MHS Music Department
The Music Department philosophy is to provide musical opportunities for all students with a commitment to quality. The MHS Music Department gives students rich authentic learning experiences that create a love of music for those that want a well-rounded high school experience. In addition, the Music Department prepares those students who are striving towards a career in music. Students who participate in band, chorus, or orchestra can enhance their musical experience by performing in one of the many specialized ensembles. The music wing, outfitted with ensemble and practice rooms connects with the high school’s beautiful McLain Auditorium. Students perform and compete in our local community, throughout the greater New York area and travel to many different cities, such as Montreal, Washington D.C., and Boston.
Over four years, student musicians hone performance skills through an enhanced understanding of diverse musical concepts that help to educate the whole student.
MHS Band Program
The Concert Band is a performing ensemble comprised of 9th-12th grade woodwind and brass players. This class provides students an opportunity to further develop the fundamental techniques of performance and rehearsal. Students in this ensemble play a variety of concert band works and work to build on the foundations of music. Students in band perform at school concerts, community functions, intra-school concerts and state/regional festivals/competitions.
Percussionist at MHS enroll in Percussion Ensemble to focus on Concert Band and percussion repertoire. The curriculum covers contemporary music, 20th century music, core and battery drumming, world and Latin instruments, and classical percussion ensemble repertoire. This group performs as “The Force”, which is a self-contained unit that performs at home football games, pep rallies, high school ensemble concerts and intra-school events, festivals and competitions. All students become competent on most of the percussion instruments (timpani, mallets, auxiliary percussion, etc.) Students develop reading bass and treble clef along with multiple percussion lines.
MHS Jazz Band has a long and fine tradition of musical excellence. This advanced auditioned ensemble performs a variety of styles from early blues and jazz (1930’s) to contemporary works as well as other styles including swing, funk, salsa, hip-hop, Afro-American, standards and ballads. The Jazz Band repertoire varies from level IV to college-level music. The focus of this group is to play music on a sophisticated level. Students work individually on their playing skills. In class, which is before school, students focus on their ensemble skills and their ability to interpret the music. Listening, discussing, and analyzing music throughout the year, along with our guest Artists-In-Residence/Master Series Sessions, helps to foster this growth. MHS Jazz Band is a touring group that performs at community events, District-wide concerts, and state and regional festivals/competitions such as the Tarrytown Music Festival, the Greenwich Music Festival, and the Berklee Jazz Festival.
MHS Lab Band is an auditioned beginner ensemble that focuses on fundamentals of many styles of music: swing, ballads, blues, Latin, funk, contemporary and jazz. Students are provided listening examples of various music styles throughout the year. Heavy emphasis is placed on “feel,” rhythmic accuracy, syncopation, beginning improvisation, ensemble work and what role each instrument plays in each section. Students work on Level III music which is performanced at the High School Ensemble Concerts and festivals throughout the year.
MHS Choral Program
FULL YEAR—1 credit
- All students must be able to match pitch, must pass a short sight singing exam and must perform at required concerts and other occasions.
- Students grades 9-12 are all welcome to participate in Concert Choir.
- Approval of Music Faculty
Students will study a variety of choral literature including Broadway, gospel, world music, classical, and contemporary music. Students are challenged to sing songs with up to eight part harmonies and arrangements for men’s, women’s and mixed choruses. The Concert Choir performs at school concerts, community functions, the Met Life Holiday Performance in New York City, and other festivals and competitions. Students receive basic vocal/ choral training and continue to study the reading of music notation. Concert Choir members have an opportunity to audition for the Swing Choir and “In Treble” groups. In addition, Concert Choir singers may have an opportunity to attend the NYSSMA Solo Festival. This course may be taken as a second elective.
This all-female, auditioned vocal ensemble for 9-12 graders allows students to focus on the fundamentals of singing swing and contemporary music. During rehearsals, singers study sight reading skills, improvisation, vocal and microphone technique, and working with a rhythm section. “In Treble” performs at special concerts, the MHS Ensemble Concert, The Met Life Holiday Performance in New York City, and many outside activities.
