The music program at the high school offers rigorous and diverse music options for students in courses and extracurriculars. Students are able to learn a new instrument or continue their musical growth in band, small group lessons, guitar, and keyboard classes; sing in choir; and prepare for college-level music in OCC Music Theory. All music classes address the National Core Arts Standards of creating, performing, connecting and responding to music. In addition to musical skills, our music classes teach perseverance, self reflection, collaboration, and leadership. After-school offerings include lessons, band, and other ensembles, such as steel drum, based on student interests.
Music students have frequent performance opportunities at our school and in our community. We perform concerts at the high school, have a pep band for sports games, play as part of the school’s LAT and Cultural fairs, travel to Albany to perform for elected officials, and encourage students to participate in local performance festivals. We have students who were finalists for the international GENIUS Olympiad competition in the music category in Spring 2017. We collaborate with the drama club to produce a yearly musical and open mic nights.
The music program regularly brings in guest artists and scholars to work with student musicians. Recent guests have included saxophonist Marcus Anderson, soprano Lori Larson, trumpeter Ray Sturge, and bassist Gerald Veasley. We also travel to rehearsals and performances. We visited Syracuse University to observe and meet college musicians. We take field trips to Syracuse Opera preview performances and encourage students to regularly attend concerts in the community.