The jazz program at MHHS includes three staff-led ensembles plus opportunities for student-led groups. These groups usually begin their season once the musical is over in the fall.
is an auditioned big band using standard instrumentation (5 saxes, 5 trumpets, 4-5 trombones, rhythm section). The group is conducted by Kellen Dorner and meets twice each week - once on Tuesday mornings, the other time determined by student and staff availability. Tuesday Jazz performs throughout the winter and spring at concerts and festivals. The group made a recent appearance with the Madison College Big Band and the UW-Madison Big Band at a jazz festival held in Madison. 2015-2016 performances will include a recording session with WMTV for their "Sounds of the Season" broadcast. Audition details for this group can be found at Mr. Dorner's webpage: https://www.mhasd.k12.wi.us/Page/2286
Thursday Jazz is a big band open to anyone in the music department that plays a jazz instrument. The group meets on Thursday mornings and performs at various events during the winter and spring seasons. Will Janssen conducts this ensemble.
Dixieland Combo meets on Monday evenings, studying the music of early New Orleans, Chicago, Memphis and Kansas City. Will Janssen leads this group. Instrumentation includes clarinet, tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, tuba or string bass, piano, banjo and drum set. Performances include jazz concerts, Viking Band show, festivals, and other opportunities as they arise.
Student jazz combos are available when enough students are interested in forming a group. One of the teaching staff will volunteer to coach the ensembles depending on rehearsal times. The groups must include a soloing instrument, a chording instrument, a bass instrument and a drum set. A typical group might be trumpet, guitar, bass, drum set; or sax, piano, bass, drum set; or multiple instruments like trumpet, sax, trombone, piano, bass, drum set.
All students involved in the
Musical are subject to the Co-Curricular Code of Conduct. Students and
parents must attend the Code meeting and complete the required paperwork
before the season starts.
Varsity Band/Pep Band
The MHHS band program provides support at numerous school events throughout the year including many athletic competitions. During the fall, the Marching Band performs at all home football games. Depending on student availability, band members may perform at one or more soccer games as well.
Varsity Band includes any band members who commit to playing for all the sports events the band supports. Successful members can earn a letter for their work. A complete list of all the currently scheduled events is available on the general band webpage under the calendar section. A specific list will be posted here in the fall. In general, the group plays for most of the home girls and boys basketball games and one wrestling match. We also play at all WIAA home tournament games plus numerous tournament games on the road.
Band members who only want to play at the one mandatory athletic event during 2nd and 3rd quarters are part of the Pep Band for that event. It is open to everyone in the band program.
Students in band, choir, and/or orchestra at the high school are eligible to participate in the fall musical. They can audition for a role on stage, for a spot in the pit orchestra or they can sign-up to be part of one of the crews (stage, construction, lighting, sound, make-up, costumes, props). Stage role auditions are held in August, pit orchestra parts are handled in early September as are crew assignments. Look for the musical webpage for more information about this year's show.
All students involved in the Musical are subject to the Co-Curricular Code of Conduct. Students and parents must attend the Code meeting and complete the required paperwork before the season starts.
Honors Organizations and Auditioned Ensembles
Band members are encouraged to audition for several honors organizations and local auditioned ensembles.
Honors Organizations include the Badger Conference Honors Band and the Wisconsin State Honors Music Project. The Badger Conference Honors Band is held once every other year. The group includes the best musicians from the schools of the Badger Conference, led by a college band director. Students are nominated for membership by their high school directors based on applications students complete.
Winds of Wisconsin is a concert band sponsored by the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Music. Students can audition for a spot in the organization in early September. The band has two brief seasons, fall and winter, where they rehearse six times and present a concert. Rehearsals and concerts are held on campus, usually on Sunday evenings. Students have the chance to work with faculty from the UW including Conductor Scott Teeple. More information is available here: http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/wow/
The Wisconsin State Honors Music Project is sponsored by the Wisconsin School Music Assocation (our school is a member so our students are eligible to audition). The program brings together the finest musicians from the state to work with nationally-known conductors for a 4-day camp in June and a final performance at the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference in Madison at the end of October. Groups that can be auditioned for include a concert band, jazz ensemble, orchestra, mixed choir and women's choir. A great deal more information is available regarding this challenging opportunity by visiting the Wisconsin School Music Association website: http://wsmamusic.org/hs_honors/index.html
Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra is another program sponsored by the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Music. The program includes several orchestras sorted by ability. The orchestras utilize full orchestral instrumentation, including winds and percussion. Groups generally rehearse on campus on Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Several faculty from the UW are involved including Conductor James Smith. More information about this program is available here: http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/