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Arlington High School Orchestra

Zack Corpus, Director

5475 Airline Road
Arlington, TN 38002

Arlington High School Orchestra Handbook/Syllabus

Mr. Zachary Corpus
(901) 867-1541
Website: http://ahstigerorchestra.weebly.com
Facebook: Arlington Tiger Orchestra (@tigerorchestra)
Twitter: AHS Orchestra (@AHStigerorch)

I feel so entirely in my element with a full orchestra; even if my mortal enemies were marshalled
before me, I could lead them, master them, surround them, or repulse them. Robert Schumann

It has to be able to play at the maximum expression and communication in every style, and the only
way you can do that is like Verdi said working with a file, every day, little by little, until the
orchestras collective qualities emerge. James Levine

I do like alternative rock and rap, but as far as inspirational, then I go full-on orchestra. It fills up your
entire being. Osric Chau

Course Description

Orchestra provides students with the opportunity to learn life skills through performance and
education in music. The goal of the director is to push each member of the orchestra to have high
expectations for themselves and create an environment in which they may improve as a musician and a
person. High expectations will be had for ensemble and individual performance goals. Individual
performance opportunities will include All-West Orchestra, Concert Festival, Solo and Ensemble Festival,
ACS/AHS orchestra concerts, as well as other such miscellaneous public performances throughout the

Performance Expectations:

Adhere to the attendance policy set forth in the ACS Student and Orchestra Handbooks
Participate in all playing tests to the best of your ability
Adhere to ALL classroom rules, the AHS Student Handbook, and the AHS Honor Code
Attend all required rehearsals throughout the grading period
Attend all required performances throughout the grading period
Make progress individually and as an ensemble

Method of Grade Calculation

All homework must be completed to the satisfaction of the director.

1. Daily Participation
Each student will receive 100 (maximum) points weekly. Points will be based upon the following:
Students are expected to participate in discussions and classroom
activities on a daily basis. The category includes a hygiene stipulation: in
order to effectively participate and improve on a string instrument, the
fingers and fingernails of the LEFT hand must be well-kempt, trimmed, and
without hindrance. Students should use caution in their other activities
not to injure the left hand as this could affect their participation in
orchestra classes.
Students are expected to be in their assigned seats with the necessary
supplies at the start of class.

Music and Pencil


Students are expected to have their instrument, with shoulder rest, bow,
and chin rest in each class. Exceptions are given on an individual basis
with a note from a parent or guardian.
Students are expected to have their own music in each class. They may
share with a stand partner but must have their music readily available.
This is necessary to mark any changes made so that music can be
practiced effectively at home. A pencil is required at each rehearsal
(sharing with your friend doesnt count).
Students are expected to come to class ready to learn with a positive

2. Playing Tests and Pop Quizzes
Playing tests and quizzes will be given throughout the year but will occur at least once every grading
period. All formal tests will be announced in advance and will cover only music we have studied in
class. Pop Quizzes are worth 50 points each. Tests are worth 100-200 points.

2. Written Tests/Assignments
A minimum of 1 written test will be given every semester. These tests may include vocabulary, note
spelling, key signature identification, interval identification, rhythm counting, or other musical
concepts covered in class. Written tests will be worth 100-200 points each. Written assignments
will be listening-oriented and focus on a composer relevant to the music we are playing in ensemble
or a composer/performer/musical style important to orchestral literature and development.

3. Rehearsals and Sectionals

As the orchestra nears a performance date, after-school rehearsals will be necessary. I understand
that many students are involved in extracurricular activities, which is fantastic! Rehearsal and

performance conflicts should be brought to the directors attention as soon as possible (no later
than 48 hours in advance) so they can be resolved in a timely fashion. Students/parents should
supply the director (in writing) with the conflicting coach/sponsors name and contact information
so an arrangement can be made. Students should not find themselves between and a coach,
sponsor, teacher, etc. and the director of the orchestra.

4. Performances
Performances are mandatory. All performances will be announced in advance on the AHS Orchestra
calendar found at http://acsorchestra.weebly.com/ahs-orch-calendar.html. Students must arrive on
time with their instrument and their OWN music. Concert attire is required at each performance.
Failure to adhere to the aforementioned criteria will result in a zero grade for that performance.

