BANDThe HSPVA Band program, under the direction of Stephen Crawford, is designed to develop young music students' skills in performance and provide opportunities for high quality musical experiences. It is comprised of talented and hard-working wind and percussion students who are selected by competitive audition. In addition to our regular concert season of five concerts, the students audition for the Texas Music Educators Association All-Region and All-State bands, orchestras, and jazz ensembles.Our ensembles travel regularly to perform publicly and tour college, university, and conservatory campuses that the students may attend in the future. We have performed in numerous prestigious locations, including Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. We have also visited our sister schools in Dallas, the Booker T. Washington School for Performing and Visual Arts, and in Washington, D.C., the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.See audition requirements here.Below is a description of some of the different programs, courses, and opportunities that the HSPVA Band Program has to offer to the serious developing instrumental musician:Wind Ensemble
This ensemble performs advanced level wind and percussion repertoire and requires all players to have strong skills in all facets of performance on their instruments. This ensemble follows a one player per part tradition, so all members must demonstrate consistently reliable attendance and the ability to prepare music individually and perform well under pressure. The numbers of players of each instrument will be limited to balance the ensemble sound correctly.
Students can qualify for this ensemble by consistently demonstrating knowledge and application of proper rehearsal and performance behavior and a high level of technical and musical skill for their grade level. Students must also demonstrate consistent appropriate conduct, grades, and attendance in all HSPVA classes. A competitive audition will be required to qualify for this ensemble. Except in extraordinary circumstances, membership in this ensemble is reserved for students who have been at HSPVA at least one semester. This ensemble rehearses every other day for 90 minutes.
This ensemble provides the opportunity for students to develop the musical skills needed to play in a large ensemble. Symphonic Band is traditionally a large band, and performs music appropriate for that instrumentation.
Members of Symphonic Band are expected to maintain appropriate conduct and passing grades in their Art Area and academic classes. They must demonstrate consistent improvement in their instrumental performance skills in the context of the large ensemble, and demonstrate knowledge and application of proper rehearsal and performance behavior. This ensemble rehearses every other day for 90 minutes.Brass, Woodwind, and Percussion TechniqueThese classes are grouped by instrumental family. Students will develop their technical and musical skills and increase knowledge of repertoire on their instrument. The class focuses on skills playing in small chamber music and solo settings. All skills and materials covered in this class will be directly applicable to performance in a large ensemble. Topics to be covered include appropriate physical warm-up to prevent injury, good tone production, development of good practice habits, development of listening skills, development of musical expression on your instrument, development of facility in all keys on your instrument, and selection of repertoire. All students will perform for their peers as well as work with specialists on their instrument. This class meets every other day for 90 minutes.Wind Chamber Music
This class will develop musicianship through public performance in small wind chamber music ensembles. Students will also learn and develop independent rehearsal and leadership skills appropriate for small ensembles. Each group will perform advanced level wind chamber music repertoire and will require each player to have strong skills in all facets of performance on their instrument. There are four required public performances on campus as part of this class, and there may be opportunities for public performances off campus representing HSPVA. These ensembles will have only one player per part, so all members must demonstrate consistently reliable attendance and the ability to prepare music individually and perform well under pressure. The numbers of players of each instrument will be limited.
Students will qualify for this class by demonstrating self-motivation to perform and improve on their instrument. A competitive audition may be used to determine membership in an ensemble. This class meets every other day for 90 minutes.
Guest Performers and Master Classes
Band students will have the opportunity to hear first-rate guest performers and play for master classes. The inspiration drawn from these in-school concerts is an important reason for the high motivation level of our students. We also organize group concert-going, school-subsidized opportunities to events by the Houston Symphony, Da Camera Society, the Moores and Shepherd Schools of Music, the Society for the Performing Arts, and other quality Houston cultural institutions. Students learn a great deal by being exposed to great talent making great music.