OPPORTUNITIES FOR MUSICIANS
An audition-only jazz ensemble made up of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass, drum set, guitar, and auxiliary percussion. Auditions are held in the spring for the following school year. Students must be concurrently registered in band and/or orchestra, with occasional exceptions made for guitar and piano players. Rehearsals are on Monday and Thursday mornings from 7:15 am to 7:55 am. This is a for credit class.
A non-auditioned jazz ensemble. Rehearsals are on Tuesday mornings at 7:15 am. This group is also made up of saxes, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass, drums, guitar, and auxiliary percussion. Students must be concurrently registered in band and/or orchestra. We take a break from rehearsing from Spring Break to Tulip Time because of early marching band practice.
This small jazz ensemble is made up of 6 to 10 of our best and most dedicated jazz musicians. This group is chosen from the jazz orchestra and helps develop a mastery of improvisation skills. This group plays at special events and weddings.
This group is made up of members from both the concert band and the symphonic band. We play at home football and basketball games. All freshmen must attend three (3) football pep bands and four (4) basketball pep bands. There will be a sign up to verify attendance. For all sophomores, juniors, and seniors, attendance is voluntary and this group is optional. Students must be concurrently registered in band and/or orchestra. All band members are encouraged to join us; we have lots of fun.
A small string ensemble of 8 to 12 of the top string players from the orchestra. This group plays at some special events and church services and meets on Wednesday mornings at 7:15 am. This group’s primary director is Mr. Nester.
PERFORMING DRUMLINE/PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE
This ensemble is made up of percussionists from the concert band and the symphonic band. They meet Wednesday mornings with symphonic band members coming in at 7:15 am and the rest of the percussionists at 7:45 am to work on performing drumline music. The symphonic band percussionists will also perform as a percussion ensemble.
This ensemble is made up of woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings players of orchestra. Mr. VandenBerg will choose the best woodwind, brass, and percussion from symphonic and concert bands. The instrumentation is 2 clarinets, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, bass clarinet, 2 or 3 trumpets, 4 French horns, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, and 1 to 3 percussionists. For string players, most of the Friday morning practices are voluntary. (This is the same music as in orchestra class.) They practice on Friday mornings at 7:00 am.
This group is made up of all the concert band and symphonic band members and practices after Spring Break up to Tulip Time (second week of May) from 7:15 am to 7:55 am. We also practice a couple times a week during the school day. Attendance is mandatory for all band members.
This group performs with the fall musical in conjunction with the theater department. They rehearse after school starting near the middle of October until the performance, which is the third week in November, starting out two (2) times a week after school and then moving to every day for the last couple weeks before the show. Instrumentation changes with each show—usually strings, a few woodwinds, brass, bass, and percussion.
DISTRICT SOLO AND ENSEMBLE FESTIVAL
All band and orchestra members should consider participating in this event, which happens in the beginning of February. Registration is in the beginning of December. Students can perform in solos and/or ensembles for an adjudicator and are given a rating based on their performance. Those who receive a division one, or superior, rating qualify to perform at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival. The top players from that festival can be chosen to be part of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. The HCHS instrument music department covers the cost of registering for this event. If the student does not perform at the festival they will need to reimburse the HCHS instrumental music department.
ALL STATE BAND AND ORCHESTRA AUDITIONS
These auditions happen in late October/early November and are at East Kentwood HS. They take about 10 to 15 minutes. The best band and orchestra musicians from around the state audition to be part of the All State Band and Orchestra and only the top auditions are accepted to this group. It performs one time in January with two (2) days of rehearsal. Those who make this group receive a high honor and have demonstrated many hours of hard work. Registration is in the beginning of October. The HCHS instrument music department covers the cost of registering for this event. If the student does not perform for the audition they will need to reimburse the HCHS instrumental music department.