Music Department

Visit us online at www.bhsjazz.org

Staff

Karen Wells (Concert Band, Chamber Orchestra, Fundamentals of Woodwinds, AP Theory, IB Music):  karenwells@berkeley.net

Mary Dougherty (Concert Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Fundamentals of Strings): marydougherty@berkeley.net

Sarah Cline (Jazz Lab I, Jazz Lab II, Jazz Ensemble, Fundamentals of Brass): sarahcline@berkeley.net

Steffanie Schaeffer (Concert Chorale) steffaniescheffer@berkeley.net

Peter Gidlund (Beginning/Intermediate Guitar) petergidlund@berkeley.net

 

 CLASSES OFFERED

Concert Orchestra (P)                     Year  10 credits

In this entry level ensemble, string players study and perform both string and full orchestra literature as well as small ensemble music, developing the craftsmanship and mastery necessary to mold music into a creative expression. Prerequisite: Fundamental skill level on orchestral string instrument. Please be aware that 9th and 10th graders in the AHA or CAS schools would not be able to take this class due to scheduling issues. 9th and 10th graders can audition for the 0º Chamber Orchestra as an alternative. This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

 

Concert Band (P)                          Year 10 credits

In this entry level class, wind, brass and percussion players study and perform concert/pep band literature as well as full orchestra literature, developing the craftsmanship and mastery necessary to mold music into a creative expression. Please be aware that 9th and 10th graders in the AHA or CAS schools would not be able to take this class due to scheduling issues. 9th and 10th graders can audition for the 0º Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble Section as an alternative. Prerequisite: Fundamental skill level on wind, brass or percussion instrument. This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Chamber Orchestra (P)                     Year 10 credits

2 sections offered: Wind ensemble section/ String ensemble section.

In this auditioned ensemble, upper level string, wind, brass and percussion players study and perform orchestral and chamber literature as appropriate, developing the craftsmanship and mastery necessary to mold music into a creative expression. Students in this ensemble can expect to have many opportunites to perform throughout the course. Prerequisite: Audition and teacher consent. This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Fundamentals of Woodwinds                Year 10 credits

In this basic class, students who have little or no experience on a woodwind instrument can gain the experience necessary to move into an entry level high school ensemble. Instruction will be offered on flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe or bassoon. We will play music in a variety of styles, and listen regularly to recordings of great woodwind players. Students do not need to read music in order to enter this class; they will learn to read as part of the class goals. Students are expected to participate in two concerts per year. Instruments are provided.

This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Fundamentals of Brass                                        Year 10 credits

In this basic class, students who have little or no experience on a brass instrument can gain the experience necessary to move into an entry level high school ensemble. Instruction will be offered on trumpet, trombone, French horn, baritone or tuba. We will play music in a variety of styles, and listen regularly to recordings of great brass players.  Students do not need to read music in order to enter this class; they will learn to read as part of the class goals.  Students are expected to participate in two concerts per year.  Instruments are provided.  This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Fundamentals of Strings                     Year 10 credits

An introduction to string instruments, exploring a variety of styles: Classical, Mariachi, Irish and American fiddle. Students who have little or no experience on a string instrument can gain the experience necessary to move into an entry level high school ensemble. Instruction will be offered on violin, viola, cello and bass. Students do not need to read music in order to enter this class; they will learn to read as part of the class goals. In addition, as we study music primarily taught through oral tradition, we will learn music by ear. Students are expected to participate in two concerts per year. Instruments are provided.

This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

AP Music Theory (AP)                      Year 10 credits

This is a college level music theory course covering both written theory and ear training. This class will include the following: music theory, composition, dictation, and sight singing. This course is designed to prepare the high school musician for the Advanced Placement exam in Music Theory.  Prerequisite: Consent of teacher, working knowledge of major and minor scales and circle of fifths, ability to read music in at least two clefs.

