The secondary music program of the Plano ISD is designed to provide opportunities for each student to develop his/her creative talents in a number of ways. The program consists of four areas---band, choir, orchestra, and music theory.
The band program begins in the sixth grade where student who elect to participate are enrolled in classes of similar instruments. These classes meet daily and focus on the continued development of basic musical skills begun at the elementary level and establishing fundamental performance skills on the selected instrument. Instrument selection takes place prior to the start of the sixth grade year and may require the student to audition for a place on one of the more popular instruments. Beginner classes combine on two or more occasions during the school year to present concerts for the parents and public. Beginner bands may also participate in the Plano I.S.D. Courtyard Theatre Performance Festival in May.
In the seventh and eighth grades, students are provided their first opportunity to be a member of a full band. Students are placed into leveled ensembles based on their overall skill on their chosen instrument and an appropriate balance of instrumentation. The bands perform three to five concerts each year, including performances on campus, stadium performances for football games, and for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Concert and Sight-reading Festival. Students may elect to participate in district-sponsored Solo and Ensemble events and/or the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-Region Band audition process, to further develop their individual musicianship. Rehearsal time outside the school day is usually limited to one forty-five minute sectional each week.
The ninth and tenth grade, or high school, bands provide the students with their introduction to the marching program. The high school bands rehearse before the school day during the fall and perform at approximately five football games and at least one community parade. In addition to the UIL Concert and Sight-reading Festival and Solo and Ensemble events mentioned above, the high school bands also enter the UIL Region 25 Marching Contest. All-Region Band auditions at the high school level are the first round of auditions toward membership in the TMEA All-State Band. In addition to a wide variety of local performance opportunities, the high school bands may travel to an out of town performance festival, requiring an overnight stay, on alternate years.
Throughout the years, the senior high school bands from Plano have performed at major conventions and competitions across the nation. They are the most advanced bands in the district and offer expanded performance opportunities to the eleventh and twelfth grade students. The marching band rehearses outside the school day and performs at all football games. Consistent winners in all categories, these outstanding ensembles are highly-visible. After football season, rehearsals after school are usually limited to one forty-five minute section rehearsal each week. The senior high bands may travel overnight to a performance festival each year.
Concert bands at both the high school and senior high campuses are leveled by skill and performance ability through auditions. All band members participate in the marching band component of the program. Students earn .5 Physical Education Substitution Credit for participation in marching band in the fall semester. This credit applies toward the current state PE requirement for graduation.
Jazz bands and other specialty ensembles are offered as an afterschool program at the high school level. At the senior high level, these classes may be offered as part of the daily class schedule. Participation in these ensembles is by audition only. Specialty ensembles from the band program perform several concerts throughout the year, as well as entering selected festivals at local universities.
A Supplemental Music Lesson Program is available to students who wish to enhance their performance skills through individualized instruction with a private music contractor. The campus director can assist students and parents in arranging for such lessons before, during, or after the school day.
For further information, please contact any of the band directors listed on the staff page, or the fine arts office at 469-752-3083.