Moultrie Middle School Handbook for
      Parents & Students!​

Moultrie Middle School Orchestra Purpose
Welcome to the 2018-2019 Orchestra Season! I am excited about working with
​ each of you to produce beautiful sounds! The purpose of the orchestra program
 ​is for students to learn excellence and character through music.
​ Playing in the orchestra will develop a mental discipline
​that will aid students in achieving success in other fields too.
​Please email me with any questions or concerns.
​Ways to find information and reach me are below: (email is the quickest way to reach me)

Sign up for Remind texts:
Text @k6bea9 to 81010

Orchestra is a team effort. To reach an acceptable level of performance, each person must make a commitment to the group. Each student is required to attend special rehearsals and concerts. If you must be absent, please contact Ms. Martin as soon as you know of the conflict! (Emergencies excused) A list of important dates is attached. Please mark them on your calendars.
Background Information
Who is Ms. Martin? I am a product of Lexington One Schools in Lexington, SC and am excited about my 26th year of teaching! As I begin my 6th year at Moultrie, I look forward to the continued growth and standard of excellence in our orchestra program. I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education and earned a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Creative Arts from Lesley University in Boston, Massachusetts. I love playing the violin, viola and teaching children to make music. In addition to my passion for music, you will find me enjoying the great outdoors, splashing at the ocean, lake or pool and being with family and friends.

Our Moultrie Middle School Orchestra website is You will be able to access our calendar, information, and upcoming events! We will also use google classroom and those codes will be given to you.
Please sign up for Remind text and/or emails: Text this code: @k6b2ea9 to 81010 to join Orchestra MMS!
Email: (Google classroom codes will be emailed to you)

Extra Help
I will be available on most Tuesday afternoons for extra help from 3:30-4:00pm. Also, I am always happy to arrange a time with you before school if this time does not work. Communicate and we will work it out!

Make-up Work

Again, Tuesday afternoon is the allocated time for make-up work. If you have a conflict, talk to me and we can work it out during lunch, before school or another afternoon.

Orchestra Fees
Each orchestra student is assessed a dollar amount determined by the budgeted needs of the orchestra for that year. This fee covers additional costs not covered by the school district. The fee is outlined below.

The orchestra fee is $105.
Please make all checks out to Moultrie Middle or pay online-
Go to the strings fee link.

The Orchestra Fee includes the following:

✓ Awards (Each 9 weeks and end of year)
✓ T-shirt (Moultrie Orchestra)
✓ State Performance Assessment Fee (formerly called Concert Festival)
✓ 3 ring binder for music, handouts, etc.
✓ sheet music, method books, theory books
✓ bus transportation (for local field trips)
✓ clinicians, piano accompanists, coaches for sectionals, guest artists
✓ classroom instrument supplies…rosin, strings, tuners, etc.

The Orchestra Fee does NOT include the following:

✓ Instrument rental for home or school
✓ Trip Participation (Zoo, Carowinds, Orlando, etc)
✓ Formal Concert Attire

Fees—Pay now online or
Pay in 2 installments: (check or cash)
1. $55 due on or before August 30th (Orchestra Parent Night)
2. $50 due on or before September 15th

Students who meet deadline will be entered into a drawing for a free Moultrie Orchestra Hoodie!

Financial Assistance A financial assistance form and packet is available. Please email or contact me if you would like the information. At times the financial obligation may seem heavy, but no member will be denied the opportunities of our organization due to financial difficulties. Also, everyone is given the opportunity to fundraise to help pay their orchestra fees. Anyone wishing to donate to help less fortunate families are welcome to do so. Please make check to Moultrie Middle School.

Because we have a limited budget, fundraising is critical to our success.
We will fundraise for the following reasons

✓ To offset per-student costs not covered by the Orchestra Fee (charter bus, performance venue fees)
✓ To help families raise funds to pay for Formal Attire, School Use Rentals, Fee and Trips
✓ To provide funds to purchase instruments, and maintenance of instruments and supplies
Planned Fundraisers
Moultrie Orchestra has a planned fundraiser that will occur in the fall. (Wrapping paper, food, etc)

✓ For each dollar sold, a percentage of that dollar will be created to a student “account”. This credit balance may be used to pay for orchestra fees and extra trips. (FEES must be paid first)
✓ Balances DO NOT carry over to the next year, so plan accordingly.

Throughout the year, the students will perform in different venues, formal and informal. Therefore, the children will have two different uniforms. Because our physical appearance is very important during performance, orchestra members must be dressed completely and properly in order to perform.

Formal Attire
The boys wear a tuxedo uniform. The tuxedos cost $65. Boys will be measured in September. The uniform will include tuxedo pants, wing collar shirt, bow tie and black vest.
Additionally, boys need to wear black dress shoes and black socks. (not included in uniform price) Tennis shoes and boat shoes are not acceptable on stage. I have collected dress shoes, etc over the years. Please contact me before the scheduled performance and I will help get these items for your child if needed.

