About the Northwest Band Program
NW Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band is the core of the band program at Northwest... It is from this ensemble that all other performing ensembles at our school are created. This ensemble will develop technique, rehearsal skills, theory knowledge, musicality and music appreciation by performing classical and modern wind band literature. Students in Symphonic Band typically perform 3-4 concerts per year and also perform at District Music Contest. Symphonic Band can be taken for Honors Credit and is an auditioned group- please contact Mr. Pace for information about the audition requirements for Symphonic Band. Participation in Symphonic Band is REQUIRED for any students who wants to be a member of Crown Point Jazz (except piano, guitar or bass players), Basketball Pep Band, the NW Flag Corps or Drumline, or the Husky Marching Band.
Husky Marching Band
The Husky Marching Band consists of woodwind, brass, percussion (drumline), and flag corps students who perform a 6-9 minute field show at marching band festivals in September/October. The Marching Band also performs at 5 home football games at Northwest. Rehearsals for the Marching Band begin in the summer and continue through October. Please note that 3-6 hours per week of outside-of-school rehearsals are REQUIRED for members of the Marching Band. However, students can also earn PE credit for being in Marching Band. All students wanting to be a member of the Marching Band MUST audition, be accepted and participate in Symphonic Band as well.
NW Basketball Pep Band
The Basketball Pep Band provides musical entertainment and excitement for both the crowd and basketball team at home varsity basketball games. Musical selections for Pep Band are typically fun/modern tunes that students will recognize and enjoy performing. Pep Band students get into home varsity b-ball games for FREE and get to travel to district/state tournament games to support the team for FREE as well. All students wanting to do Basketball Pep Band MUST audition, be accepted and participate in Symphonic Band.
NW Drumline & Flag Corps
The NW Drumline consists of students playing mallet, auxiliary and battery percussion instruments and mainly performs as part of the Marching Band. The NW Flag Corps consists of students not playing instruments but adding visual impact to the marching band show through the use of flags and rifles. In addition to the Marching Band rehearsal requirements, Drumline and Flag Corps students have extra rehearsals during the summer and each week. All students in the Drumline MUST audition, be accepted and participate in Symphonic Band as well. All students wanting to do Flag Corps MUST audition and be accepted into the Flag Corps. Additionally, Flag Corps students MUST already play a band instrument or be willing to learn how to play a band instrument in order to be accepted into the Flag Corp.
Crown Point Jazz
As one of the most visible groups from Northwest HS in the Omaha community, Crown Point Jazz students are typically very confident musicians who are comfortable playing one to a part and are interested in more in-depth study of music theory and ear training concepts that are above what is taught in Symphonic Band. Crown Point Jazz members explore many genres of music including rock, funk, swing, and Latin to name a few. Participation in Crown Point Jazz is by audition only. All saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion students MUST also audition, be accepted and participate in Symphonic Band in order to be a member of Crown Point Jazz. All bass, guitar and piano students MUST participate in another "large" ensemble at Northwest (Symphonic Band, Orchestra or Choir) in order to be a member of Crown Point Jazz. Crown Point Jazz meets as a separate class from Symphonic Band on a daily basis and performs at numerous community events and Jazz festivals around the Omaha area.
All students in Symphonic Band and Crown Point Jazz are highly encouraged to audition for an Honor Band ensemble at some point during the school year. There are honor band options for all ages (freshman through senior) and musical abilities (students with more basic skills all the way up to students considering majoring in music in college). Most auditions for honor bands are recorded and occur in October and November. If selected, students will perform in November (All-State) or January-March (all other honor ensembles). Simply put, auditioning for an Honor Band makes you a better musician while also earning you "extra" points toward your Band Letter.
Solos & Small Ensembles
Preparing and performing a solo on your instrument and/or in a small ensemble is perhaps the best way to become a better musician! And becoming a better musician helps the Northwest Band program get better too- a win/win for everyone! Events like Elkhorn Band Olympics (freshman/sophomores) and District Music Contest (juniors/seniors) are excellent opportunities to demonstrate your musical skills at a high level. Students who perform a solo or small ensemble earn "extra" points toward their Band Letter. Not sure you have what it takes to prepare and perform a solo or small ensemble? No problem- we will help you!
Daily instruction from band staff during Marching Band and Symphonic Band rehearsals is focused on large group instruction. But everyone learns differently... what "clicks" for one students may not make sense to another. The #1 way to make the Northwest Band program better while also making yourself a better musician is to take private lessons! Northwest HS and the Omaha Public Schools is fortunate to have received grants that can help provide private lessons to students with a financial need. Please contact the band staff if you are interested in finding out more about private lessons.
Other Musical Ensembles at Northwest