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About the Bands

Currently, approximately 150 participate in the Symphonic Band, Sixth Grade Concert Band, Beginning Band, Jazz Band I, and Jazz Band 2. The enrollment has steadily been rising over the past three years, and we hope that it continues to rise as the program develops. See below for a description of each of the groups.


SYMPHONIC BAND

The Holmes Symphonic Band is composed of seventh and eighth grade students who have demonstrated a very high level of dedication to instrumental music and have achieved a level of accomplishment on their instrument that exceeds the average middle school musician. Students in the Symphonic Band are expected to demonstrate the highest level of dedication and commitment to the band program. They are expected to be exemplary role models to the younger and less accomplished band students.

Symphonic Band meets on Monday and Wednesday during the school day and Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30am.  All ‘in school’ rehearsals will take place during 9th Period (2:50pm-3:30pm). All rehearsals for Symphonic Band will take place in the Band Room.

Symphonic Band will perform three concerts at Holmes through out the year. In addition, Symphonic Band will also perform at the Illinois Grade School Music Association’s (IGSMA) Annual Contest.  Through out the last four years, the HMS Symphonic Band has received a Division I at every IGSMA Performance.


SIXTH GRADE BAND

In Sixth Grade Band, students continue to work on and develop the fundamental skills that will eventually qualify them for the older groups. Students will also work on band music and participate in concert performances throughout the year.  

The Sixth Grade Band rehearses on Monday and Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. in the main gymnasium, usually on the stage.  Students in this band also meet twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursday) in the advisory period during school. They will also have a weekly group lesson that meets on a rotational basis during the regular school day.


FIFTH GRADE BAND

First year fifth grade students are placed in beginning band.  Students start group instruction in September. Group lessons are taught during regular school hours at each elementary school.  Lesson times rotate throughout the school day.

Beginning Band students will have five early morning rehearsals before each concert.  These rehearsals will occur once a week on Fridays at 7:30 a.m. in a place to be determined. You will be notified as soon as it is determined.  There are activity buses to bring students to these rehearsals and buses to take the students back to the grade schools before the regular school day begins. Beginning Band students will perform in three concerts during their first year of participation.


JAZZ ENSEMBLE


Students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, or drums may also audition for membership in Jazz Band I. The Holmes Jazz Band I is composed of a select group of sixth, seventh and eighth grade musicians who have demonstrated a very high level of dedication to instrumental music and have achieved a level of accomplishment on their instrument that exceeds the average middle school musician.

Students are selected by audition and are placed in the organization with respect to balanced instrumentation.  Students in the Holmes Jazz Band I are expected to demonstrate the highest level of dedication and commitment to the band program. They are expected to be exemplary role models to the younger and less accomplished students. This organization is a performing group that explores the fundamentals of jazz and improvisation.  Studying jazz styles from all eras of music is an important part of the education of students in the Holmes jazz program.

Jazz Band I is an extracurricular group that meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. and on Friday mornings at 7:30 am. In addition, Jazz Band I will have sectionals on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 7:30am to 8:25am. The group will undertake a heavy schedule of performances at concerts, contests, and festivals throughout the year.

Last year Jazz Band I participated in over twelve performances! This year the band will be keeping up it’s extensive performance schedule. Jazz Band I will be performing at the North Shore Jazz Festival, Mundelein Jazz Festival and the second annual HMS Pops Concert later this year.


JAZZ BAND

In this award-winning ensemble, students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, or drums may audition for membership in Jazz Band II. This organization is a performing group that explores the fundamentals of jazz and improvisation.  Jazz Band II is an extracurricular group that meets on Wednesday Nights from 6:30pm to 8pm as well as Monday afternoons from 3:35pm to 5:15p. Please refer to the schedule by clicking this link. Occasionally there are other sectional times at that the students are responsible for being present.  Performances will be scheduled throughout the school year.  In order to perform with Jazz Band II, wind and percussion students must also participate in Sixth Grade Band or Symphonic Winds.



In this new ensemble, students will learn the basics of jazz, swing, and Latin styles.  The group meets Wednesdays from 3:30pm - 4:30pm, and will perform once or twice throughout the year.  It is the goal of the students in Jazz Workshop to learn all of the basics in an effort for them to move into the Jazz Ensemble or Jazz Workshop the following year! 

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