The Holy Child Music Department offers instrumental band ensembles to develop and challenge the various musical levels of its students including Concert Band and Jazz Band. Please read the following information prior to registering your child for the band program.
Mr. Michael Norton, Band Director
Michael J. Norton is entering his fourth year as band director at Holy Child Academy, where he directs the Concert and Jazz Bands as well as instructs all brass, woodwind, and percussion lessons.
A graduate of Temple University majoring in music education with a concentration on tuba, he holds a PDE Level II teaching certificate in music education as well as over 30 graduate credits in music from The University of the Arts. An active freelance musician, Michael performs as trombonist with Bounce Party Band from Philadelphia, and also performs regularly with various ensembles in orchestral, concert band, church, and dance bands ranging from community through professional levels. Most recently, he directed both the 2017 and 2018 Archdiocesan Festival Bands, and will direct the 2020 Archdiocesan Honor Band both in their festival concert as well as the Archdiocesan Concert of Excellence at the Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall in Philadelphia in April 2020.
- Lessons on the following band instruments are offered:
- Woodwinds: flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
- Brass: trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba
- Percussion: battery and mallet percussion - students will learn both battery (i.e. snare drum, bass drum, etc.) and mallets (i.e. bells), and drum set (after one year of battery/mallets starting in Grade 5 and above).
- All students will receive a 30-minute group lesson (3-6 students per group, on average) every week
- Lesson times will rotate weekly so students do not miss the same class every week. Students must consult the lesson schedule, published monthly, to find their lesson times
- All students should come prepared to their lessons with their instrument, music, and a pencil
- Practice is a very important part of learning an instrument. We ask that students practice 30 minutes, six days a week. Consistent practice is the key to success.
Instruments and Equipment
- Instruments should be rented or purchased from a reputable music dealer. Recommended stores:
- Music & Arts Center, Broomall: 610-356-4674
- Taylors Music, West Chester: 610-696-1812
- Please note, purchasing instruments from dealers who do not specialize in musical instruments is not recommended. If you have questions about obtaining an instrument, please contact Mr. Norton.
- A limited number of school-owned instruments are available as well, please contact Mr. Norton for more information.
- Students are responsible for all instrument parts and accessories. Reeds, valve oil, cleaning kits, etc. can be obtained from any local music store. Any instrument repairs must be taken care as soon as possible. A fully functioning instrument is essential for a student’s success in the band program.
The Jazz Band is a select group of musicians in grades 4-8 chosen by audition or by Mr. Norton. Students interested in participating in Jazz Band must audition in September - Jazz Band rehearsals will begin on later that month. Please contact Mr. Norton for Jazz Band audition materials.
- Students may audition on any Concert Band instrument, as well as piano, guitar, bass, and drum set. Brass, Woodwind, and Percussion students must also participate in the Concert Band.
- The Jazz Band will perform at the Christmas and Spring Concerts, and also at Jazz Festivals in the Spring.
Please contact Mr. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Maria Ceferatti, Strings Instructor
Maria Ceferatti holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Catholic University and a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. She has been the strings instructor at Holy Child Academy since 2008.
Maria is the music director for Acting Without Boundaries, a theater group for young adults with physical disabilities, and she teaches creative writing classes to adults at Main Line School Night.
String Ensemble Lessons
Families have a choice of private or group string lessons. Private lessons include a weekly one-on-one 30-minute lesson and weekly participation in the Junior or Senior String Ensemble. The cost is $1,155 for 33 lessons.
Group lessons include weekly 30-minute lessons with up to three students and weekly participation in the Junior or Senior String Ensemble. The cost for group lessons is $600 for 33 lessons.
If a student takes string lessons elsewhere, but would like to participate in the Junior or Senior String Ensemble, they can do so for $400 for the year.
Please contact Mrs. Ceferatti at email@example.com
Instrumental Student Concert Attire is mandatory for all instrumental groups:
- Boys: Black bow tie; long- sleeved, white oxford shirt; black pants; black belt; black socks; a black shoes
- Girls: Black bow tie; long-sleeved, white oxford shirt; black skirt (can use choir skirt); beige stockings; black shoes
- Black bow ties may be purchased through the school for $8. If you wish to purchase a tie, please indicate this on the registration form and include payment with the band fee.
Dr. Leo Dugan, Rock Band Director and Private Lesson Instructor
Dr. Leo Dugan is the piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass instructor as well as the director of the rock band at HCA, where he has been teaching since 2006.
He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received both a B.A. in Music in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Composition in 2007. An accomplished composer, Dugan’s works have been commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the New Albany Symphony, the Juilliard School, the Government of Flanders, Jesse Colin Young of The Youngbloods, and many others. He also serves on the faculty of Haverford College, where he teaches Music Theory and directs the Jazz Ensembles, and the Malvern School of Music, where he teaches piano, saxophone, guitar, composition, and jazz improvisation.
The HCA Rock Band has been a huge success with our young guitarists and percussionists at HCA.
Students who are vocalists or who play guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, drum set, or electric keyboard are invited to join the HCA Rock Band.
- Students must be in Grade 4 or above.
- Students must have their own instruments.
- Students currently must be taking lessons at HCA or from a music professional elsewhere. Instrumentalists’ lessons must be on their desired Rock Band instruments.
- Students must have at least one year of lessons on their desired Rock Band instruments.
- Rock Band members will be required to practice their music at home.
Rehearsals for the rock band will occur at HCA during the school day.Please contact Dr. Leo Dugan