Performing Arts Courses

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Band

Cadet Band (#8200)

Grades 9-10 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisites:  Middle School Band  

Description - Cadet Band is the entry level offering into the York High School Band Program. All entering freshman band students are assigned to this band, unless audition warrants alternative placement. This course is designed for students with previous playing experience through middle school level on brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Students will focus on developing their instrumental performance skills, pitch/rhythmic accuracy, tone quality/production, to facilitate higher levels of musical expression in a large performing musical ensemble. Members of the Cadet Band will participate in a solo performance festival in January and perform in no less than four formal concerts throughout the year. Members of this ensemble are encouraged to participate in the York Pep Band.


Concert Band (#8201)

Grades 9-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisites:  Completion of Cadet Band requirements 

Description - The Concert Band is an advanced instrumental ensemble that demands a high level of commitment to musical performance. Students will be expected to utilize their knowledge of large ensemble performance practice, basic music theory, and the technical aspects of their particular instrument, gained in Cadet Band or an equivalent musical experience, to perform sophisticated high school music literature. Students in this ensemble are required to participate in a solo performance festival in March and perform in no less than four formal concerts throughout the year. Students from this ensemble are invited to participate in the York Marching “Dukes” Band and are encouraged to participate in the York Pep Band. Selected students will also perform with the Concert Orchestra on several York High School Orchestra Concerts.


Symphonic Band (#8203)

Grades 10-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisites:  Completion of Cadet Band requirements and audition.  

Description - The Symphonic Band is the most advanced band ensemble at York High School. Participation in this auditioned group requires extremely high levels of commitment and performance skills. Students in this ensemble are expected to participate in sectional rehearsals, chamber ensembles as well as daily large group instruction and a solo and small ensemble festival. Students in this band combine with members of the concert Band to form the Marching “Dukes” and perform at all home football games and two community parades. The Symphonic Band participates in at least four formal concerts throughout the school year, and the members of this band combine with the other bands to form the York Pep Band. Select members will combine with the Symphony Orchestra to perform in several York Orchestra Concerts


Jazz Ensemble 

Grades 9-12 / no credit

Prerequisites:  Band or Orchestra membership and audition  

Description - This is an extra-curricular organization in which students study and perform a wide variety of jazz and rock styles.  Instrumentation includes 1 flute, 5 saxophones, 5 trumpets, 5 trombones, tuba, piano, bass, guitar, vibes and drum set.  Selection is by audition only.  Emphasis is on musical qualities of performance including:  style, blend, jazz interpretation, intonation and rhythm.  Improvisation techniques are introduced and opportunities for creative soloing are stressed.


Jazz Lab Band

Grades 9-12/ no credit

Description - An extra-curricular jazz ensemble that is open to all students on all instruments and does not require an audition. The ensemble is meant to provide a springboard for those students that have little or no jazz playing experience. The ensemble has two formal performances during the year and rehearses twice a week, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 6:45 to 7:30.  


Jazz Combo

Grades 9-12/ no credit

Description - Jazz Combo is an extra-curricular auditioned ensemble that is designed to provide an opportunity for select students to learn jazz standards and develop musical improvisation skills in a small group setting. The combo is one of the most active performance ensembles at York High School, "gigging" regularly for community and private events as well formal performances at York High School.


Jazz Combo II

Grades 9-12/no credit

Description - Jazz combo is an extra-curricular jazz ensemble that is open to all students on all instruments and does not require an audition. It is designed to provide an opportunity for all students to learn jazz standards and develop musical improvisation skills in a small group setting.


 

Orchestra

Cadet Orchestra ( #8205)

Grades 9-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisite:  Middle School Orchestra  

Description - This course is for training and performance.  The class meets daily, studying technical aspects of string playing, music theory, ear training, and basic musicianship.  Each student performs a solo during the year, as well as orchestral performances.


Concert Orchestra (#8206)

Grades 9-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisite: Proficiency of Cadet Orchestra requirements or audition placement from middle school

Description - This course is for string orchestra training and performance.  The class meets daily, studying more advanced aspects of string playing and more advanced literature than Cadet Orchestra.   Each student performs a solo during the year, as well as 4 major string and/or full orchestra performances.  Soloists may be featured with orchestra and outside performances may be scheduled.


Symphony Orchestra ( #8207)

Grades 10-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisites: Completion of Cadet and/or Concert Orchestra requirements and performance level 

Description - This course is for advanced string players interested in performing the world's great orchestral literature.  The course meets 5 days a week and has a weekly sectional rehearsal after school.  Full Symphony Orchestra consists of the Symphony String section and the top woodwind, brass, and percussion players from the Symphonic Band.  Students will perform 4 major concerts, a solo recital, a chamber ensemble recital, as well as numerous outside performances.  Solo auditions are held each year.


