The Owen J. Roberts MS/HS Orchestra Program

    Martin Prescod, Orchestra Director


    The Owen J. Roberts Middle School and High School Orchestras are dedicated to giving students a well-rounded education. This includes exposure to and involvement in all aspects of the performing arts. The main purpose is to stimulate and refine the aesthetic impressions of the students. The Orchestra Program is designed to develop the students’ physical, intellectual and expressive qualities and to integrate the necessary musical skills that will enable students to enjoy a richer life through participating in musical experiences.

    Lessons and rehearsal activities provide a conceptual understanding of the basic properties of melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, and the technical and musical aspects of orchestra performance.  

    These important ingredients of comprehensive musicianship, in combination with a sequential plan of learning experiences, provide students in the orchestra program with an opportunity for musical creativity, self-expression and musical development.

    Benefits of Orchestra:

    Orchestra Literature is one of Western culture’s great treasures. It provides a broader historical perspective than one finds in other instrumental literature. There has been much publicity about recent research that indicates the powerful effect music can have on the intellectual and creative development of children. One noted author, teacher and musician Don Campbell, has written a book on “The Mozart Effect” which describes how children listening to the music of Mozart have increased verbal, emotional and spatial intelligence, plus improved concentration and memory. In an orchestra, students not only hear the music of Mozart, but they are actually involved in playing his music.

    The opportunities for lifelong participation are numerous. For those who excel in musical ability, many colleges offer scholarships. There are many community orchestras as well as countless churchmusic groups. In addition, many instrumental combinations often provide accompaniment for musical theaters and choral productions.


    Orchestra Playing Fosters:

    • The development of music appreciation and understanding of various cultures.

    • It develops interested and discriminating listeners, provide a well- rounded music education, and prepare students for musical activities beyond high school.

    • It lends support and atmosphere to certain school and community affairs while promoting and enhancing the dignity and reputation of Owen J. Roberts School District at all appearances.

    • It develops citizenship – the ability to function as a responsible member of the group; to enhance the student’s ability to interact with others in a positive manner, and to develop the ability to function as a responsible member of the community.


      Orchestra Room Procedures and Student Expectations


    • Arrive on time to class. Any student arriving to class 5 minutes late MUST have a pass. No Exceptions.

    • Get your instrument, folder and pencil and move quickly to your seat.

    • Stay focus while you are in class! No Eating In Room!

    • No Talking in class. Please raise your hand before speaking.

    • Cell Phones should be kept away from the music stands.
    • Attend all scheduled after school rehearsals.

      Each student is expected to be responsible and actively participate in the orchestra. If one person does not do their part, the whole orchestra suffers. Our goal as an orchestra is to constantly strive for excellence in character, music and teamwork.


    • Be respectful by treating others as you wish to be treated and follow the school rules.

    • Ipods and Cell Phones are not to be used during Orchestra




      If you are unable to comply with the classroom rules, you will be dealt with accordingly.

    • 1st infraction: Verbal Warning.

    • 2nd infraction: The above and a teacher/discussion after class.

    • 3rd infraction: Lost of participation points for that day and a phone call to parent

    • 4th infraction: The above and a detention.

    • 5th infraction: Principal’ referral.


      Grading Procedures

      A student’s grade will be determined by a combination of the following:

    • By weekly Participation/Performance

    • Playing Test

    • Concert Performance

      Orchestra Rehearsal Policy

      By virtue of being a member of the Owen J Roberts Orchestra, you have placed upon yourself an obligation not only to yourself, but to the entire orchestra program. Because it is OUR desire to achieve the finest possible result, attendance at all performances by every orchestra member is MANDATORY. It would be unrealistic to assume that exceptions, such as illness, death in the family, etc., do not occur, so emergencies will be considered exceptions. With this in mind, the following policy has been instituted to explain and define the absence policy of the orchestra. Please keep in mind that this policy exists so that we maintain the quality of the Owen J. Roberts Orchestra Program.

      All performances are mandatory. If you cannot attend a performance due to circumstances beyond your control, please notify Mr. Prescod in writing at least 3 weeks before the scheduled performance. Your written notification should include the date of the concert you cannot attend, the reason for not attending, your signature, and a parent signature – or simply an email from your parent.

      If you have a sports practice, you are to notify your coach of your performance ahead of time. If a concert conflicts with a sports competition, please notify both Mr. Prescod and your coach as soon as you are aware of the conflict. Your director and your coach will be in contact to work out a schedule for you. Most of the time, something can be worked out. State athletic competition is considered excused.

      Excused absence from performances:

    • Illness – advance notice (voicemail or email) appreciated if possible
    • Death in family
    • Vacation with parents/Weddings, etc.
    • State and National competitions.
    • Any other uncontrollable, extenuating circumstance that is approved by Mr. Prescod.

      Unacceptable excuses ---- and possible solutions.

    • “Studying” – Prepare a schedule for your studies and be consistent.
      1. Couldn’t get a ride” - Plan ahead, be responsible – find out if a colleague in orchestra can help with transportation.
      2. “Forgot” “Didn’t know” – Be responsible, read the schedule. The calendar is available both in class and online!
      3. “Parents didn’t know about it” – Clear schedules in advance with parents. Students in middle and high school are expected to be responsible, and be committed to their endeavors
      4. Orchestra is like a ‘team’ sport – a student who doesn’t come to an extra rehearsal not only doesn’t learn their part but changes the dynamic for the students who do come – making everyone have to work harder.
      5. Our concerts are much more than walking on stage and performing. Our students are taught proper performance etiquette as well as audience etiquette. Parents, I respectfully asked for your assistance in maintaining the high standards and professionalism of our performances by making sure that your children practice at home, attend all rehearsals and arrive at their performances on time and properly dressed and that they exercise proper etiquette throughout the concert. As always, if you have any questions, please email me at mprescod@ojrsd.com.

      Martin Prescod

      Orchestra Director


                   …………………………………………. Please sign and Return……………………….............

      I have read the Select Orchestra Policy and pledge acceptance of the mandatory rehearsal and   performance requirements.


      Student: ___________________________________

      Parent: ____________________________________

      Date: ____________________