Bands / Grading / Media
The Wheeling High School Band Program consists of the following bands.
Click on the name of the band to get more information:
Wind Symphony is the premiere auditioned concert ensemble at Wheeling High School. It is open to all grade levels (9-12) and meets daily during the school day. Students involved in this group are strongly encouraged to take private lessons, where there is scholarship money for those students who need assistance. Presently, 100% of Wind Symphony studies privately. The ensemble has worked and continues to work with notable guest conductors including Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Professor James Keene, Dr. Charles Menghini, Dr. Linda Moorhouse, Dr. Robert Rumbelow, and many more. This ensemble performs the finest literature available for high school and college level bands and does so at an extremely high level. This group has periodic rehearsals outside the school day as well as sectionals. The Wind Symphony has gained national acclaim through exemplary performances at many festivals including numerous Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival appearances and three performances at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival, including 2012. Also in 2012, the Wind Symphony was selected as winner in DownBeat’s Best Symphonic Band Category in the magazines Annual Student Music Awards.
The Symphony Band is the second of two concert ensembles at Wheeling High School. It is open to all grades levels and meets daily during the school day. Private lessons are encouraged and there is scholarship money available to those students who are interested. This ensemble performs at all school concerts and has also performed at various festivals including the VanderCook College of Music BandFest and the Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival. The Symphony Band performs quality literature for developing high school bands. The band works annually with many fine guest conductors. The Symphony Band prepares students for the Wind Symphony and provides an outstanding musical experience in the process.
The Jazz Band I is the premiere jazz ensemble at Wheeling High School. It is open to all grade levels and meets twice before school and one evening per week. Private lessons are strongly encouraged to develop both stylistic and improvisational skills. For students who need assistance, there is lesson scholarship money available. The ensemble has performed with world-class guest artists such as Mark Colby, Peter Erskine, Rob Parton, Terell Stafford, and many others. The group performs numerous charts every year from a variety of professional big band libraries and has also commissioned several works by notable jazz composers and arrangers. The Jazz Band I has performed internationally at the Chicago, Umbria, and Montreux Jazz Festivals and the twice at the Midwest Clinic. The band played at the National School Board Association in 2009, opening for Wynton Marsalis. They are also multiple Grand Champions of the Northshore Jazz Festival and the Jazz in the Meadows Festival. The Jazz Band 1 has released numerous compact discs to critical acclaim. They were also selected as the 2011 and 2010 National Winner in the Mark of Excellence Jazz Honors Project.
The Jazz Band II is the second of two jazz ensembles at Wheeling High School. It is open to all grades levels and meets twice a week, once before school and one evening. Students are encouraged to study privately to improve both their ensemble playing and their improvisational skills. Scholarship money is available for interested students who need assistance. The Jazz Band II performs outstanding original compositions for a developing jazz ensemble as well as world-class arrangements of jazz standards. The group has performed with numerous guest artists including Art Davis, Tom Garling, Tim Coffman, and many others. The Jazz Band II serves as an extremely rewarding musical experience while also preparing those interested students for Jazz Band I.
The “Wildcat” Marching Band is open to all students in the Wheeling High School Band Program. Students who are interested in being in the Wind Symphony and Jazz Band I are required to be a member of the “Wildcat Marching Band”. This group starts rehearsals in the summer as they prepare for July Fourth Parades and the Field Show Season. When school begins this group meets during day as well as; one evening rehearsal for the full band, a weekly drumline practice, and a weekly color guard practice. The “Wildcat Marching Band” performs at numerous parades, all home football games, and approximately four competitions annually, including the Chicagoland Marching Band Festival, hosted by our Wheeling High School Band Program. The “Wildcat Marching Band” has won numerous Caption Awards, First Place Awards and Grand Champion Awards across the state of Illinois at numerous competitions over the past decade.