The Concert Ensembles
Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble – are the FOUNDATION of the Colony Band Program.
The many co-curricular ensembles and music classes are offered to supplement the primary concert ensemble experience.
Why are the Concert Bands the Foundation of the Program?
The visual diagram gives an idea of how each ensemble is related. Having the concert band as our nucleus allows the marching band to succeed because we can all PLAY BETTER. When we have a successful marching band, the winter guard and percussion ensemble can utilize that development and perform more complex concepts. Finally, the natural offshoot from a strong musical foundation are other performing opportunities like jazz band and chamber groups.
None of that is possible WITHOUT the concert bands.
Even when we first start music in the summer for marching band, it is in a concert setup. Marching band only lasts for a few months out of the year, and a lot of that time is focused between learning drill and how to move. If one was to think about it, the amount of time spent solely on playing an instrument in marching band is minimal when compared to the training in a concert band. By everyone being involved in a concert band class, each student is getting the same opportunity for their development as a musician.
By the numbers…
-Average time performing music in a marching band show: 4’30”
-Average time performing in a concert band performance: 20’
-Average number of concerts per year: 3-4
-Approximate time performing music for concert bands: 60’ or 1 HOUR
While these numbers are not exact, the amount of time focused on MUSIC is indeed quite a contrast!
Concert Band- All freshmen woodwinds and brass are required to take this course upon entering the Colony Band Program. With multiple middle school feeders, this allows everyone to get on the same page in regard to technique and pedagogical approach. Additionally, many upper classmen take the course to help as student leaders/mentors.
Symphonic Band- This is the primary concert band that all band students will perform in. This ensemble is non-auditioned and typically performs in local concerts and festivals.
Wind Ensemble- This is the top concert ensemble, placed by audition. These students often still perform in the Symphonic Band as well. The wind ensemble plays higher levels of literature than the other concert groups. The wind ensemble performs both locally AND travels to regional events.
While private lessons are not required, they are STRONGLY encouraged for ANY member of the program seeking to improve/expand their skill set, advance into a Student Leadership Team position, or to be selected for the Wind Ensemble.
*Titan Regiment- The “Titan Regiment” is the Colony High School marching band. The group begins rehearsals during the summer in preparation for a fall competitive field season. Once the school year starts, students rehearse primarily in the evenings and competitions last from October until Thanksgiving Break. The group also does various parades and community performances.
*Winter Guard- After fall season, the color guard splits off to its own unit, competing in local and regional events. Students wishing to participate in winter guard must audition. Placement is based on both the audition and their fall performance/commitment.
ALL STUDENTS WISHING TO PERFORM IN THE WINTER GUARD MUST HAVE ALSO PERFORMED WITH THE TITAN REGIMENT IN THE FALL. The only exception to this is newly auditioned members.
*Percussion Ensemble- The Colony High School percussion section not only competes in the fall, but also learns a variety of literature throughout the year. Students learn the full range of percussion; and perform in a variety of settings and ensembles. The percussion section also competes in local and regional events between January and April.
*Jazz Ensembles- The Jazz program at Colony typically starts near the end of fall marching band season. Students wishing to participate in the jazz groups must audition and placement is based on their audition and fall performance/commitment. The jazz portion of the program has performed as both a “big band” as well as a combo. The group often does public performances in addition to their concert responsibilities. The groups are also typically featured at the “Fish Fry” event in the Spring.
*Solo/Ensemble- As the holidays approach, students are provided the opportunity to perform in section quartets and other small ensembles. The students often choose to find/prepare their own arrangements. After the holiday concert, students can also participate in a variety of chamber ensembles such as brass choir, sax quartet, etc. These groups typically perform both in chamber recital settings and large concert events. Students who perform in these groups also have the option of taking their performance(s) to an adjudicated festival event.
*Music Theory/Appreciation- The Colony Band students learn a variety of music theory throughout their time in the program. Typically, this information is applied to student arrangements and compositions. Additionally, students learn about a variety of genres, artists, and ensembles. While this is not necessarily a separate course for band students it is an important part of their music education.
*Pep Band- Most often, the Pep Band is composed of members of the Titan Regiment for special performances such as business openings or community events. It may also be asked to perform at specific academic or athletic events such as Homecoming. In these settings, the students typically wear their “Titan Gear” as opposed to their more formal competition uniform.
*All students wishing to perform in any of these co-curricular ensembles MUST be enrolled in a concert band (Concert/Symphonic/Wind Ensemble)