South Orange County School of Arts
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Instrumental Music

Department Overview | Course Descriptions

DHHS Music
Click the link above for direct access to the DHHS Instrumental Music website.  There you will find up-to-date information, schedules, and all things related to Instrumental Music!

Department Overview

The instrumental music program at the South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) offers a widely diverse course of study for the instrumental student. The student receives extensive technical training on his/her instrument, study of music history, theory, composition, and recording, as well as many opportunities to perform in band, orchestra, and smaller instrumental ensembles. Attention is given to the development of the musical skills which are most important to the professional player: sight reading, understanding of musical styles, accompaniment, pit orchestra work, jazz and pop music, and solo and ensemble playing.
SOCSA’s instrumental music teachers and staff are dedicated to giving each student the highest possible level of training, and frequently invite guest artists to work with the instrumental students. The ultimate goal of the SOCSA Instrumental Music program is the development of talented and capable musicians who earn outstanding college and university recommendations, command attention in the world of professional music, and nurture a lifelong appreciation and love for all the arts.

Course Descriptions

Concert Band

This course is for students who have attained, at a minimum, intermediate proficiency on their instrument. Music of increasing difficulty is presented with instruction designed to increase the range, flexibility, endurance, tone quality, technical quality and stylistic interpretation of a wide variety of music. The group performs at school and community events, including, but not limited to, concerts, parades, field shows, assemblies, football games, and festivals. It is strongly advised that band students enroll in Marching Band as well to earn PE credit.

Marching Band

Our marching band performs at home football games, parades, festivals, and other special events throughout the Southern California area. Banner carriers, flag twirlers, and tall flag carriers are chosen as an auxiliary unit of the Marching Band. An elite Pep Band is selected from the Marching Band students to perform at pep rallies, away football games, and other events.

Jazz Ensemble

As part of SOCSA’s Jazz Ensemble, students study jazz repertoire and techniques for specific instruments including; trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, and rhythm instruments. Additionally, students are exposed to elements of jazz theory, improvisation, and harmonic constructions, as well as melodic, rhythmic and harmonic concepts, and how to apply those elements of jazz theory and improvisations. High standard of individual and ensemble performance are expected. Entrance to ensemble is strictly by audition only, and the individual must already be a part of the one of the large instrumental groups – band or orchestra.

String Orchestra

This course is designed to give all string players a well-rounded music education, which includes string pedagogy and string orchestra repertoire in the spring. Orchestra winds and percussion are selected by the director from one of the school bands for the Spring Full Orchestra.

Wind Ensemble

This is the most advanced of the ensembles and is designed for the student who is a highly competent performer. The student is challenged by music of the highest caliber, requiring more sophisticated understanding of complex rhythms, all key signatures, musical terminology, ensemble skills, and extra effort on the part of the student. Wind ensemble is a major performing ensemble; participation in concerts, festivals, and assemblies is required.