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Virtual Celebration of the First Performance of the School Year

Download the First Performance National Day of Celebration (FPNDOC) Toolkit and start planning your first virtual concert of the school year with your beginning band students. 

The first musical performance of the school year is an exciting milestone for beginning band students because they can showcase their budding musical talents to their family and friends.

woman watching computerBut how is this possible for the 2020-2021 school year when the country is in the middle of a pandemic? A large gathering for a musical performance is definitely out of the question.

The Music Achievement Council (MAC) has the solution — go virtual! In October, MAC announced that this year’s First Performance National Day of Celebration (FPNDOC) will be virtual. The official FPNDOC is Nov. 19, the third Thursday of November, but music directors can schedule their virtual concerts at any time — ideally within the first 8 to 12 weeks of school, according to MAC. With the virtual format, students’ family and friends from around the world can tune in to watch the performance.

MAC introduced the FPNDOC program three years ago because a key to retaining students in music programs is to get them performing as soon as possible and as often as possible. A complete set of materials called the “FPNDOC Toolkit” can help you plan your virtual concert.

First Performance National Day of Celebration Logo 5 Steps to a Successful Virtual FPNDOC

  1. Schedule a date and time for your virtual FPNDOC concert.
  2. Share the FPNDOC trailer with your students to inspire them to participate in this nationwide celebration along with other beginning level students from across the country.
  3. Download the parts and studio tracks to distribute to your students for practicing.
  4. On the date and time of your scheduled event, email your students the YouTube link to the virtual FPNDOC concert and have them play along karaoke-style.
  5. Distribute a certificate of advancement to participating students; download a certificate template here. Share photos (if permitted) taken by the families of the participating students on social media with the #FPNDOC hashtag.

female student playing violin at homeMAC thanks Hal Leonard for providing select music from “Essential Elements for Band, Book 1” for the virtual FPNDOC concert.

The FPNDOC virtual concert brought in major players from the music industry to replicate a live concert experience for students. Joe Lamond, president and CEO of National Association of Music Merchants, provided the opening remarks at the concert. Marcia Neel, Senior Director of Education at Yamaha Corporation of America, was the emcee. Dr. Charles Menghini, president emeritus of VanderCook College of Music, served as conductor.

It is possible to cheer on beginning music students as they discover the joy of performing in the middle of a pandemic. Let’s celebrate together, virtually.

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