Welcome to AHS Band

Andrew LaPrade, director

975-9300 (AHS) x60079

E-mail: alaprade@k12albemarle.org


Our philosophy is that the students will gain in the following three areas:

  1. The students will gain knowledge, understanding, and skills that will enable them to perform in a musical ensemble that achieves at a a high level and aspires to the next level.
  2. The students will gain knowledge, understanding , and skills that will enable them to appreciate music as an art form, and as a vital part of their lives.
  3. The students will acquire self-discipline, group responsibility, punctuality, dependability, flexibility, and open-mindedness and will employ these skills in other areas of their lives.

Classroom Procedures

1. Before Class:

  1. When entering the music area, students should enter on time with the intent to learn.
  2. Students should retrieve their instrument from their locker, along with a pencil, extra reeds, valve oil, etc.
  3. Students should then place the case back in the locker with personal belongings, close the locker door, and either lock their lock, or keep it with them.
  4. Students should proceed to their seat and individually warm-up.
  5. Students should leave food and drink (other than water) off the band stand and should dispose of their GUM before entering the rehearsal.
  6. Upon entering the band room, students should consult relevant announcement boards.
  7. Students are expected to be in the classroom when the bell rings for the beginning of the period, and in their seats ready to warm-up within two minutes of the start of class bell. The tardy policy as enforced by Albemarle High School will apply.

2. During Class:

  1. When entering the band room, students should prepare their immediate area (music stand is in place, chair is in place, music on stand instrument ready to play). Students should also consult the board for the rehearsal’s agenda.
  2. When the director is on the podium, students are to remain attentive and involved in the rehearsal.
  3. While playing instruments, students should sit (or sand) straight up with proper musical instrument posture.
  4. When given instruction, students should use their pencils to write in their music reminders of given instruction.
  5. Students are required to be excellent rehearsers by being attentive, quite, considerate and musical at all times.
  6. Any student not able to play an instrument during class (i.e. injury, forgot the instrument at home, etc.) will be expected to remain in class and follow along in their music throughout the rehearsal unless the director has some substitute activity for that student.
  7. Please do not ask to do other school work during band rehearsal. Rehearsal time is sacred!

3. After Class:

  1. Students will collect all belongings from their area and bring them to their locker.
  2. Students will straighten their immediate area so it is ready for the next group.
  3. Students are not allowed to play any other instruments without the director’s permission.

Smart Music

This year all students will be required to subscribe to Smart Music, an online music library and teaching tool that makes practicing much more directed and has the potential to greatly enhance the classroom experience. It also provides an excellent assessment tool for teachers and helps monitor student progress. Subscriptions can be renewed online for approximately $30. Students should specify that they are part of the Albemarle High School group.

Seating in Band Class

The Bands with the exception of Marching Band will be seated competitively based on auditions early in the school year. The Director will have final say on all evaluations.

  1. You may challenge for the seat ahead of you by stating your challenge, getting music from the director for both parties, and playing the challenge for the director within 2 days.
  2. You may not challenge the same person twice in a seven-day span.
  3. If you miss or are late for your challenge, you automatically lose.
  4. Seating will not automatically determine part selection. It is sometimes necessary to distribute the stronger players among all the parts in order to achieve a symphonic sound.
  5. Solos automatically go to the First Chair Player unless otherwise designated by the director.
  6. Section leaders will be selected and may not always be the first chair player. Leadership qualities will also be evaluated. You may not challenge for section leadership. This designation will be determined by the director.
  7. Sectional rehearsals will be conducted by the section leader
  8. Challenges are intended to be educational, fun, and to boost our level of performance as a group. Win or lose, the object is to improve and good sportsmanship is a requirement. Challenging counts as extra credit.


Grades in Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble are based upon criteria that are distributed every 9 weeks. In general there are in excess of 100 available points each grading period and it is the student’s responsibility to accumulate enough points to earn their grade. The typical grading period will resemble this model:

60 points – class participation, preparation, and attitude
20 points – attendance at required events and rehearsals
10 points – Smart Music assignments
10 points – additional responsibilities such as listenings, etc.

Extra Credit – Students receive extra credit for such things as private lessons, performances outside the school program, service to the band, musical accomplishments, additional assignments, seating challenges, student leadership roles etc. The director must approve extra credit in advance.


Students are expected to maintain their instruments in proper working condition. Students using school instruments will be expected to maintain those instruments and participate in a cleaning session at the conclusion of the school year. Any damage to a school instrument while checked-out to a student will result in repair costs to the student/parents. Students are expected to supply their own accessories. We will not have extra reeds, valve oil, mutes, etc., on hand, so please purchase your own to have available for class. .

Band Boosters

As a family member of a AHS Band Student, you are automatically a Band Booster. The Band Boosters exist for the purpose of assisting the Band Department with non-musical needs: fund raising, distributing uniforms, chaperoning, etc. We encourage ALL parents and/or guardians to participate in this organization. Please check other areas of this website for opportunities to get involved!


Students are required to be in full performance attire at all performance events. Ladies will wear AHS performance dresses which are rented to each student. Dress shoes are required. Jewelery is optional. Gentlemen need a wing collar tuxedo shirt, black dress pants, black socks and back dress shoes. Tennis shoes are not allowed. The boosters supplies a tie and cummerbund set to each male student for $10.