E.H. Greene Intermediate School
E.H. Greene Intermediate School represents the entry point for students into the Sycamore Community Schools Band Program. In the spring of the fourth grade year, the E.H. Greene Band Staff travel to each Sycamore elementary school and demonstrate the band instruments to the fourth grade students. After seeing and hearing the instruments, students who are interested in participating in band select instruments they have an interest in playing. The students are then evaluated on those instruments in order to determine what instrument(s) the student is most likely to be successful playing. It is important to note that this evaluation process is not a test of past knowledge and NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE playing any instrument is necessary to participate in band. Based on that evaluation and student interest, the student is assigned to play an instrument and band class is then scheduled for them as fifth graders during the school day at E.H. Greene Intermediate. Students have band class three times each week. Fifth Grade Band students perform three annual concerts, December Concert, Pancake Day (March) and Spring Concert (May). The amount of growth and improvement these students make in one brief school year is truly amazing! Any student who is new to the Sycamore Community Schools and did not have the opportunity to be evaluated in the spring of fourth grade will have that opportunity at the start of fifth grade. Sixth Grade Band is the second year for Band and is a year full of growth and development! Students have band class three times per week and make great strides towards strengthening the fundamental skills learned in Fifth Grade Band as well as expanding on that skill set. Students who are new to the Sycamore Community Schools and did not have the opportunity to participate in Fifth Grade Band will have the opportunity to be evaluated for an instrument and can participate in Sixth Grade Band with remedial private lessons. Sixth Grade Band students have four annual performances, Band Night (October), December Concert, Pancake Day (March) and Spring Concert (May).
Sycamore Junior High is an exciting place for our band students! Seventh and Eighth Grade Band classes meet every day and not only do the number of class days expand from sixth grade but so do the opportunities! Seventh Grade Band students have five annual performances, Band Night (October), Craft Show (November), Winter Concert (January), Pancake Day (March) and Spring Concert (May). Eighth Grade Band students have six annual performances, Band Night (October), Craft Show (November), Winter Concert (January), Pancake Day (March), Spring Concert (May) and Ohio Music Education Association Large Group (May). In addition to these concerts, there are additional opportunities for students to perform. The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) sponsors two annual events in which the students can participate. Solo and Ensemble is one of these events and is a tremendous opportunity for all of our students regardless of their individual level of musical development! This event takes place in April and is an opportunity for the students to perform a solo or in a small ensemble for an OMEA adjudicator and small audience (usually of friends and family). The adjudicator is an Ohio school band director or musical expert who has been trained and sanctioned by OMEA. This “judge” listens to the student(s) and gives them written comments and a “rating”. This can be an exciting and somewhat challenging experience for the students when they participate the first time but, once they have finished their performance, the students are always excited and proud of what they have accomplished and most students who participate as seventh graders return to do so again in eighth grade! Another opportunity that first becomes available at Sycamore Junior High is the OMEA Junior High Honor Band. This event takes place in January and is open to seventh and eighth grade band students. Fifteen students from the Seventh Grade Band and fifteen Eighth grade band students are nominated to then audition for this select ensemble. In addition, there are extracurricular opportunities for seventh and eighth grade band students including Jazz Band and Junior High Drumline.
Jazz Band is an extracurricular opportunity for both seventh and eighth grade band students. Jazz Band meets before school one day a week and is open to any band student who is interested in participating. Students who play instruments that are not part of the curricular band class (piano, guitar, bass) can also participate in jazz band given an adequate level of proficiency on their instrument. Jazz Band performs three times each year, Winter Concert (January), Pancake Day (March) and District Jazz Night (May).
Junior High Drumline
Junior High Drumline is an extracurricular percussion ensemble that is open to any student in band, orchestra, piano or guitar classes at Sycamore Junior High School. Junior High Drumline meets twice a week after school during February and March and performs at the Percussion Ensemble Concert and Junior High Band Spring Concert.
