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The GRSM Homeschool Band joins students of the larger GRSM Band Program, offered at various private schools in the Richmond Area, for external performances, including concerts and competitions throughout the school year.
The Beginning Band is a beginning level group for students who are learning to play a band instrument for the first time. Instruction is focused on developing a solid foundation in note reading, tone production, rhythm, articulation, proper posture/hand position, and instrument care and maintenance. Students also learn basic music theory concepts and ensemble skills, such as balance and blend. Appropriate instruments for the Beginning Band are trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone and percussion (multiple instruments), and GRSM can provide information regarding purchase or rental options. Beginning Band members receive a 1 hr group lesson each week. As a performance date nears, the Beginning Band students will join with beginning band students from other schools that participate in the GRSM Band Program and rehearse as a full ensemble. The minimum age to participate is 9 years old. No previous music experience is necessary.
The Concert Band is an intermediate level group for students who have had 1-3 years of experience playing a band instrument. In addition to continued development of basic instrumental music foundations, instruction focuses on the finer details of playing in an ensemble. Students in the Concert Band receive instruction on music theory and learn scales to improve technique and expand range. Concert Band members receive a 1 hr group lesson each week. As a performance date nears, the Concert Band students will join with Concert Band students from other schools that participate in the GRSM Band Program and rehearse as a full ensemble.
The Symphonic Band is an advanced level group comprised of students who have had 4+ years of experience playing a band instrument or have demonstrated a high level of proficiency on their instrument. Students in the Symphonic Band rehearse and perform high quality music in many styles and genres. In rehearsals, instruction is focused on balance, blend, intonation, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, and accuracy of pitch and rhythm. Students learn all 12 major scales and music theory concepts. Symphonic Band members receive a 1 hr group lesson each week. As a performance date nears, the Symphonic Band students will join with Symphonic Band students from other schools that participate in the GRSM Band Program and rehearse as a full ensemble.
Our Homeschool Band director is Robert W. (Bob) Ellithorpe who, having attained his B.M.Ed. at VCU and M.M. from University of Richmond, has accrued over 30 years of experience in instruction and band direction at elementary, middle and high school levels in Hanover and environs as well as instructing at VCU, Randolf Macon, University of Richmond, Garwood Whaley and his own private studio. He has guest conducted with numerous bands, and his performance repertoire is very long including 18yrs with the Richmond Symphony. He has also been on a number of adjudication teams and has a long list professional affiliations and recognitions including being listed in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and more recently was elected to Phi Beta Mu Virginia Band Director’s Hall of Fame-2013.