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Band Department

SFHS School Of Arts Logo in red with pictures representing each departmentPurpose: To provide all high school band students of Cumberland County an environment where they can develop their musical skills and knowledge to the fullest in all possible musical genres.

Participation: Participation in the Academy is open to all High School students in Cumberland County. Students must meet all general requirements for the 71st Arts Academy then:

  • Students must complete a placement audition on their instrument(s),
  • Present 2 letters of recommendation from current principal, guidance counsellor and/or teachers. These recommendations should speak to the student’s classroom performance in all subjects and especially their behavior in the school environment.
  • Students may continue to participate as long as they complete all requirements of the program. This will include successful progression through the performance requirements of the Band Program.
  • Each student will be required to take at least one band class per year and fulfil all the requirements. The director will assign the class. Students are expected to take at least one additional class in the performing arts sometime during their four-year high school career.
  • Participating students will also maintain a 3.0 average in Arts classes while in the program.
  • Students will be expected to demonstrate proper behavior within the entire educational environment.
  • Academy students will be required to take the honors level band classes usually in grades 11-12.
  • Students that fall short of any of the academy requirements may be removed from the program. In most instances, the student will be placed on probation and given a chance to improve any deficiencies first. This includes student conduct.

Auditions: Auditions for the next year during the enrollment period. Each student will:

  1. Play district band scale requirements for their current grade level.
  2. Play a short solo that demonstrates their musical ability. Please bring 2 copies for the faculty to read. (Accompaniments are allowed, but not required)
  3. Sight-read to demonstrate current musical ability.
  4. Turn in the 2 letters of recommendation from school personnel and proof of current school grades in all subjects. (See above)
  5. Complete an application, including an essay in their own handwriting stating why they want to attend the 71st Arts Academy.

Students will be notified of their acceptance or rejection after their audition.

Classes and Ensembles: Band students at 71st High School may participate in the following classes.

  •  Wind Ensemble – Available by audition only – Instrumentation is limited! Top musicians only! Meets in Spring semester. Must be a member of marching band in fall to participate.
  • Symphonic Band – Instrumentation is not limited. (Arts Academy students will not participate in this class.)
  • Marching Band – Marching band begins in late July and continues through November. The marching band practices after school and performs at most football games as well as competes at numerous band contests in the fall. There is an occasional parade. Participation in marching band is required of all Academy students.
  • Jazz Band – This class is open by audition only to students who play standard jazz band instruments. It is only available as a second band class.
  • Music Theory – Students learn the written, aural and pitch skills needed to fully understand music. The course is a necessity for students intending on studying music in college. AP Theory is offered for those wishing to earn college credit.
  • Small Ensembles – Small groups are available for serious musicians to participate in to develop chamber music skills.

Travel, Enrichment and Honors: Academy participants will be given an opportunity to participate in special educational trips and performances to enhance their musical knowledge. Students will receive special graduation recognition at graduation from the Academy.

Published by Betty Houghtaling on October 15, 2019