There are three concert bands at Sycamore High School. The Symphonic Band represents the entry point into the SHS Concert Band program for most students and is comprised primarily of underclassmen. The Wind Symphony is the intermediate ensemble in which a majority of the Sycamore Band students will be a member of at some point during their time in band at SHS. The Sycamore Winds is the advanced ensemble at Sycamore High School and is comprised primarily of upperclassmen. The goal of each of the three concert bands is to provide students the opportunity to develop and grow as musicians by creating an environment that provides challenging yet developmentally appropriate band literature and musical experiences. Placement in a concert band is done through auditions which take place during fourth quarter of the school year. While each of the three bands represent different levels of development, we believe it is vital that all the students be provided with the same opportunities at a developmentally appropriate level. To this end, each ensemble participates in Ohio Music Education Association Adjudicated Events. Students from all three bands have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate in OMEA Solo & Ensemble and all three participate in OMEA Concert Band Ratings. Students from all three bands have opportunities to audition for Honor Bands. The bands perform on shared concerts including performances at Craft Show (November), Winter Concert (January), Pancake Day (March), OMEA Large Group (March) and Spring Concert (April).
Marching Band & Color Guard
The Sycamore High School Marching Band is an extracurricular ensemble that is open to students enrolled in a Sycamore High School Concert Band. Any student who plays an instrument required by the marching band that is not part of the curricular band class (guitar, synthesizer, etc.) can also participate based on audition. The Color Guard is a vital part of the marching band and is open to all interested students. Participation in Color Guard is based on an annual audition that takes place in the spring. The Sycamore High School Marching Band competes in Ohio Music Education Association, Mid-States Band Association, and Bands Of America circuits. Participation in a given sanctioning body’s events can vary from year to year and shows are chosen based on location, maximizing educational experience as well as performance venue in combination with Sycamore Community School Calendar availability. The Sycamore High School Marching Band has a long history of excellence including having earned consistent Superior Ratings at Ohio Music Education Association District and State Marching Band Competitions, been consistent Mid-States Band Association class AAAA finalist and Bands of America Regional Finalists. In addition to winning numerous awards each year, the marching band is an important part of the Sycamore Family and participates in pep rallies, Walk of Champions, Homecoming festivities and football games. The Marching Band also sponsors Strike Up The Band For Hunger, an annual food drive to benefit Operation Give Back. This event takes place at the end of marching band season and is an opportunity for the students and staff of the Marching Aviators to give back to the community and say “thank you” for their support during the season. An exciting part of being a member of the Sycamore Marching Band is the biennial trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This trip takes place every other year during the week before Thanksgiving and is a highlight and treasured memory for the Marching Aviators of their years in marching band at Sycamore. During this trip, the band performs in a parade in the Magic Kingdom and marches through the park and right down Main Street USA where they are greeted by thousands of cheering spectators. The students also participate in a workshop with Disney musicians where they get to experience what it is like to be a professional musician and actually go through the rehearsal and recording process for creating the music for a Disney movie soundtrack. The Marching Band’s summer rehearsal schedule consists of the first four days of summer break, the four days leading into July 4th, and the two weeks before the start of school Monday – Thursday. Once school starts, the marching band rehearses three days a week from 6pm – 8:30pm until the end of Marching Band in early November.
Jazz Band is an extracurricular opportunity for all Sycamore Band students. Jazz Band meets after school two days a week and is open to any band student who is interested in participating! Students who play instruments that are not part of the curricular band class (piano, guitar, bass) can also participate in jazz band given an adequate level of proficiency on their instrument. Jazz Band performs twice each year, Pancake Day (March) and District Jazz Night (May).
Pep Band is an extracurricular group that plays at Sycamore High School Basketball games and a handful of other events during the winter months. This ensemble is open to any student enrolled in a Sycamore High School Concert Band
Winter Spin Club
Winter Spin Club is an extracurricular opportunity open to all students interested in dance, movement or the marching band color guard activity. The students rehearse once each week during the winter and will perform a recital in the spring. The skills required for participation in Marching Band Color Guard are taught and strengthened by participating in Winter Spin Club.