About North Hills Middle School Orchestra
Middle School Band
Mr. Chris Rodack, Mr. Lucas Beaver
Beginning Band 7 – Beginning Band provides an opportunity for those students who did not play a band instrument during their elementary school years to become a part of the North Hills Band program. This class also provides an opportunity for those students who want to resume playing a band instrument at the middle school. The school can provide some instruments on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students will be preauditioned and recommended by the elementary band instructors or by the middle school band teacher.
Cadet Band 7 – Cadet Band is for Grade 7 students who have studied a band instrument in elementary school and who are ready to develop more extensive musical skills. The band will engage in a variety of concerts throughout the school year. Students will be recommended to Cadet Band by their elementary band instructor.
Varsity Band 8 – Varsity Band is for Grade 8 students who have developed musical skills through participation in either Beginning or Cadet Band. Students will study various exercises to continue to build technique and musicianship. The band will engage in a variety of concerts throughout the school year. Students will be recommended to the Varsity Band by their band instructor.
Middle School Wind Ensemble – Middle School Wind Ensemble Concert Band is an advanced class for Grade 8 students who successfully audition by playing test and excel in all aspects of band classroom rehearsal. Students will study various exercises to continue to build technique and musicianship as well as play music ranging from elementary to high school levels of difficulty. The band will engage in a variety of concerts throughout the school year.
Jazz Band – The middle school school offers two (depending on each year’s interest) jazz ensemble experiences after school. The groups perform in concerts with the other bands during the year and also at the districtwide Arts Alive.
Marching Band – Band students in grades 8 to 12 may join the award-winning North Hills High School Marching Band. The band performs at all home and away football games, competitions and festivals during the year and has traveled all over the country on trips that have brought them back many accolades including participation in the 2001 Inaugural Parade, 2003 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, 2007 Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C. and the 2013 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Additional Middle School Band Opportunities
Those involved in the band program also have the opportunity to perform in various ensembles and festivals within and outside the North Hills School District. These include:
PMEA District Band – District 1 of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association holds a band festival each year at a school in the area which brings together students from many school districts for an honors ensemble experience with a guest conductor. Students are selected by teacher recommendation and selection committee to participate in this festival, usually held in the spring.
Exchange Concerts – In some years, the bands at North Hills Middle School participate in an exchange partnership experience with another school’s band program. The students learn some of the same music, perform for each other, and benefit from working with the partner school’s teacher. Concerts usually rotate between North Hills and the exchange school location over the course of several years.
Ensemble Experiences – Alle-Valley Honors Band and Northern Area Honors Band