McMinnville High School Band Program
We have something for EVERYONE!
Unlike many activities and athletics, every person in the band program is important, and is as important as everyone else. All are welcome and all can succeed.
We welcome any individual that would like to be part of an experience that is larger than they are. We welcome those who are willing to work hard, support those around them, and be supported by the group.
No experience necessary.
Really?!? No experience?
YES. This is true. Many of our performers have not been in band before high school. Some play other instruments, some are dancers, some are piano players, drummers, guitarists, some played in 6th grade and dropped it but want to come back. We will take you how you are. You only need to bring desire, patience, and commitment; we will provide the rest.
What is the MAC Band program?
We are a performance based organization. Ensembles include: Concert Bands (2), Jazz Band, Pep Band, Marching Band, Winter Guard, and Winter Percussion. We also participate in parades, social activities, and community activities. The program travels in and out of state, and represents McMinnville High School.
The most public and visual ensemble is the Marching Band. This also happens to be the favorite group that my students participate in. Some of my Marching Band students are not in the band program. They are often athletes (yes, even football players), choir students, EASA students, or members of a myriad of other clubs and activities. For whatever reason, they LOVE marching band.
The Marching Band performs in the fall. We support our school football team at all the home games, and we also have our own competitive season in the month of October.
In the first 2 months of the school year, the Marching Band will have already performed more than 10 concerts, traveled hundreds of miles, met hundreds of other band students, and created a complex yet entertaining show for 1000’s of viewers.
Check out this promo video from YouTube:
After our Marching season is over, we begin in earnest our concert season. Many of the marching students go back to whatever they enjoy doing. Most of the students take their love of performance inside, where it is much warmer and drier. We have two ensembles, Symphonic Band for musicians with advanced knowledge and abilities; and Concert Band for young musicians and beginners. Most big instruments we have and can provide to students, the smaller instruments need to be rented or owned by the performer.
December 1st begins a completely different season. One that is not readily known by many people. The Winter Arts season. At McMinnville High School, we perform and compete with two groups. Winter Guard and Winter Percussion.
The large majority of these students are NOT members of the Concert Band program. These are students in the school who want to learn or expand their talents in the fields of dance performance or percussion/piano.
Winter Guard is a dance based, indoor performance group. They learn a 5 minute routine to a sound track and perform it in judged competition. The unique feature of Winter Guard is that the performers are also manipulating a piece of visual equipment while dancing. This equipment can be anything, but is typically a flag, rifle, or sabre. The members have found it to be highly addictive, so to speak. Very exciting, challenging and rewarding. Anybody can be a member of the Winter Guard.
Check out this video on YouTube, of the McMinnville High School Winter Guard:
The other performance group that begins in December is the Winter Percussion. Again, this is open to all students. We especially seek out piano players to participate with us. We have many opportunities for piano players to express themselves on a like or unique instrument. Do you want to learn how to play a percussion instrument? Take the percussion class, and join the Winter Percussion group. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to try it out.
Check out this video of a group that visited us 2 winters ago. They were rehearsing in Grandhaven Elementary when I took this video.
Jazz Band is a ‘set instrumentation’ class. This means that we only take the appropriate instruments to fill the needs of the group. I will expand the group if the need arises. In addition to the wind instruments, we also audition a Bass Player, Guitarist, Pianist, and Drummer. There are many opportunities to perform if you have experience on any of these instruments. Reading music is a must, but can be taught minimally.
The Concert Bands finish out the year and typically transition back into Marching Band for a few spring parades.
If you ask any of the band students, they will most likely tell you that they like being in band because of the social aspect. We are all friends, we care for everyone in the group, we accept them, and look out for them. The band room becomes a major hang out area that is safe and welcoming.
- If you have ever played an instrument and would like to get back into it…
- if you play the piano or another instrument and would like to participate…
- if you would like to learn an instrument…
- if you are a dancer and would like to expand your abilities…
- if you would like to be a visual performer but are just to shy…
- if you just want to be a part of something bigger than you, but you aren’t sure what to do…
. . . we have a place for you.
Contact me at DBarton@msd.k12.or.us and tell me what you are thinking, I will listen and try to create a place for you. We are all just a group of people with a common goal and an appreciation for each other. Come join us.
Check out this last YouTube video: