The Heart of West Aurora High School Department of Bands
The West Aurora High School Department of Bands offers seven different concert ensemble courses. They are the Red Freshman Band, Blue Freshman Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, Wind Ensemble, and Wind Symphony. These ensembles meet throughout the school year and perform a concert each quarter.
Ensembles open to students in grades 10-12:
The Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Rodney Schueller, is the top concert ensemble with admission by audition only. The Wind Symphony performs the finest repertoire for wind band including both contemporary and classic works, as well as transcriptions and marches. This ensemble has a long and rich history of performance excellence and honors credit is available. The ensemble rehearses every day during 5th hour with a weekly rehearsal on Thursday nights (7:00-9:00 p.m.) after the conclusion of the marching band season.
The Wind Ensemble is the second band at West High School and is conducted by Ms. Patty Sampson. Admission into the Wind Ensemble is by audition only and the ensemble rehearses every day during 6th hour. This wind band’s programs feature challenging and varied literature in preparation for two performances each semester.
The Symphonic Winds, conducted by Mr. John Sierakowski, is the third band at West High School with placement by audition only. This ensemble rehearses each day during 8th hour and is devoted to the study and performance of important wind band literature while continuing work in the development of instrumental craft.
The Symphonic Band rehearses each day during 4th hour and is conducted by Mr. John Sierakowski. With a dual focus of improving performance fundamentals as well as literature preparation, the Symphonic Band performs a wide variety of music, mostly consisting of grade 2 and 3 repertoire.
The Concert Band, conducted by Ms. Patty Sampson, rehearses each day during 3rd hour. Adhering to the principals of music for all, the Concert Band instills performance fundamentals while preparing two performances each semester in a less stressful atmosphere. Further, students with a desire to gain experience on a secondary instrument are encouraged to register for this ensemble. The Concert Band is open to students without an audition as long as they have completed one year of ensemble participation at West High School.
Ensembles open to students in grade 9:
The Freshman Bands are available to all wind and percussion performers in grade 9 and are conducted by Dr. Rodney Schueller. The Red Freshman Band meets during 1st hour and the Blue Freshman Band meets during 2nd hour. Students audition during the first week of school for part and seat placement only, and every effort is made to develop two equal ensembles during the registration process. The Freshman Bands are the youngest performance classes and focus on fundamentals intended to develop and prepare freshman students for upper level performance groups. The size and instrumentation of the Freshman Bands will vary from year to year, depending on the enrollment of the elementary and middle school programs.