Frequently Asked Questions for the Class of 2022
1. I play a school instrument in junior high. Will the high school have one for me to use?
Yes, the high school will have an instrument for you to use. At the end of your 8th grade year arrangements can be made for you to check out a school instrument from OEHS to use over the summer.
2. Can I be in band and sports or clubs?
Yes! We encourage all of our band students to become as involved as possible. Sports and clubs do not conflict with any of our curricular ensembles. Arrangements can be made to accommodate sport/club schedules with our extracurricular ensembles (jazz band, marching band, etc.)
3. Do I have to do marching band?
No, marching band is not required. Marching band is a volunteer ensemble.
4. What are all the different bands? Pit? Pep? Jazz?
We have 5 curricular ensembles that meet during the school day, similar to how they do at the Jr. High level.
- 2 equal ability Freshmen bands (Concert Band 6, Concert Band 7)
- 3 sophomore, junior, and senior ability based bands (Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony)
In addition to our curricular groups we have several extracurricular ensembles.
The marching band is a volunteer ensemble that is made up of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. It is the largest club/activity at OEHS. The marching band rehearses and performs from June to mid October. During the school year, the marching band rehearses twice a week in the evening hours.
The marching band performs at all home football games, competitions, and several other community events. Past performances include performing at a Chicago Fire soccer game, Chicago Wolves hockey game, Kane County Cougars game, Northwestern Band Day, and more! Due to rehearsing over the summer, the marching band is an EXCELLENT way to meet other students before the first day of school and make the transition into high school more comfortable. Information about the 2018-2019 marching band will be communicated in March of 2018.
The jazz program at OEHS consists of 2 ability based jazz bands and a jazz combo. All freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are enrolled in the band program are allowed to participate. Students who play guitar, bass, or piano who are not in the band program will be allowed to participate as needed. Each ensemble rehearses the entire year, with auditions in late August/early September. No one is cut from the jazz program. Auditions are only to place students by ability level. The jazz band rehearsals do not conflict with the marching band schedule and only rehearse once a week for the duration of marching band season. After marching band ends, the jazz bands rehearse twice a week.
The jazz bands perform several times throughout the school year. Highlights include performing at 4 concerts, 1-2 competitions, a festival, and various community events. The jazz band is a great way to develop your musicianship by playing in a variety of styles. It is also a great way to meet other members of the band program!
The pep band performs at all home basketball games that take place on Friday nights. The season begins in early December and ends mid-February. All freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are enrolled in the band program are allowed to participate. The pep band is a great way to play some awesome music and meet other members of the band program.
Musical Pit Orchestra
The pit orchestra for the OEHS Spring musical is based on the instrumentation needed for the show that year. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are allowed to audition. Auditions to be selected for the ensemble take place in February. The ensemble rehearses beginning in late February and concludes with performances in late April.
The percussion ensemble starts up in 2nd semester and is open to all instrumentalists, including non-percussionists. The ensemble rehearses once a week after school and performs on the night of percussion concert at the end of the school year. Percussion ensemble is open to all grades and there is no audition required.
5. Do we take trips?
Yes, every other year the OEHS Bands take a trip over spring break. For spring break 2019, we will be going to Disney World and Universal Studios! Past trips include, Disney World, New York City, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and more.
6. Can I play football (or any fall sport) and do marching band? Freshman, Sophomore, Varsity?
We have had students participate in both activities in the past. Please know that it is a significant time commitment to fully participate in both activities. Some students have been able to handle the weight of both activities, while other students have struggled. Please contact the OEHS band directors if your student is considering doing both activities.
7. Can I play a sport and do jazz band?
Yes! While the jazz bands rehearse primarily directly after school, arrangements can be made with coaches to accommodate both schedules.
7. I want to do marching band, but I can’t be at summer rehearsals. Can I still be in marching band?
Yes, you are still able to do marching band if you cannot make a portion of the summer rehearsals. We will send out the marching band schedule around mid-March in an effort for families to avoid summer conflicts as much as possible.
8. Do I have to audition to be in band as a freshman?
No, all freshmen students are placed into one of our two freshmen concert bands that are equal in ability.
9. I play percussion. What will I play in marching band?
The marching band has two percussion sections: pit and battery.
The pit is made up of mallet and auxiliary instruments. They perform on the front side line of the field.
The battery is made up of marching snare drums, tenor drums, and bass drums. These instruments perform on the field and march while playing.
Both sections are critical to the success of the ensemble. We will host percussion clinics in early May. Students will be placed on percussion instruments based on these clinics. No percussionists are cut from marching band!
10. I play bassoon or oboe. What will I play in marching band?
We encourage bassoon or oboe students to either play percussion in the pit or battery, or learn how to play the saxophone for marching band. We have several bassoon and oboe players in the marching band who have successfully done one of these options.
11. What instruments are allowed in jazz band?
There are two jazz bands at OEHS. For the top jazz band (Jazz 1), only standard jazz instruments are allowed (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, piano, drum set, and vibes).
For Jazz 2, any instrument is accepted and encouraged to participate. This includes flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, horn, euphonium, and tuba. Although not a requirement, many times students will start jazz band 2 on these instruments and then learn saxophone, trumpet, or trombone.
12. Can I do marching band, jazz band, or pep band and not be in concert band?
No, with the exception of color guard, and those who play guitar, bass, or piano, all students in the marching band, jazz band, or pep band must be enrolled in a curricular ensemble.
13. What band do I register for when doing my schedule selection?
When registering for your freshmen year, please sign-up for Concert Band.
14. Can I still do band if I am in the AVID program?
Yes, we have had several students participate in both band and the AVID program.
15. Do we still have practice journals to submit or keep track of?
No, we currently do not use practice journals at the high school level.
16. Do we have weekly playing tests?
Although not always weekly, students will be individually assessed regularly throughout the school year. Additionally, all freshmen students participate in a technique class once a week which takes place during their band period.
17. Can I take both band and choir?
Yes! We have had several students take band and choir all four years of their high school career. Many of these students are often ranked in the top of their class.
18. I want to take Project Lead the Way courses, can I still do band?
Absolutely. A large majority of the students enrolled in the band program are also members of the Project Lead the Way program. We have had several students take band all four years of high school, while also taking every class offered through the Project Lead the Way program. Many of our graduating band seniors have gone into engineering at colleges such as University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue, MIT, and more!