LGPE and more!


Festival will be hosted at the Carroll County PAC on March 11-12, 2019.  Admission is free and open to the public.  I hope that you will mark your calendars and plan on supporting our band students!

March 11, 2019, at 4:30pm • Symphonic Band

  1. Galactic Fanfare by Randall Stanbridge
  2. Shenandoah by Frank Ticheli
  3. Khan by Julie Giroux

March 11, 2019, at 7:40pm • Wind Ensemble

  1. El Capitan by John Philip Sousa ed. Loras Schissel and Keith Brion
  2. October by Eric Whitacre
  3. Angels in the Architecture by Frank Ticheli

March 12, 2019, at 9:30am • Concert Band

  1. Coast Guards March by Karl King arr. James Swearingen
  2. Rhythm Stand by Jennifer Higdon
  3. Moscow, 1941 by Brian Balmages


Itinerary for Monday:

Symphonic Band (SB) and Wind Ensemble (WE) will report to the band room at for 4th Block.  Symphonic Band will put on their concert attire and both ensembles will load large equipment after class. Smaller instruments will ride on the bus.  We will have 2 buses that will run routes.  Wind Ensemble will leave first to allow SB a little extra time to dress into their concert attire.

Here is the itinerary for the day:

  • 1:45PM SB and WE report to the band room
  • 2:15PM WE Depart for PAC to watch bands
  • 2:30PM SB Depart for PAC to watch bands
  • 3:50PM SB Warm-Up
  • 4:30PM SB Performance
  • 5:00PM (After SB Performance) WE Depart for American Pie (Students need $5.00 for dinner).
  • 5:30PM (after sight-reading) SB Depart for CHS to change
  • 5:45PM SB Depart to American Pie for dinner (Students need $5.00 for dinner).
  • 6:00PM WE Depart to CHS to Change into performance attire
  • 6:25PM WE Depart for PAC
  • 6:50PM SB Depart for PAC to watch the WE performance
  • 7:00PM WE Warm-Up
  • 7:40PM WE Performance (We will return to the audience after sight-reading to watch the last band while we wait for our scores).
  • 8:45 PM SB Depart for CHS
  • 9:00 PM WE Depart for CHS

Concert Band Itinerary for Tuesday

  • 8:00AM Report to the band room dressed for the performance — Load large equipment
  • 8:30AM Depart for the PAC
  • 9:00AM Warm-up
  • 9:30AM Performance
  • 10:30AM Depart for American Pie for lunch (Students need $5.00 for lunch)
  • 11:30AM Return to CHS and back in class around 12:00PM

Winter Guard travels to Charlotte

Our Varsity Winter Guard is competing at a regional WGI competition in Charlotte, NC this weekend!  Students will need money for meals.  Each meal is listed below.  Options will be either fast food or concessions to try and save money and for convenience.  We encourage having around $10 per meal (total of $50).  Below is the itinerary for the weekend.

Friday March 15th, After School 

  • Depart Carrollton High School: 4:00pm
  • Dinner en-route bring money (about $10.00)
  • Arrive at Home2Suites: 9:30pm
    • 1285 Old Springdale Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • Lights Out: 10:30pm

Saturday March 16th 

  • Breakfast: 7:00- 8:00am
  • Get Ready: 8:00
  • Depart for Rehearsal: 9:00am
  • Arrive at Rehearsal Site: 9:20am
    • Rawlinson Road Middle School
    • 2631 W Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29732
  • Rehearse: 10:00am- 11:00pm
  •  Depart for Arena: 11:30 pm
  •  Check In: 12:00pm ​
    •  1162 Eden Terrace, Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • Lunch at concessions bring money (about $10.00)
  • Report to Hallway: 1:30pm
  •  Body Warmup: 1:59pm
  •  Equipment Warmup: 2:09pm
  •  Perform: 2:25pm
  •  Refold and Load floor: 2:40pm
  •  Check In at Hallway: 5:45pm
  • Dinner at Concessions bring money (about $10.00)
  •  Report to Hallway directly after Last Performance
  •  Depart for Hotel: 8:45pm
  •  Arrive: 9:00pm
  •  Lights Out: 10:00pm

​Sunday March 17th


  • Breakfast 6:30am – 7:00am
  • Depart: 7:20am
  • Earliest Check In: 7:45am
  • Hallway Check In: 8:45am
  • Body Warmup: 9:08am
  • Equipment Warmup: 9:14am
  • Lunch at concessions bring money (about $10.00)
  • Hallway Check In: 1:00pm
  • Awards: 4:00pm
  • Depart: 5:00pm
  • Dinner en-route bring money (about $10.00)
  • Arrive in Carrollton: 10:00pm


  • Breakfast: 7:00am
  • Depart: 9:00am
  • Lunch en-route bring money for fast food (around $10.00)
  • Arrive in Carrollton: 3:00pm

Upcoming Booster Meeting!

Our next booster meeting will be held on March 25, 2019 at 6:00PM in the band room.  All students who are marching next year should be in attendance with a parent.  Forms for next year, handbook, and the show will be announced!