The girls wear a specific long black dress. The dress cost is $65. Girls will be measured in September. Additionally, girls need to wear appropriate black dress shoes. BLACK dress shoes. The black dress is the “Corelli” dress. We have used the “Melisma” dress in past years and this dress is acceptable too.

Our formal concert attire is the same as band and chorus and is also the same as Wando High School.
Used uniforms may be purchased for $35, but sizes are limited. (Melisma style dress)
Photographs of our formal wear are on the webpage under FAQ. When your children outgrow their uniforms, they may trade them in for a correct size. Please let me know well in advance of performances!

Informal Concert Attire
Informal Concert Attire consists of the following: (we will specify for each event)
Orchestra T-shirt (heather dark blue) or Moultrie Performing Arts T-shirt (navy)
Khaki pants or jeans or shorts and appropriate shoes

Grading Procedures

1. Rehearsal Technique (40% of grade)-Students will be graded weekly on the following criteria:
*Maintaining Orchestra Notebook (scales, notes from class, bellringers, sheet music)-
All students will receive a 3-ring black binder and should bring it every day.
*Maintaining correct playing position and posture (fingernails kept short for playing purposes)
*Effort and rehearsal technique (marking music with pencil, stopping and starting with conductor, placing bow at cue, etc.) All rehearsal techniques are measurable responsibilities
of each player. (rehearsal rubric is on the webpage)

* Required rehearsals are a grade in the “rehearsal technique” category. Students receive a 100 for participation. Students will receive a 75 if they are late, and will receive a failing grade if they do not come at all.

2 .Performance Assessments (60% of grade)Students will play individually and as a group for assessment. Some assessments may be recorded individually and some will be played in the classroom setting. Concerts are graded as well. Attendance at concerts is mandatory and is graded. There is no way to recreate a concert setting or the experience missed from that performance.
Each class will use a method book, as well as orchestra music. All students will receive a 3-ring binder to keep their sheet music, books and supplemental papers organized! Your method books are included in the orchestra fee as well as a theory book and/or supplemental instructional materials. You will get your books during the 1st few weeks of school.

For each class, you will need:
✓ Instrument (own, private rental or rental through orchestra)
✓ Method book
✓ 3 ring black binder
✓ rosin, digital tuner, metronome (please bring your own rosin labeled with your name)
✓ Kun shoulder rest—Violin and Viola (All upper string players MUST use a shoulder rest)
✓ End pin belt or rock stop—Cello and Bass
✓ Set of extra strings --
Suggest Thomastik “Dominant”, Prim, D’Addario, Prelude)– avoid super-sensitive strings

Smart Music Software
This is fantastic software that is available to all students to make practice time more effective and more fun.
If you would like to order the year-long subscription to SmartMusic, log on and order the software directly from the company. The customer service number is 1-866-240-4041

Class Rules
Good behavior is expected at all times. It is also mandatory if we are going to improve our playing skills individually or as a group. All Moultrie school rules apply!
In addition:

1. Touch only your own instrument
2. Be quiet during the tuning process (you should be listening and tuning to your pitch)
3. Respect everyone and all music equipment always
4. Let yourself and others listen, work and learn.

In addition to exemplary behavior during class rehearsals, additional expectations are below:
á Take suggestions and criticism in the proper spirit. It is important to remember that orchestra is a group activity as well as an individual activity. Mistakes made by individuals affect the entire group.
á Be responsible for all equipment and ensure it is ready when needed.
á Be careful stewards with orchestra rental instruments and ensure it is maintained in proper working order.
á Carefully handle all music equipment and supplies.
á Any equipment damage by a student will require parents to pay for repair or replacement.
á Strive for daily improvement. Strive to learn something new each day.
á Keep the orchestra room clean and free of trash, food and drink!

Performance/Field Trips
We will have some performances and field trips away from the Moultrie campus. We will offer fundraising to help supplement the cost of these additional trips. Students will only be allowed to go off campus representing the orchestra IF they have exhibited exemplary behavior for the entire school year. Any discipline issues in ANY Moultrie Middle School class or activity will prevent the student from going on the field trip. Please read the last sentence again. In addition, if students are not behaving or performing up to the high expectations of the Moultrie Orchestra, that student will not be allowed to represent Moultrie off campus.