 

Choral

Men’s Cadet Chorus (#8209)

Males Grades 9- 12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Description - Men's Chorus provides beginning level exposure to choral music at York.   Anyone expressing an interest in learning the fundamentals of good musicianship through applied vocal music will find this class an excellent way to improve his abilities as a vocal music performer.  Music studied includes classical, contemporary, folk, barbershop, Broadway and mixed choral music when combined with the Women's Chorus.  The Men's Chorus appears at all annual choral concerts at York.  The class meets daily.


Women’s Cadet Chorus (#8210) 

Females Grade 9-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Description - Women's Chorus is open to female students who enjoy singing.  Anyone expressing an interest in learning the fundamentals of good musicianship through applied vocal music will find this class an excellent way to improve her abilities as a vocal music performer.  Music studied includes classical, contemporary, folk, barbershop, Broadway and mixed choral music when combined with the Men's Chorus.  The Women's Chorus appears at all annual choral concerts at York.  The class meets daily.


Choraliers (#8211)

Grades 10-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisite: Audition and vocal experience

Description - Choraliers is open to all students who enjoy singing.  Anyone expressing an interest in learning the fundamentals of good musicianship through applied vocal music will find this class an excellent way to improve his or her abilities as a vocal music performer.  Music studied includes:  Broadway, classical, contemporary, folk and jazz.  The Choraliers appear at all annual choral concerts at York.  


Concert Choir (#8212) 

Grades 10-12 Men 11-12 Women / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisites:  By audition and 1-2 years of performance class at the high school level

Membership in this York choral organization is by audition only.  Advanced concepts of vocal/choral art are studied and applied through traditional and contemporary choral literature.  Members also attend weekly sectional rehearsals after school.  The Concert Choir appears at all annual concerts at York and participates in community performances.

Dance

Beginning Dance (#0940)

Grades 10-12 Semester course-1.0 credit

Prerequisites: none

Description - Beginning Dance will introduce students to a variety of dance forms including modern dance, ballet, jazz techniques, dance vocabulary, improvisation, choreographic concepts and dance history. Students will learn various technical components of these dance forms and gain awareness of the body, while building physical, aesthetic, and performance skills, as well as developing an appreciation for dance. Beginning Dance is not a repeatable course.


Intermediate Dance (#0941)

Grades 10-12 Semester course-1.0 credit

Prerequisites: Beginning Dance or audition

Description - Intermediate Dance is designed for the student that is interested in furthering their dance knowledge and technique. Students will continue to learn more complex dance sequences and focus on technical practices in various dance styles and forms including Modern, Ballet, and Jazz. Higher expectations and continued understanding of correct execution of material is stressed. In addition to processing and applying learned material covered in Beginning Dance, students will be asked to focus on proper alignment and posture, build physical endurance and flexibility, and continue to develop their own movement clarity and artistic artistry. 


Advanced Dance (#0942)

Grades 10-12 Semester course 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: Beginning Dance or audition

Description - Advanced Dance integrates all information and concepts learned through Beginning and Intermediate Dance. Through an audition process, students demonstrating a high level of skill in Modern, Ballet, and Jazz will be admitted into the class, where they will focus on the more detailed aspects of these techniques at an accelerated pace. Course expectations will also include building complex coordination skills, efficient and precise movement pick-up, proper alignment, musicality, and engaging in self-directed learning. 

Non-Performance

AP Music Theory (#8222)

Grades 11-12 / Full year high weighted course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisites: Must have formal experience on a musical instrument or voice and be able to read music

Description - This honors course is designed for those who have shown special proficiency and talent in the field of music. It is intended to give the student a clear insight into the fundamentals of music, common rule practices of music theory, a systematic approach to harmonic analysis, and practice improving ear training, sight singing, and listening skills. Students are expected to write two quarterly concert critiques and to complete the course with an original vocal or instrumental composition suitable for public performance. This course will prepare a student to take the AP Music Theory Exam.


Beginning (Class) Piano (#8214) 

Grades 9-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Description - This course is designed for students with little or no keyboard background to begin serious study on the piano.  Students develop technical skills on the piano, acquire an understanding of standard musical notation, and study basic theory concepts.  Piano class contains both group and individualized instruction.  Students are required to complete practice assignments outside of class on a keyboard at school or home.