5. Practice
In order for students to grow musically and be a successful member of the Orchestra Program, they
must practice their instrument on their own time (before school, after school, at home). One
hundred (100) minutes of practice time is expected each week. Parents are asked to support their
students in the orchestral endeavor they have chosen and to encourage their student to practice.

6. All West + Solo & Ensemble Performance

To grow musically, students must be encouraged to perform in front of others and take part in
activities in which they will interact with pedagogues in string and orchestral techniques and their
own peers. Often, developing musicians learn and grow more from these experiences than they will
in an equal amount of classroom time. To give students this opportunity and give them more
chances for critique by top area teachers and performers and to put orchestra on equal footing with
the high performance standards of AHS Fine Arts and Music Departments, the orchestral ensembles
at Arlington High School will be required to do the following:

Symphony Orchestra Audition for WTSBOA All-West Orchestra. Audition excerpts will be available
in hard copy and on the AHS orchestra website circa August 20, 2016. These excerpts will also be
used for the final playing test of Semester 1. Perform a solo and ensemble at Solo/Ensemble
Festival (Elmore Park Middle School). Students can choose a solo or ensemble with other members
of the orchestra or with the assistance of the director. Music must be at least 32 measures in length
and be representative of the students level of performance. All requirements are listed here:
http://www.wtsboa.com/constitution.html#solo. Grades for solo/ensemble will be assigned based
upon the rating received (I or II = 100%, III = 80%, IV or V = student must perform the solo/ensemble
again for the director or a designee to determine appropriate grade and makeup the deficiency).

String Orchestra Audition for WTSBOA All-West Orchestra OR perform a solo at Solo/Ensemble
Festival. Audition excerpts for All West will be available in hard copy and on the AHS orchestra
website circa August 20, 2016. These excerpts will also be used for the final playing test of Semester
1. Perform an ensemble at Solo/Ensemble Festival (Elmore Park Middle School). Students can

choose a solo or ensemble with other members of the orchestra or with the assistance of the
director. Music must be at least 32 measures in length and be representative of the students level
of performance. All requirements are listed here: http://www.wtsboa.com/constitution.html#solo.
Grades for solo/ensemble will be assigned based upon the rating received (I or II = 100%, III = 80%,
IV or V = student must perform the solo/ensemble again for the director or a designee to determine
appropriate grade and makeup the deficiency).

Extra Credit:

Students will be given extra credit points at Mr. Corpus discretion for the following:
1. Non-ACS Concert Attendance (professional or otherwise) with proof shown to Mr.
Corpus within 1 week of the event: 50 points per event. All events must be pre-
approved by Mr. Corpus
2. Have an idea? Additional extra credit will be considered on an individual basis.

Attendance Policy:

Your presence is necessary and expected

Unexcused absences from performances will result in a 0 grade for that concert.
Refer to the Arlington High School attendance policy for further requirements and makeup

Note: For any absence to be excused, it must be cleared IN ADVANCE by contacting Mr. Corpus at least
48 hours before the missed event. An excused absence is personal illness or accident (dramatically ill,
not just a cold or feeling tired), or a death in the family. If you are in school during the day, you will be
required to perform at the evening rehearsal or performance unless you have been excused IN
ADVANCE by Mr. Corpus. Acceptable methods of contact include a Remind text or email to
zachary.corpus@acsk-12.org. All methods of contact must include a phone number where the parent or
guardian can be reached.

There is no way to make up the experience of a public performance. No amount of homework or extra
credit can amount to the same educational value of performing with peers in front of an audience.
However, since concerts amount to a fairly large percentage in the grade book, students who are
excused by the teacher from performances must speak with Mr. Corpus in a timely fashion to discuss
their make-up assignment. Communication should be done in writing, preferable through email to
zachary.corpus@acsk-12.org. Emergencies will be handled on an individual basis.

