Courses and Ensembles
The Olathe West Marching Band performs at all home varsity football games, the Johnson County Old Settlers Parade, Homecoming Festivities, and 3-4 marching competitions each year. Students learn drum-corps-style marching skills, prepare both a traditional pre-game, a competitive modern marching show, and parade marching. The marching band performs a wide variety of musical genres including classical, pop, jazz, rock, and more. Marching band is open to all students grade 9-12. Incoming freshmen and all percussionists (9-12) will perform a music and/or marching interview for the purpose of assigning parts. Rehearsals begin in the summer starting with a Percussion camp 3 weeks prior to the 1st day of school and a band camp starting 2 weeks prior to the 1st day of school. There are also required 7:00 am rehearsals throughout the Marching Season on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday.
At the end of the marching season (late October/early November), the Marching Band splits into two upper-level concert bands in order to accommodate all students of varying ability and interest levels. The Wind Ensemble prepares advanced literature and performs at several concerts throughout the year, including the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) State Large Group Festival. NOTE – when considering enrollment numbers for 2019-2020, Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band may be combined into one ensemble.
At the end of the marching season (late October/early November), the Marching Band splits into two upper-level concert bands in order to accommodate all students of varying ability and interest levels. Symphonic Band prepares intermediate to advanced literature and performs at several concerts throughout the year, including KSHSAA State Large Group Festival. NOTE – when considering enrollment numbers for 2019-2020, Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble may be combined into one ensemble.
Concert Band is a non-auditioned and non-marching performing ensemble open to all students grade 9-12. Concert Band prepares intermediate literature and has a strong focus on music fundamentals. Concert Band performs at several concerts throughout the year, including an adjudicated festival in the spring. It is the goal of the Olathe West Band that all members of the Concert Band will continue in Marching Band the following year.
Jazz Band rehearses during one hour of the school day. Students in the jazz band will prepare a variety of jazz literature including combo charts, modern arrangements, and jazz standards. Jazz Band performs frequently throughout the year and performs at several Jazz Festivals. Students must be enrolled in Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and/or Concert Band to enroll in Jazz Band.
The Olathe West Pep Band performs at all Girls & Boys Varsity Basketball home games. This is a volunteer ensemble where ALL band members are welcome. Put your game-face on, come play some great tunes, earn lettering points toward your varsity letter, and cheer loud for the Owls!
Band students have the opportunity to participate in the Pit Orchestra, which performs the instrumental music for the musical. Each year’s musical requires different instrumentation, but normally, every instrument family may participate in some capacity. Students will be selected on the basis of grade-level, musicianship and music ability, schedule availability, teachability, and professionalism.
On top of all of the other available musical options listed previously in the handbook, students have the opportunity to participate in the KSHSAA Solo & Small Ensemble Festivals each year. Students who earn an “I - Outstanding” rating at the Regional Festival will move on to perform in the State Festival. This is a great way to prepare solo literature or work on musical goals with your friends.
All band students from Olathe West are encouraged to audition for Honor Bands such as the John Phillip Sousa Honor Band, East Central Kansas Music Educator’s Association (ECKMEA) District Band, Kansas Music Educator’s Association (KMEA) All-State Band, Music for All (MFA) Honor Bands, and many more. Please communicate with Ms. Lowman and/or Mr. Wickersham for more inform