Music

The Music Program prepares students for ensemble performance, emphasizing skills such as listening, collaboration and creativity while balancing technical learning and hands-on experience.

A progression of courses has evolved that allows students to develop their individual skills in a group setting: opportunities abound for singers and instrumentalists to work in small groups at their own level, and in a wide variety of music styles that they love—the result is that students invest themselves far beyond the requirements. "If we can get them to fall in love with music, everything else is easy."

Foundations of Music Performance

This is the first required class for most incoming musicians. The goal of this class is to establish a common language, develop solid practice habits, learn how to be an effective bandleader and bandmate, understand the fundamentals of western harmony, and to jumpstart engagement in the process of becoming a better musician. Students work in several different ensemble configurations throughout the course of the year, culminating in a performance at the end of the school year. Some of the topics covered include diatonic harmony, common song forms, ear training and interval identification, transcription, reading and writing basic standard notation, and developing skills as an effective improviser. While all students are expected to specialize in an instrument, there are some opportunities to learn basic skills on all of the rock band instruments in this class. The fundamental practices and principles of effective rhythm sections and horn sections are explored and studied through the student-selected repertoire, and all students are expected to leave this class with a deep understanding of the interconnectivity of highly powerful and impactful bands. While all instruments and ability levels are encouraged to apply to the program, there is typically more interest in the program than there are available spaces, and auditions on placement day are a required first step in the process.

Musicianship: Rhythm & Groove

This intermediate level music course builds upon the skills and concepts covered in the Foundations of Music Performance class. Placement is based on instrumentation needs for the individual ensembles in the class, as well as demonstrated passion and proficiency for musical growth and collaboration. This section uses the lens of Rhythm & Groove to explore a multitude of musicianship skills, and draws upon many different musical traditions and styles throughout the course work. Students are placed in an ensemble for the entire year and work together to select material, develop a cohesive sound, and put together a live performance for a final concert series at the end of each semester.

Musicianship: Harmony

This intermediate level music course builds upon the skills and concepts covered in the Foundations of Music Performance class. Placement is based on instrumentation needs for the individual ensembles in the class, as well as demonstrated passion and proficiency for musical growth and collaboration. This section uses the lens of Western Harmony to explore a multitude of musicianship skills, and draws upon many different musical traditions and styles throughout the course work. Students are placed in an ensemble for the entire year and work together to select material, develop a cohesive sound, and put together a live performance for a final concert series at the end of each semester.

Advanced Bands

This is the culminating class of the music program sequence and requires completion of intermediate level music classes and consent of the music faculty. Students are placed in an ensemble for the entire year and work together to select material, develop a cohesive sound, and put together a live performance for a final concert series at the end of each semester. Furthermore, students learn the fundamental principles of arrangement, reharmonization, and digital music production in order to personalize the material that they select to highlight and sharpen their individual musical voices. Songwriting, composing, and producing original music are also a part of the course work.

Spring Advanced Bands Performance 

Fall Advanced Bands Performance 

Chris Detrick

Chris Detrick

Music Teacher
Angeline Saris

Angeline Saris

Music Teacher