Category Archives: Chorus

Band & Chorus Rehearsals have Begun!

Congratulations to all the students who were selected to participate in this year’s Band and Chorus!  The lists are posted outside Mr. O  and Ms. Williams’ classrooms.

Tuesday – 4th Grade Chorus rehearsal
Wednesday – 5th Grade Chorus & Beginning Band rehearsals
Thursday – Advanced Band rehearsal

If your child is in Band, he or she should bring home the 2013-2014 Band Handbook/Contract.  Those documents may also be downloaded (see below).  Once Ms. Williams has the contract, the student may bring an instrument home to practice.

Please sign and return the NYC Department of Education Photo & Video Consent Form (also below).  No videos or photos will be posted to YouTube, but may be included on the PS 261 website ( or on this site.  Photos and videos may also be used in Ms.Williams or Mr. O’s portfolios, which are shared with the school and NYC DOE administrations.

Open Sessions are extra rehearsals for the Band.  They are NOT required, but students are encouraged to attend!  Open Sessions are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00-8:40am and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-3:30pm in Ms. Williams’ room.

Please follow this blog!  Click “follow” at the right-hand side of your screen and enter your email address for regular updates about the Music program at P.S. 261.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Email us!
Ms. Williams –
Mr. O –


Band Handbook 2013-2014 pdf

consent_form_revised35-1NYC Dept of Education Photo & Video Consent Form

Welcome back!

Upper grade music room with the NEW piano!

Upper grade music room with the NEW piano!

It’s audition season – for 4th & 5th graders! Students interested in trying out for the band and/or chorus should get an audition permission slip Ms. Williams or Mr. O. Once the permission slip has been returned, students will receive an audition time.

In a chorus audition, Mr. O will ask students to sing a simple song, like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and to sing a few simple patterns. In a band audition, students will have the opportunity to try a few different instruments to see which one is a good fit. The last day for auditions is Friday, September 27th. Results will be posted on Monday, September 30th and rehearsals will begin that week.

And We’re Off!

Band and Chorus rehearsals start this week! The Fourth Grade Chorus meets on Monday, the Fifth Grade Chorus on Wednesday. Beginning Band meets on Thursday, and Advanced Band on Friday. All ensemble students should eat lunch at 1pm on their rehearsal day. Rehearsals are from 1:15-2:05pm.

I ordered 31, 3/4 size Fender acoustic guitars and one electric bass guitar today from Little Kids Rock! On Saturday and Sunday I attended workshops on their method, learned to play a back beat and solo on a drum kit and also learned to play the bass. It was an inspiring weekend, and I can’t wait to start using the program in my general music classes. The guitars should arrive in 2-3 weeks.

Band & Chorus Update!

Chorus auditions are now closed, and the list is posted outside of Mr. O’s music room (109).

Tomorrow is the LAST DAY for Band auditions. Interested students must see Ms. Williams at 1:15pm, whether they have an audition slip or not. The list for the 2012-2013 Beginning Band will be posted on Friday.

Rehearsals for the Band and Chorus start next week.

Band & Chorus Auditions

Band and Chorus auditions are in the works at P.S. 261!  Beginning Band, Advanced Band, and Chorus are extra-curricular, auditioned groups for fourth and fifth graders that meet during the school day.   Students interested in participating must fill out an audition permission slip, have it signed by a parent, and return the slip to Mr. O (Chorus) or Ms. Williams (Band).  Once we have the permission slip, we assign the student an audition time.  Auditions will take place between now and the end of September.  No auditions will be heard after the end of the month. 

Parents often Mr. O and I what takes place in the audition.  In the Chorus auditions, Mr. O usually asks the students to sing a song, like “Twinkle, Twinkle” or “Happy Birthday.”  Then he asks them to sing a few scales to see how high or low each student is able to sing.  Sometimes he may ask them to repeat a series of pitches.
In the Band audition, it is a little trickier, since the students don’t yet know how to play any of the instruments.  Students are asked to indicate their top three instrument choices on the audition permission slip (from Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone and Percussion).  I then have them try the mouthpiece for each of their top three choices.  Because of their face/lip shape, some students are better suited for certain instruments.

While I wish I could accept every student who auditions into the Beginning Band, we are limited due to the number of instruments owned by the school.  Since almost every fourth and fifth grader studied recorder with me in the third grade, I also use my observations and assessments of students from third grade as a general indication of a student’s aptitude for learning a band instrument.

Students who participated in the Beginning Band or Chorus last year, are automatically placed in the Advanced Band or Chorus.

Please contact us with any questions regarding Band or Chorus!

Mr. O can be reached at and my email is

-Ms. Williams

Welcome to P.S. 261 Music Department’s new blog!

It’s that time of year again…
This is shaping up to be a really great year for music at P.S. 261!  We have some exciting news:

  • There will be TWO music rooms this year – Mr. O will stay in room 109, and Ms. Williams is moving to room 150 off of the cafeteria (the old science room).  This means that all general music classes as well as ensemble rehearsals will take place in a designated music room.
  • Ms. Williams will be working with Little Kids Rock ( to offer guitar classes and Rock Band for upper grade students.  It will take a little while to get everything organized, but we hope to be ready to rock by November.

Third grade students will be participating in the Link Up program again through Carnegie Hall.  Recorders will arrive in mid-October, and our trip to Carnegie Hall will be Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013.  To learn more about Link Up, please visit:
Fourth and fifth graders will also travel to the Metropolitan Opera House to see a final dress rehearsal of an opera.  Titles and trip dates will be posted as soon as they are finalized.

Band and Chorus auditions will take place at the end of September.  Please check this website for  updates on general music and performing ensembles.
If you would like to contact the Music Department, you can reach us here:

Ms. Williams –

Mr. O –
We’re looking forward another wonderful school year – see you in September!