Elementary Music Program
The music program at Bradt and Pinewood Schools includes general music instruction for 40 minutes each week. In addition to this, older students may also participate in one or more performing groups. Beginning in grade three, students may begin a string instrument and become members of “The Fresh Fiddlers,” a string orchestra for first-year players. In 4th-grade and beyond, all students are offered the chance to participate in choir, band and/or orchestra.
Small group instrumental lessons are offered once a week during the regular school day on a rotating schedule to prevent students from missing the same instructional time period each week. Students are expected to practice their instruments at home in order to progress. All student performing groups (orchestra, band and choir) hold their rehearsals after school with late buses provided. Membership in band is a reward for students who are working hard and practicing their instruments at home.
The elementary orchestra, band and choir performs at the following public occasions each year: the winter and spring concert, the annual school budget vote, Pinewood’s Flag Day celebration and the June Strawberry Festival. Students also perform for their peers at two student assemblies during the year. A parent orientation to Mohonasen’s elementary instrumental program is held each year, early in September, to familiarize parents with the program and provide information on choosing an instrument. Most students need to rent and/or purchase their own instrument.
Middle School Music Program
General music instruction continues every year in grades six thru eight at Draper Middle School. All students also have the experience of making music as they learn about it thanks to the school’s high-tech electronic piano lab/Yamaha Program. Performing groups at the middle school include choir, band, jazz band and orchestra. Serious students are encouraged to prepare music and play for the NYSSMA Music Festival each spring. Draper’s orchestra, band and choir perform at the winter and spring concert, the annual school budget vote, and the Strawberry Festival. Students also perform for their peers at two student assemblies during the year.
High School Music Program
In the high school, students must have one unit of credit in music or art to graduate. To meet this, they may participate in band, choir or orchestra, earning one unit of credit per year.
- Orchestra — All orchestra members receive instrumental lessons one period per week during the school year. Membership includes the study of standard repertoire, techniques of concert performance and orchestral routines. The group performs at school concerts and assemblies.
- Choir — Mohonasen’s high school choir is a mixed group studying and performing choral music of all periods and styles. Performances are given at school concerts and assemblies. There is also a select choir for advanced students which performs at civic functions and school events. Outstanding students are chosen to participate in Suburban Scholastic Council music functions, NYSSMA solo competition, area all-state and all-state choirs.
- Band — All band members receive instrumental lessons one period per week during the school year. Outstanding students are selected for placement in the following groups on a non-credit extracurricular basis: select band, stage band, orchestra, ensembles, participation in Suburban Scholastic Council music functions and participation in the NYSSMA solo competition, area all-state and all-state bands. Membership in the Mohonasen High School Band involves a significant “extracurricular” commitment of time and energy beyond the regular school day. Specifically, membership in the band requires participation in both:
- Marching Band — where students gain experience in marching techniques, preparation and performance at all home football games, pep rallies, parades and various competitive field shows. Students are also required to attend “Band Camp” (9 am to 9 pm) the last two weeks of August each year.
- Concert Band — Where students study and experience repertoire and performance, preparation and presentation at assemblies and concerts.
The Tri-M Music Honor Society is the international music honor society for High School Students. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities, and to inspire other students to excel at music and leadership. Through more than 4,500 chartered chapters, Tri-M has helped thousands of young people provide years of service through music in schools throughout the world.
High School Concert and Marching Band
- “High School Concert and Marching Band’ is a class that is part of a student’s course of study. It is part of their regular school day. “High School Concert and Marching Band” is one class.
- Once a week, students enrolled in “High School Concert and Marching Band” also receive separate group instruction as part of their regular school day (e.g., group flute or trumpet lessons).
- Students receive a grade for “High School Concert and Marching Band” that is part of their report card and GPA calculation.
- Students enrolled in “High School Concert and Marching Band” are required to perform at two evening concerts annually, one during the winter and one during the spring. These count towards a student’s grade.
- Students enrolled in “High School Concert and Marching Band” are typically required to march in eight weekend or after school parade performances per year. These count toward a student’s grade.
- There is a two-week summer band camp held in early August. Participation in band camp is required but is not part of a student’s grade.
- Students can complete make-up assignments for concert and parade performances that they miss.
- There is an optional competition trip during the fall which includes a one- or two-night out-of-town stay. This trip usually costs three to four hundred dollars per student. This covers the cost of hotel rooms, meals and tickets to events (such as a Broadway show). Financial assistance is available for students and their families who cannot afford the trip, and students can also participate in fundraisers during the year to cover the cost. The trip is neither required nor graded, but participation is encouraged. Almost all band students take the trip each year.
Other High School Music Courses
- High School Orchestra is a graded class offered during the regular school day.
- High School Choir is a graded class offered during the regular school day.
- Both High School Orchestra and Choir students can participate in optional performance or competition trips.
- The High School Music and Arts Program also offers Jazz Band, Pep Band, Color Guard, Select Orchestra, Mohon Masque, Select Choir, String Quartets (Chamber Ensembles), and A Cappella. These are offered as extra-curricular activities.
Students from grades 4-12 are invited to participate in Mohonasen’s theatre group: Mohon Masque. Two major productions are generally staged each year, one in the late fall/early winter along with a major musical in the spring. Mohon Masque has earned a reputation for putting on outstanding performances that play to packed houses year after year.
Tryouts and rehearsals are announced at least a week in advance to give students time to prepare. Beyond acting and singing, students can get involved in many other ways. Directing, stage crew, set building, costumes, fundraising and lighting are just a few of the behind-the-scenes opportunities for students. Parents are also encouraged to get involved and continue to provide invaluable support to this important program.
Summer theatre courses are also offered at Mohonasen, for elementary, middle and high school students, alike.
In their senior year, Mohonasen High School students may also take two elective courses in theatre which count toward their English requirements for graduation. Primarily directed toward performance, the course provides training in special skills related to theatre performance and production. Students study the means of creating and producing drama as they engage in individual and group theatrical and theatre-related tasks. Theatre I covers stage direction, voice and diction, stage movement, character, analysis and fundamentals of play production. Theatre II continues skill development in these areas while delving more deeply into aspects of play production such as setting, lighting, costuming and makeup.
For more information on Mohonasen’s music program, visit our schools, check out music teacher web sites.