About Our Band Program
Beginning (6th grade) and Concert (7th & 8th grades) Bands meet separately each day and students attend one group lesson each week. Jazz band meets one day per week in place of Concert Band. 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 Contest
- 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.