Frequently Asked Questions - Fine Arts

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about TJ's Fine Arts programs. Check back with this page as we will update it when necessary.

  • Question: Is Digital Art 1 the only pre-requisite for Digital Art 2?
    • Answer: Yes. Unless you discuss your art background and portfolio with the teacher and given permission to skip past it
  • Question: I took Band/Orchestra all three years in middle school; however, I took a break this year. May I still take Orchestra next year as a sophomore?
    • Answer: Of course! Our fine arts staff will love to have you! You can always go talk to them in the music wing if you have any questions.
  • Question: How different is the TJ band program from my base school?
    • Answer: It is the same! The TJ program is completely comprehensive and offers every opportunity that you would be afforded at your base school. Every ensemble is of the highest quality, and you will have the same great experiences and memories that you would have in any band program in the northern VA area.
  • Question: How do I sign up for TJ Band?
    • Answer: To enroll in the TJ band program, you simply need to select Band as your primary choice for elective in the fall. You will be placed in a holding class until you audition, or are placed in the appropriate ensemble. Incoming freshmen only need audition if they going for a spot in one of the higher ensembles. All other students will be placed in Symphonic Band. Both of these ensembles will be listed as Advanced Band on your schedule, will satisfy your TJ Diploma Fine Arts credit during your first year of band, AND will earn you the additional 0.5 HONORS CREDIT on your GPA every year you are in the class!
  • Question: What about marching band?
    • Answer: TJMC runs during the fall months and is the most visible ensemble in the school. We perform all across the east coast, and have enjoyed great success in recent years. All winds and percussion must be signed up for curricular band. Colorguard members do not have to be enrolled in band (we highly encourage choir/orchestra members to join this group!). Even if you do not play an instrument that typically marches outside (oboe, bassoon) there is always a spot open somewhere in the ensemble for you. No marching experience is required for any member who wishes to join – all first year marchers are beginners at this! There will be much more info given out about TJMC once you have signed up for the course, or you have given the colorguard your information.
  • Question: What if I don’t currently play an instrument (TJ Band specific)?
    • Answer: We do not offer beginning band as a course. If you elect to try an instrument for the first time as a freshmen you would still be placed in the symphonic band. Students who are going to be brand new to band in the fall may be required to take private lessons over the summer to more easily assimilate into the class. Please contact Mr. Ballard if you are in this situation.
  • Question: What if I want to switch to a new instrument (TJ Band specific)?
    • Answer: If you are interested in switching to a new instrument, it is allowed solely based on the needs of the ensemble. In recent past, we have had Saxophones switch from Alto to another type, Clarinets switch to Bass Clarinet, and Flutes change to a brass instruments. The instrumentation of the band in the fall will determine the availability/necessity for switchers.

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