As your son or daughter gets ready to select courses for his/her freshman year at the high school, I would like to take a moment to explain the choices that they will have in terms of electives in order that you and your child can make an informed decision regarding your child’s involvement in the High School music program.
As freshmen, students are required to take the academic core of subjects and wellness. This leaves the freshmen with only one “elective” to select for the year. There are many wonderful electives listed in the program of studies for Hopkinton High School and your child may want to take advantage of them.
As your son or daughter has participated in Band, Chorus, or Orchestra in the Middle School, we would like you to help them make an informed decision about continuing their musical studies while in the high school.
At the high school, Band, Chorus and Orchestra are 5 credit major subjects. This means that the groups meet 5 times per 7-day cycle. The classes are also graded just like any other subject. The classes meet during the day and there are very few after school rehearsals so there are generally little or no conflicts with after school sports and activities. When conflicts do arise, things can generally be work out with the various coaches and advisers.
There are two bands at the high school. The Repertory Band is open to all students and is comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores. The Concert Band is an auditioned ensemble that has limited instrumentation. The expectations for the groups are the same. The difference is the difficulty level of the music that is performed. Audition materials, a piece of solo literature and scale requirements, will be available for all of the band students in the middle school band room and on the music department web site. Auditions for Concert Band will be held after school during the week of March 3, 2014.
Because auditions will be held after course selections are due, all students who will be taking band at the high school should register for “Repertory Band”. After the auditions are held, the guidance councilors will make the appropriate placement.
There are no audition requirements for Chorus or Orchestra. Students may elect Women’s Choir or Chorus, which is a mixed gender group. If a student selects one of the choruses or orchestra, they are guaranteed placement in the group.
Because of the limited amount of periods in the day, students who do elect to take a performance music class cannot take any other elective in their freshman year. However, in their remaining years in high school, their schedules allow them to take additional electives.
There are many questions that are often asked of us regarding Band, Orchestra and Chorus, and sometimes, all of the correct information does not get home to you as parents. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
1. Can I do Music and Sports? In most cases yes! Most of what we do is scheduled in the day. There may be some after school commitments, but in most cases, things can be worked out. In a recent survey we did with the High School Band students, we found that about 90% were participating in one sport, 80% in two sports and about 60% were three sport athletes.
2. Can I do Band, Chorus,Orchestra or Drama classes at the same time? Because those classes are scheduled during different periods of the day, it is impossible for students to take more then one performing arts classes. There are drama opportunities after school with the school musical in the fall and the dramatic production in the spring.
3. Can I take Art/Computer/additional Foreign Language and still be in a performing arts class? As freshmen, they cannot. The schedule does open up to allow additional electives during the sophomore, junior and senior years. As with drama, there are after school opportunities in visual art.
4. Will I be able to get into a “good college” if I take Band/Orchestra/Chorus. We have noticed over the years that the music students are often accepted into some of the finest private and state colleges (often with favorable financial aid packages) and are among some of the most successful students in the school. Music students continue rank among the top students at Hopkinton High School.
Having watched your children perform in concerts from the time they were in fourth grade, I am reminded of how much progress the students have made during the past four years. I have watched your children form strong friendships in the performing groups and it is always enjoyable to see that camaraderie develop as the students progress into the High School. Hopefully, they will continue to develop their musical skills at the high school level and I hope this information will help you to make an informed decision.
Music at Hopkinton High School
In School Offerings
Music Technology and Sound Production
Guitar Workshop I
History of Pop and Rock
After School Offerings
Noteworthy – Select Choir by Audition
Men’s Choir – Open to all males
Jazz Ensemble – By Audition, open to students enrolled in our performing ensembles
Jazz Lab – Open to all in our performing ensembles
Various small ensembles