Attendance and Tardies
The only excusable absences are pre-arranged school conflicts and those that would be excused by the school for regular attendance records; i.e. illness, death in the family, religious holiday.
Individual needs - will be addressed as they occur; this system is subject to modification by the director.
For all absences, the student and parent must follow the following procedure:

1. Director must be notified in advance.
2. For illness, a parent note or doctor’s excuse must be submitted.
3. Students are expected to be at extra rehearsals as they arise. I understand that conflicts will happen, however, if students are late to scheduled rehearsals, they will sit in the back of the section as not to interrupt the rehearsal. Tardies may result in that student losing their chair or being removed from a particular ensemble.

Make-Up for Absence
There is not a way to make up an absence from a required rehearsal. Students can practice their part, but the ensemble skills missed can’t be made up by practicing alone. The student will receive a lowered grade as outlined above under “Grading Procedures”.

Purchasing an Instrument Please be aware that some discount stores and Internet sites are selling instruments that do not meet the MENC (Music Educators National Conference) requirements for a quality instrument. (Correct distance from strings to fingerboard, correct fitting for tuning pegs, bridge angle, etc.) Please contact Ms. Martin before buying an instrument if you would like assistance. Student success is directly correlated with the quality and correct size of their instrument.

Overview of Curriculum
The orchestra curriculum is in accordance with the South Carolina Standards and National Instrumental Music Standards.

Extra -Curricular Ensembles and Opportunities
District Orchestra
Charleston County provides an opportunity for String Students with at least one year of experience (5th grade counts as one year). Students may audition for the orchestras during the Fall and Spring Seasons. District orchestras meet on Monday nights and end each season with a performance. Details will be shared.

Moultrie Chamber Orchestra
Moultrie Chamber Orchestra is a select group of Moultrie Orchestra students who are ready for a higher level of performance. The Chamber Orchestra rehearses once a week before school and performs throughout the year. Auditions are open to any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade students and will occur at the beginning of school. Each student must re-audition each year. Students should be prepared to play a required solo that is available the first week of school and or the SC Region Orchestra audition excerpt. Attendance at all rehearsals and performances is mandatory. More than one unexcused absence may result in removal from the orchestra. Rehearsals will be Wednesday mornings from 7:15am-8:15am.

All-State and Low Country Region Orchestra
Students prepare a specific audition for Region and All -State Orchestras. The audition music and requirements are typically published in the Spring. The Region Audition occurs in October and the All-State Audition occurs in January. Selection to either Region or All State is an honor. Audition music and requirements can be found at:

Private Lessons
Private lessons, when taken regularly and with consistent and purposeful practice on assigned material, are definitely an aid to improving musicianship. They are strongly recommended on this basis. Private instruction is not mandatory, but recommended. A private teacher list will be provided for you and I do have teachers already scheduled to teach after school AT Moultrie. Please let me know if you are interested!

Awards Celebration
Each 9 weeks and at the end of the year, orchestra members will receive awards (certificates, trophies, medals) for outstanding participation, improvement, and performance.

Awards will be given using the following criteria:
✓ Outstanding Improvement
✓ Outstanding Performance
✓ Outstanding Service (music organizers, set-up & break-down etc.)
✓ Chamber Orchestra Member
✓ Low Country Region
✓ All-State Orchestra
✓ CCSD District Orchestras
✓ CSO Youth Orchestra
✓ Solo & Ensemble Participant

Moultrie Director’s Award—name on perpetual plaque

❖ no unexcused absences
❖ A average
❖ Participate in at least 2 of the following: Moultrie Chamber, Low Country Region, All-State, CCSD Orchestra, private lessons, Solo & Ensemble,
❖ Demonstrate leadership, positive attitude, role model for entire orchestra


Moultrie Orchestra Handbook Review and Acceptance Form
Due August 31, 2018


I, the undersigned student, accept membership in the Moultrie Middle School Orchestra and understand that I am responsible for all the policies as set forth in the Orchestra Handbook. I fully agree to carry out my responsibilities to the very best of my ability.

Print Student Name______________________________________
Student Signature_______________________________________Date______________


I, the undersigned parent or guardian, have read and understand the policies as set forth in the Orchestra Handbook. I also grant full permission for my child to be an active member of the Moultrie Middle School Orchestra and understand that my child is expected to attend rehearsals before school and perform in concerts as part of their orchestra grade.

Please check all that apply:

_____I plan to attend the orchestra parent meeting on Thursday, August 30 at 6:30pm in chorus room.

_____I have signed up for REMIND texts/emails. (text @k6b2ea9 to 81010)

_____I have included the $105 orchestra fee with this form. (check to MMS)

_____I have paid the orchestra fee online or at “fact & fee”.

_____I have not included the $105 fee because_____________________________________________

Please indicate your child’s T-shirt size:

_____Youth Large

_____Adult Small _____Adult Medium _____Adult Large _____Adult XL _____Adult XXL

_____Adult XXXL

Print Parent Name______________________________________
Parent Signature_______________________________________Date______________