VCS COVID-19 update

Ben Davis

Head of school, Ben Davis hosts this live podcast with MS/HS principal, Joseph Rowland and ES principal, Dorace Lynch.

The subject is the VCS distance learning and updates on the coronavirus situation.

Read more… close
0:00 / ???
  1. 1
    0:00 / 20:53

VCS Radio BLOG from Mr. Martin

Special Message From Mr. Martin  

We're all concerned about the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. We're committed to taking the best precautions to ensure the safety of our students, but that won't stop them from learning to play their musical instruments. 

What does this mean? 

For a while, this means distance learning.  
No worries! The VCS Radio Conservatory has long been equipped to handle a changing world of digital communication and artistic education. This is how our kids get so good in the upper grades. We collaborate online as well as in-class and on the stage. We've been doing it for years! We're excited to extend this digital opportunity to the VCS Elementary Band. 

Can we still do concerts?   

Yes! The beautiful thing about music is that it can wait through any difficult times. We'll simply hold the concerts when things return to normal, and they WILL return to normal. 
In the meantime, we have digital venues unprecedented in the nation! We have a full broadcast facility FM 100.9 KVCB and our VCSTV to do a variety of exciting performances. Even if they postpone their stage career, they will still get to be radio and TV stars! 

I'm looking forward to our continuing adventures in the arts! 

To begin, let's talk about ZOOM!  

This is the group video communication format chosen by VCS to conduct distance class meetings! It works great! 

You will get an invitation for your child to join us for class in the following schedule: 

  

3rd Grade Zoom Band classes (Monday and Friday) 

Monday:  

1:00 - Flutes 

1:30 - Oboes 

2:00 - Recorders 

2:00 - Clarinets 

2:30 - Saxophones 

3:00 - Trumpets and Cornets 

3:30 - French Horns 

4:00 - Trombones 

4:30 - Baritone horns 

5:00 - Bells/xylophone 

  

Friday:  

1:00 - Flutes 

1:30 - Oboes 

2:00 - Recorders 

2:00 - Clarinets 

2:30 - Saxophones 

3:00 - Trumpets and Cornets 

3:30 - French Horns 

4:00 - Trombones 

4:30 - Baritone horns 

5:00 - Bells/xylophone 

  

4th Grade Zoom Band classes 

Tuesday:  

12:30 pm - Recorders 

1:00 pm - Flutes 

1:30 pm - Oboes 

2:00 pm - Clarinets 

2:30 pm - Saxophones 

3:00 pm - Trumpets and Cornets 

3:30 pm - French Horns 

4:00 pm - Trombones 

4:30 pm - Baritone horns 

5:00 pm - Bells/xylophone 

5:30 pm - drums 

  

Saturday:  

12:30 pm - Recorders 

1:00 pm - Flutes 

1:30 pm - Oboes 

2:00 pm - Clarinets 

2:30 pm - Saxophones 

3:00 pm - Trumpets and Cornets 

3:30 pm - French Horns 

4:00 pm - Trombones 

4:30 pm - Baritone horns 

5:00 pm - Bells/xylophone 

5:30 pm - drums 

  

5th Grade Zoom Band classes 

Wednesday:  

12:30 pm - Recorders 

1:00 pm - Flutes 

1:30 pm - Oboes 

2:00 pm - Clarinets 

2:30 pm - Saxophones 

3:00 pm - Trumpets and Cornets 

3:30 pm - French Horns 

4:00 pm - Trombones 

4:30 pm - Baritone horns 

5:00 pm - Bells/xylophone 

5:30 pm - drums 

  

Saturday:  

12:30 pm - Recorders 

1:00 pm - Flutes 

1:30 pm - Oboes 

2:00 pm - Clarinets 

2:30 pm - Saxophones 

3:00 pm - Trumpets and Cornets 

3:30 pm - French Horns 

4:00 pm - Trombones 

4:30 pm - Baritone horns 

5:00 pm - Bells/xylophone 

5:30 pm - drums 

  

What you'll need for the ZOOM session: 

  

Before class begins, have your child set up his/her instrument, book, and music stand. Practice making sure the camera sees the student and instrument when being played. I don't need to see the book, but your child does.  You might need to be there to adjust the camera at first. This takes a little getting used to. The first session is all about setting up.  

  

I'll direct the students once they play in turn. Zoom is not intended to be a band rehearsal. Oh my! Could you imagine if they all played at once?!?! There would be echoes and distorted sound, and I think your computer would blow up! Haha, just kidding! Actually, after a short lesson and some direction, I will listen to each child individually by activating their microphone in turn. Then, Away we go!! 

