Instrumental Music (.75 credit per year)
Band begins in late summer with marching band “camp”. Throughout the first trimester, band students may be expected to attend extra marching rehearsals, most likely before school or an occasional Saturday. During marching band season, class begins every day at 7:15 a.m. During concert band season, class begins everyday at 8:00 a.m. Students perform a variety of literature in many styles to develop an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of music. Students registered for band are expected to participate all year. Exceptions may be made for academic reasons after a meeting with the parents/guardians, guidance counselors, administration, and the band director.
* Dress: Students will provide black marching shoes for their issued uniform. An $8.00 cleaning fee is charged at registration. Students are also required to provide a white t-shirt (with sleeves) and black socks for their uniform.
* Care of school and personal property: Proper care of the uniform, music and instruments is always a priority. Fines will be issued to persons showing neglect or improper use of the uniforms, music, and instruments. Please see the Band Handbook for description of fines. Rental of school owned instruments is $30.00 per semester.
* Performances: All band members perform at all home football games and numerous concerts in Vinton, festivals in other towns and 5-6 pep bands for winter sports. A required performance schedule is in the Band Handbook. PLEASE READ THE HANDBOOK CAREFULLY FOR POLICIES AND INFORMATION.
* Lessons: In a group the size of a band, the only way to assess individuals is in individual student lessons. Students will attend 5-6 lessons per trimester. Their achievement and progress will be documented in their individual student portfolio. Students need to provide Advanced Method Vol. I and Vol.. II by Rubank, as it will serve as their lesson book. Please see the Band Handbook for more information.
* Other instrumental opportunities: All students are encouraged to participate in the Jazz Band. The Jazz Band will perform in concerts and out-of-town festivals. Rehearsals are Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:44 a.m.-7:45 a.m. Solo and small ensemble performances are available mainly in the spring at State Solo/Ensemble Festival but also throughout the year at local civic and church events. Students will also have the opportunity for participation in the Iowa All-State auditions and the many honor bands. The Vinton-Shellsburg High School Band Program is now a consistent participant at the WaMaC Honor Band, NEIBA Honor Band, Iowa State University Honor Band, Northern Festival of Bands (UNI), and the University of Iowa Honor Band.
Vocal Music (.75 credit per year; .25 credit per trimester)
Students registering for vocal music will participate in one of two curricular choirs – Treble Choir or Concert Choir. Choir students will work on healthy vocal techniques, increase theory and historical knowledge, build sight-singing skills, and work together as an ensemble. Literature from the major historic time periods, that of great and lesser-known composers and a wide variety of vocal styles will be studied in a four-year curricular cycle. Each choir member, regardless of skill level, is expected to show improvement with continued rehearsal and performance. Students who register for Vocal Music are expected to participate all year.
Performances: A calendar of required performances is included in the vocal music handbook handed out in August. One required performance per trimester is scheduled. In addition, all eligible students meeting acceptable performance standards will participate in State Large Group Festival held in May. Other opportunities may include singing at school assemblies, vocal festivals and community performances.
Concert Dress: All students are to wear assigned robes or dresses. Men need to wear a dark shirt without a collar, black trousers, black shoes and black socks. Women should wear dresses or skirts underneath their robe and need to wear black shoes, closed toed heels preferred. A robe-cleaning fee is collected at school registration each year.
Lessons: Lessons are required to monitor and assess student progress. Each student is expected to attend a minimum of 7 lessons per trimester. Students are scheduled in small groups during the school day on a weekly lesson rotation.
Other opportunities: Students are encouraged to be involved co-curricular activities. Honor choirs, solo opportunities, Opus and All-State auditions, treble and bass clef small ensembles, madrigal, State Solo and Ensemble Festival, and Chamber Choir participation is encouraged for students wishing additional opportunities. Students have the opportunity to letter in choir. Points accumulate as you participate in vocal music activities throughout the year.
Chamber Singers – This Chamber group of 24-30 students will have the opportunity to work on advanced vocal techniques in a select ensemble. Students will perform upper level high school literature, collegiate level music and learn techniques for various styles of music including vocal jazz. Rehearsals are on Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m. (after marching band season). A second rehearsal per week will be scheduled as time allows. Students must be enrolled in Vocal Music to participate.
Each fall the VS-HS Drama and Music Departments present a musical production. Auditions will be held shortly after the start of school. Any student wishing to participate other than on stage can have the opportunity via stage crew or pit orchestra.