The Middle School Instrumental options include hand chimes and instrumental music. Instrumental music is only offered when there are enough students interested. Hand chimes is always offered.
In hand chimes, directed by Ms. Fredda Payne, the first skills taught are reading rhythms, notations, and musical markings. Students learn to play perform as unit with many moving pieces. This requires teamwork and trust. As the students begin to perform for our students and the outside community, it is easy to see their confidence growing. That confidence often grows to help them in so many other areas of their lives.
In Upper School, students have the option to take Rock Ensemble as their arts elective. Rock Ensemble is designed to give student musicians an opportunity to perform together in small groups for all four years of their upper school experience. All instruments are welcome and all levels of musical experience is accepted. This class does not include private instruction on a student's chosen instrument. Instead, guidance is given to all students throughout the course. Students are expected work on their personal musical growth through study and practice on their own. Private instruction can be arranged if so desired.
Don't let the name "Rock Ensemble" fool you, students in this program learn about and learn to play music from various genres of popular music such as rock, blues, soul, rhythm and blues, country, pop, and jazz. Additionally, students study music as it changes through the decades.
The Rock Ensembles performs, on average, three concerts a year, typically at the end of each trimester. These shows are free and open to the public as well as students, faculty, and staff. Other performances take place when the opportunity arises within the school or community, such as this past year's Barnes & Noble night.
Lucius Wilson directs the Rock Ensemble.