Swing Choir is an auditioned vocal ensemble open to all students in grades 9-12. In this small group, students will study and perform jazz standards and other contemporary works. During rehearsals, singers will focus on sight reading, improvisation, vocal and microphone technique, and working with a rhythm section. Swing Choir performs at special concerts, the MHS Ensemble Concert, The Met Life Holiday Performance in New York City, the A Cappella Festival, and competitions such as the Berklee Jazz Festival.
This all-male, auditioned vocal ensemble for 9-12 graders allows students to focus on the fundamentals of singing a cappella music. During rehearsals, singers study sight reading skills, improvisation, vocal and microphone technique. “MAC” performs at special concerts, the MHS Ensemble Concert, The Met Life Holiday Performance in New York City, and many outside activities.
MHS Orchestra Program
The MHS Symphony Orchestra is a 10th - 12th grade ensemble that studies and performs a variety of string and symphonic repertoire. The Symphony Orchestra repertoire spans from the Baroque to Modern Music era and is featured at the winter and spring concerts. This orchestra has many performances outside of school as well. The Symphony Orchestra participates in the NYSSMA Majors Festival and has earned a Gold with Distinction rating in the past. Symphony students combine with the wind, brass and percussion students and have many opportunities to work with guest artists and conductors. Symphonic string students are offered sectional and individual instruction throughout the year develop technique, musical understanding, theory, and ensemble playing.
The Concert Orchestra is open to all 9th grade string students. The musicians in this orchestra focus on fundamental string techniques, developing advanced skills, music history and performing a variety of string and symphonic literature. The Concert Orchestra performs in the winter concert and All-String Ensemble Concert, in addition to various performances throughout the school year. Students in Concert Orchestra also get the opportunity to work with guest artists, conductors and perform with the winds, brass and percussion students. Sectionals and individual instruction will be scheduled at the student’s request weekly throughout the year to give students an opportunity to work out any technical difficulties they may have in their orchestra, chamber music or NYSSMA Solo.
The Chamber Orchestra is an auditioned Level 5-6 ensemble open to all 9th - 12th grade string students. The Chamber Orchestra studies and performs music specifically written for chamber orchestra. String players focus on playing a wide range of high level repertoire spanning from the Baroque to Modern Music era in a smaller ensemble. The ensemble performs both for in-school concerts and also throughout the community.
Sinfonia is an early morning auditioned ensemble open to all 9th-12th grade string students. String players focus on playing in a smaller chamber ensemble and gaining leadership skills. Sinfonia performs a wide range of repertoire spanning from the Baroque to Modern Music era. Sinfonia performs as a Pops Orchestra for specific performances focusing on repertoire which includes pop, rock, jazz, classical, modern, musical theater and movie-themed music. The ensemble performs with the vocal ensembles and instrumental combo throughout the year.
String Quartet will meet during lunch period. In September, students will be assigned to a group and a specific day for chamber music. The ensembles will be coached based on the availability of the students. Chamber Music techniques, balance and texture issues, and interpretation are addressed in each rehearsal. String Quartet ensemble often perform at special school functions including the Awards Assembly.
Tri-M National Music Honor Society
The Tri-M Music Honor Society is the national program of NAfME which focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy.Mamaroneck High School sponsors a chapter among the 1,750 chapters in the US. Students who are inducted as a Tri-M member achieve one of the highest musical honors at Mamaroneck High School. Tri-M is open to 9th-12th grade MHS music students who fulfill the department and apprentice requirements.
MHS Music Department Musical
Each year, the Music Department produces an entertaining musical in McLain auditorium for the MHS community. Students in 9th-12th grade can audition to be a part of the cast, crew and pit orchestra.
Association of Music Parents - Mamaroneck
Check the AMPmamaroneck Facebook page for music resources, concert videos, and information on how to get involved.