In conjunction with Bishop McDevitt High School, the elementary grade schools offer an instrumental music program for all interested 5th-8th grade students. These lessons are taught once a week in twenty minute sessions on a rotating schedule, generally in small groups of one to three students at a time. The program offers to teach students how to play instruments in three of the instrument families:
Woodwinds - Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon
Brass - Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba
Percussion - Battery Percussion (i.e., snare drum, bass drum), Mallet Percussion (i.e., xylophone, glockenspiel)
The program currently does not offer piano lessons or string lessons.
There is an annual fee for participation in the instrumental music program, and it is billed by family:
- 1st Student - $100
- 2nd Student - $90
- 3rd Student - $80
- 4th Student and Beyond - Free
Checks for this program should be sent to Bishop McDevitt High School, with the student(s) name in the memo line. If a student wishes to participate in just the ensembles aspect of the school program but takes private lessons outside of school, and does not wish to participate in lessons with the instructor at school, it is a flat participation fee of $50 per student to do so.
The instrumental program at school offers a variety of playing opportunities available as is possible given varying circumstances and restrictions. The availability of these ensembles and opportunities is beholden to current Diocesan guidelines. These include:
- Band Ensemble - Each school has its own band to rehearse in house once weekly and perform at Christmas Pageants, Spring Programs, and other in school events.
- Middle School Jazz Ensemble - The MS Jazz Ensemble is a combined effort for all interested students in 6th-8th grade across the grade schools. The group rehearses once weekly at Bishop McDevitt after school from November through May, and performs on the middle school tour days, and at the Spring Band Concert at Bishop McDevitt High School. This is an advanced ensemble that gives students an opportunity to perform more upbeat and more challenging music than they are playing in their school ensembles. Participation is voluntary, but encouraged for all interested 6th-8th grade students.
- Buddy Night - Once a season, the 6th-8th grade band students from all six elementary schools are welcomed to join the Bishop McDevitt Marching Band for a home football game, during which they will play with the band during the game and participate in activities of the night.
- Combined Band Festival Day - Once per year, generally in February, the 6th-9th grade students in the band programs at the six elementary schools come to Bishop McDevitt High School to spend a whole day in rehearsals, sectionals, and activities together. The day is spent rehearsing music for a concert to take place at the end of the day, put on for the parents, teachers, principals, and all who wish to come for the show.
This program is designed to help students efficiently and effectively master their instruments, and to enjoy playing in the process, while giving them a wide variety of opportunities to explore the many facets of instrumental music. If you have any questions about the program or are interested in signing your student up for the instrumental music peogram at your school, please feel free to email me at the address below.
Have a fantastic day!
Elementary Instrumental Music Instructor
Director of Jazz Ensembles