Why is year-long participation in a core concert band strongly recommended?
While all sections are combined in the K-8 levels, in our program we choose to differentiate instruction at the high school level. Most high school band programs treat their concert bands as the home room of their program – asking all musicians to enroll in one throughout the school year. These classes are where band students will study and develop tone, technique, and fundamentals, while split into their unique family of instruments. This instrument specific format allows for more focused and productive rehearsals, while still allowing the classes to combine into full concert bands for performances several times throughout the year.
How do I juggle band with my rigorous schedule, AP classes, and/or sports?
The busiest and brightest students at IRHS (students in CTE, AP and honors classes) find a way to be in band all four years and be very successful. While students are expected to practice, the concert band and jazz band classes incur few commitments outside of class time (concert prep & performances are an exception). Being in sports is not typically an issue. Even if you are part of the marching band or spring indoor percussion/winds/winterguard we can usually work it out, as we have great relationships with our coaching staff. We have student athletes in all of our ensembles who are able to freely pursue their passion for sports & music while at IRHS.
Should I be a part of the Marching Band?
YES!!! There are so many benefits, both musical and nonmusical, that a student gains from participating in marching band. At IRHS, marching band is a class during 1st hour and rehearses twice a week after school during the fall semester. This is a fabulous social and musical organization for incoming freshmen to be a part of during their transition to high school. Now is the time to think about joining this organization. Information about summer band camp will be sent home in the late spring. We recommend all students in jazz band, and/or concert band try marching band their freshman year. Most of the time, students become hooked and stay all 4 years. This high retention rate is because of because of the fun, family
atmosphere, and life-long friendships made in our program.
How can I prepare for the fall?
Besides the easy answer (practicing), there are many things to help your transition into high school go smoothly. If you aren’t already doing private lessons, that is a great way to start. You may contact us for a full list of quality private teachers for any instrument. For jazz students, we also recommend private lessons, and working on your improvisation with Jamey Aebersold’s comprehensive jazz improv books (Vol. 1-3 are great for incoming students). These can be found on Mr. Aebersold’s Website, jazzbooks.com, and on sites like Amazon.
I’m a parent or guardian… how do I get involved?
Parents with a student in a band class or activity become a member of the Ironwood Ridge Music Association or “IRMA.” There is so much going on with our bands, we just couldn’t function without this incredible boosters association. Boosters help us with fundraising for things the school can’t
always afford (trips, equipment, etc.), and also graciously volunteer their time. Booster meetings are usually the first Tuesday of the month. If every parent volunteers at just a few events, we have plenty of help and support for the school entire year! The booster association meets once a month to discuss all things band.
What do I do if I have more questions?
If you have any other questions at all, feel free to contact Mr. Knepper via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or access more information here on our website!
Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook & Instagram -> @IRHSbands & @IRHSpercussion.