INSTRUMENTAL

Director of Instrumental Music: Helen Harrelson

To look at the Department Handbook click here.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC CLASSES

PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE I

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

This class provides percussionists with the opportunity to develop both technically and theoretically. Students will refine skills and rudiments on concert and marching percussion through group and individual projects so that they become multi-disciplined. Students are encouraged to participate either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble it the KSHSAA Regional Music Festival (April). A solid foundation of theory and history is also established through a variety of activities that help prepare students for continued success in the music program. 2nd semester only.

CONCERT BAND

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The SJA Concert Band aims to provide musicians with a chance to listen and perform musically, both as an individual and in an ensemble. Students are guided through personal skill development as they learn and perform repertoire for school concerts and community events. In the second semester, the group also prepares and performs for KSHSAA large group state festival. Aspects of music theory and history will also be covered in class. Students enrolled in this class will also have the opportunity to develop their instrumental specific skills through scheduled sectional instruction sessions.

CRIMSON COLLECTIVE

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

This is a guitar, keyboard, vocal and percussion ensemble aimed at developing performance skills through a wide variety of musical genres including praise & worship, blues, rock, pop and soul. Students will also learn how to arrange and create their own songs in small groups.

STRING ENSEMBLE

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The SJA String Ensemble aims to provide string musicians with a chance to listen and perform musically, both as an individual and in an ensemble. Students are guided through personal skill development as they learn and perform solo and ensemble repertoire for school concerts and community events. In the second semester, the group prepares and performs for regional and state festivals. Aspects of music theory and history will also be covered in class.

GENERAL MUSIC THEORY & MUSICAL HISTORY

INTRO TO MUSIC

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Intro to Music is an introductory class that provides students with a chance to learn the basics of music through performance. Students will learn how to read music as well as develop the basic skills required to perform on a variety of instruments. Aspects of music theory and history will also be covered through applied learning projects. No previous musical experience is necessary. On completion of the class, students may progress and continue their studies in either vocal or instrumental music ensembles for the following year.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY I

Grades: 11, 12

This class is focused on the creation of music and media using technology. Arranging and editing musical projects and evaluating the merit of musical content are also covered. Students will learn computer-based techniques for creating, recording, and producing projects on GarageBand, Sibelius, Finale, Photoshop, and iMovie. Class members will also be taught about the history of music in film and how to create multi-media presentations. This class fulfills a Fine/Performing Arts or Technology credit requirement.

MUSIC THEORY & HISTORY

Grades: 10, 11, 12

Music Theory and History is a non-performance course open to those students with an interest in learning the basic rudiments, structures, and elements of music. The history curriculum covers both musical and historical developments from the early Catholic Church through to present day. Topics covered include Gregorian Chant, Music at Notre Dame, the Baroque and Classical eras, the Nineteenth Century (Nationalistic Music, Tchaikovsky’s Ballet music, and traditions in German and Italian Opera), Jazz and Blues, Serialism and American Musical Theatre.

ZERO HOUR COURSES

Students will not enroll in these zero hour courses at the time of next year enrollment in February but will be determined at the start of the school year

THUNDER DRUMS

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Thunder Drums ensemble is a zero hour class that meets 7:00 – 7:55 am on Monday mornings. The group is a high profile ensemble both at St James and in the wider community. Students will work on rudiments, cadences, marching and general technique. It also prepares concert percussion literature for the KSHSAA Solo and Ensemble Festival in the Spring.

JAZZ BAND

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Jazz Band is a zero-hour class that meets 7:00 – 7:55 am on Tuesday mornings (Sept, Oct, Dec, Jan, Feb & May) with the occasional Thunder Block rehearsal before concerts. The group is a highprofile ensemble both at St. James and in the wider community. Students will develop their knowledge and performance of popular jazz and contemporary music as they prepare repertoire for concerts and festivals.

PEP BAND

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Sound of Thunder Pep Band combines all wind, percussion, guitar and keyboard players in the department. The group meets during Thunder Block (Aug -Oct) to prepare music and shows for fall sporting events and community activities.

EXTRA CURRICULAR INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC ENSEMBLES

Students will not enroll in these ensembles at the time of next year enrollment in February but will be determined at the start of the school year

MUSICAL PIT ORCHESTRA

Auditions are held in September to be part of the musical pit orchestra. The group rehearses and performs during October and November. Rehearsals meet at various times, both before and after school.

ADVANCED ORCHESTRA

The Advanced Orchestra combines the String Ensemble with experienced wind and percussion students to perform more challenging literature. This ensemble meets during Thunder Block (October, December and April) to prepare music for concerts.

CHAMBER ENSEMBLES

Students have the option to form small ensembles to prepare music for KSHSSA Solo & Ensemble Festival and/or music for Mass. These ensembles meet during Thunder Block as well as some class time (March & April). Student formed ensembles include Flute Quartet, Clarinet Choir, Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Trio, Brass Band, Low Brass Ensemble and Brass Quintet.

TRI-M HONOR SOCIETY

Open to all Juniors & Seniors in good disciplinary standing.

Tri-M Handbook >>