  

Would you like more for your child? 

Okay, let's talk about the SmartMusic app  

While students are away from campus, there are exciting ways to practice at home and move forward with band music for our broadcast and/or stage concerts!  

It's an app, similar to what I use with my advanced students for composition, but it's geared for young musicians to move forward in exciting ways and at his/her own pace! 

SmartMusic is a subscription service that will be free of charge to my students until the end of the school year. It's designed for me to help your child progress beyond the Zoom sessions.  

  

It's really cool! I load up your child's book and band assignments. All your child has to do is read the exercises in the book from the computer screen at his/her convenience. The app listens to the performance and automatically marks the wrong notes in red and suggests a proper fingering. Your child can perform the work over again to perfect it. When he/she is happy with the recording, just press send, and the performance is sent directly to me, and I'll check it off or provide some feedback, and on we go!!  

  

Oh, but it gets better! I can even load up concert music, and the app will provide the sound of a full band minus your child's part. He/she just fills in the missing music and join in on the band. By the time we get back together for real campus classes, we'll already have the music set to go!! 

  

This is a "tried-and-true" application for teachers and their students that usually costs additional money, but during the covid-19 situation, it is provided free of charge.  

 

New CRO certification program begins 

I'm excited to offer a brand new first-level engineering certification program at VCS for tech-minded students. With this program, your child will become a student technical operator for KVCB-LP HD and will have the chance to obtain both the VCS Radio certification and prepare for the nationally recognized CRO certificate. 

CRO stands for "Certified Radio Operator." It's the first level in the engineering certification program by the highly respected Society of Broadcast Engineers. 

Why is this program important? 

VCS is blessed to have an authentic licensed radio station on campus to train students in a wide range of broadcasting disciplines. Students looking for a career in the engineering field gains experience at VCS Radio KVCB FM by working in the technical aspects of our operation. This gives him/her a leg up when applying for an internship, employment, or advancement in the broadcast industry. Add collaborating with professionals in commercial stations and the most respected broadcast certification in the nation, and your child will have an advantage that will help him/her stand out! It's this first certification level that can lead to a full broadcast engineering career in the future. 

The SBE Radio Operator Certifications is a great way to demonstrate to prospective stations seeking interns that you have acquired the basic knowledge to operate a radio broadcast facility and comply with FCC Rules and Regulations. SBE member engineers are encouraged to help promising newcomers by giving advice and directions.  

  The fee is $110.00   charged to your "smart tuition" if you choose to have your child participate.  

The program at VCS Radio will include the following: 

-- Basic tools needed to get started working in the student tech department of VCS Radio KVCB-LP HD 

-- Special engineering projects to hone skills for technical problem-solving. 

-- Student membership in the Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 43 (Sacramento broadcast market). 

-- Certification Handbook for Radio Operators, 3rd Ed 

-- The Testing fee for certification proctored by a senior SBE member in Sacramento. 

Fees do not cover transportation, personal equipment, or additional opportunities that may become available. 

Time requirements for the program would include various after school/weekend sessions. Some field trips to commercial radio stations and at least one SBE meeting to be introduced to the engineers in our area will be required. CRO testing would begin in June but must be completed within a year of joining the program. 

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email or call me. My mobile number is (707) 239-0005 

Welcome to 2020 at the conservatory! 

 BACK TO WORK IN 2020!!  

For me, this is year 35. Aside from a few more buildings, not much has changed. There still seems to be exhilarating energy at VCS. I thought it was just a passing phase. Things can't stay this good all the time. How can so much be accomplished by a small school in Vacaville? I can't walk three steps on campus without meeting someone who inspires me. We have the hardest working students (Who said today's youth is lazy?!?!); the best teachers (oh my!!! the best teachers!!!), and admin crew that doesn't know the meaning of a day off.  

 What's going on in the Conservatory for 2020 

Here's just a small sample: 

NEW -- CRO broadcast engineering certification -- This is the first of it's kind for second-semester middle school broadcasters! Open to all current VCS Radio Broadcasting students; this first-level nationally recognized engineering certification will help ensure a prosperous future for students choosing this career path. We're the first and only school in the experimental program at this age-level. Can our VCS kids handle it? Of course, they can :)

Superman WWII score restoration project -- Working with prominent film and music historians and the estate of the original composer, our kids will be restoring all of the lost scores of the late Fleischer Brothers 1940's groundbreaking animated series. The first two episodes in this 4-year project will be presented in concert on February 11th. How can grade-school kids accomplish this? With the kind of work ethic that they show every day!!