Important Dates (also listed on Orchestra/AHS calendar-tentative and subject to change):
Concerts (AHS Auditorium): October 5, December 6, February 21, May 9 (POP Concert)
Concert Festival: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
All-West Auditions (Briarcrest Christian School, Eads, TN): Saturday, November 19, 2016
All-West Clinic/Performance (Cannon Center, downtown Memphis): February 9-11, 2017
Solo/Ensemble Festival (Elmore Park Middle School, Bartlett, TN): Saturday, April 1, 2017

Charges/Extra Items:

Remind (formerly Remind101)

To communicate quickly and efficiently with students and parents, I use the Remind app. It is available for iOS and
Android mobile devices. It is also available in a desktop version for your home or work computer. Text messages
will be sent concerning venue and time changes, travel arrangements, etc. In addition, when traveling on large
group trips, Remind groups will be created to communicate with those attending the trip.

The orchestra will take several trips each school year, this includes, but it not limited to: All-West Auditions,
Solo/Ensemble Festival, Concert Festival, and possibly on a spring trip. Students will be given dates, deadlines, and
information about travel opportunities well in advance. The parent permission form attached to this
handbook/syllabus serves as permission for students to attend orchestra trips and events throughout the year.
Whenever the AHS Orchestra travels, the Arlington High School Student Handbook, Dress code, Honor Code, and
other ACS Policies and Procedures will continue to be observed.

School Instruments
Students who use one (1) school-owned instrument must pay a $50 Instrument Maintenance/Usage charge each
school year. Any student who is in need of two or more instruments will pay $75 total. This fee covers basic
cleaning and maintenance of the instrument/s. Students are responsible for their own replacement strings
regardless of who owns the instrument. Any damage that occurs to school owned instruments (accidental or
intentional) is not covered by this charge and is the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian. Additional
information about ACS instrument usage can be found on the ACS Orchestra Instrument Usage form.

Throughout the school year, the AHS Orchestra will participate in numerous fundraisers to provide the orchestra
with the necessary funds it needs to function. Per Tennessee state law and ACS Policy, these funds will be used for
the purchase of instruments, equipment, and music that will benefit all members of the orchestra. More
information will be available as the time for each fundraiser arrives.

Violin and Viola lockers are scheduled to be shipped and installed the week of August 15. Once these are installed,
they can be checked out through Mr. Corpus and will provide a place for all AHS Orchestra students to store
equipment during the day.

Stripes will once again serve as the enrichment period for Arlington High School during the 2016-2017 school year.
It will take place following 3 period Monday-Thursday and last approximately 45 minutes. Plans have been made
for orchestra to use this time for makeups, Tri-M meetings, All-West Preparation, Solo/Ensemble Preparation, and
other enrichment. Students who are not assigned to Stripes should not come to the Stripes period in orchestra as
much of the time is needed for the assistance of other students and the space is not available for an overage of

2016-2017 Class Schedule


Week 1
Aug 8-12
Week 2
Aug 15-19
Week 3
Aug 22-26
Week 4
Aug 29-Sep 2
Week 5
Sep 6-9

(May be amended and altered based upon testing schedule and other events)


Syllabus, Rules Explanations, New member orientation, Final
String/Symphony Class Placement Auditions, Instrument
Checkout, Elect Orchestra Council
Tri-M Meet (Wed-17)
Seating Auditions; Scales: G, D, A, two octaves; Basic bowing
patterns, tuning, Listen to Fall Concert Music, Fall Music
Distributed, Fundamental Warmup Exercises
All-West Help (Wed)
Fall/Winter Music Distributed, Write in bowings, All-West Music
Posted, Listening Assignment #1 Distributed, Read Fall music;
Stripes Begins
Open House (Tues)

Listening Assignment #1 Due, Rehearse Fall Music, Rhythm

Workouts, Key Quiz #1, Music Terminology


Playing Test #1 (Fall Music), Scales: E, F, B, two octaves;

further basic bowing patterns and terminology, tuning,
Listening Assignment #2 Distributed
Publicity for Fall concert, Shifting: Scales already learned (G, D,
A, E, F, B; Dynamics and Playing Musically; Listening
Assignment #2 Due
Key Quiz #2; Listening Assignment #3 Distributed; Fall Music,
Q1 Makeups