Music Perception and Analysis IB (SL) (HL)      Year 10 credits

Musical Perception and Analysis is designed to prepare students to analyze widely diverse musical genres and styles from both a historical and a cultural perspective. Students study elemental building blocks of music (melody, harmony, rhythm, texture,form) as well as the function of music. This stream of study culminates in a study of IB prescribed works. Students study a variety of cultural topics and eras of music, as well as a study of tradition and popular music styles. Students learn how to write about music. This stream of study culminates in the Musical Links Investigation, a required element of the diploma in music. This course is designed to prepare the high school musicians for the IB diploma in music. Prerequisite: Consent of teacher, ability to read music, working knowledge of major and minor scales and circle of fifths.

Concert Chorale (P)                                                        Year · 10 Credits

This class emphasizes the fundamentals of vocal technique and performances of a varied repertoire of choral music. The class typically performs Broadway, rock, gospel, soul and art music. Students also have the opportunity to perform as soloists and small groups. The chorus performs in two concerts each year (one fall, one spring) plus a regional choral festival, also in the spring. Students do not need to read music in order to enter the class; they will learn to read as the class progresses. This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Beginning/Intermediate Guitar                                      Year – 10 Credits

Students will learn chords and strumming techniques to be proficient-to-advanced guitar players using a variety of genres (pop, rock, R&B, blues, folk, etc.).  Students do not need to read music in order to enter this class; they will learn to read as part of the class goals. Class structure is student-centered, catering to students’ individual interests, learning style, and pace. Guitars are provided.  Any level of experience (including no experience) is welcome. Students are required to participate in two concerts per school year. P credit pending.

Jazz Lab Band I                                                 Year 10 credits

This class focuses on developing skills necessary for woodwind, brass, string, and rhythm section players to play jazz with facility.  Topics include jazz theory, history, improvisation, sight reading of typical jazz rhythms, and ensemble playing techniques for both big band and combo arrangements.  Students are required to participate in 3 concerts per year.  Prerequisite: at least 7th grade level ability to read music and play your instrument with good technique.  This class is not for beginners, but is a continuation of middle school music classes. Admission by recommendation of a middle school music teacher or by consent of the high school Jazz Director.  Because this is a performing ensemble, class size is limited to 2 each of piano/bass/vibes/guitar and drums. Unlimited woodwinds (saxes, clarinets, flutes), brass (trumpets and trombones) and strings (violins, violas, celli) are also invited! This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Jazz Lab Band II                                       Year 10 credits

In this class we continue the work begun in jazz lab I, focusing on more advanced jazz theory, improvising over more complex harmonies, sight reading more complex passages, and working to perfect harder big band arrangements.  This band performs frequently – at least 4 concerts and 2 competitive jazz festivals per year, all of which are required (calendar handed out the first day of school).  Prerequisite: all students must read music and play their instruments at a 10th grade level or higher.  Although satisfactory completion of jazz lab I is preferred, it is possible for advanced students to audition into lab II without taking lab I. Admission is by audition only, and auditions are held in early May. Instrumentation is limited to 2 each of rhythm section players (piano, guitar, vibes, bass, drums), 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, and up to 8 saxes.  On rare occasions an advanced player on a non-traditional big band instrument may be granted admission by permission of the instructor. This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

Jazz Ensemble                                         Year 10 credits

The Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble is one of the top high school jazz groups in the country.  Advanced students on traditional big band instruments are encouraged to audition.  The focus of the class is on performing advanced big band charts.  Skills addressed include jazz articulation and phrasing, sight reading advanced charts, group blend and balance, developing hard swinging grooves, comping effectively, maintaining a consistent tempo, etc. Jazz theory is not directly taught in this class, which is why it is preferable that students take jazz lab classes first.  This band performs frequently – at least 6 concerts and 3 competitive festivals yearly, all of which are required (calendar handed out the first day of school).  The band tours internationally every other year, and fundraises actively. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Jazz Lab II is preferred but not required.  Admission by audition only.  Class size is limited to one or two each of rhythm sections players (piano, bass, drums, guitar and vibes), 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, and 5 saxes. This course fulfills UC/CSU Visual and Performing Arts (f) requirement.

