Alston Ridge Band


Tracking Back Into Band

Track-in can be a big transition for band students. The best way to ensure a smooth and successful track-in is to begin practicing ahead of time.

Here's what to practice for track-in:
Please contact Ms. T if you need help!
Join the Band

Band Practice Zone - Get Your Assignments Here!

Beginning Band Practice Chart of the Week:

November 30

Got Questions?

E-mail our band director, Ms. Thompson, at

Alston Ridge Band Calendar

Last Rehearsal Before Winter Break
Thursday, December 14, 2023

Late Winter Concert
Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 6:30pm
Alston Ridge Gym

Band Registration Open for the 2024-25 School Year
April 8-May 24, 2024

Spring Finale Concert
Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 6:30pm
Alston Ridge Gym

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Band and COVID

Being able to participate in band safely is priority #1 in the Alston Ridge Band. We will follow WCPSS COVID guidelines and will take additional steps to help make band a safe experience for all students:

Per WCPSS guidelines, students are not required to wear masks when participating in band. However, students are welcome to wear masks anytime. Percussionists can wear regular masks, and wind players can purchase special Musicians' Masks and Flute Players' Masks.

If your child feels even a bit sick before a band rehearsal, we urge them to go home rather than attend rehearsal. If a student appears sick in class but is unable to go home, they will be asked to wear a mask and participate with fingers only (not blowing into their instrument) to minimize risk to other students.

So that students can participate in band even if they're home sick, all rehearsals will be livestreamed. The camera will be aimed directly at the teacher; however, we want to take extra precautions to ensure no students are on camera who do not want to be. If you prefer your child not be on camera for any reason, please let us know on the band registration form, or send the band director an e-mail.
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Learn More about the Alston Ridge After-School Band Program


Why are we here?

Quality music education is a valuable experience for young people. Learning to play a band instrument helps children learn the value of effort and perseverance, make new friends, and develop an understanding of their unique strengths and capabilities. The Alston Ridge Band is designed to empower students to build their musical skills and develop talents they can be proud of.

Benefits of Band at Alston Ridge

Instruments in the Alston Ridge Band

We offer instruction in flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and percussion (bells and snare drum). Click here for details about each instrument in our band!

How does the Alston Ridge Band work?

The Alston Ridge Band is an extracurricular band program for students in 3rd-5th grade. Our band meets after school from July-May for rehearsals, and holds several public performances each year. Because the band isn't funded by the school system, bandmembers' families pay tuition to cover the cost of the band directors, sheet music, and rehearsal space. Band tuition is $528 per child, per year. The tuition may be paid all at once (which gives you a $28 discount!), quarterly, or monthly. For families facing financial hardship, we offer a scholarship program to help defray the costs of participating in band.

Who can join the Alston Ridge Band?

Any third, fourth, or fifth grade student is eligible to join our band. No previous musical experience is required.

Beginning Band is reserved for students who have never played a band instrument before, while Continuing Band is designed for students who have had one or more years of band instruction.

When and where do we rehearse?

Our bands rehearse every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5pm. Beginners meet in the music room, while Continuing students meet in the science room at Alston Ridge.

Does Band require a practice commitment at home?

YES! To truly understand the musical concepts and techniques presented in band class, your child must repeatedly experience how it feels to play them on their own. This experiential learning is accomplished via individual practice at home. We ask that all band students practice a minimum of 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

How do I join band?

Registration for the Alston Ridge Band is open in April-May each year. We do not accept registrations outside of this window, with two exceptions: students with previous band/private lesson experience or students who are new to Alston Ridge Elementary. If your child meets one of these parameters, please e-mail Ms. Thompson for more information about joining band.

How does the band's instrument rental program work?

Our band offers name brand, precision-refurbished and sanitized used instruments for rental or purchase. Obtaining an instrument through the band is designed to set your child up for musical success--and make your life easier! Since Ms. Thompson is a repair technician, you will never have to drive across town to a music store if the instrument breaks. Even better, most repairs are free of charge under our warranty. We deal exclusively in time-tested, high quality, reliable instruments, all at affordable prices.

The rental fee is $25 per month, and includes any maintenance needed due to regular wear and tear. You can rent for any duration of time, and you can also choose our Rent-to-Own option, which will apply 100% of your payments toward the payoff price of the instrument ($350).

If you would rather purchase an instrument outright, you can do so for a reduced price ($250). If you start out renting, and pay the balance of the purchase price when your second rental payment is due, you will be eligible for the lower purchase price. All instruments purchased through the band come with a 1-year repair warranty that covers any maintenance due to regular wear and tear.

Once you have registered for band, Ms. Thompson will contact you about rental instruments. However, if you'd like to go ahead and reserve one, please complete our Instrument Rental Agreement and e-mail it to Ms. Thompson.

Students will receive their instruments at our first band class on July 18. (Or August 1, if your child is in Track 4).

Does band meet during trackout?

Yes! Band meets every Tuesday and Thursday from mid-July through the end of May. Students are not required to attend band during trackout, and tuition is based only on the number of rehearsals during which a student is tracked in. At every track transition, we provide newly tracked-in students with a thorough review of everything we did while they were out.

Students are welcome to attend band while they are tracked out at no additional charge. If your child wants to attend band during trackout, please e-mail Ms. Thompson and let her know your child is planning to attend, and drop them off in the front office no later than 3:30 (so you don't get mixed into the carpool line).

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Meet Your Band Directors

Christina Thompson, trombonist and teacher

Christina Thompson, Wind and Brass Teacher:

Christina is an active professional musician who lives in Raleigh. She has been playing trombone since 1992, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Sharing music with young people is the cornerstone of Christina's career. Christina has taught thousands of people the joy of making music, while on tour, in schools, and in private lessons. Christina's teaching approach is centered on building good habits and having fun! Students learn to use critical thinking and good practice skills to overcome problems in their playing, and develop ways to better understand both their instruments and themselves. At Alston Ridge, Christina's top priority is to create a culture of encouragement that empowers students to grow both as musicians and as people.

Andrew Munger, Percussion Teacher:

Andrew Munger is a music educator, composer, and multi-percussion artist living in Raleigh, NC. Since earning his Artist's Diploma from the Atlanta Institute of Music in 1993, Andrew has done extensive work with symphonic percussion, West African percussion, drumset, mallet instruments, and electronic media. He currently serves as Principal Percussionist with the Raleigh Symphony.

Andrew understands the far-reaching benefits of music education, and is committed to sharing his musical expertise with students of all ages. At Alston Ridge, Andrew strives to help all band students develop strong technique and expressive playing skills.
Andrew Munger, percussionist and teacher
Victoria, Bunny Rabbit

Victoria, Music Chewing Expert

Victoria is a very good bunny who has lived with Ms. Christina and Mr. Andrew since 2020. She was very sick when she arrived at Summerglen Music, but once she got better she studied hard and became a percussionist. Victoria practices the tambourine every day. Her two favorite hobbies are chewing on music books and racing around the house.
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