East Cobb Middle School Orchestras

The Sound of Excellence

September Orchestra Updates

Good evening!

I hope this message finds you well.
A few important updates and reminders:

1) The Fine Arts Fall Fundraiser began last Friday – envelopes with catalogs and order forms were sent home. Orders and money are due no later than Friday, September 21st. Please consider buying or selling an item, or simply donating instead, to support our orchestra program. These funds purchase food supplies, classroom materials, and pay for clinicians working with your students whenever possible. 8th grade parents: a second fundraiser will begin later this school year that can help pay for your child’s Orlando trip. They must sell at least 5 items during the first fundraiser to have the opportunity to pay for an amount of their trip with the second fundraiser. 100% profit of the second fundraiser will go to your child’s account for the trip. Information regarding the trip will be sent out prior to fall break – we’re still ironing out some details.

2) Opportunities for extra help: Student are able and encouraged to come to early morning practice sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, unless noted otherwise. The time is generally 8:00AM-8:45AM, but if you need to drop your child off earlier to get to work on time, please let me know and I will make arrangements to let your child into the building earlier. Tomorrow, September 13th, is the first after school help sessions from Wheeler HS orchestra students. So far, I have only offered this opportunity to 7th and 8th grade students as 6th graders are still learning some basics. These after school help sessions are every Thursday (unless noted otherwise), from 4:15PM-5:30PM. Please arrange rides for picking up your child after these help sessions prior to letting them stay after school. This time is equivalent to receiving private lessons without the cost, so please take advantage! I’ll have a signup sheet in the orchestra room so I can let the Wheeler students know which instruments are needed each week.

3) Practice records: We have finally started practice records, as of this week, and are worth 10% of students’ grades. The expectation is practicing 120 minutes each week, with a parent signature confirming. While I have hundreds of copies in my room, I am attaching it here in case you need to print one in the future. Practice records are due every Tuesday. Individual practice is imperative to this program’s success, so please remind your child to practice! Time spent writing finger numbers, listening to recordings of the songs, or studying note names , etc. also counts toward each week’s practice time. I highly recommend utilizing note identification on musictheory.net ( https://www.musictheory.net/exercises/note ), Staff Wars for iOS users, or any other music theory games/exercises available. 6th grade students really need to be focusing on solidifying their note reading and which fingers are used to play the notes we’ve learned thus far.

4) Upcoming concert: We have the first concert in the ECMS Performance Hall on October 4th! Much more information will follow regarding this concert, but I wanted to give you all a heads up in advance. The concert begins at 7PM and is 7th and 8th grade, only. 6th grade parents: students may receive extra credit if they attend the concert and write a five sentence summary describing the music, experience, or anything they think appropriate to share.

5) Signing up for Remind101 messages from me:

Number to text: 81010
8th grade message to text: @ecmso8th
7th grade message to text: @ecmso7th
6th grade message to text: @ecmso6th
I hope this email helps answer any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to reach out with any other thoughts.

​K Encisco

Practice Record Template-1rxpm1b

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Fine Arts Cookout

It’s the day of the cookout!

Some quick details, again:
When: Friday, August 17th, 2018
Time: 4:30PM-6:00PM
Where: ECMS bus lanes/back field
Who: All orchestra and band students
What: Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks, drinks, and desserts to build relationships amongst all instrumental musicians at ECMS
How to help: Please donate an item such as a bag of chips, a box of cookies, or a bottle of soda so kids can enjoy a full meal! Cookout SignUpGenius

To pick up students, you can drive around to the back of the school. This is completely optional, and students do not have to stay for the entire time. It’s just a social event for students to build relationships in the music scene.

Thanks so much!
Ms. Encisco

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Welcome Back!

I hope each of you had a wonderful and relaxing summer! 🙂

I’m very excited for this new school year, especially in our beautiful new school building!

A few updates:
– I’ve sent home the syllabus and order form. Please return those ASAP so I can order materials for individual students!
– We are joining the band for a Performing Arts Cookout this year on August 17th, from 4:30PM to 6:00PM in the back parking lot. There will be hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, desserts, and snacks! We need your help to make this a huge success for all of our wonderful band and orchestra students. Please signup for an item on this SignUpGenius to donate to the cookout: Cookout SignUpGenius
More information on the cookout is on that page, as well.
– Sixth grade parents, please feel free to start renting your child’s instrument so they can bring them to school. All students should have been measured for instrument size and received a folder of flyers for stores in the surrounding areas. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

More information soon to follow.
Ms. Encisco

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Recruiting Videos

Happy summer!!
I hope you are all having lots of fun so far, hanging out with friends, and are trying new things 🙂

Can you please take 5 minutes out of your day and record a super short clip to explain why you joined orchestra, why someone should join orchestra/play an instrument, or anything interesting like that to attract rising 6th graders? You can also do this with other (orchestra) friends. Nothing too lengthy.