Beginning (Class) Acoustic Guitar ( #8218)

Grades 9 - 12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Description - This course is designed for the student with absolutely no guitar background.  The student will begin with basic musical concepts:  learn to tune the guitar, read musical notation and chord tablature, and experience melodic and basic chord performance.  Advanced study will include:   further development of technical skills through the performance of scales, advanced chords and melodies; and the study of basic harmony and theory concepts leading into original compositions and the accompaniment of advanced melodies.  The student will demonstrate successful performance of folk and rock songs at the varying levels of difficulty.  The student must furnish an acoustic guitar (electric guitar is not permitted).


Intermediate (Class) Acoustic Guitar (#0928)

Grades 9-12 / Full year course - 2.0 credits

Prerequisite: Previous guitar experience

Description - This course is designed for the student with  some guitar background who is interested in  more serious study on the acoustic guitar.  Although students are not required to have  previous experience reading music to take this level of study, they should possess some technical ability on the instrument. The student will begin with basic musical concepts:  learn to tune the guitar, read musical notation and chord tablature, and experience melodic and basic chord performance.  Advanced study will include:   further development of technical skills through the performance of scales, advanced chords and melodies; and the study of basic harmony and theory concepts leading into original compositions and the accompaniment of advanced melodies.  The student will demonstrate successful performance of folk and rock songs at the varying levels of difficulty.  The student must furnish an acoustic guitar (electric guitar is not permitted).


Evolution of Rock and Roll

Description - This course will cover the evolution of Rock n’ Roll music from its earliest ancestors and influences to the many genres of rock that exist today. The course will begin by examining Rock n’ Roll’s Blues and Country roots dating back to songwriters like Robert Johnson and Hank Williams. The students will learn how the early sounds and song structures of Blues and Country music directly influenced the emergence of Rock n’ Roll in America in the 1950’s. What emerged from Rock n’ Roll’s early beginnings were hugely successful bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. These artists demonstrated that Rock n’ Roll music was a form of artistic expression that had no limits in its power to influence not only the individual, but all of popular culture. The class will study the major musical influences of the decades that followed. This course will allow students to understand that all forms of rock n’ roll music that came afterwards are directly influenced and inspired by the early founders of rock from the 1950’s and 1960’s.


MUSIC PRODUCTION 1

Description - In Music Production 1, students will be introduced to Apple’s digital audio workstation, Logic Pro X. Students will work mainly with recording and editing MIDI and audio files in Logic Pro X to learn the basics of songwriting and music composition. Whether you like rap, rock, jazz, classical or metal, this class will help you understand how your favorite styles of music are created and how you can go about creating them yourself. By the end of this class, you will be comfortable using Logic Pro X to record original song arrangements, have basic piano skills, be able to speak intelligently about your favorite styles of music, and most importantly, have a collection of your own musical creations that you can be proud of.

Rationale: Music Production is designed for students that are interested in exploring music at York High School, regardless of previous musical experience in band, orchestra, or choir. This course provides all students the opportunity to learn about music without having any background or training.


MUSIC PRODUCTION 2

Description - Music Production 2 will allow students to build upon the skills learned in Music Production 1. In this class, students will become proficient with Logic Pro X, song composition, and music theory fundamentals. Students will learn the basics of how to use York’s recording studio, develop production skills to further the complexity of composition projects, and collaborate with fellow musicians to produce recordings with layers of audio and midi files. This class will continue to explore how popular styles of music are created and how students can produce similar types of songs, beats and sounds. By the end of this class, students will be comfortable using Logic Pro X, be able to compose various styles of music, and continue to develop a portfolio of original musical creations started in Music Production 1.

Rationale: This course is intended to be an avenue for students to continue their study of music outside of the traditional performance based classes that are offered (band, orchestra and choir).


Music Production 3

Description - Music Production 3 will allow students will continue to develop their skills as a composer, songwriter, and music producer. In this class, students will develop a thorough understanding and proficiency with Logic Pro X, the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and the York Recording Studio. Students will apply the recording techniques and composition skills to create more advanced and complex musical projects. By the end of the semester, students will independently write, record, produce, and release an EP (Extended Player) consisting of at least three original songs that revolve around a central musical theme or concept. Students will use an online platform (like Bandcamp.com) to support a digital release of their EP. The students will also cover topics regarding how to create CDs of your work for distribution and how to copyright original work

Rational: This course is intended to be a workshop for students to continue their study and creation of original music outside of the traditional performance based classes that are offered (band, orchestra and choir).