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INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

The instrumental music ensembles strive to foster intelligent, well-rounded musicians who continue a lifelong love of music and the arts. Like all arts, music has a profound effect on the academic success of the student. The instrumental music program brings together students from all interests, grades and abilities to create an extended family of support in a loving faith-based community.

Courses Offered

String Orchestra

String Orchestra is an intermediate level performing instrumental class designed for students who wish to continue their study of music through the string instrument medium. This course requires prior experience. It includes a study of note reading; sight reading; basic theory concepts and knowledge of musical symbols and terminology. Also included is the study of tone production, posture, hand position, bowing techniques, as well as proper care, handling, and storage of musical instruments. In addition, the class provides performance opportunities to develop the performance skills acquired in class. Mandatory performances include, but not limited to are the Fall Concert, Promotional Concerts, the Christmas Production (mandatory), Festivals, Spring Concert and the Pops Concert. Students will also prepare a Fall Semester final exam where they will be individually assessed on various performance based music criteria.

Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
(f) UC Approved
Prerequisites: Audition and Director’s Approval


String Orchestra Honors

String Orchestra Honors is an advanced level performing instrumental class designed for students who wish to continue their study of music through the String Orchestra medium. The ensemble is devoted to the preparation and performance of the richest and most varied traditional and contemporary music written for string orchestra. This ensemble is a listening-focused, process-oriented group that provides opportunities for students to gain interactive musical skills in various large ensemble settings. It also includes a continued study of theory concepts and knowledge of musical symbols and terminology. Also included is the study of tone production, posture, hand position and bowing techniques. In addition, the class is expected to present a 30-minute program introducing instruments and musical examples to feeder schools. . Mandatory performances include, but not limited to are the Fall Concert, Promotional Concerts, the Christmas Production (mandatory), Festivals, Spring Concert and the Pops Concert. Students will also prepare a Fall Semester final exam where they will be individually assessed on various performance based music criteria.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(f) UC Approved
Prerequisites: Audition and Director’s approval.

Wind Ensemble Honors

This is an advanced instrumental ensemble class open to all students with prior musical experience on woodwind, brass, and/or percussion instruments. Students in this class will begin the year covering topics of basic music theory and progress into its performance application on their applied instrument. They will learn Wind Ensemble and Orchestral repertoire ranging from advanced High School to University Level as well the Fall Marching Band Field Show music. Students will also prepare a Fall Semester final exam jury where they will perform a solo piece on their applied instrument (researched and provided on their own) as well as Major/Minor/Chromatic scales.

Mandatory performances include, but not limited to, Fall Concert, Promotional Concerts, the Christmas Production (mandatory), Festivals, Spring Concert and the Pops Concert.

Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
(f) UC Approved
*Prerequisites: Audition and Director’s Approval as well as Marching Band 8080, and/or IB/AP Music

Steel Drum/Percussion Ensemble

This is an introductory instrumental ensemble class open to all students wishing to learn performance techniques on concert percussion, drum set, and Trinidadian steel drum instruments. Students in this class will begin the year covering topics of basic music theory, rote learning, technical studies, and progress into its performance application on steel drums, snare drum, marimba, drum set, timpani, auxiliary percussion, and hand drums. Repertoire includes standard music for steel drum band, percussion ensemble, wind ensemble/orchestra sectionals, and solos/etudes. Historical appreciation of the steel drum, respect to Trinidadian tradition, and aesthetic appreciation of cultural differences will be emphasized.

Performances may include but not limited to Fall/Spring Concerts (mandatory), Mardi Gras Festival (mandatory), SMCHS Christmas Production (mandatory), Music Festivals, Open House, Mother’s Club Fundraiser, and community performances. Students will also prepare a Fall Semester final exam jury where they will need to demonstrate proficiency on snare drum, marimba, timpani as well as snare drum rudiments, Major/Chromatic scales and sight-reading.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
(f) UC Approved

Steel Drum/Percussion Ensemble Honors

This is an advanced instrumental class open to students with prior musical training. Students will cover topics ranging from technical studies, music theory/history, rote learning, and musical expression through performance on Trinidadian steel drums, snare drum, marimba, timpani, drum set, auxiliary percussion, and hand drums. Repertoire includes standard music for steel drum band, percussion ensemble, wind ensemble/orchestra sectionals, and solos/etudes. Historical appreciation of the steel drum, respect to Trinidadian tradition, and aesthetic appreciation of cultural differences will be emphasized.

Performances may include, but not be limited to: Fall/Spring Concerts (mandatory), Mardi Gras Festival (mandatory), Christmas Production, music festivals, Open House, Mother's Club Fundraiser, and community performances on and off-campus. A fall semester-final exam jury demonstrating proficiency on snare, marimba, timpani, and steel drums, as well as performing snare drum rudiments, all major scales/chromatic/minor scales (by memory), and sight-reading will be required. A spring final project is also required, and can include one of a variety of topics such as an original musical arrangement/composition, a solo performance, a research project, an original poster/program, or an original music video.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
(f) UC Approved
Prerequisites: 7122A and/or audition with Director and Marching Band 8080

Classical Guitar Ensemble 1

This is an ensemble class open to all students with previous ensemble music or music theory experience. Students in this class must have basic knowledge of music notation and rhythms as well as its application to the classical guitar. They will learn Ensemble Classical Guitar repertoire from the Renaissance period through the 21th Century music period. Performances may include but not limited to the Fall Concert, the SMCHS Christmas Production (mandatory), Music Education Festivals, and a Spring Concert. Materials for this class include: classical nylon string guitar, foot pedal, pencil, and Frederick Noad’s Solo Guitar Playing Book 1. Students will also prepare a Fall Semester final exam where they will be individually assessed on various performance based music criteria. Due to heightened interest in this course, enrollment will be limited.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
(f) UC Approved

Note: Instruments are available to rent, $25.00 per year


Classical Guitar Ensemble 2

This is an ensemble class open to students with prior classical guitar experience. Students in this class must have strong knowledge and understanding of music notation, rhythms, dynamics, articulations as well as its application to the classical guitar. Students will prepare classical guitar ensemble repertoire from the Renaissance through the 21st century. Performances may include, but not limited to, the Fall Concert, SMCHS Christmas Production, Festivals and a Spring Concert. Materials for this course include: classical nylon string guitar, foot stool, pencil and Fredrick Noad’s Solo Guitar Playing Book 1. Students will also prepare a Fall Semester final exam where they will be individually assessed on various performance based music criteria. Due to heightened interest in this course, enrollment will be limited.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 10, 11, 12
(f) UC Approval Pending
Prerequisites: Audition and Classical Guitar Ensemble I

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up?

After auditions, we will notify you which ensemble will be best suited for you for the upcoming school year. At Incoming Freshmen Scheduling Night, you will have the opportunity to enroll in any of the courses listed above. Additional forms will be available for students interested in the Eagle Regiment Marching Band and Color Guard. It is never too late to learn a musical instrument! We have had students who started with iittle or no experience and eventually continued to receive scholarships in music.

Do I have to audition?

All students who wish to enroll in an honors class are required to audition. Students are required to perform the following criteria for their audition:
- a prepared solo that best represents the student's ability
- major scales
- sight reading

Contact Us

Email: band@smhs.org or steeldrums@smhs.org

Phone: 949-766-6000

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