Curricular Bands - The Heart of our Program
The Ridgewood High School Band Program offers a wide variety of musical activities and opportunities for students at all grade and ability levels. At the core of our program are 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 credit requirement for visual/practical arts as well as the careers and life skills. 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 students who wish to participate in a curricular band must complete a brief placement assessment 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.
Co-curricular Activities - Opportunities for Everyone
While the curricular bands at Ridgewood High School provide excellent foundations in music education, our co-curricular ensembles and related groups provide numerous opportunities and experiences that are unique and inventive. While these programs all take different shapes and sizes, one thing remains constant – outstanding students performing in outstanding ensembles. Musically, we offer programs in jazz, chamber music, ethnic and concert percussion, as well as our highly acclaimed 100+ member marching band. Members of the band can also audition for parts in the New Players Company pit orchestra. For students who enjoy adding a visual flair, we offer winter color guard and twirling as outgrowths of our marching program.
Each year, the entire RHS Band Program is involved in a performance experience outside of Ridgewood. During each student’s four year band experience, he or she can expect to participate in an extended major concert/clinic tour, a weekend concert/clinic tour, and two regional day trips. For the past twenty years, our major tour destination has been Southern California, where our bands have performed at such venues as Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Catalina’s Jazz Club in Hollywood, with clinics at USC, SDSU, and Cal State - Northridge. Weekend tours have included such destinations as Boston, Williamsburg, and Washington, DC. Day trips often include performances in New York City.
"The College Résumé"
The value of an outstanding music education cannot be overstated as students consider the college application process. Membership in the RHS Band Program shows more than just a student who has a “well rounded education” or the ability to participate in one activity for four years. A student’s progression through our sequential music program shows a commitment to respecting and preserving our musical culture, a desire to experience and appreciate works of artistic beauty, and the ability to think and act creatively, thoughtfully, passionately, and with disciplined attention to detail on the highest levels of abstract thought. Our graduates are accepted to the most prestigious colleges and universities around the country, choosing majors in all academic fields. Many receive scholarships to participate in college bands and orchestras.
"The RHS Band is an excellent way to be part of a great organization and meet new friends who all share a love of music. The program is competitive and each year meets with much success. Be a part of the tradition."
Dr. Thomas Gorman
Ridgewood High School Principal