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MUSIC 4GB3A Ensemble:Concert Band (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Joseph Resendes


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 405A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23676


Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Objectives:

This course teaches, through playing/singing, the principles of ensemble performance - listening, tuning, balance, blend, musicality, style, as well as rhythmic, dynamic and phrasal flexibility. Students will be given specific direction in the development of those skills appropriate to their ensemble, and are expected to show continuous progress in their development. As this course forms part of the performance component of music degrees, all ensembles normally perform at least one full concert per term. In addition to regularly scheduled rehearsals, 2+ hours per week of individual and/or group practice will be required.


Course Structure:

The requirements of these courses are fulfilled through participation in one of: McMaster Chamber Orchestra, McMaster Choir, McMaster Concert Band, McMaster Jazz Band, McMaster Vocal Ensemble, McMaster Flute Ensemble, McMaster Percussion Ensemble. Each type of ensemble has a particular structure, and somewhat different requirements. Admission to these ensembles is by audition. Auditions will be scheduled during the first two weeks of classes and will be widely advertised on campus. All students who have experience with one or more of these ensembles are strongly encouraged to schedule an audition. Music students who play keyboard instruments, guitar, etc., and who do not have choral or instrumental ensemble experience, will receive priority placement in the Vocal Ensemble.

Rehearsal times for all ensembles are pre-determined, and all students accepted must make themselves available at these times. Ensembles normally rehearse 2-3 hours per week, but additional rehearsals may be needed from time to time, and will be announced in advance. Non-music students are welcomed in all ensembles, either for academic credit or not for credit. Non-music students should consult the academic counsellor in their department regarding the suitability of these courses as electives in their degree programme.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Each performer should come to every rehearsal with the required equipment and sheet music, including a pencil to make notes in your part.  Please arrive early enough to deal with ALL equipment and part emergencies prior to rehearsal start-up.

Method of Assessment:

1) TESTING - 40%

All students, regardless of credit, are required to be formally evaluated each semester​.  Testing will be held at the end of each term and will take place individually or in small groups when necessary.  The playing test will involve excerpts from the repertoire studied during the term.  The composition of test groups will be determined by the instructor toward the end of each term, and will depend on the repertoire performed and the distribution of students registered for the course. Tests will normally occur during scheduled rehearsal time(s) and may be taped to provide a permanent record. Students will be expected to perform the test material without mistakes, to reflect the musical instruction provided during rehearsals, and to demonstrate fluency in all of the ensemble skills: listening; tuning; balance; blend; musicality; style; and rhythmic, dynamic and phrasal flexibility.

(2 live tests @ 20% each = 40%)

Performance Test:
While every effort will be made to follow the performance testing schedule, please note that additional dates or changes to the schedule may be required to allow for the needs of the class to be considereed. 

Fall: November 22 & 23, 2018

Winter: March 28 & 29, 2019


Each student's willingness to accept direction, and his/her efforts to incorporate the instructor's suggestions into his/her performance at each rehearsal and concert will be appraised. Because of the co-operative and experiential nature of these courses, irregular attendance by any student is seriously detrimental to the progress of his/her ensemble. If a student must miss a rehearsal, s/he is expected to inform the instructor (or his/her representative) before the expected absence. Frequent absences, either excused or unexcused, will directly affect a student's skill development, their ability to participate in concerts, and will be reflected in his/her grade for this component.


At each rehearsal, specific assignments for sectional or individual practice will be given. Appraisal of each student's success in this area will be based on his/her ability to easily perform his/her individual parts, and to adapt to the give-and-take of ensemble rehearsing.  Students are expected to learn the assigned music quickly, and to demonstrate continuous progress in all the skills that are appropriate to their ensemble (listening, tuning, balance, blend, musicality, style, rhythmic, dynamic and phrasal flexibility.)  

Each section leader will set up a weekly sectional with their respective musicians.  All section members are expected to support one another in sectional, and treat it as another rehearsal.  This means all of the same expectations apply.  Section leaders will report regularly to the Director, informing of musical progression, or provide recordings of sectionals for assessment and evaluation when necessary.  The section leader is expected to:

  • Schedule and lead a sectional once a week and take attendance. (Please inform Prof.  Resendes of the regular meeting time no later than September 16th, 2017)
  • Encourage and promote good on-task behavior within section (leadership).
  • Report progress and difficulties regularly to the Director.

(Preparation & Progress = 20%)
(Sectional Attendance & Progress = 20%)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Attendance and punctuality are integral to a successful class, and essential for performing ensembles.  All members of the Concert Band are expected to attend ALL rehearsals and concerts listed in the course schedule.  Continual absences (excused, or unexcused), excessive tardiness, and lack of preparation will result in the students removal from participation in concerts, rehearsals, and will reflect final grades.  Unexcused absence from the ensembles scheduled dress rehearsals or performances will result in a failing grade.

Missed Performance Tests and Late Assignments:

All testing must occur on the scheduled dates.  Any performance tests missed due to illness or personal circumstances may be made up provided the appropriate documentation is submitted.  Unexplained absences from performance tests will receive an automatic failing grade.

Late submission of assignments will be penalized 10% per day up to one week after the deadline.


Note:  Students will receive feedback on 20% of their final grade in the course by March 15, 2019

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Readings, and recommended listening will be made available on Avenue to Learn.

Other Course Information:

Attendance & Concert Dress:

  • All members of the Concert Band are expected to attend ALL rehearsals and concerts listed on the schedule unless a special arrangement has been made with the conductor.
  • All dress rehearsals are mandatory for participation in concerts.
  • Formal concert dress is required.