The University High School Band

UHS Band

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not sure about band. Should I do it?

Yes.

Do I have to audition to be in band?

No. The University Band is open to any student who is willing to make the commitment, regardless of ability. However, you do have to audition for some of our advanced ensembles: Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Big Band, Advanced/Intermediate Percussion, and Winter Guard. You can learn more on the Auditions Page.

Can I join band if I don't play an instrument?

Yes. Unfortunately, we do not offer Beginning Band at University, so you'll need to take a little initiative: (1) decide what instrument you want to play, (2) rent or purchase said instrument, and (3) find a partner to start learning the fundamentals. The band directors are happy to help you through this process. Then, you'll want to sign up for Concert Band or Introduction to Percussion.

You might also want to consider joining our Color Guard! This is a unique form of dance/visual performance that operates as a part of the band program. You can learn more at the Color Guard Page.

How much does the band rehearse outside of school?

Once school starts, the marching band rehearses for 9 hours a week. (There are 168 hours in a week!) After Thanksgiving Break, the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Big Band, and Jazz Ensemble rehearse after school just 2 hours a week. Yes, there is a time commitment, but it does not have to overwhelm your life!

Can I do band and sports?

Sometimes, yes. With some good time management skills, most conflicts between band and sports are avoidable. We have had band members play lacrosse, softball, track, basketball, and even junior varsity football. The key is to sit down with both calendars and look for potential conflicts ahead of time. It can be tricky, but the band directors are always willing to try to make it work.

Can I be in band and IB?

Yes. Many of our top players are the IB program, and our band director has an IB diploma himself. In fact, we offer IB Music for juniors and seniors, which is a higher level (HL) IB Group 6 course and counts toward your IB diploma. We study world music cultures, composition, theory, and analysis. You can absolutely be in Band and IB.

Can I be in band if I'm not in the Performing Arts Magnet?

Yes. Most of our band members are NOT in the Performing Arts Magnet. The University Band is open to any student at University High School who is willing to make the commitment to excellence.

How do I join the Performing Arts Magnet?

To join the Performing Arts Magnet, submit an application at schoolChoice.OCPS.net. You'll then be contacted to do an audition. You can learn more about the program at the Magnet Page, and details for the audition are available at the Auditions Page.

How much does band cost?

Although we wish band were free, it is not. It takes a rather extensive budget to operate a band program at University's level. A full member of the marching band can expect to spend approximately $400 throughout the course of the year. It will vary slightly depending on what instrument you play and what additional activities you choose to engage in. Details are available in the Band Handbook and on the Parents Page. We do provide extensive opportunities for fundraising throughout the year... many of our members never spend a dime of their own money!

What class should I sign up for?

This depends on a number of different things. Here is the tentative band schedule:

PeriodMr. BrownMr. Willis
1.The History and Theory of MusicSteel Drums 1
2.IB MusicJazz Ensemble
3.Concert BandIntroduction to Percussion
4.EurhythmicsIntermediate Percussion
5.Symphonic BandSymphonic Band
6.Big BandSteel Drums 2
7.Wind EnsembleAdvanced Percussion

You can speak to a band director to find the right class for you.