Guide to Ensembles and Audition Opportunities

Parents often ask us to explain the difference between the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds, the Orchestra and the String Orchestra, and definitions of the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Jazz Choir and other FHS ensembles. Listed here are the opportunities for your children to audition and earn placement in ensembles here and elsewhere in the state of Massachusetts.

 

Marching Band

Performs at all home football games and rallies in the fall season, and also marches in the annual Memorial Day and Founder’s Day Parades in the spring. Comprised of members of the concert band.

Concert Band

A co-curricular course at Foxboro High School. The students in the course receive 1 credit and Concert Band is considered a major subject. The curriculum is extensive and offers students a chance to experience some of the finest wind band literature ever written. The 90+ members perform a variety of concerts throughout the year including a December Holiday concert, an April Spring Concert, the Annual Pops concerts in the Gym in May and performances at the annual state concert band Festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductor’s Association (MICCA).

Symphony Orchestra

Comprised of wind, brass, percussion and string students who are dedicated to learning and performing quality full symphony orchestra literature. Wind, brass and percussion students from the band program are assigned by the music staff to rehearse with the full Symphony Orchestra during one period per cycle. The full orchestra also has a Monday evening rehearsal, from 5:00 to 6:30 pm for 8 weeks before each of the fall and spring concert performances.

Concert Choir

Performs a variety of choral literature from the Renaissance period up to the present. The course meets six out of seven school days and students receive one credit for the course. The students receive training in vocal production, sight singing, ear training, and basic theory through the study and performance of a variety of styles of music.

Wind Ensemble

Selected via audition from the members of the FHS Concert Band. Our more advanced players in the Wind Ensemble need to study more complex and sophisticated music, and be challenged to experience collegiate level performance standards.

Symphonic Winds

A small concert band (45 members) comprised of half of the members of the full FHS Concert Band. The section leaders and principal players in this group are generally younger and less experienced than the section leaders in the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, and this opportunity for solos and leadership experience prove to be invaluable in developing musical and personal maturity.

String Orchestra

Open to all violin, viola, cello and bass students whose playing is at or above the intermediate level. The String Orchestra performs at concerts during the school year at Foxboro High School and at the Ahern Middle School.

Jazz Ensemble

Members are selected by audition or via placement at the discretion of the director. Literature includes some of the most sophisticated jazz works ever written. All members of the Jazz Ensemble also perform in the FHS Concert Wind Ensemble and Marching Band, and may include students from grades 9-12.

Jazz Lab Band

An elective course for any member of the Band/Chorus/Orchestra who is interested in learning about the jazz traditions. The Jazz Lab Band focuses on beginning and intermediate improvisation techniques, as well as the basic elements of combo and big band style performance. Some Jazz Ensemble members choose to participate in the Jazz Lab Band so as to gain performance experience on a secondary instrument or a double.

Mixed Vocal Jazz Ensemble

A credit course that is open as an elective to any member of the band, chorus, or orchestra interested in learning the vocal jazz traditions. The group sings a wide variety of music, representing all of the important styles in the history of vocal jazz. Listening to great jazz vocalists is a crucial part of the practice and study in this course.  Placement in this group is by audition and is usually for students with more jazz experience.

Treble Jazz Choir

A credit course that is open as an elective to any member of the band, chorus, or orchestra interested in learning the vocal jazz traditions. The group sings a wide variety of music, representing all of the important styles in the history of vocal jazz.  Listening to great jazz vocalists is a crucial part of the practice and study in this course.

Flute Choir

All members of the FHS Concert Band flute section are encouraged to participate in the Flute Choir, which rehearses on Thursday evenings. The group performs a variety of diverse literature representing some of the world’s greatest composers.

Percussion Ensemble

The entire percussion section in the FHS Concert Band program performs with the Percussion Ensemble as a basic part of their band curriculum. The group performs a wide variety of percussion literature, and performs a full percussion recital in the spring. Works ranging from solo pieces to large ensemble of 12 are studied and performed, often with student conductors. Some original student compositions have been performed, and guest artists have performed with the ensemble. All students are asked to play all of the many percussion instruments, and the assigned parts are rotated from one ensemble piece to another.

Clarinet Choir

Comprised of clarinetists from the FHS Concert Band. The group rehearses Tuesday afternoons from 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. The group performs a diverse musical curriculum representing some of the world’s greatest composers. Many clarinetists learn to double on Eb soprano, Eb Alto, Bb Bass, and Bb Contrabass clarinets. The Clarinet Choir experience is very valuable in preparing students for their larger band ensemble responsibilities.

Junior Jazz Band

Students in grades 6 through 9 may participate in the Junior Jazz Band. This band rehearses on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 in the music wing of the Ahern Middle School. Students learn the basic jazz skills and are exposed to many facets of the jazz repertoire. The Junior Jazz Band performs in concerts throughout the year at the Ahern, and in the Jazz Fest in the spring.

Audition Opportunities Outside of Foxboro

 

Massachusetts All-State Band, Jazz Band,
Chorus & Orchestra 

Auditions in early winter

District and Junior District Ensembles
Auditions in late fall

South Shore Conservatory
Summer Programs

Auditions in spring, tuition fees apply
(financial aid available)

 

Please see the Foxboro Music Department calendar for exact dates.