About our Program
About Our Band Program
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. 6th grade enrollment has returned to normal levels and we will rise again as the world learns to control Covid-19 and we can return to normalcy.
Beginning (6th grade) and Concert (7th & 8th grades) Bands meet separately each day and students attend one group lesson each week. If there is enough interest within the Concert band to form a Jazz Band, it will meet 1 day per week in place of Concert Band. There are also plans to form an after-school performing group that would perform regularly at retirement and nursing homes, but those plans have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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 included:
- 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 performances. 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.