Week 6
Sep 12-16

Tri-M New Member Meeting


Week 7
Sep 19-23
Week 8
Sep 26-30
Week 9
Oct 3-7
Week 1
Oct 17-21
Week 2
Oct 24-28
Week 3
Oct 31-Nov 4
Week 4
Nov 7-10

Week 5
Nov 14-18
Week 6
Nov 21-22
Week 7
Nov 28-Dec 2
Week 8
Dec 5-9
Week 9
Dec 12-16

After School Rehearsal (Wed)

Playing Test #2 (Fall Music), Scales: e, b, f# minor, two octaves;

Seating Auditions ; Listening Assignment #3 Due

Fall Concert (Oct. 5)

Seating Auditions; Listen to Winter Concert Music; Distribute

Music for Winter Concert

New Seats; Distribute remaining winter parts; Scales: E, A,
B Major two octaves, Listening Assignment #4 Distributed

Tri-M Apps Due (Mon-24)

Listening Assignment #4 Due; All-West Practice

Key Quiz #3; Scales a, g, c minor, Rhythm Workouts:

Syncopations; All-West Practice

Tri-M Induction (Mon-7)
All-West Help (Wed)
All West Auditions (Sat-19)

Playing Test #3 (Winter Music); Sectionals, Pop Concert Ideas

Submitted and Primary voting


Distribute All-West Music, Run of Winter Concert Program, Pop

Concert Final Voting; Listening Assignment #5 Distributed

Playing Test #4/S2 Seating Placement; Publicity for Winter

Concert; Listening Assignment #5 Due

Winter Concert (Dec. 6)

Listen to Concert Festival Pieces, Chamber groups perform,

soloists perform


Semester Exam: Musical Terminology, Key signatures,

Composer Information

HOLIDAY BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All-West Practice and Listening, Rehearse Winter Music

Week 1
Jan 3-6
Week 2
Jan 9-13
Week 3
Jan 17-20
Week 4
Jan 23-27
Week 5
Jan 30-Feb 3
Week 6
Feb 6-10
Week 7
Feb 13-17
Week 8
Feb 20-24
Week 9
Feb 27-Mar3
Week 10
Mar 6-10
Week 1
Mar 20-24
Week 2
Mar 27-31
Week 3
Apr 3-7
Week 4
Apr 10-14
Week 5
Apr 17-21
Week 6
Apr 24-28
Week 6
May 1-5
Week 7
May 8-12
Week 8
May 15-19
Week 9
May 22-26


Scales: Chromatic, Set POP concert committees and announce

Playing Test #5 (Festival Music); Listening Assignment #6



All-West Music Prep (Fri), Key Quiz over those learned;

Listening Assignment #6 Due

All-West Music Prep (Fri) Scales: C, F#, C# Major two octaves

All-West Music Prep (Fri)

All-West Clinic/Convention

Playing Test #6 (Festival Music) Scales: all melodic minors, two

octaves; Listening Assignment #7 Distributed

Solo/Ensemble Work/Practice; Listening Assignment #7 Due

Pre-Festival Concert (Tue)

Listen to Pre Festival Concert and Self-Evaluate

POP Concert chair auditions

Orch Concert Festival


**Testing should occur
approximately this time
Solo/Ensemble Festival
(Apr 1)

Scales: Harmonic and Natural minors, Distribute POP Concert



Final Major Key Quiz: All Majors: Listening Assignment #8 Due

Playing Test #7 (POP Concert)

POP Concert Decorations Plan Finalized; Listening Assignment

#9 Distributed

Final Minor Key Quiz: All Minors; Listening Assignment #9 Due

POP Concert (May 9),

Final Playing Test/Ensemble Auditions for Fall 2017

Final Playing Test/Ensemble Auditions for Fall 2017


Written Semester Exam;

Scale Test: All Major Scales, Solo/Ensemble Work, Distribute
POP Concert music, Solo/Ensemble Preview Night?
Solo/Ensemble Small Group Work
Play at Middle school? Listening Assignment #8 Distributed