Ways to send them to me:
Text through remind,
Email at [email protected],
Email at [email protected]
Text to (678) 310-6376

You can also try adding a comment on to this blog post, perhaps?

Enjoy the rest of your summer break! 🤗

Thank you!
Ms. Encisco


6th Grade String Jamboree

Good morning!

Attached you will find important information regarding the upcoming 6th Grade String Jamboree. This letter is being sent home this week in paper.

Wheeler PAC Parking Map[4]-2eegtfg

6th Grade Information 4.18.18[1]-wl8mzf

Ms. Encisco

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Orchestra Breakfast

Good afternoon,

I hope this email finds you well!

Hopefully you have received the texts and handouts I have sent home regarding our orchestra breakfast that is finally happening! It is next Saturday, March 31st and lasts from 9AM-12PM in the ECMS Cafeteria. Breakfast is $5, which will be collected at the door. I apologize this is scheduled for the Saturday of spring break, but it is the only Saturday we are able to use the cafeteria.

Please consider donating items, such as
Pancake Mix
Waffle Mix
Sausage Links
Disposable Cups
Disposable Utensils
Disposable Plates
Disposable Table Clothes
Cute/Welcoming Center Pieces
A Welcome Sign
Pancake/Waffle Griddle (You will get this back)

Also, I am attaching a link for a SignUp Genius. Please consider signing up to come help at our breakfast – Students and parents are able to sign up for time slots. Only adults should sign up for cooking slots, however.


Please invite your friends and families to the breakfast!
Kathryn Encisco

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Recent Updates

Good afternoon!

Universal payments were all due this past Thursday on March 1st. If a student has not paid by March 16th, that student will be unable to go, regardless of if they have paid part of the trip or not.
We have a mandatory parent meeting for Universal on March 13th, next Tuesday.

Sixth grade orchestra students have their String Jamboree on Monday, April 23rd at Wheeler High School. This is after school and all parents are invited.

ECMS Orchestra Breakfast: Fourth time’s the charm! We are in the works of finally rescheduling this breakfast. I sent out a survey this past Saturday regarding the best dates. I realize many families attend church Sunday mornings, but unfortunately the breakfast will most likely be a Sunday morning because of scheduling conflicts Saturday mornings.
Please start donating a small item for this breakfast! Possible items are:
• Pancake Mix
• Waffle Mix
• Bacon
• Sausage Links
• Beverages
• Disposable Cups
• Disposable Utensils
• Disposable Plates
• Disposable Table Clothes
• Cute/Welcoming Center Pieces
• A Welcome Sign
• Pancake Griddle (you will get this back)
Please hold off donating perishable foods, as we do not have much refrigerator space.

As always, practice records are due on Tuesday’s. There will be no early morning practice on Thursday, March 8th.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Kathryn Encisco

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Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser

Good morning!

We are trying some new fundraisers this year to help the ECMS Orchestra, and to help the 8th grade orchestra students with their spring workshop!
Our first fundraiser is the Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser, which will be on December 16th, 2017 from 8AM-10AM. Tickets cost $7, and will buy you a pancake breakfast with sausage links and a beverage.
Tickets must be purchased ahead of time as they will not be sold at the door on December 16th. Please feel free to fill out this Google form to order tickets, but remember your child must still bring in payment for the tickets.

I’m attaching the flyer that I am sending home with students. Please help us sell tickets! The 8th grade parents and students will be volunteering by greeting, seating, and serving everyone breakfast. Our goal is to sell 400 tickets!
Applebee’s Handout-177nt9x

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8th Grade Information

I just sent out this email to all 8th grade parents: (Please email me so I can forward any needed attachments to you)

Good evening!

I hope this school year is treating you well thus far and you were all able to enjoy this past Tuesday for either Halloween or simply as another Tuesday! ☺
I apologize ahead of time for such a lengthy email, I am trying to get as much information to you as possible with a minimal number of emails.

