There are four major types of bands in schools: Orchestra, Symphonic or
Concert, Jazz and Marching. Orchestra is a large group of
musicians who play together on various instruments, usually including
strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. Symphonic Band is a group of
musicians playing brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. Marching
band is a band that marches and plays music usually performing at
athletic functions or community activities. Jazz band is a musical
ensemble that plays jazz music.
offer instructional classes for orchestra. It may be an actual class or
in some cases an extracurricular activity. The repertoire for orchestra
is usually classical music with some pop arrangements. The performance
is done while seated on the stage. An orchestra consists of four
sections of musical instruments, with a number of instruments in each,
these are Strings, Woodwind, Brass, Percussion.
band is the typical school band.
It can also be known as a
wind band, symphonic band, symphonic winds, wind orchestra, wind
symphony, or wind ensemble.
The group is usually fairly large and they perform seated on the stage.
The repertoire is usually classical music with some popular music or
marches included. A concert band consists of three sections of musical
instruments, with a number of instruments in each, these are Woodwind,
instruments that will not have parts in every piece so they are usually
played by students who normally play some other related instrument.
These include unusual Clarinets, English Horn, Contrabassoon, Soprano
Sax or Piccolo. Non-band instruments, such as piano or strings, are
also rarely used in bands, but again are often covered by a band member
switching from their normal instrument if needed.
Marching bands perform during half-time at football games,
at parades, community activities or other school functions and athletic
events. The repertoire consists of marches, school cheers and song,
national anthem and popular works.
The season for Marching band is late summer to early winter
with a summer practice schedule. It is a big commitment to be part of
the marching bands since you are obligated to be at all football games
as well as many competitions. In some cases marching band may be
required for band students and in other schools it is an
Many instruments in the marching band are the same as those
for the concert band. These include the following instruments: flute,
clarinet, sax, trombone, trumpet or cornet, baritone or euphonium.
Percussions take an added importance in the marching band. The
percussion instruments include: snare drums, bass drums, tom-toms,
cymbals or in some cases a less mobile instrument in a stationary "pit"
drum section. You may find that if your child is a percussionists they
could have additional practice time due to extra performance duties. In
addition, some instrumentalists may play versions of their instrument if
they are too difficult to march with.
Jazz band in some schools is a class or it can be an extra-curricular
activity. In my son's school symphonic band is three days a week and
jazz band is the other two days per week during the same class period.
A Jazz band can vary in size from a small "combo" to a large "big
band". The repertoire for this band consists mostly of jazz music.
include the following instruments: trumpet, sax, trombone, piano, drums,
bass and guitar. Students will often cover another instrument, such as
clarinet, flute or tuba, that is similar to theirs when it is needed.
For instance the saxophonist may play the clarinet.
Participating in a Jazz band will require some
weekend commitment for Jazz festivals.