Alston Ridge Band

Welcome to Alston Ridge Elementary Band Online

Welcome, and thanks for visiting the online home of the Alston Ridge Elementary Band in Cary, NC.

Come Make Music with Us--Join the 2022-23 Alston Ridge Band!

After-School Band is back, and we want YOU to join us! Registration for band is open until May 31.

Fast Facts About Band:

  • Open to all rising 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders

  • No musical experience required

  • Learn flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, or percussion

  • We rehearse every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 4-5pm, starting July 11

  • Band costs $48/month and quality rental instruments are available for an additional $25 per month
Join the Band

Check out our band flyer or CLICK HERE TO JOIN BAND!

Got questions? E-mail our band director, Ms. Thompson, at

Alston Ridge Band Calendar

Band Registration Open for the 2022-23 School Year
May 1-31

Final Day to Reserve an Instrument
Friday, June 24

First Band Rehearsal
Tuesday, July 12 from 4-5pm in the music room

Fall Concert
Mid-November, date TBA
Alston Ridge Gym

Winter Concert
Early February, date TBA
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.

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.

In pre-COVID times, we offered an Instrument Show & Tell event during which students interested in band were able to try each of the instruments. Although the old Show & Tell format (large group, shared equipment) is far too risky to carry out nowadays, we still want to give new band students all the experience and information they need to make an informed instrument choice. All prospective band families are welcome to visit our Show and Tell Video Page for detailed videos and descriptions of each instrument. Once you have signed up and paid for band, you will have the option of setting up an in-person Instrument Show & Tell session especially for your child.

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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 in the music 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 2022-23 Alston Ridge Band is open until May 31. To register, please fill out our Online Registration Form and pay your first month of band tuition on or before May 31.

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.

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 12.

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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
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