Spring Auditions (Also linked above)

Placement auditions will take place after school on Thursday, March 28 beginning at 4:00PM.  Students will be able to sign-up for a time.  Auditions are required for all students to participate in the high school band and will determine class and chair placement.  Auditions consist of three parts which are explained below: Etude, Scales, and Sight-reading.  Please sign up for the audition by clicking here.  Be sure to add your name to the appropriate list (tabs at the bottom).


The etude was passed out in class last week or can be accessed on Charms or by following the links below.  The etude is worth 60 points on your audition (or the value of 20, 1 octave scales!)

The etude will be graded based on all of the elements of music: tone, pitch, tempo, rhythm, technique, articulations, dynamics, musicality, expression, style, etc. A compelling performance of the etude can earn you 50 points.  Be sure to pay attention to the time signature, tempo marking, and key signature.


Please perform as many major/minor scales as you can in 2 minutes.  The scales do not have to be memorized.  Students will receive a maximum of 3 points per octave that is performed correctly (1 point ascending, 1 point descending, and 1 point for the arpeggio.) Mistakes may be corrected but you only have 2 minutes to complete their scales. If time runs out in the middle of a scale, you may finish that scale for full credit but will be finished at the end of that scale. Articulation and rhythm does not matter for scales, but note accuracy is imperative. Keep in mind: your scale score is not limited by anything except time. You can really earn a lot of points in this category if you practice diligently. It is rare, but not unheard of for students to perform 12 major and 12 minor scales, 2 octaves in a 2 minute period.  Are you up for the challenge?

Chromatic Scale (Winds Only):

Students are encouraged to demonstrate their full range by performing their chromatic scale.  The chromatic scale does not have to be memorized. GMEA has requirements for recommended ranges for students who are auditioning for district honor band.  Their recommendation is a great starting goal.  The scale should be performed in an even rhythm both ascending and descending.  Points for the chromatic scale will be awarded as follows:

  • Perform the Junior High School required ranges for a total of 20 points
    • Flute Low C to High F
    • Oboe Low C to High C
    • Bassoon Low Bb to High F
    • Soprano Clarinet Low E to High D above High C
    • Bb Low Clarinet Low E to High A Bb
    • Eb Contra Alto Clarinet Low E to High A
    • Alto Sax Low C to High D
    • Baritone Sax Low C to High D
    • Tenor Sax Low C to High D
    • Trumpet Low F# to High G
    • French Horn Low F to High F
    • Trombone Low E to High F
    • Baritone (BC) Low E to High F
    • Baritone (TC) Low F# to High G
    • Tuba Low E to High F
  • For each additional note added to the range students may earn an additional point for their Chromatic Scale.
  • Bonus points: There is no specified tempo, but the evaluator has the discretion to award up to 10 bonus points for performing the scale with quality tone in all registers, speed, and exceptional evenness of the performance.

Rudiments (Percussion Only):

Percussionists will perform 3 rudiments of their choice in an open – closed – open tradition instead of a chromatic scale.  Performance will be graded on speed, technique, and evenness of sound.  Each rudiment will be evaluated on a 10 point scale.  Additionally, 10 bonus points are reserved to be rewarded as bonus points for exceptional speed, tone, and technique.


Sight-reading will consist of a short excerpt that you will perform after a 30 second study period. During the study period, I encourage you to “airplay or air band” through the music, just keep in mind that you are not allowed to make a sound on your instrument during the study period. Sight-reading is graded on all of the elements of music like the etude is graded. It is important to be well versed in all rhythms, scales, keys, dynamics, articulations, etc. to be a good sight-reader. Students who are able to perform a compelling interpretation of the sight-reading beyond the notes and rhythms will be awarded more points.  You will have an option between two sight-readings.  An easier sight-reading will be worth 30 points or you can choose the more difficult one, which is worth 50 points.  

This is your opportunity to show how much you have grown this semester.  You can do it!

Leadership Classroom

Students interested in applying and auditioning for leadership positions in next year’s Trojan Marching Band should join this Google Classroom: nbz13p

Tri-M Music Honor’s Society

TriM is a national music honor society, that has been represented for years at Carrollton High School.  Last year, Ms. Lowry and Ms. Fazio agreed to include our band students in the organization and Mr. Carr agreed to co-sponsor the group.  Students receiving cords show outstanding commitment to band all four years (marching band and concert band) of their high school career.  Tri-M members also demonstrate exemplary leadership, service, and character.  Other considerations are participation in extra band activities such as all-state, district honor band, district jazz band, serving on the leadership team and serving at the LoC and booster club clean up days.  Being an Honor Society, students must maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 85.00 and a minimum grade point average of 90 in all band classes.

Last year was our first year incorporating band into the organization and only included seniors.  This year, seniors and juniors will be invited so that we can have student leadership moving forward to better organize the efforts of Tri-M.  Members of Tri-M are eligible to purchase a cord to wear at graduation, demonstrating their outstanding academic achievement in addition to their dedication and success in the band program.

Letters will be sent out to eligible students next week.  We will have our first Band Tri-M meeting on Monday, March 18, 2019 in the band room at 3:45PM.

