Instrumental & Vocal Music
Music is a fundamental and integral part of every child’s life. The major function of music education is to foster children’s awareness of the realm of human expressiveness contained in the art of music. Through study in music students can develop musical knowledge and skills while listening, performing, and creating. Music education promotes creativity, the understanding of history and culture, and aesthetic appreciation.
The music program of District 70 is committed to providing quality experiences in the chorus, orchestra, band, and general music classes in alignment with the National and Illinois State Standards. The primary goal is to help each student build a relationship with music that gives satisfaction and personal growth during the school years and throughout life.
Students are given the opportunity to participate in orchestra or band traditionally beginning in fourth grade. This year we will be starting our beginning music program in fifth grade, due to the pandemic.
Students in the beginning music programs, elementary schools, attend one full band or orchestra rehearsal one day per week after school until 3:30pm. Students are also pulled out during the school day for a small group lesson.
Instrumental music continues at Highland Middle School with multiple bands and orchestras and various rehearsals and lessons.
Information about starting the Instrumental Music program will be available in early Fall.
|Gold Band||Mostly 6th Grade||Mon/Thurs
|Silver Strings||6th Grade||
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
|Red Band||Mostly 7th Grade||Mon/Tues/Wed
(start mid Nov)
|6th, 7th 8th based on audition||Wednesday
|Symphonic Band||Mostly 8th Grade||Tues/Wed/Thurs
|Jazz I Ensemble||Most experienced||Monday
7:45 - 8:40am
|Jazz II Ensemble||Monday sectionals
Full Jazz - Friday 7:45am
|Extra Help Wednesday||7th/8th||Wednesday
|5th Grade Orchestra (Beginning in December)||5th Grade||Adler
Calendar & Category Legend:
- Band & Orchestra - District Wide
District 70 Orchestras offer many opportunities for young musicians to explore and travel on their orchestral journey.
4th Grade Beginning Strings
This is an introductory musical experience offered to 4th grade students at Adler, Butterfield, Copeland and Rockland elementary schools. The young musicians have one weekly small group lesson. Young players learn basic right and left hand string skills, note reading, rhythms, and musical terminology. All four elementary schools come together for a large group string orchestra experience on Tuesdays after school from 3- 4 p.m. at Highland Middle School. Young musicians are bussed to HMS after the elementary school dismissal, while Rockland musicians walk across the street to HMS. The winter and spring orchestra concerts are fun and showoff the amazing skills of the students.
5th Grade Intermediate Orchestra
This is a continuation of the 4th grade experience. Young musicians strengthen their string skills, rhythms and note reading. The young musicians have one weekly small group lesson and weekly one large group session from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays at Highland Middle School. Young musicians are bussed to Highland after the elementary school dismissal, while Rockland musicians walk across the street to HMS. Intermediate Orchestra performs twice a year at the winter and spring orchestra concerts that showoff the talents of the amazing students.
6th Grade Silver Strings
Silver Strings is the 6th Grade orchestra at Highland Middle School. Silver Strings meets before school at 8 a.m. three days a week, on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Orchestral ensemble techniques are stressed. Young musicians also receive one weekly small group lesson. Small group lessons continue to build skills for technique and music making. Participation in the Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) Solo and Ensemble Festival is encouraged. Silver Strings also participates as an orchestra in the IGSMA Organization Festival in March. Silver Strings performs at the fun winter and spring orchestra concerts that showoff the skills of the amazing musicians.
7th & 8th GRADE Highland Strings
Highland Strings combines 7th & 8th grade young musicians. Rehearsals are three days a week, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday before school at 7:45 am. Advanced ensemble techniques are stressed. Small group lessons are once a week. Advanced strings techniques are stressed to enhance and enrich the musical experience.
Participation in the IGSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival is encouraged. Highland Strings also participates in the IGSMA Organization Festival in March. Highland Strings performs at the Winter and Spring District 70 orchestra concerts.
Chamber Orchestra is an auditioned group of musicians in grades 6 through 8. Rehearsals are before school at 8 a.m. on Wednesdays. The group performs music from the Baroque and Classical periods of music, Bach, Teleman, Vivaldi, Mozart to name a few. Participation in Chamber Orchestra allows young musicians to explore standard string literature. The Chamber Orchestra performs at the winter and spring orchestra concerts. The group also performs in May for the National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony. Participation requires an audition and participation in Silver Strings or Highland Strings orchestras.
