For the second semester of this year, students originally in seventh period band class have now been moved into the eighth period band class.
The eighth period band class requires more commitments than the seventh period class. Students in eighth period band are expected to stay after school for ninth hour and are also expected to attend sectional rehearsals as well.
Junior Bryson Brownell, who originally joined the period seven band class at the beginning of the year with the intent of eventually joining jazz band, also picked this class because it allowed him to be active in things besides just band.
“The whole reason I joined seventh period band is [for] jazz band,” Brownell said.
“I would’ve preferred to stay in seventh period band because that way I’m able to, like, partially commit to it. I don’t want my whole focus in life to be band.”
Now period seven band class is mostly for students just now learning to play an instrument, or students with major schedule conflicts.
“We’re playing music, we’re doing some solos in there, and we’re kind of navigating fundamentals with them as well,” band director Julia Donnel said. “So it’s not a competing band at this moment.”
However, previously the period seven band class has served as a place for students who wanted to participate in a music course, but didn’t want the time commitment required to be in a competing band. Junior Kayla Wilkins is another student who was moved from seventh period to eighth period band.
“I just wanted to do concert band and you know just play for fun,” Wilkins said.
Students we spoke to that were formerly in the period seven band class also complained that they were not fully informed of the change in bands or the change in expectations before the start of the semester. When Brownell returned after winter break, he was informed that he would no longer be in the seventh period class and see his other schedule changes in his afternoon courses.
“They haven’t been telling us enough. I didn’t even know I was part of that period,” Brownell said. “My ELA teacher was the one who told me that my schedule had changed.”
Senior Conner Cooper is another student who dropped the class after learning of his schedule change.
“I had no idea I was supposed to stay after school, so when I left, uh, I got a bad grade for it. I thought that was kinda messed up,” Cooper said. “I even had Slack and everything and I didn’t get notified.”
Students moved from seventh to eighth period were made aware on Thursday, January 5 only after the changes to their schedules had already been made.
“The sponsors or directors or coaches will send a list to counseling to make those schedule changes,” counselor Courtney Tarbox said. “So it’s really up to the teacher to notify students.”
The information about ninth hour and changes was available on the band’s Slack pages. Slack is an app that can be used to communicate with large amounts of people usually used in work spaces. Slack also features the weekly sheet which shows the schedule for each band each week. However, not many students from seventh period sign up for the band’s Slack as it’s primarily a place for marching band information during the first semester.
“The information has gone out pretty much since the beginning of the school year. So I think it’s just some people who weren’t necessarily used to reading their weekly sheet, are getting used to that,” Donnel said. “And I think that’s gonna be a really good transition as you go into adulthood.”
According to Donnel, the band directors always want to encourage kids to do their best to achieve a high musical ability.
“We always want kids working towards competing in a competitive band, which would be eighth period, but in seventh period we’re still working on very similar things,” Donnel said. “Just depending on where they are in their musical journey.”