SIGNING UP FOR  CLASSES BEFORE AUDITIONS

Jazz Classes

Entering freshmen who would like to take a jazz class in 2013- 2014 should sign up for Jazz Lab I.  This class is designed for freshmen who already play an instrument and read music well.  8th graders are also welcome to audition for Jazz Lab II (our intermediate level class), and Jazz Ensemble (our advanced class) in May 2013, and if they are accepted into either of those classes counselors will change their schedules (see audition information below).  RHYTHM SECTIONS PLAYERS (pianists, drummers, guitar players, bass players) should ALL plan on taking an audition since the number of auditioners is usually so large that rhythm section spots in jazz lab I are given to students who audition for lab II but don’t make it.

 

Orchestra/Band

Entering freshmen should sign up for 1º Concert Orchestra or 1º Concert Band. This class is designed for students who have played their instrument for 3+ years and read music well. 8th graders interested in the advanced level 0º Chamber Orchestra should sign up for auditions in April by contacting Karen Wells or Mary Dougherty (see audition information below).

 

Beginners!  Signing up for Fundamentals of Music

Entering freshmen who do not play an instrument, who would like to learn a new instrument, or who play an instrument but do not yet read music well now have the opportunity to sign up for Fundamentals of Woodwinds, Strings, or Brass. Pending funding, ONE of these classes will be taught each year.  The woodwinds class offers flute, clarinet and saxophone.  Strings offers violin, viola, cello and bass.  Brass offers trumpet, trombone, euphonium, horn and tuba.  When you sign up, please list all three classes in order of preference (e.g, 1st choice  brass, 2nd choice woodwinds, 3rd choice strings). This helps us determine which class to teach each year.

 

AUDITIONS

 

Jazz Lab II and Jazz Ensemble

This spring, auditions for the 2013-2014 Jazz Lab II and Jazz Ensemble classes will be held on May 21st (bass and guitar), 23rd (woodwinds), 24th (brass), and 27th (pianos, drums and vibes) beginning at 3:30 each afternoon.  Auditions for both groups occur at the same time.  Each student gets an assigned 10 minute audition slot.  The audition will consist of a prepared piece, scales, and sight reading.  Students who would also like to demonstrate their skill at improvisation will have an opportunity to do so.  Audition materials will be posted on the BHS etree AND on the BHS Jazz website one month in advance (mid april).  Audition results will be posted by June 10th.  If you have any questions about Jazz Lab II or Jazz Ensemble auditions, please email sarahcline@berkeley.net

 

0º Chamber Orchestra (winds/strings)

Auditions for the advanced 0º Chamber Orchestra will be held at BHS on April 16, 17, and 18 beginning at 4pm. Each student gets an assigned 10 minute audition slot.  The audition will consist of scales, and audition excerpts that will be available from your middle school teacher in March. Audition materials will be posted on the BHS etree one month in advance(right after spring break).  If you have any questions about 0º Chamber Orchestra auditions, please email karenwells@berkeley.net or marydougherty@berkeley.net

 

MY CHILD IS VERY INTERESTED IN MUSIC CLASSES.  WHAT SMALL SCHOOL SHOULD S/HE SIGN UP FOR?

 

The ability of students to fit elective music classes into their schedules depends on how many required classes they must take.  These classes are listed in the beginning pages of the descriptions for each small school in the BHS course catalog.  Read these pages carefully!  Please note that if your small school requires 5 classes, besides language class, that leaves no space for other electives during the regular 1º – 6º day.  As 0º and 7º music classes are our highest level classes and require auditions, it’s unlikely that your freshman or sophomore will be able to count on taking these classes.

 

As you read through the small school descriptions, you will notice that Academic Choice has the fewest required classes, and therefore for those students for whom taking music is a priority, AC may prove to be the best way to gain access to the greatest number of music classes available.

 

Please also know that BHS will not allow you to switch small schools once you are at BHS in order to accommodate your music class schedule.  So choose a small school carefully.

 

Although AC provides the greatest access to elective classes at BHS, joining AC is not the only option for students who want to take music classes.  Parents are often dismayed to find out that their musician has not been scheduled into a music class, however, many families have found that with careful 4 year planning, students can maximize their access to the BHS music program.  Please ask your counselor or BHS music teacher to help you with this!

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