• Band Syllabus

    Concert Band (7th Grade), Wind Ensemble (8th/9th Grade), and Senior High Band (10th – 12th Grade)

    Teacher: Marisa Trees

    Email: mtrees@saugerties.k12.ny.us


    - Professional flutist, music educator. Degrees: Bachelor of Music in Music Education from The Hartt School, University of Hartford and Master of Science in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University.
    Post graduate flute study with Patricia Spencer (Bard College, Hofstra University), Keith Underwood (NYU, Mannes & Queens College) and Gary Schocker (NYU).
    - Principal flute with the Woodstock Symphony Orchestra; am a founding member of the Hudson Valley Flute Ensemble; numerous other local chamber ensembles and groups; adjunct professor at SUNY Ulster as flute instructor and ensemble conductor; active in the Ulster County Music Educators Association, as Scholarship Committee Chairperson and General Chair for the All-County Band Festival.

    Method of Instruction

    -I  try to incorporate diverse teaching methods and techniques in a positive and encouraging environment while striving to provide a challenging program, taking into account the varying needs and skill levels of my students. I encourage hands-on learning and thinking outside of the box. We develop problem solving skills and other valuable life skills such as empathy, risk taking and confidence building.
    - Students are encouraged to reach out often and as needed. I do not want them overwhelmed or stressed, and will do my best to coach them through challenges. I aspire to achieve a mutual trust and respect so that we have a good rapport and working relationship.
    - My goal as a teacher is to instill a passion for learning, creating and love of music within my students. I value all that music study can do for their overall development, and hope that music will serve them as a life-long outlet for self-expression and enhancement of quality of life, whether they be the performer or audience member. It is hoped that my students will be successful in whatever their chosen path, and that they see, through their study of music, the correlation between determination, hard work, and achievement.

    Course Description

    - In each Band, I plan to further develop the skills learned in the ensemble prior. Special attention is given to evaluation criteria of the New York State Schools Music Association (NYSSMA), and Senior High Band (hopefully adding Wind Ensemble soon) performs annually at NYSSMA’s Major Organizations Festival.
    Emphasis is placed upon the elements of music, exposure to various styles and composers, and improving technical ability through preparing for concerts and other performances. All students should be enrolled in band both fall and spring semesters, and ideally upon reaching high school, take SH Band everyday unless they have an approved academic conflict.
    - Junior High bands and Wind Ensemble usually present two concerts a year and attendance is mandatory. Concert dress is white on top, black on bottom.
    - Senior High Band usually has a number of performances throughout the year (mandatory ones are in italics): Pep Rally, Caroling (at Elementary schools, Senior Citizen Center, other community venues), Winter Concert, Pops Concert (new in 2021), SUNY Ulster Band Clinic, Spring Concert, NYSSMA Major Organizations Festival, Spring Recital, Graduation, etc. Performance attire is all solid black.
    - Instruction focuses on the following NYSED Arts Anchor Standards:


    4. Analyze, interpret and select artistic work for presentation.
    5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
    6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.


    7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.
    8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
    9. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.


    10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
    11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.


    - Students are expected to practice their instruments at home on a regular basis. Shorter, more frequent sessions are suggested.

    - Students are expected to actively participate in rehearsals and performances by having their instrument (and all necessary supplies) in good playing condition, having their copies of band music and lesson books, contributing their best, and by having a pencil at the ready. Parts should be learned prior to rehearsal, as rehearsal serves as the opportunity to learn everyone else’s part.
    - Small group lessons will be held on a rotating, pull-out basis once during the six day cycle. Student attendance is expected unless the previously scheduled teacher objects for valid reason. Every quarter students will be asked to play lesson book material for a grade. Graded assignments will also be given via Sight Reading Factory.com.
    - Lesson Books should be obtained for student use, with ordering information on my website or in Google Classroom. If there are difficulties with regard to this request, please reach me immediately. Be assured such correspondence will be confidential.

    Course Objectives

    - Students will improve music literacy.
    - Students will perform music from different time periods and styles.  
    - Students will study the fundamental elements of music: tone quality, balance, intonation, dynamics, phrasing, interpretation and articulation.
    - Students will evaluate their performances (and when applicable, performances of others) using the elements of music for terminology.
    - Students will gain awareness of composer, performer, and stylistic history of performance pieces; thus demonstrating composer’s intent while drawing on their own life experience for greater meaning and interpretation.


    - Student attendance during class and at performances strongly influences grading as Band is a participation/performance based course. Attendance is mandatory to all rehearsals and performances unless otherwise noted. Please be aware of all rehearsal and performance dates, and plan accordingly.
    - The Band "Contract" will be posted with performance dates SOON! Awaiting confirmation….
    - Excused Absences Include:

    Extreme personal illness with Doctor’s Note (or absence from school)
    Family Health emergencies verified by family
    Approved Academic conflicts
    Extra-Curricular School conflicts approved by director in advance.
    Any absence of a performance, with the exception of an emergency, must be cleared far in advance.

    - Unexcused performance absences will likely result in a severe grade penalty. Communication with the director is crucial! Email is best, preferably by the parent or guardian of the student. Please note: Even if the director is informed about the conflict with ample warning, it does not guarantee that the absence will be approved.

    Performance Guidelines

    - Be early for report times.
    - Come prepared physically and mentally.
    - Have equipment and/or materials ready to go before report time.
    - Concert/Performance attire – all Junior High Groups (Concert Band & Wind Ensemble) – Solid White on top, solid black on bottom. Senior High Band – Solid black top & bottom. School Dress Code applies.

    Grading Policy

    - Grades are based on attendance, class participation, playing assessments, concert attendance, written assignments, and SRF assignments.

    Disciplinary Expectations

    - Follow all school and instructor Policies and Guidelines
    - Be Prepared (Instrument, Music, Parts prepared, Pencil)
    - Follow instructions
    - In general, be respectful of others, their belongings, school property, and whomever is on the conductor’s podium

    Disciplinary Consequences

    - Warning
    - Parent/Guardian contact (if time & severity allows)
    - Referral written


    - Students, please check your school email account often!
    - Email is always the best to reach memtrees@saugerties.k12.ny.us

    General Topics

    - All band students, new and returning, may be asked to play a Seating Placement Audition. Seating Auditions may be required to for placement in their section with respect to range and technical difficulty considerations. These are intended to be helpful as they help to address the individuals’ strengths and needs. Students will be provided the opportunity to change the outcome of Seating Auditions through Seat Challenges.
    - The bands meet and rehearse EOD (Jr High) or every day (Sr High) for the full year. For Senior High Band, the year doesn’t end until after caps are tossed at Graduation.
    - Additional performances may be added at any time. The director will make every effort to notify students immediately.
    - Private lessons are recommended, especially if students are considering majoring or minoring in music. Please contact director for references to area specialists.
    - Students will be encouraged to participate in NYSSMA Solo & Small Ensembles Festivals and to audition for UCMEA All County Bands. Likewise, encouragement will be given to students, as a result of scores achieved at NYSSMA Solo Festival or of demonstrated excellence in performance, to apply for Area All-State or All-State ensembles.
    - SH Band usually does a fall fundraiser to offset costs of guest artists, Senior Band Letters, and Scholarships.
    - An annual spring field trip is optional, first consideration given to SH Band and SH Choir members, most often to The Metropolitan Opera, sometimes the NY Philharmonic, with band repertoire chosen to tie into the production attended. Fundraiser monies from a student’s account may be used to offset cost of field trip.

Last Modified on September 9, 2020