The bands at the Grand Street Campus offer over 300 students the opportunity to play music of high artistic merit at their level of proficiency, from beginner to highly advanced. Students are placed into the different levels of bands (Concert/Beginner Band, Repertory Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble) not by age but by an audition process. This allows younger students with a high level of experience to be placed into the top ensembles and it allows students to enter the band program as beginners at any age.
In addition to the four main wind bands at the Grand Street Campus, the program offers two full jazz ensembles, two guitar ensembles, a Latin Jazz Band, four periods of piano lab and a full musical theater program. Together, these course offerings allow each high school at the Grand Street Campus to offer the citywide 4-year high school music sequence, allowing students to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma with a music endorsement. The Grand Street Campus also hosts the All-City High School Marching Band, the All-City High school Concert Band, NYSSMA Majors Festival #20 and the NYC Area-All State Music Festival. All Grand Street Campus Band students are given the opportunity to participate in these events.
No experience is necessary to join the music program and it is 100% free of charge. Music WILL cover the music and elective credits students need to graduate and will look amazing on a college application. To join Music please see Mr. Ball in room 277 or Mr. Schrager in room 416 during the first week of school. Mr. Ball can also be emailed at [email protected]
- Concert/Beginner Band
This group is comprised of mostly beginners. When students with little to no instrumental music experience decide to join the band program at Grand Street, they are placed in this ensemble to learn the basic elements of playing their instrument. This band meets daily in five small sections of 15-40 students to allow for as much individualized instruction as possible. Concert Band then performs as a whole during concerts and/or at a competition once or more every semester.
- Repertory Band
The Repertory Band serves as the step-up after Concert Band. The students in this ensemble have passed an exam that shows their grasp of the basic elements of playing their instrument. The purpose of this ensemble is to further develop musical skills by meeting in a full group rehearsal once a day. Like the Concert Band, the Repertory performs during concerts and/or at a competition once or more every semester.
- Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band serves as the step after Repertory Band. The students in this group have passed a playing exam that demonstrates their grasp of the more advanced elements of playing their instrument. The purpose of this ensemble is to hone fine musical skills by meeting in a full group rehearsal once a day. Like the Concert Band and Repertory Band, the Symphonic Band performs during concerts and/or at a competition once or more every semester
- Wind Ensemble
This is the most advanced full instrumental ensemble at the Grand Street Campus. These students have demonstrated understanding and abilities that have exceeded the Symphonic Band. Students in this group are expected to maintain an extremely high level of ability and effort. There is no limit with this group; they perform to a level that is constantly rising. Like the other ensembles, the Wind Ensemble meets in a full group rehearsal once a day. In addition to performing at concerts and competitions like the Concert Band and Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble performs at many other school and community functions as a flagship ensemble of the Grand Street Campus.
- Jazz Band B
This ensemble serves as the entry point for students into the academic genre of jazz. Jazz, in American academic terms, refers to any music that uses big band instrumentation (5 woodwinds, 5 trombones, 5 trumpets, bass, guitar, piano and drums) that evolved historically after classical music. Therefore, students are introduced to a wide variety of modern genres of music making including but not limited to swing, mambo, bossa nova, rock, salsa, samba, funk, soul, and ballad.
- Jazz Band A
Jazz Band A serves as the top academic jazz ensemble at the Grand Street Campus. The students in this ensemble are accepted based on both music exam scores and director recommendation. This ensemble builds on the knowledge gained in Jazz Band B and performs all academic jazz genres at the highest level possible. Like the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band A functions as a flagship ensemble of the Grand Street Campus, taking an active role in traveling performances outside of our school at district meetings, special functions, recruiting events and community visibility events.
- Latin Jazz Band
Latin Jazz Band is a jazz ensemble like Jazz Band A & B whose primary focus is on the Latin American forms of Jazz Music. Students explore traditional Latin American genres of music in great detail. Latin Jazz Band often represents the school at outside events and performs with guest artists from NYC’s vibrant Latin Music community.
- Class Guitar
Class guitar focuses on rock band instrumentation such as vocals, guitar, bass, drums, piano and auxiliary percussion. No student at the Grand Street Campus receives their music credit without learning to sing or play an instrument. Class Guitar partially uses the “Little Kids Rock” Modern Band curriculum.
- Class Piano
Students in class piano learn to play the instrument in our new state of the art piano lab. This piano lab allows the students to work individually, in groups or as a whole class depending on the teacher’s lesson plan. While most students in the course enter as beginners, the functionality of the piano lab allows for complete differentiation in instruction by the teacher. Each student progresses at their own pace with support from the teacher.
- Technical Theater
This course allows students to learn the workings of what happens backstage at a major performing arts venue. Students receive hands-on training on the fly system, sound system and lighting system of the Grand Street Campus Auditorium. Students put their skills to practice helping to run production at the myriad of events that take place throughout the year in our auditorium – one of the busiest and most used High School auditoriums in the NYCDOE. Higher-level Technical Theater students receive internships with various performing arts organizations throughout New York City.
- Musical Theater
The Musical Theater program at the Grand Street Campus rehearses Mondays and Fridays from 2:45pm to 5:00pm. Students receive training in all aspects of theatrical performance and signing. The culminating project of this course is the Spring Musical. This performance takes place over a full weekend and is a full-length production of a Broadway show. Past musicals have included “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Les Miserables”, “Once on this Island” and Lin Manual Miranda’s “In the Heights”.