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Who has a junior high accompanist? I need lots of responses please!!!!

I am wanting to see if I can get a paid accompanist for my junior high choir of 48 students.  My question is how many of you out there have junior high accompanists?  If you do how often are your rehearsals.  Does your accompanist come to each rehearsal.  Is he or she paid?  How much?  
on February 19, 2014 2:49am
I teach 7 periods of MS choir averaging 50 students per class, no accompanist, no prep.  In the old days, that would call for another teacher, aide or accompanist.   Now, I am told there just isn't any money in the budget.  I pay an accompanist to come for a rehearsal or two and for performances out of my ECA money (collected from ticket sales and fund raisers).  Sometimes a parent or our school secretary will do it for free.  Otherwise, I think I pay my accompanist well (avg.  $150 for one rehearsal and a performance) .
on February 19, 2014 8:00am
The school where I used to teach (I retired) had, and continues to have a paid accompanist for each of the 6 choir rehearsals during the school day.  Pay is somewhere around $18/hour.  Find a way to make this happen for you.  It makes a HUGE difference in daily rehearsals, sectionals, music literacy, harmonization and anything else you want to teach by having another musician in the classroom with you.
on February 19, 2014 8:30am
Zane - My wife is an accompanist. ( always nice to have one in the family!) she plays for three different middle schools, and one high school - all public. If she is playing for solo-ensemble, she charges $25/piece and will schedule as many rehearsals as possible both at their school and our home. For choir concerts, she either does $25/ song, or negotiates something less if it is a multiple choir concert with 15 or more pieces to play. At $25/so g that can add up quickly. She is usually paid out of a school's activity fund depending on how each school has set up their budgeting. Hope this helps. Oh - she will go to the school and rehearse as often as the director wants her prior to each concert. Currently she is preparing to play a middle school concert on the 25th. She has been there for 4 rehearsals so far. She will go back this Friday, then Monday and Tuesday before the concert. Good luck.
on February 20, 2014 6:16am
I have an accompanist for the concerts - typically 1 or 2 rehearsals for each group (3-4 groups), the dress rehearsal and the concert, and pay $150 per concert.  I manage without an accompanist in rehearsals with an digital piano - I can record the parts, the accompaniment, and the rest, and get out from behind the piano, which helps in many ways.  It isn't perfect, but it works for me. 
on February 21, 2014 7:11am
This doesn't really answer your question, but when I looked at the title of your post, I thought you were talking about a junior high student who accompanies.  I am trying that for the first time myself this year, and I'm a bit nervous, but my student teaching co-op did it every year - she made sure she had at least one piece with a fairly simple accompaniment, and then held auditions for the students like she would for soloists.  At least this way I don't have to pay them!
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