Susan Spain » WCMS Band FAQ


Once I receive a list of all enrolled 6th graders, I will send an email to each student asking them to select 3 instruments they would be happy to play. I will then assign instruments based on the needed instrumentation in the band. 
The instrumentation for the band is designed to create a balanced sound for the group. If everyone played percussion, for example, the band would not sound good. Some of the larger sections in the group typically include clarinets, trumpets, French horns and trombones. Some of the smaller sections include the oboe, bassoon, percussion and saxophone.
The instrument selection email will be sent out sometime in the first two weeks of June. The email with your instrument assignment will be sent sometime in the first two weeks of July. 
I highly recommend renting your instrument for the first year in band. Both Amro and Lane music stores rent quality instruments, and you can choose to include a maintenance and repair plan as part of your rental. This will cover any damage caused by a dropped instrument or and accidental damage to the instrument.
If your child is assigned the bassoon, baritone, or tuba, they will rent their instrument from WCMS. These three instruments are prohibitively expensive, and are not rented by local music stores. There are also a limited number of French horns available on a first come, first served basis.
Please, please, please do not purchase your child's instrument online. The instruments you find on sites like Amazon are very cheap for a reason. They will play in tune, will be harder to maintain, and most likely won't last the school year. Instrument repair shops in town will not work on them because they are manufactured using low quality materials. You will end up spending more money in the long run if you buy online.
Percussion, along with saxophone and flute, is one of the most popular instruments in the band. The number of percussion students is determined by the number of students in the band overall. Generally, about 10% of the band is comprised of percussionists.
Please understand that percussion is not just "the drums". WCMS percussion students will spend the majority of the first semester on keyboard instruments. After that, they will rotate every day, playing both pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments. Students learn keyboard instruments, snare drum, bass drum, timpani, and many other smaller instruments throughout the year.
Click here to see all of the instruments offered at WCMS.