Thank you for your interest in the band programs here at PAHS! Whether you are a new or returning member, we hope that you will be joining us next school year for an exciting experience of music making!
The PAHS Concert Band is the heart of the program here at Phoenixville. Meeting as a credited class during the day, students rehearse quality literature while enjoying the process of creating music with their peers.
Students in the concert band receive honors weighting towards their GPA, and are also eligible to audition for PMEA-sponsored events. Every year, the band performs at school events and concerts, and regularly participates in an MPA (music performance assessment) festival. The ensemble has performed twice at the National Band Association’s “Wind Band Symposium” held at West Chester University, and has also appeared in Canada, Orlando, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. During the 2017-18 year, the concert band will be taking another trip to a location to be announced this spring!
The band rehearses every day during the school year. Depending on an individual student’s schedule, they may have a science lab that overlaps during the 6-day cycle. In order to help facilitate this scheduling, all members need to fill out the ENSEMBLE SCHEDULING FORM. This form will be available to all students currently in grades 8-11 starting on February 1st, 2017.
Students in the band participate in a wide variety of activities at the high school as well! Many of the students participate in the marching band, play a sport, are involved in other arts programs, and carry a rigorous AP courseload! The band program is designed to allow all of those students to perform at a high caliber while maintaining these other commitments.
One of the biggest questions we get from incoming parents and students is HOW band can be scheduled, and HOW they are able to participate in the extra musical ensembles that are open for students.
Many of the high school musicians choose to participate in the most visible musical ensemble at PAHS: the Phoenixville Marching Phantoms. Students in grades 9-12 (as well as eligible 8th graders) come together during the summer and fall to create a visually and musically demanding marching band field show. They perform at all home varsity football games, and compete locally in the Cavalcade of Bands circuit. Each fall they also take a trip to a larger event out of the area.
The Marching Phantoms begin preparations in June & July, and kickoff their season the second week of August with their annual camp. From late August through mid-November, they rehearse Tuesday & Thursday nights as well as Saturdays.
The Marching Phantoms blend music with motion: it is as much a visual activity as it is a musical activity. The Phantom Color Guard is a vital aspect of bringing these shows to life: membership in this part of the band is open to ANY students, grades 8-12!
The Marching Phantoms moved up a competitive division this past season (due to increased growth), and while they were the smallest group in their class, they still ended up placing 5th overall while making a return to the national stage with their participation at the Bands of America Northeast regional.
Students in the Marching Phantoms receive some great benefits academically: Their time is rewarded by 0.5 elective credits (which can allow them to take more classes during the school day), as well as physical education credit.
Phantom Jazz is our jazz ensemble, and begins rehearsing after the marching band season ends. Utilizing the classic big band setup of trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and a full rhythm section, they regularly perform at area festivals during the months of February, March, and April.
This is one of the few auditioned ensembles in the district, as the instrumentation is vital to the group’s success. The group rehearses two afternoons a week during the winter months, and students receive 0.5 elective credit for their participation.
Selected students in the band program are also eligible to perform in the Pit Orchestra. This is a unique environment that allows these students to play side-by-side with local professional musicians. The instrumentation for this group changes from year to year depending on the show that is picked. Information on performing in the show is available in December, while the show takes place in April.
Our newest ensemble is the PHX Indoor Performance Ensemble. This group is comprised of visual and percussion performers, and takes place in a gymnasium. Similar in scope to the marching band, a theatrical production is put together that incorporates many different elements. Any student in the band program is eligible to audition, and we have found that this is a great opportunity for brass and woodwind students to pick up a new instrument! Students in the indoor program receive physical education credit for their participation too!
SCHEDULING TIMELINE FOR 8TH GRADE BAND STUDENTS
Week of January 30th: Scheduling Discussions with HS Guidance Counselor
Thursday Feb 2nd:Q&A for MS Band Members (with Mr. McAdams & HS Band Members)
Week of Feb 6th: Complete elective scheduling form (with Guidance) and Ensemble Scheduling Form (through Mr. Bonnell & Mr. McAdams).
Friday Feb 17th: PASD Jazz Festival – featuring all of our jazz groups as well as many other high school bands from southeast PA.
SCHEDULING TIMELINE FOR RETURNING STUDENTS
Feb 2nd & 3rd: Finalization of core course reccomendations
Week of Feb 6th: Complete elective scheduling form via Skyward and Ensemble Scheduling Form (available through Mr. McAdams)