Policy for Musicianship
Adopted June 28, 2016
As provided in its By-Laws, the purposes of the Village Band include:
- Providing an organized community band environment in which adult musicians may play together in a traditional concert band ensemble, maintaining and enhancing their skills, and playing for a variety of audiences in their community,
- Providing cultural enrichment within the community by continuing the traditions of the town band, American concert bands, and concert band music in our society, and
- Providing an opportunity for musical expression and growth among its membership in an environment that promotes both individual and ensemble improvement.
These purposes require openness to musicians with a range of skill levels and also a minimal level of proficiency such that performances by the band provide positive musical experiences both for members and for audiences. This policy document is designed to accomplish two primary goals:
- To encourage people to join and stay in the band, and
- To require and sustain an acceptable level of performance in each member of the band. Because these goals are not always compatible, the following criteria and procedures are recommended.
A. Basic Competence
Auditions are not required. Nevertheless, a member should possess the following skills with his or her instrument within a month after joining the band:
- Be able to play in tune and adjust pitch at the direction of the Conductor.
- Be able to keep time and follow the Conductor’s tempos.
- Be able to play the 8 common major scales (A, D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab) from written music at 120 notes per minute.
- By the last rehearsal before a concert, be able to follow the structure of each piece, and to play the important sections of his or her part in tune and in time. For those parts that are too difficult, silence is preferable to erroneous playing.
B. Full Competence
A successful member of the band will also demonstrate:
- The ability to listen and blend with the section.
- The ability to play solo parts at the discretion of the Conductor.
- For percussion, the ability to play more than one instrument.
C. Corrective Actions.
Actions suggested for the Conductor and Section Leaders in cases where these abilities are questionable:
- Provide advice on playing the instrument and technical skills for following the structure of the written part.
- Provide coaching by the Section Leader or other member of the section.
- Conduct sectional rehearsals, guided by the Conductor or Section Leader.
- Recommend or require private lessons outside the band environment.
D. Encouraging novice musicians.
Because the band also endeavors to provide a forum for novice musicians to improve their ability to play in the ensemble format, new members who lack the skills described in Section A above will be invited to play during some rehearsals for the learning experience. These provisional members will be asked to sit out during concerts and rehearsals immediately preceding concerts until their skill level meets the basic requirements of membership. Decisions regarding qualification to play in concerts will be made by the Section Leader and Conductor. Demonstrated improvement in playing skills through practice will be considered a very important criterion for making these decisions.