The Strolling Strings offers a unique and superior musical experience for the young musician. (They actually stroll while they perform!) Strolling Strings is an auditioned group of young musicians in 6th through 8th grade. Rehearsals are before school at 7:45 a.m. on Fridays. Repertoire consists of light popular tunes. Young musicians learn to move and play. Memory techniques are explored. Strollers learn to engage their audience in their musical expression. The group performs at all District 70 orchestra concerts. Strolling Strings perform for District 70 activities and functions throughout the school year, frequently at the annual Recognition Event. Participation requires an audition and participation in Silver Strings or Highland Strings orchestras.
Elementary School Bands
Beginning Band (First Year)
Intermediate Band (Second Year)
MIDDLE SCHOOL BANDS
Gold Concert Band (Least Experienced)
Red Concert Band (Intermediate)
Symphonic Band (Advanced)
Chamber Ensembles (All middle school levels) (no audition)
Jazz 2 Ensemble (Intermediate) (audition)
Jazz 1 Ensemble (Advanced) (audition)
ELEMENTARY Instrumental LESSONS
Each student receives one 30-minute, small-group lesson per-week at his/her elementary school during the school day. Every effort is made to keep the lesson groups to like instruments. Instruments taught include flute, clarinet, alto saxophone (switch from Beginning Band clarinet, if interested), cornet, trombone & percussion (bells 4th grade & bells and snare 5th grade).
BEGINNING BAND REHEARSALS
The Beginning Band practices are held once per-week after school on Tuesdays to 3:30 pm. The band is divided into four rehearsal groups. Each group rehearses at their own elementary school. The four groups merge for one or two practices before each concert. INTERMEDIATE BAND practices are held once per-week after school on THURSDAYS.
BEGINNING BAND PERFORMANCES
Two public concerts are performed every year. The first is an Elementary Concert with the Intermediate Band in February. Students in the Beginning Band demonstrate what they have learned since October. The second Beginning Band concert is part of a shared concert with the Highland Red Band in May. Students will perform simple band arrangements.
MIDDLE SCHOOL Instrumental LESSONS
Each child receives one small-group lesson per-week during school hours (one period in length).
MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND REHEARSALS
- The Concert Bands rehearse two or three mornings per-week before school (7:45 to 8:45 A.M.).
- The Chamber Ensembles rehearses one morning per-week (7:45 to 8:45 A.M.).
- The Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 Ensembles rehearse one morning (7:45 to 8:45 A.M.) and one afternoon (3:45 to 4:30 P.M.) per-week. For information about Jazz Ensemble auditions, please contact Mr. Swartzloff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For specifics please look at the calendar tab on this page.
The District 70 Instrumental curriculum is quite comprehensive. Young musicians wishing to pursue further enhancement of their studies can obtain a list of private instructors by contacting our band instructors Carla Bollinger at email@example.com or Rob Swartzloff at firstname.lastname@example.org or our orchestra instructors Carol Janossy at email@example.com or Allison Zabelin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Private lessons are not required outside of the District 70 musical instrument programs.
- Please note teachers recommended for private lessons have no affiliation or connection with District 70.
- District 70 neither endorses nor approves of any instructor, product or service included in private lessons.
- Illinois law does not require District 70 to perform criminal background checks for private lesson instructors as District 70 has no affiliation or contractual relationship with the instructors.
Lessons outside of District 70 are not required or even expected. Families and students decide if they want to seek additional training to help a student cover District 70 curriculum, to improve performance, or to learn additional music.
Some Notes About Private Music Lessons
- Most teachers on our lists are adult, professional musicians.
- Some teachers hold their lessons in a room of the local high school.
- Some teachers are local high school students who are very accomplished and have begun teaching private lessons.
- Some teachers are college students, either majoring in music or a specific instrument, who returned home for the summer and only teach during the summer.
Jazz Auditions/Chair Quiz
Jazz band audition music and chair quizzes for the Gold, Red, and Symphonic bands were given to students during their lessons in May. If you need an extra copy of the music, would like to listen to recordings of the jazz audition songs, or need a copy of the jazz review/audition schedule, please email Mrs. Bollinger (cbollinger @d70schools.org) or Mr. Swartzloff (rswartzloff @d70schools.org) and they will provide you with a link.