FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DRUM CORPS ACADEMY COHORT @ OLNEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL
WHAT IS DCAC?
The Drum Corps Academy Cohort is a group of 30-60 freshman and sophomores at Olney Charter High School that are partially cohorted, learn to play an instrument, and commit to high academic standards with the daily goal of going to college. We will present at our first competition in the 2020-2021 school year!
IS THIS A SEPARATE HIGH SCHOOL?
No. DCAC students are OCHS students. However, DCAC students have a separate building entrance, dedicated staff, a modified uniform, and an earlier start time than other OCHS students.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO GET IN TO DCAC? IS THERE A MUSIC AUDITION?
There are no academic requirements to get in to DCAC. You don’t need to have all A’s & B’s to get in and there is no music audition. However, there is an academic requirement to STAY IN DCAC. Students with failing grades will be given the multiple supports needed to bring their grades up. If the grades do not come up, the student will be scheduled out of DCAC classes. The student will remain an Olney Charter High School student, but will no longer be in the Drum Corps Academy Cohort.
HOW DO YOU APPLY?
There is a two-step application process - one for Olney Charter High School, and one for the Drum Corps Academy Cohort. NOTE: The deadline of Jan 29 does not apply to Olney Charter High School - you may apply to OCHS at any time by using the link below.
WHAT IS A DRUM CORPS?
Drum Corps is short for Drum & Bugle Corps. It is like a marching band, but there are only brass and percussion instruments. Some of the recent world champion drum corps are Blue Devils, Blue Coats, Cadets, Reading Buccaneers, Phantom Regiment, and Santa Clara Vanguard.
WHAT INSTRUMENTS CAN I LEARN?
All students learn to become multi-instrumentalists - you must play one brass and one percussion instrument. We play mostly brass from Sep-Dec and mostly percussion from Jan-Apr.
Brass choices - trumpet, mellophone, baritone, euphonium, tuba
Percussion choices - snare, tenor, bass, cymbal, marimba (gutair/bass/keyboard by special permission)
WHEN IS BAND PRACTICE?
There are many sections of band scheduled throughout the day. The most advanced band is eighth period. It practices from 2:31-3:31PM on full school days.
HOW MANY PERFORMANCES ARE THERE?
The band will have several mandatory performances. Some will be during school, but there will be Football and Basketball games afterschool, a parade on Memorial Day, and a Saturday evening trip to a Band Competition.
WHO ARE THE TEACHERS?
Our band director is Mr. Israel Gonzalez. In 6 years, Mr. Gonzalez has grown the band program from a drumline of 4 students to 130 musicians scheduled across multiple band classes. Assisting Mr. Gonzalez is our ArtistYear Fellow, a person who has graduated college for music that wants to dedicate a year of their life to service before heading to the workforce. We love our current ArtistYear Fellows, Michnari Robinson & Morgan Downing. Steve Lanciano is the Arts Coordinator for ASPIRA of PA Schools. He plans and leads band rehearsal and is a main contact for members and parents. This year, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Musicopia. At least 3 Musicopia teaching artists will help run our brass and percussion programs throughout the year!
IS DCAC COLLEGE PREP?
Yes. It is our goal for every DCAC student to apply, be accepted, attend, and graduate from college. Throughout your four years at DCAC, you will work with band members from UPenn, Temple, and many other local colleges. DCAC staff will actively track you through your college years, offering supports and giving you a chance to come back to inspire current students.
WHAT SUPPORTS ARE AVAILABLE TO KEEP DCAC STUDENTS ON COURSE FOR COLLEGE?
Being in a Drum Corps takes determination, focus, and grit - and so does college. By practicing excellence in music, DCAC students will transfer that to their academics. We are writing grants to allow us to offer a one-to-one iPad program as well as infusing our curriculum with music.
WHAT SPORTS AND AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO DCAC STUDENTS?
After School clubs: Anime Club, Arabic Club, Black History Club, Blue Ink, Board Game Club, Chess Team, Comedy Club, Debate Team, Drama Club, Gay Straight Alliance, Girls in Action, Muslim Community Club, Robotics and Game Design, Tennis Club , Video Game and Card Playing Club, Voice Ensemble, Young Life, Yoga Club, Youth in Medicine.
Sports: Olney Charter High School offers a full range of sports. In recent years, OCHS has won an all-city baseball championship, the football team made it to city championships, the basketball team advanced to states, while track and field had a successful first year!