INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC AT CONARD

The West Hartford Public Schools' Music Department will provide all students with a comprehensive, standards-based music education. The study of music fosters artistic development, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and the pursuit of life-long learning. Through performing and responding to music, all students develop individual skills, realize a sense of belonging, and establish connections to the community.

The Music department offers courses that provide a variety of experiences for students of all abilities and musical backgrounds. These courses are designed for students who wish to pursue music as an avocation as well as those planning a career in music. Some of the courses listed below are open to all students; others require a special audition for membership. Most music classes meet daily.

Students enrolling in performance groups accept the obligation to participate in all scheduled concerts and rehearsals. Students may only be excused with the instructor's approval.

In addition to the courses listed below as Honors Level, Contract Credit is available for a limited number of juniors and seniors in conjunction with one music class. Acceptance to this Contract Honors Program is based on a student audition and portfolio, both of which will be reviewed by the music faculty.

Freshman Band

1 Credit
Grades 9-10
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

The Freshman Band is a performance ensemble consisting of woodwinds, brass and percussion instrumentalists who have reached the intermediate level in technique and musicianship. Students develop knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, sight reading, musical terms and historical information as they pertain to the music that is prepared and performed. Repertoire includes major works for band that serve to prepare the student for admission to the advanced level band. This group rehearses five times per week and performs regularly throughout the school year at concerts, school and community events, home football games and in the Memorial Day Parade.

Symphonic Band

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

The Symphonic Band is a semi-advanced performance ensemble consisting of woodwinds, brass and percussion instrumentalists that rehearse daily. Students develop knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, sight reading, musical terms and historical information to promote a high level of musicianship through performance. The Symphonic Band performs advanced band and wind ensemble literature throughout the school year at concerts, school and community events, home football games and in the Memorial Day Parade. Small ensembles are offered occasionally as an adjunct to the Symphonic Band.

Wind Ensemble

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Audition

The Wind Ensemble is an advanced performance ensemble consisting of woodwinds, brass, and percussion instrumentalists that rehearse five times per week. Students develop knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, sight-reading, musical terms and historical information to promote a high level of musicianship through performance. The Wind Ensemble performs advanced band and wind ensemble literature throughout the school year at concerts, school and community events, home football games, and in the Memorial Day Parade. Small ensembles are offered occasionally as an adjunct to the Wind Ensemble. Open to seniors who have attained an advanced level of performance and to sophomores and juniors by audition only.

Jazz Ensemble

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Audition

The Jazz Ensemble is an intermediate level performance ensemble consisting of flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, string bass, drum set and auxiliary percussion. This group rehearses daily, with some additional evening rehearsals. Students develop knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, improvisation, sight-reading, jazz theory and jazz history as it pertains to the music being prepared and performed. A wide variety of styles are studied and emphasis is placed on improvisation and a repertoire that serves to prepare the student for admission to the Concert Jazz Ensemble. This group performs regularly throughout the school year in school and community events and in jazz festivals.

Concert Jazz Ensemble (Honors)

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Audition

The Concert Jazz Band is an advanced level performance ensemble consisting of flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, string bass, drum set, and auxiliary percussion. This group rehearses daily, with some additional evening rehearsals, and a weekly sectional rehearsal. Students develop knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, improvisation, sight-reading, jazz theory, and jazz history to promote a high level of musicianship through performance. A wide variety of styles are studied and the group performs at the annual jazz shows, school and community events, competitions and a biennial European concert tour.

Concert Orchestra

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

Concert Orchestra is an ensemble for all students who play violin, viola, cello or bass. Concert Orchestra is open to all string players who have developed proficiency on their instrument that enables them to play the repertoire of the ensemble. Students develop knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, sight reading, instrumental technique, and historical information in relation to the music they perform. Repertoire is drawn from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary eras and occasionally includes other genres such as bluegrass, pop, movie music, and jazz. Wind players are selected from band to form a full orchestra on occasion. Concert Orchestra rehearses daily, and performs regularly throughout the year. Small group instruction and chamber ensembles are offered as adjunct activities. All freshmen continuing their study of string instrument should register for Concert Orchestra.

Philharmonia

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

Philharmonia is an advanced level string ensemble for students who play violin, viola, cello or bass. Membership in Philharmonia is only for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students enhance their knowledge and skill in ensemble balance, tone production, sight reading and instrumental technique. Philharmonia performs music for string orchestra, and combines with members of the Wind Ensemble to create a full orchestra. Repertoire is drawn from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary eras and occasionally includes other genres such as bluegrass, pop, movie music and jazz. Philharmonia rehearses daily, and performs regularly throughout the year at events such as the Music Department Extravaganza, Stringest and Pops Concert. Small group instruction and chamber ensembles are offered as adjunct activities.

I Giovani Solisti (Honors)

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Audition

Solisti is a chamber orchestra for advanced string players from Conard and Hall High Schools. This performance group meets at each high school independently during the school day, and once per week in the evening with students from both schools by arrangement with the instructor. The group performs some of the hallmarks of the string orchestra repertoire, along with contemporary and rarely heard works. Typically, much of the repertoire is NYSSMA level 5, 6, or collegiate level. I GIOVANI SOLISTI (The Young Soloists) often performs locally and at regional festivals, and periodically travels abroad.

Guitar I

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

Guitar instruction is offered for beginners and students with prior experience on the instrument. The class is taught in a lab setting with instruction tailored to the specific needs of each student and an emphasis on the practical knowledge needed to become competent guitarists. Students are introduced to many styles of guitar playing including folk, classical, rhythm and blues, rock, lead, finger picking, and jazz guitar in both tablature and standard notation.

Guitar II

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

Guitar instruction is offered for intermediate students with prior experience on the instrument. The class is taught in a lab setting with instruction tailored to the specific needs of each student and an emphasis on more advanced guitar skill development and improvisation techniques. Through direct instruction and independent learning opportunities, students will be exposed to many styles, including folk, classical, rhythm and blues, rock, lead, finger picking, and jazz guitar in both tablature and standard notation.