concert starts promptly at 7:30 pm. We encourage all parents to come listen to their child perform; it will be a fun concert to watch! If you cannot attend the concert, please make arrangements to be sure that your child is picked up by 8pm.

Jamboree Itinerary:

5:00-5:15 - Set-up/Schools begin arriving at Harrison
5:15-5:30 - Tuning
5:30-6:30 - Rehearsal (approx.7 minutes/piece)
6:30-7:20 - Pizza/Dinner break
7:20-7:25 - Students back in place
7:28-7:30 - Welcome to audience
7:30-8:00 - Concert
8:00 - Concert ends/clean-up

Students will also need to bring the following items to school that day:

  1. A folding music stand--Labeled with their name!
  2. Instrument, shoulder rest/rock stop--Labeled with their name!
  3. Music
  4. Durham Music Department polo & nice jeans (please wear this to school!)