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.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back for another exciting semester of band! Our next concert will be held on Thursday, February 27 at 6:30pm in the gym.
Hortons Creek Band

Got Questions?

Our band director, Ms. Thompson, will be happy to help!
E-mail Ms. Thompson at

Alston Ridge Band Calendar

Here's where you'll find Alston Ridge Band's upcoming appearances and other band-related events. Rehearsal-related events and changes are listed in purple.

Regular Rehearsals:
Regular band rehearsals are held from 4-5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the music room at Alston Ridge. Any changes will be listed below.

First Band Rehearsal of 2019-20 School Year
Tuesday, July 9 from 4-5pm

NC State Homecoming Parade for Continuing Students
Friday, November 8 from 6-7pm
Hillsborough Street, Raleigh

Fall Concert for all students
Tuesday, November 19 at 6:30pm
Alston Ridge Gym

Winter Concert for all students
Thursday, February 27 at 6:30pm
Alston Ridge Gym

Live & Local Springfest 2020 (optional gig)
Mid-April, date and time TBA
NC State; Raleigh

Spring Band Extravaganza
An afternoon of food, fun and music--featuring bands from Alston Ridge, Hortons Creek, and Parkside Elementary Schools
Tentatively set for Saturday, May 30
Location TBA

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

Alto Saxophone

How does the Alston Ridge Band work?

The Alston Ridge Band is an afterschool band program for students in 3rd-5th grade. Our band meets after school during the school year 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 $460 per child, per year. The tuition may be paid all at once, 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. 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, your child must repeatedly experience how it feels to play them on his/her 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 the band?

Registration for band takes place in April-May, and is currently closed for the 2019-20 school year. Please e-mail Ms. Thompson for more information.

How do rent an instrument from the band?

Our band offers name brand, precision-refurbished used instruments for rental or purchase. 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 (generally $450 for saxophones, $225 for percussion, and $300 for all others.)

If you would rather purchase an instrument outright, you can do so for a reduced price (generally $375 for saxophones, $175 for percussion, and $200 for all others). 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.

Meet Your Band Directors

Christina Thompson, trombonist and teacher

Christina Thompson, Beginning Band Director:

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, Continuing Band Director:

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

Helpful Resources for Alston Ridge Band Families

Articles for Band Students and Parents

Practice Resources for Young Musicians

Helpful Information for Specific Instruments

Practice Makes You A Better Musician!