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Music Classes

Music Classes

The Music Department Video


Many of the high school music rehearsals and performances take place outside of the regular school day as an extension of the curriculum class. All academic standards pertaining to the class are applied to rehearsals beyond the regular school day. Enrollment in any performing music class includes the expectation of attendance at all rehearsals and performances.

 

High School Band

  • 9th - 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements.

This course is open to all 9th-12th grade students who have successfully completed Band during the previous school year.  Students will be placed in the appropriate band for their level of technique based on an audition in the spring of the previous year.  The bands at the high school from (highest to lowest level of technique required) are: Symphony Band, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, and Concert Winds.  Students may also enroll at a later time after an audition with the Director’s approval. 

 

Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Band.

 

Required Perfomances for all High School Bands:

Winter Concert, Pre-Festival Concert, Concert Festivals, Collage Rehearsal and Concert, Tulip Time Parades and Memorial Day Parade.

 

Additional required Performances and Rehearsals for Symphony Band & Wind Symphony:

All home football games, marching festival, graduation and summer band camp.

 

Solo and Ensemble Festival, Pep Band, and Orchestra participation are optional. Students in all bands are encouraged to participate in these extra credit opportunities.


More about High School Band

 

Advanced Percussion Class

  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

Percussion Class is for advanced 9th - 12th grade percussion students who are selected to participate in the class by audition.  Advanced Percussion Class students will participate with the High School Band at all performances, including home football games and the marching festival. (The High School Band course description applies to this course.) Along with all High School Band music, a strong technique program and a variety of percussion ensemble literature will comprise the curriculum.   Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Advanced Percussion Class.


More about Advanced Percussion Class

 

Jazz Ensemble

  • 9th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

This course is open to all 9-12th grade students simultaneously enrolled in a Band, Orchestra, or Choir.  Jazz Ensemble provides instrumental music students the opportunity to experience jazz by playing a variety of jazz styles. Improvisation is an intricate element of the jazz experience, and student involvement is required.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Jazz Ensemble.


More about Jazz Ensemble



Bel Canto Choir

  • 9th - 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements
This course is open to any female in 9th through 12th grade.  Singers who have basic level skills involving vocal technique and sight reading will be placed in Bel Canto.  Women’s choral literature will be explored and basic technique and sight reading skills will be developed.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Bel Canto.

More information about West Ottawa Choirs

 


Bella Voce Choir

  • 9th - 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two Semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

This course is open to any female in 9th through 12th grade.  Singers who have intermediate level skills involving vocal technique and sight reading will be placed in Bella Voce.  Women’s choral literature will be explored and intermediate technique and sight reading skills will be developed.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Bella Voce.

More information about West Ottawa Choirs



Select Women's Ensemble

  • 10th - 12th Grades
  • Elective (Audition)
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

Membership in this ensemble is limited and by audition only. The auditions are held in June prior to the start of the new school year.  Advanced vocal technique and sight reading skills are developed as well as advanced literature. Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in the Select Women’s Ensemble.  See and hear a Select Women's Ensemble here


More information about West Ottawa Choirs



Men's Choir

  • 9th - 12th Grade Men
  • Elective
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

Concert Choir is an TB (tenor, bass) choir.  Ninth through 12th grade men will be placed in this choir.   This choir attends the Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival at Western Michigan University in March.   Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in the Men's Choir.


More information about West Ottawa Choirs


 

Vocalaires

  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Elective (Audition)
  • Two semesters 
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

Membership in the Vocalaires is by audition only and is limited.  The auditions are held in June, prior to the start of the new school year.  Vocalaires perform at the advanced placement level and have numerous performances in the community throughout the year.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Vocalaires.  Hear and see a Vocalaires performance here


More information about West Ottawa Choirs

 

Chamber Orchestra

  • 9th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two semesters 
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

The Chamber Orchestra is the top orchestral group at the high school.  Membership is limited and will be determined by audition in the spring of the previous year.  Students may also enroll at a later time, after an audition with the Director’s approval.  This group will focus on the performance of advanced string literature and will have several performances throughout the year.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Chamber Orchestra.


More about Chamber Orchestra


 

Symphony Orchestra

  • 9th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two semesters 
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

The Symphony Orchestra is the intermediate orchestral group at the high school.  Membership will be determined by audition in the spring of the previous year.  Students may also enroll at a later time, after an audition with the Director’s approval.  This group will also combine with select members of the band to play original compositions and arrangements for full orchestra.  Intermediate string technique, such as more difficult shifting that is necessary for participation in Chamber Orchestra, will also be covered.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Symphony Orchestra.


More about Symphony Orchestra


 

Concert Orchestra

  • 9th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • Two Semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

The Concert Orchestra is the preparatory orchestra for those who are at a basic skill level.  Technique for high school repertoire, such as shifting and vibrato, will be covered to help students become more prepared to play in either the Symphony or Chamber orchestra in the future.  Participation in all concerts and festivals is required for membership in Concert Orchestra.


More about Concert Orchestra

YouTube Video




IB Music SL (Not offered in 2016-17)

  • 11th – 12th Grades
  • Two semesters
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

This standard level course is divided into two sections: music performance and music theory/history/world music.  The music performance section will involve enrollment in the high school band, orchestra, or choir.  The music theory/history/world music section will help the students gain an understanding and appreciation for music of all genres.  Special emphasis will be placed upon student understanding of music theory, the use of musical terminology, the evolution and history of “Western” music and the study of music from around the globe.  Students will complete and record public performances, will complete a listening paper, and will prepare a written media script investigating the relationships between two musical genres.




Music Appreciation (Not offered in 2017-18)

  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • One semester
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

Students will be able to identify and explain Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, 20th century and contemporary music. Students will be able to classify and describe important composers of each of these eras.  Although elements of world music will be examined, a basic understanding of the history of Western music will be emphasized.




Music Theory  (Not offered in 2017-18)

  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Elective
  • One semester
  • This course meets the credit toward VPAA graduation requirements

This course presents the fundamentals of music theory. Students will analyze pitch and rhythm.  They will evaluate chords and they will create a four-part composition.  A student in this course should be enrolled in band, choir, or orchestra.  Students who are not enrolled in a performing music class must have working knowledge of standard notation from piano or guitar lessons.