Mr. Carr’s Tip of the Week!

Does your child play an instrument that requires reeds?

As a clarinetist myself, I understand the importance of having a good reed.  If your child has not communicated to you the challenges that they face when they do not have a good reed, I wanted to be able to bridge the gap through this post.  It is my goal to periodically create informative posts to help students better communicate to parents about the importance of their set-up to ensure success in music class.

On reed instruments, the reed affects 100% of the sound created by the instrument.  In fact, the sound starts with the reed.  The quality of the reed and matching the reed strength to the performer’s preferences are essential to allowing students to create the a professional sound; the one that we encourage them to make.  Often times when I play my clarinet, I will get a reed that will feel “stuffy.”  My teachers always referred to this reed as a “dead” reed.  It could happen from a reed right out of the box or one that has been used too much.  A stuffy reed requires the performer to work exhaustingly hard to produce a pleasant sound and it is borderline painful to maintain this level of effort for a long period of time.  Our band classes are 90 minutes and the students typically perform an average of 20 minutes of music at most concerts.  Another issue that students may encounter with reeds is that they are too easy to play.  If there is not enough resistance to the airflow, then it is extremely difficult to maintain pitch, produce quality articulation, and create a desirable sound.  The video below shows a saxophonist demonstrating these issues.

Sometimes a stuffy reed is just too hard and can be filed down to the appropriate strength.  For single reeds, I prefer to use a “mill bastard” file as opposed to sand paper.  Sand paper leaves grit on the reed, which could damage the mouthpiece.  Double reeds have specialized instruments to shave/file reeds, which I will post about in the future.  Also, since double reeds are using 2 pieces of cane, their selection is very important for a student’s success.  My daughter began playing oboe this past year and her oboe teacher recommended that we order hand made reeds from a professional.  I shared one of these reeds with our oboists and the reeds seem to have helped them continue to shape their sounds.  I will work on compiling a list of reed makers for our double reed players to investigate for a future post.

Single reeds can be hand made as well, but because we are dealing with 1 piece of cane some of the machine made reeds are rather good.  With that being said there are some brands that are trusted by many professionals.  These are the brands that have been suggested to me by former teachers.  I do not specifically endorse one brand over another, but I highly encourage students to find a brand that they like because of the quality of sound they produce and the consistency of each reed in a box.  Because of these factors I have learned to trust: Vandoren (Blue Box – Traditional Cut, and my favorite the V12 – American Cut) and Rico Reserve for clarinet.  When comparing prices you may see that Vandoren and Rico Reserve are not the least expensive brand nor the most expensive, but they are the brands that I prefer to play because they produce a quality tone and good consistency between reeds.  Unfortunately, because reeds are made of organic material their consistency is not perfect, which is why I advocate for purchasing in bulk rather than one at a time.

The best way to purchase reeds in my opinion is by the box.  Boxes are typically 10 at a time for the smaller single reeds and 5 at a time for the larger single reeds.  This is advantageous for multiple reasons:

  1. If a student accidentally breaks a reed (they are fragile after all), then they have a back-up one already.
  2. In a box of 10 there will be a slight range in strengths; a box of size 3 may have a range from 2.75-3.25 depending on the quality of the cane at the time of production.    Additionally, reed strength varies with fluctuations in humidity and temperature to a certain degree.
  3. Students have the ability to rotate reeds to give reeds a chance to break in properly increasing their longevity.
  4. Students have the ability to rank their reeds and designate their favorite reeds for performances (concerts, auditions, etc.)

You can buy reeds by the box from various places.  We are fortunate at CHS to have 3 music companies (listed alphabetically below) who visit us weekly to provide instrument repair services and to be a representative if students would like to purchase musical supplies.

Each of these music stores have websites that allow you to purchase things and have them shipped or could even be delivered by the representative if you were to call the store specifically.  Additionally, Amazon carries many products as well if you prefer to have it shipped to your house using Prime.  Ordering from one of our representatives would be appreciated if possible because it allows them to continue their visits.

Ask your child demonstrate their sound on their instrument using different reeds.  You’ll be surprised how different they can sound from choosing a good reed.  They will feel happier about playing their instrument and will be more successful when practicing if what they have works well.  Thank you for reading my thoughts on reeds.  I know as parents that you want to be able to provide the absolute best for your child and I am realized that there are some aspects of playing an instrument that I haven’t been able to communicate to you.  I hope that this post was helpful.  If you have any questions or concerns please e-mail me at christopher.carr@carrolltoncityschools.net.  If you have suggestions for upcoming tips please submit them via e-mail as well.

Weekly Snapshot

  • Monday: Festival with Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble (see itinerary above)
    • JV Winterguard 4-8PM
  • Tuesday: Festival with Concert Band (see itinerary above)
    • Varsity Winterguard 4-9PM
  • Wednesday
    • JV Winterguard 4-8PM
  • Thursday
    • Varsity Winterguard 4-9PM
  • Friday – Sunday (Winterguard see itinerary above)
    • Varsity Winterguard departs for Charlotte 4PM

Categories: CHS Band