If you have an undying passion and quenchable thirst for music, you should consider joining a band in high school. A high school band is an umbrella body that houses student musicians. If you are a member of any of the high school bands, you will be rehearsing and performing instrumental music with other students.
Band programs are an essential aspect of most public schools’ curriculum. In other words, most schools provide music education to their students through bands. In this article, you will learn all you need to know about high school bands and why you should join one. Sounds great, right? Keep reading…
High School Band Instruments
Being a part of a marching band is something most students look forward to. Over time, marching bands have become the ambassador of music in high schools. Trust me, being a member of a marching band in high school is an uncommon privilege. You will be part of young aspiring musicians with incredible skills and musical excellence.
What I love most about high school bands is their participation in Marching Band Competitions. The competition is one of a kind that enables you to see other band groups around the communities.
During marching band competitions, your band group may be striving for regional, state, and even national levels. And you tend to see students with different musical skills.
In my opinion, a marching band competition is a musical motivation for students. After any musical competition, you may be motivated to work tirelessly towards improving your music skills.
There’s no way a high school band can win any competition without the right instruments. So, here are some of the instruments you will find in a high school band’s inventory;
Piccolo is one of the most common instruments in a high school band’s inventory. It’s a half-sized flute that belongs to the woodwind musical equipment family. While modern piccolos have the same fingering with the standard transverse flute, the sound they produce in an octave is very high.
Piccolos are important in the high school band’s equipment inventory because they produce unique sounds in classical music.
#2. Tenor Saxophones
The tenor saxophone is another important instrument you will find in a high school band’s inventory. It’s a medium-sized instrument that belongs to the saxophone family of musical instruments. The tenor and alto are commonly used saxophones. While Tenor is pitched in the B♭ key, alto is pitched in the key of E♭.
#3. Baritone Saxophone
Baritone saxophone (commonly called bari sax) is also a member of the saxophones’ family. It’s the lowest-pitched saxophone commonly used. And it uses a blend of mouthpiece, reed, and ligature to produce sounds.
#4. Marching Tubas
The Marching tubas is the lowest-pitched brass instrument in a high school band’s inventory. It has a lot of similar features with the sousaphone.
Even though marching tubas and sousaphones share a lot in common, they are different. While sousaphones have three valves, Marching tubas have up to 5 valves; this increases fingering options while playing it and aids intonation.
Mellophone is another outstanding instrument in a high school band’s inventory. The instrument has a conical bore like that of the euphonium and flugelhorn. It usually serves as the middle-voiced brass instrument in marching bands. The bell of mellophones face forward, that’s why they are used for marching instead of French horn.
#6. Marching Snare Drums
Marching snare drums are excellent musical instruments in the school band’s inventory. They help to keep tempo in any band, and they usually form the foundation of most musical tracks.
#7. Timp Toms
Timp toms is an excellent instrument that fills the middle range of the sounds between the snare and bass drum.
#8. Marching Bass Drum
The marching bass drum is a common instrument in the high school band’s inventory. It provides a deeply resonant tone and punchy attack.
Other high school band instruments are;
- Marching cymbals
- Bass clarinet
- Alto saxophone
- Horn in F
- All Mallet Percussion
Best High School Bands
Here are some of the top-rated high school bands in the United States;
#1. Vandegrift High School Band, Austin, Texas
The Vandegrift High School has a top-notch band department. The department enrolls over 300 students in their 9th through 12th grades. They have been performing outstandingly over the years. Their consistency in getting to the regional and super-regional finalists haven’t gone unnoticed.
In 2019, the band won gold at the National Bands of America Marching contest. They topped the scoreboard by scoring 97.175.
If you register with the Vandegrift Music department, you will hone your musical skills in no time. Without a doubt, Vandegrift High School musical band is one of the best high school bands in the United States.
#2. Marian Catholic High School Band, Illinois, Chicago
The Marian Catholic high school band is a band with a reputation for exceptional concert marching in the United States. In the past two decades, the band has earned several awards and honors. The band has been the defending champion in the State of Illinois Marching Band Competition since 1980.
#3. The University of Southern California’s Trojan Marching Band (TMB)
The University of Southern California’s band is popularly called the “The Spirit of Troy.” It has over 300 passionate students with exemplary musical skills. The band regularly performs on screen, stage, and sometimes with celebrities. They feature in movies like “The Naked Gun,” “Forrest Gump,” Grammys, The Academy Awards, etc.
#4. The Plymouth- Canton Educational Park Bands
The Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Bands is another exceptional high school band in the United States. The band consists of three high schools – Canton High School, Plymouth High School, and Salem High School.
There are five different brands under the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Bands; Varsity band, concert band, symphony band, chamber wind, and Wind Ensemble. The band has a reputation for outstanding performance over the years.
#5. James Logan High School Band
The James Logan High School Band is another top-notch band in the United States. The band comprises the Logan Marching band, Winter guard, winter percussion, and concert bands. Over the years, the high school band has earned several awards. Interestingly, James Logan High School Band can make a difference in your musical career.
Should I Join the High School Band
There are several reasons to join the high school band, some of them are;
#1. Make New Friends
Sometimes, it’s a bit difficult to make new friends in high school. Since you already have your circles and loyal friends, breaking into new circles is a bit difficult. But when you join a band, you tend to make new friends because there is a subject to use as an ice breaker.
Furthermore, some high school bands regularly attend and perform football games, concerts, and competitions. These activities tend to bond you with other members of the band.
#2. Encourages Teamwork
Nothing encourages teamwork skills better than band and choir. In every musical performance, members must meld their talent cohesively for an outstanding piece of music. This process unconsciously improves talent and team spirit.
Trust me, working with others is a unique skill that most people don’t have. When you learn this skill in a high school band, it will be useful for your future career, relationships, and other endeavors.
#3. Form Nerve- Cell Connections
Most band members are often outstanding in their grades in other subjects. When you play music often, you tend to make new and complex neurological connections. According to Experts, if music is a daily part of your life, you tend to perform better in academic classes like maths and science.
#4. Introduces Students to Community
Ordinarily, being a member of a high school band introduces you to a community. You get to bond with your bandmates and meet with other people around. Sometimes, you may be assigned a fundraising role that requires you to work with neighbors or local businesses to raise money for a field trip or competition outing.
#5. Develop Leadership Skills
Every band member has the potential of becoming a leader because leadership roles are assigned frequently. You can either conduct the entire group or lead an instrument section, depending on your skills. If your leadership skills are promising, you could become the next drum major!
#6. Time Management and Discipline
If you are a member of a band, you will up your time management skills. Don’t forget that you have to put in extra work outside your academic classes. And it takes discipline to manage your time wisely. Otherwise, your music or school will suffer.
As a rule, every band member has a personal discipline of studying hard and going to bed early.
There’s nothing that makes you feel better in high school than being a member of a prestigious band. It enables you to hone your music skills and connect you to the world of music. Lastly, some of the skills you learn as a band member will be useful beyond high school.