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Oak Park High School Orchestra
Orchestra Council 2010-11: Cara Donnici-President, Kaitlyn McManus -Vice President ,Lauren Grace - Secretary, Marissa Loehr- Treasurer, Miranda Holden and Ellen Elmer – Historian, Taylor Dobbins and Savannah Evans-Pres. And VP Understudies 
Orchestra Director: Dr. Stephen Pelkey
OPA: Gerri Donnici-President, Joy McManus-Vice President, Jania Elmer- Secretary, Maureen Loehr-Treasurer                                                                                                                                                                                                           

825 NE 79th Terrace Kansas City, Mo 64116

August 3, 2010

Welcome to the 2010-11 school year! We are anticipating a very productive and exciting year. We want to welcome the many new faces to the Orchestra and your OPA/OC. We look forward to getting to know all of you over the next several months. Also, we extend a warm welcome back to all of our returning members and their families. We hope you had a great summer, but it is now time to get back to work.
The orchestra council along with the help of our director and very dedicated parents has put together some events to push our small but talented group into success. I hope you are as ecstatic as we are for the year to come!
This school year will be the beginning of a great orchestra. We hope that this packet will provide helpful information as well as some fun upcoming events. There are changes we have made to our communication format this year in an effort to save you valuable time and energy. Please read all of the information in this packet carefully.

1) Formal Wear Checkout: As parents ourselves, we realize how busy this time of year is for everyone. We have planned a “one trip, get everything taken care of” event. During school registration August 3rd 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., and August 4th 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., we will have a table set up for formal wear sizing for all incoming freshman and new students to our school/district. Formal wear sizing will be in the Orchestra room. We will also offer another sizing date after school on August 24th from 6-8pm. If for some reason you are not able to attend any of these sessions you will need to see any OPA Board member to make other arrangements.

2) Formal Wear Trade/Return: This date is for returning Orchestra members only. If you need to return/exchange your formal wear, August 24th from 6-8pm in the Orchestra room will be the date. Now would be a great time to find and try the Formal apparel on and check the fit of your Formal wear or see if you need any repairs. Exchanges for different formal wear sizes/pieces will also be done at this time. The first concert of the season is not the time to learn your child grew several inches this summer. If you are unable to get your formal wear exchanged at this time you will need to see Mr. Pelkey or Orchestra Council member before or after school hours.

3) Orchestra Parent Forms: The other attached forms you received in this email can be filled out ahead of time and dropped off at the Orchestra registration table. This table will be located outside of the gym and by the theater doors. First is the Orchestra directory form. We will be taking pictures for the Orchestra directory. Pictures will be placed next to the contact information.  ***Please note that your child will NOT be listed in the Orchestra directory if the directory release form is not signed by a parent. *** Second is the Orchestra parent/friend membership form. The membership dues are used to help fund our Orchestra season and other Orchestra activities.

4) Spirit wear and Fundraisers: Oak Park Orchestra Parents spirit wear will be available for order. T-Shirts are $10.00, Hoodies $25.00. Show your support for the Orchestra, best music group at Oak Park High School!
Volunteer signup sheets will be available for each fundraiser to be held this school year. Some of our fundraisers will include Car Washes (Spring 2011), Gladfest drink Kiosk, football concession, Spaghetti Dinner, Pancake breakfast and Panera coupons. Please plan to help volunteer or organize an event. A great way to get to know each other and create fun memories!
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have about our program, we will be more than happy to answer them or find someone who can! Don’t forget to stop by the Orchestra registration table, get your students pictures taken and proceed to formal wear sizing if needed. We will have you in and outfitted in no time!

  1. Commitment from students and parents is the key. Just like a job, if you agree to attend a fundraiser or to bring an item, please follow through. If you are not able to attend please let us know in advance. We understand a busy schedule so please communicate with us and we will do our best to help.
  2. Unlike past years, we will be fining students $5.00 a copy for losing music and needing a replacement. It is a distraction and takes away from the students practice time when the librarian or director has to retrieve music for multiple students multiple times. Everyone forgets music from time to time, but if all bring their music, it can be lent to a friend in need. Please bring your music everyday and keep it neatly in a folder.
  3. Students, class etiquette needs to be applied and maintained. This means, quiet when the director is teaching or talking. When you talk, someone might not be able to hear helpful advice. Also, please pay attention to when the director stops the orchestra during rehearsal. Hint: if he stops conducting, or asks to stop, it’s time to stop playing. By stopping together much can be accomplished and sound better as a whole!

Fundraisers, Events, and Fun:  Since our monthly parent meetings will be every other month, on the Thursday’s where we do not meet at school there will be updated announcements during the Wendy’s Fun Nights which fall on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Wendy’s community nights help OPA/OC fundraise for our scholarship fund. Each Scholarship awarded helps a graduating senior that will continue on into music Major/Minor degree.
The OPA Scholarship, funded by the Oak Park Orchestra Parents and Wendy’s Nights, will now be referred to as the James Chandler Memorial Scholarship.  Jim Chandler was the first Oak Park Band and Orchestra director, teaching at Oak Park beginning in 1965 through the 1977 school year when he retired.  While Jim enjoyed band, his first love was the orchestra.  A little history on Jim:  Jim was a southern Missouri lad, moved to Colorado during his high school years and graduated from college with a degree in music education in about 1940.  He was accepted into the United States Navy Band shortly thereafter and was a graduate of the very first Navy School of Music, class No. 1.   It just so happens that members of class No. 2 was the band stationed aboard the USS Arizona when all of them were killed as the USS Arizona was sunk by a well placed bomb, sending the Arizona and all its crew to the bottom of the harbor.  Jim remained in the band (this is the one known as 'The President's Own" for the duration of his enlistment, whereupon he began his teaching career in Trinidad, Colorado, and then took a position with the North Kansas City School District where he taught elementary, and junior high music and then took the Oak Park music position.

When Jim passed away, in 1997, his family and friends contributed about $3,000 to fund the scholarship which became known as the James Chandler Memorial Scholarship.  Prior to that from his retirement to death, it was known as the James Chandler Award which went annually to a graduating senior in either band, orchestra or choir.  Upon his death, his wife, Marie, wanted the award to be presented annually to the outstanding orchestra student, which it was, until it ran out of money even though Mr. Hale used orchestra funds to help sustain the award.  When Mr. Hale left Oak Park to teach at Staley HS, the award was bankrupt and the new director, partially because he didn't know who Jim Chandler was, understandably didn't revive the award.

As President of the OPA and along with the Board, Orchestra Council and Director, I feel it is an honor to a fine gentleman who gave his best to Oak Park Orchestras, I can't think of a better person to name the award for.  We also feel that linking the recipients’ name to someone in Oak Park History is kind of nice. The requirements for earning this scholarship will be included with the Lettering requirements that will be passed out in class by Dr. Pelkey.

Be prepared to help and have a blast. We can’t wait to get to know each other and become a close group. Sign-up sheets and information will be available in advance for all events. Also, join our Oak Park Orchestra Facebook.  We are still looking for that special someone to help us build a website.

Get ready for a fantastic year! Please feel free to ask questions or present ideas at any time to the OPA/OC. Again thanks for supporting your children and sticking with it.

Your Oak Park Orchestra Staff, Council and Officers

OPHS Orchestra Membership Form (pdf) - click to download