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About our Program
About Our Band Program
The Parkland Band Program consists of 2 ensembles: The Beginner Band and the Concert Band. The beginner band is formed with 6th graders, while the 7th and 8th graders perform with the concert band. When student numbers allow, a Jazz Band is formed with 7th and 8th grade students. Plans are in place for an additional performing group that would practice after school and perform at retirement and assisted living facilities, but those plans are currently on hold due to the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had some wide-ranging effects on education, and music performance classes have been among the hardest hit. During the 2020-2021 school year, students mostly learned on their own, practicing and completing playing assignments and growing as musicians, but missing the social aspects of being in band. However, students have returned and we are now playing together once again. Our enrollment has suffered, but we will rise again as the world learns to control Covid-19 and we can return to normalcy.
Beginning and Concert Bands meet separately each day and students attend one group lesson each week. Concert Band students will be able to sign up for Jazz Band as well. If there is enough interest to form a Jazz Band, it will meet 1 day per week in place of Concert Band. In the future, as in past years, students enrolled in band will work together to produce at least two major school concerts each year. In addition, the bands perform at festivals and events. In the 2 years prior to 2020-2021, those include:
- The Illinois Grade School Music Association District 8 Organizational Contes
- The Illinois Grade School Music Association District 8 Solo and Ensemble Contest
- The Prairie State Middle School Concert Band Festival
- The Hildebrand Music Invitational
- The Thomas Middle School Jazz Jamboree
- The District 15 Celebration of the Arts
- The McHenry High School Middle School Marching Night
- The McHenry Community Band festival
In Beginning Band, students learn the fundamentals of both reading music, performing on their chosen instrument, and working as a group to give high quality and engaging gperformances. In Concert Band, those fundamentals are expanded upon and students gain fluency in their musical ability. Concert Band also performs significantly more than beginner band at local and regional events. Jazz Band focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to perform in styles related to swing, rock, and Latin music, and also performs at several local and regional events.
Beginning Band students usually sign up for band at the end of their 5th-grade. This process is the same whether or not they have received any prior instruction. New 7th and 8th-grade students may join with the help of a private instructor.