The Ridgewood High School Band Program offers a wide variety of musical activities and opportunities for students at all grade and ability levels delivered through a sequential training program. The core of our program is the curricular bands - those ensembles that meet during the school day and for which students receive grades and academic credit. Each curricular band meets for three 60-minute periods over the four-day rotation of classes, just as all academic classes at RHS, and each group fulfills the Ridgewood High School arts credit requirement. Membership in a curricular ensemble is required in order for students to participate in any co-curricular music activity, including the Maroon and White Recital Series and all-county or regional bands. All members of the Band Program are encouraged to participate in Marching Band as an important part of the total Band experience. Upon graduation, students are prepared for membership in college level ensembles.
All students who wish to participate in a curricular band must complete a brief placement audition in January so that he or she may be placed in the ensemble that best fits his or her ability level, regardless of grade. Any student with previous experience in a middle school or high school band is eligible to participate in a curricular ensemble. Beginners must receive prior permission from the instructor. All of the curricular bands perform at three evening concerts during the school year.
SYMPHONIC BAND is a full year course open to students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 possessing basic skills on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. The permission of the instructor is required to register for this course. The Symphonic Band is the first level of band at Ridgewood High School. The Symphonic Band curriculum focuses on developing skills in rhythm, pitch, and balance appropriate to ensemble playing at the beginning high school level. Method books are used in addition to exercises and appropriate concert literature at levels 2.5 to 3. This class meets in two equal sections that combine for dress rehearsals and concerts.
CONCERT BAND is a full year course open to students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 possessing intermediate skills on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. The permission of the instructor is required to register for this course. The Concert Band is the largest curricular ensemble in the band program. In this group, emphasis is placed on developing technical ability, characteristic tonality, and knowledge of phrasing, and concert selections are of an intermediate level (3 to 4.5). This class meets in two equal sections that combine for dress rehearsals and performances.
WIND ENSEMBLE is a full year course open to students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 possessing advanced skills on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. . The permission of the instructor is required to register for this course. The Wind Ensemble is the most advanced performing ensemble in the band program. In this ensemble, emphasis is placed on developing musical maturity appropriate to college and professional music literature (Level 5 and 6). All students in the Wind Ensemble are typically involved in private lessons. As advanced performers, Wind Ensemble members are encouraged to audition for Maroon and White Recitals and County/Regional Bands. Members may also audition for the Chamber Orchestra.