Elkhart Beginner Band (6th Grade)
The Elkhart Beginner Band starts in 6th grade. The primary focus of this group is to introduce the students to their respective instruments and teach them the fundamentals of that instrument. While this is not a primary performance group at Elkhart, we will perform at the Elkhart Winter and Spring concerts as well as participate in the Sandy Lake Amusement Park's FunFest.
There are three (3) classes of beginner band at Elkhart. The woodwind class consists of flute and clarinet, while the brass class consists of trumpet and trombone. Percussion is very limited and students are chosen through a survey of their grades, audition, interview and the results of the Selmer Music Aptitude Survey that each student will take in their 5th grade music class. This class meets separately from the others beginner classes.
Other instruments such as bass clarinet, alto saxophone (as well as tenor and baritone saxophones), F horn, euphonium (baritone) and tuba are taught at a later time. Students interested in the bass clarinet or saxophone are encouraged to enter the woodwind class on clarinet while students interested in the F horn, euphonium or tuba are encouraged to enter the brass class and start on Trumpet. We will generally do the swap in early February.
Elkhart Middle School Band (7th and 8th Grade)
The Elkhart Middle School Band consists of 7th and 8th grade student who have completed the Elkhart Beginner band class. The primary focus of this ensemble is to prepare the students for HS Band through performance. Our main goal is to prepare the students musically for placement in the Elkhart High School BIG RED Band!
As a result of their higher musical ability, the MS Band has more performance opportunities than the beginner band which includes all Middle School pep rallies, the High School Homecoming Pep Rally, as well as the Elkhart Annual Winter and Spring Concerts. The MS Band will also participate in the highly acclaimed SoundPost Music Festival in Canton, TX in early May.
In addition to the full band events, MS students have individual performance opportunities such as the ATSSB Middle School All-Region Band. Students prepare a selection of scales and small etudes and audition for a panel of judges for a set of scores. The highest score gets awarded first chair and the second highest get second and so on until all the students are ranked according to their audition. The top percentage of players in each section get selected to the All-Region Band. This is a very high honor for a musician to achieve. We put a pretty high value on this audition process. All MS Band members are highly encouraged to audition.