At Upper St. Clair High School, there's a band (six of them, actually) to suit your schedule, skill, and style. And each is an elective that helps you fulfill your arts requirement. Incorporating band into your day gets you some downtime and playtime (and sometimes lunchtime!) WHILE you're working and learning.
Friday night football - what would it be without the marching band? The players bring the action. The band supplies the soundtrack. Together it's a stirring and unforgettable experience.
Its ability to evoke cool movie montages aside, the marching band is a dynamic group of students who play together, perform together, travel together, and create awesome high school memories together. Plus, marching band is the only extracurricular activity that earns its members an academic credit.
Concert Band and Wind Symphony
Directed by Mr. Pickell, Concert Band and Wind Symphony is actually one band that serves students of varying levels and needs. Freshmen instrumentalists schedule "Concert Band," while sophomores and upperclassmen who choose to continue making music in this band schedule "Wind Symphony." Concert Band and Wind Symphony are great ways to continue a top-notch music education in high school and perform for audiences in a learning-focused, self-paced environment.
Wind Ensemble hopefuls audition for a spot in the late winter or early spring, and if they're selected, start playing with the group the following fall. The Wind Ensemble features talented and dedicated student musicians who together produce a rich, professional sound. Nearly every year, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) awards the Wind Ensemble the highest marks possible in its performance assessment (called "adjudication"). Some of the pieces that the Wind Ensemble has played recently include An American in Paris by George Gershwin and Soliloquy and Dance by Philip Parker.
Jazz Lab and Jazz 2
Just as Concert Band and Wind Symphony is one band with various types of students, so is Jazz Lab and Jazz 2. Directed by Mr. Wayland, this group offers an introductory to jazz technique and performance at the high school, and enables student musicians to improvise and solo. Along with the Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab and Jazz 2 students have the opportunity to play throughout the city, like in Market Square during the holidays.
Like Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble is an audition-only group. Usually a relatively small number of student musicians become tightly knit jazz virtuosos in this ensemble. These students study their instruments seriously, learn to take cues from each other seamlessly, and can jam like the pros. They are rewarded time and again with exemplary marks from the PMEA, and could totally entertain the crowd at your next event, were they for hire!
We'll pause now while you consider taking lessons on any stringed instrument, and kick yourself for giving one up back in third grade. But it's never too late!
The Orchestra consists of violin, viola, cello, and string bass players, and is directed by the energetic visionary and newest member of the USC music staff, Mrs. Shoemaker.
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