Numerous updates coming out regarding upcoming field trips and whatnot –

1) 8th Grade Orchestra students will visit the Wheeler High School Chamber Orchestra on November 17th from 9:45AM-11:45AM. Students will listen to Wheeler’s top orchestra perform, and then will go sit with the high schoolers. All students will play our music together and have a workshop with Dr. Dwayne Wasson, the high school orchestra director.
a. Logistics: I will pull them from class immediately following the morning announcements to ensure we have our music and instruments collected prior to walking across the street. We will have the campus officer assisting with the road crossing, but we also need parent chaperones. Thank you to Ms. Joy Henrikkson who has already agreed to chaperone this field trip! We will need at least three more parents to be with us from 9:45AM-11:45AM. I am attaching the Blanket Permission IFCB-3, which will cover our field trip across the street to WHS and LGPE to Lassiter HS in February (info to come). Please print/sign and send in with your student – they have been told which students have turned in the permission slips.
2) 8th Grade Universal trip! (April 25th through April 28th)
a. I sent home the permission slip yesterday (on bright yellow paper) and the tentative itinerary today (on pink paper). I am also attaching both the Overnight Field Trip Form – 8th Universal and the eastcobb universal tentative itinerary with rough payment information. For the overnight field trip form, if you print it out the gray boxes will disappear.
b. There will be an optional interest meeting at 6:30PM on Thursday, November 16th in the ECMS Theater. We will discuss subjects such as required forms, payment plans, dress code, rooming/bus assignments, and hopefully answer any questions you may have.
c. Currently the trip is estimated to cost $569 total. This number might increase by $10-$15 so we can order matching t-shirts for all students to wear during park days. We are asking the first payment be made by Friday, November 17th. Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns regarding this.
d. Please email me if you are interested in chaperoning for this fun trip to Universal! Chaperones pay the same $569 as the students, however there will be only 2 adults in each hotel room, instead of 4 like the students. Depending on how many orchestra students attend this trip, we will need 4-6 parent chaperones.
e. Please consistently remind your child that we are going to Universal to play our instruments and learn from a clinician… riding rollercoasters and bonding with friends are just added bonuses. ☺
f. Feel free to join the Remind101 group for parents and students – I am not planning to blow up your phone with notifications. Text @universe17 to 81010
i. I attached the 2017 universal remind101 instructions for this if you prefer to sign up for emails or if you’re having any troubles.
3) 8th Grade Universal trip fundraising
a. I have begun researching everything possible to help you with the cost of this trip. While this is almost $100 less expensive than last year’s trip, I realize it’s still a lot of money to come up with.
i. First fundraiser – Applebee’s FlapJack Fundraiser. I have attached the Flapjack Fundraiser Guest FAQs provided for this fundraiser. I have received approval from Ms. Young for this fundraiser, and am now waiting for confirmation from Applebee’s. This fundraiser occurs on a Saturday morning from 7:30AM-10:00AM at an Applebee’s location (I requested the location off Franklin road, which is 3 miles from ECMS). Students will sell tickets for $7, which we profit $5 per ticket, up to 400 tickets. On the actual Saturday morning of the event, volunteers will be greeting, seating, serving, and bussing. I gave the students some now incorrect information earlier this morning:
1. Students are able to volunteer, as long as they have a parent signature on the liability release waiver (I do not have this yet so am unable to attach). However, only volunteers over the age of 18 are allowed into the kitchen, which includes the roles of serving and bussing. Therefore, we will still need some parent volunteers. Depending on tickets sales, we will need 7-20 volunteers. This is explained in a chart on the attached FAQ.
2. Tickets will be sold for $7, instead of $13.
3. We are able to do this fundraiser at a much closer Applebee’s instead of the original location idea in Atlanta.
4. Potential dates for this are December 16th, and January 13th. I’m hoping we get confirmation for the December 16th breakfast, because if this is a successful fundraiser we could complete another breakfast in February or March.
b. Students have expressed interest in hosting bake sales, car washes, cake walks, and/or potlucks. I am working as fast as I can to find information if any/all of these are possible. If anyone has any suggestions or leads for possible fundraisers, please don’t hold back!
4) Practice Records
a. Last week was the first week of practice records! Students are expected to practice at least 120 minutes each week. A practice record will not be accepted for a grade without a parent signature/initials. I am spending this evening updating grades, so please be on the lookout for any discrepancies towards the end of this week.

Thank you for your constant support! This program could not be this successful without each of you or without your belief in the importance of the arts.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Kathryn Encisco

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Google Form Links

Good morning!

Hopefully by this point your students have updated you on all orchestra information. Today and yesterday, I sent home packets of forms that need to be filled out. I did not include all of the syllabus in attempt to conserve paper. The syllabus is attached here.

Here are the google form links for electronically filling out the needed information.

Student data form:

Order form:

Encisco Syllabus 2017-2018-23w5z7z

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!

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