Safety Last Project - Harold Lloyd's legendary feature-film masterpiece has been completely restored with the score of the masterful English Composer, Carl Davis. The VCS Radio Symphony is set to perform the work in August of 2020.  

Is there more?? 

Yes, so much more!! 

We'll be celebrating the experiments of Thomas Edison in April, tackling Beethoven in May, exploring the secrets of the dramatic arts in June.  

Changing the world -- discovering new adventures -- forging new paths in creativity -- it's what we do at VCS!!

VCS Radio's 5th Birthday!! 

It was five years ago when Our eager students fired up or FM transmitter and broadcast our first words on KVCB. On September 8th, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission granted our license to serve Vacaville! The station was featured in national magazines; syndicated live programming across the country; and became the first high school station world-wide to broadcast with digital HD Radio technology! 

Not a bad beginning!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VCS RADIO!!

This weeks special LIVE broadcasts 

Tuesday, September 10

1:05 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) VCS Elementary Chapel LIVE from First Baptist Church in Vacaville

6:30 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) Middle School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Koinonia Conference Grounds

7:30 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) High School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds

 

Wednesday, September, 11

8:45 am -- (FM / HD1 / online) Middle School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Koinonia Conference Grounds

9:30 am -- (FM / HD1 / online) High School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds

6:30 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) Middle School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Koinonia Conference Grounds 

7:30 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) High School Retreat Chapel  LIVE from Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds                                    

9:00 am -- (FM / HD1 / online) High school Retreat Talent Show LIVE from Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds          

 

Thursday, September 12

8:45 am -- (FM / HD1 / online) Middle School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Koinonia Conference Grounds

9:30 am -- (FM / HD1 / online) High School Retreat Chapel  LIVE from Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds

6:30 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) Middle School Retreat Chapel LIVE from Koinonia Conference Grounds

7:30 pm -- (FM / HD1 / online) High School Retreat Chapel  LIVE from Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds

 

 

Welcome to a brand new season 

After a great start of the new school year, We're excited to be back! Of course, all of your favorites shows will continue, including "Mornings for You," "Sound Art Central," "School and Community Connect," and "Time Travel Central!" along with 24-hours-a-day student broadcasts. Look for a return of the famous "Live Across America Show," and "VCS Radio Sports Coverage," throughout this season.

What's new? VCSTV is now a regular new channel on our website with featured live events, talk shows, and sports coverage!

Join in on the fun now!

100.9 FM - VCS Radio Main Channel

100.9 HD1 - VCS Radio Main Channel (Digital)

100.9 HD2 - VCS Radio Sound Art Central (Digital)

100.9 HD3 - VCS Radio Time Travel Central (Digital)

100.9 HD4 - VCS Radio School and Community Connect (Digital)

Online - VCS Radio Main Channel (TuneIn app. [mobile] / vcsradio.com [computer])

Online - VCSTV (vcsradio.com)

Broadcasting -- even during the summer!! 

Hey, fans of VCS Radio!!!

YES, It's summer vacation, and YES we're still here broadcasting 24/7 with your favorite student radio personalities, great music and loads of FUN!!
in Vacaville at FM 100.9
or online HERE

 

I ran the experiment for sending our radiothon to alien spaceships -- this is the video of what happened :) 

To get the audio from our station, I used a cheap transistor radio I bought at best Buy for about $15. 

I've injected the audio, using the radio's headphone jack into a standard LED shop light I bought at a hardware store. It's connected in a parallel circuit with the light's DC power source. 

The light will be placed on the roof of our studio all night. 

To test that there is audio encoded into the light, I bought a mini solar cell and plugged it into a guitar amplifier. 

The video shows the test. The creepy sound you hear is what the studio room fluorescent lights sound like through the solar cell. 

When I point it at the LED light array, something very interesting happens. Oh my!! 

Happy High School Radio Week!! 

Go Here for video VCS TV 

Ralph

Kids getting interested in engineering! Time to start certification! 

What's so amazing about the new wave of student broadcasters is how technically savvy they are! I'm happy to help the tinkerers with paid membership of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. My plan is to begin their journey with preparation for their CRO certification! 

 

More information to come shortly!!

Schedule for Christmas Eve and Day 

Special Schedule for Christmas Eve and Day - 24 hours:

FM / HD1 - VCS Radio Student Christmas specials and Classic Holiday specials all day -- plus -- a complete reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol December 25th at midnight. 

HD2 - recorded Sleigh Bells -- that's it -- just the sound of sleigh bells!

HD3 - recorded Crackling Fireplace -- that's it -- just the sound of a crackling fireplace!