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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of music is performed by the Foothill Symphonic Winds?
How do I become a member?
When and where are the rehearsals?
How are individuals placed within their sections?
Is there a minimum age to be a member?
How much does it cost to be a member?
What is the concert dress code for your musicians?
When and where are the concerts performed?
How much are the concert tickets?
Who is the Musical Director?
Are contributions tax deductible?
Do you have corporate sponsors?
I'm not a musician; are there any volunteer opportunities for me?

If your question isn't answered here, please see this page for ways to contact us.

What type of music is performed by the Foothill Symphonic Winds (FSW)?

The ensemble performs classical and contemporary works written or transcribed for symphonic wind ensemble or concert band. The aim is to assist the musicians in continuing their musical growth, while also providing high-caliber musical entertainment for the community. Musicians interested in joining the FSW are encouraged to review the list of works previously performed to have a sense for the variety and level of difficulty of these pieces.

How do I become a member of the FSW?

New members are invited to participate in the first rehearsal of each session (Fall, Winter, Spring). This is an opportunity for the new musicians to meet the other members and to sightread, with all the others, the new music for the session, before a commitment is made. Registration and payment of fees need not be completed until the second or third session. Auditions are not required, although auditions have occasionally been held mid-session for a few of the larger sections, so that the Musical Director can have an assessment of the section's skills. On rare occasions and with the approval of the Music Director, members have been allowed to join later in a session. The ability of the new musician is important, in this case, because of the reduced number of rehearsals remaining before a concert. 

When and where are the rehearsals?

Rehearsals during a session are held on Wednesday evenings in the Music Room (H1) of the Georgina P. Blach Intermediate School, 1120 Covington Road, Los Altos, CA 94024.  The first downbeat is at 7:30 PM, so musicians are expected to arrive well in advance to pick up any new music, get to their chairs, and warm up on their instruments. Music stands and chairs are provided. Rehearsals usually finish around 9:45 PM.  There is a break mid-way in the rehearsal. Sections are assigned for voluntary contributions of refreshments at the break. Typically, sessions will include 10 to 12 rehearsals before a concert. A rehearsal is not held on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. For the 2014-5 season, the first rehearsals are on September 24, January 7, and April 1. Link to maps

The Foothill Symphonic Winds do not rehearse after the June concert until the first rehearsal of the Fall session near the end of September.

How are individuals placed within their sections?

Seating within each section is typically finalized by the section leader and Music Director. Occasionally, a section will have chair-seating auditions if the Music Director deems it necessary. Some sections rotate parts; some do not.

Is there a minimum age to be a member?

Students who have not yet graduated from High School are accepted with the approval of the Music Director. It is expected that those students will participate in their regular school musical groups. We have welcomed home-schooled students.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Presently, we charge a fee of $75 per session. Payment is due at the beginning of each session and may be paid by cash, check, or through FSW's PayPal account. Payment may be for each session or for the full year. The fees cover our operating expenses including music purchase or rental, concert venue rental, salary of the Music Director, insurance, publicity, and general operational expenses. Income from concert ticket salesalone don't cover our operating expenses.

When Foothill College was remodeling their rehearsal spaces, the FSW had the opportunity to rehearse at the Blach Intermediate School. When the remodeled Foothill College space turned out to be too small for the FSW, arrangements were made to allow the FSW to continue to use Blach's Music Room for our rehearsals. As a show of our gratitude, the members voluntarily have contributed, each session, to the Music Fund for Blach the value of what had been the $20 parking fee charged by the College.

What is the concert dress code for your musicians?

Black is the basic color. Men wear tuxedos or black suits. A black bow tie is worn with a white dress shirt. The women wear all-black ensembles. Black shoes complete the outfits.

When and where are the concerts performed?

The FSW concerts are presented at the Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94302. Concerts begin at 3:30 PM. Our schedule of upcoming concerts is published here Link to maps

How much are the concert tickets?

The FSW strives to make our music available to a wide audience. Ticket prices are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. Parking is free at the Cubberley Theatre.

Who is the Musical Director?

David Bruce Adams began serving as Music Director in 1993. More information on his background can be found here.

Are contributions tax deductible?

Yes. The FSW has been approved as a 501(c)(3) organization. More information can be found here.

Do you have corporate sponsors?

The FSW has benefited from corporations matching donations made by their employees. FSW has received such donations from Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Sponsorship from other organizations would be welcomed and should be addressed to our Board of Directors.

I'm not a musician; are there any volunteer opportunities for me?

Very likely. We need ushers for our concerts. They receive free admission to hear some great music. We can always use help with publicity. A graphic artist could assist with our poster artwork. We'd like to hear about your interest and how you might be able to assist the FSW.  Please e-mail info@fswinds.org