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The Arts

Music

From the beautiful vocal nuances of the Honors Chorus to the soulful sounds of the Jazz Ensemble, music thrives at Bishop Guertin. With six large performing groups, including a string orchestra, students are exposed to a wide variety of styles and genres and are encouraged to participate in multiple ensembles. 

 

Performing not only for our school community but for the community at large, our student-musicians can be found playing at athletic events, parades, charitable events, music festivals, and other schools. As a whole, the Music Department combines to offer more than 40 performances, both formal and informal, throughout each school year. In addition to performances with BG ensembles, our musicians have participated in the Clark Terry/UNH Jazz Festival and the UMass Amherst Honor Bands as well as the NHMEA All-State Festival, Jazz All-State Festival, Solo and Ensemble Festival, and Large Group Festival. Students have also performed with the NAfME All-National Ensembles.

 

For the non-performer, BG offers various elective classes, including the basics of music theory, the history of popular music and music technology.

Music Curriculum

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Band (951 and 953)                                                                                             

Grade 9 – 12       

½ year or full year      

0.5 credit or 1 credit

Musical interpretation, reading proficiency, instrumental technique, and ensemble playing are the basic concepts covered in this performance-based ensemble. Musicians perform in both the Concert Band as well as the Cardinal Marching Band. This course has several outside of school commitments, including fall football games, fall and spring parades, community-based performances, and traditional concert performances. Instrumental experience is required. Students are able and strongly encouraged to repeat this course for credit. Private instruction is also recommended. Enrollment for the year is preferred.

 

Band Honors (952)                                                                            

Grade 10 – 12

Full year

1 credit

Students enrolled in Band Honors must fulfill quarterly responsibilities in addition to those prescribed in the Band course. These responsibilities may include performing individually and/  or in chamber groups at various school and community functions as well as attending approved outside of school performances. Private instruction is strongly encouraged. Band Honors is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only. Those not currently enrolled in Band Honors must maintain an A- in Band for eligibility. Those currently enrolled in Band Honors must maintain a B average for the year in order to be eligible for the following school year. This course is only available to students who are enrolled in Band for the full year.

 

Jazz Ensemble (995)                                                                          

Grade 9 – 12 Full year

0.5 credit

Prerequisite: Approval of the band director

This performance-based ensemble rehearses at least twice a week after school. Studies are devoted to popular music of American heritage, ranging from early swing, blues, and ballads to contemporary works found in the jazz-rock idiom. Interpretation, style, and ensemble playing are emphasized. Participation in concerts or other performances is mandatory.

 

Orchestra (980 and 981)                                                                                    

Grade 9 – 12       

½ year or full year      

0.5 credit or 1 credit

Musical interpretation, reading proficiency, instrumental technique, and ensemble playing are  the basic concepts covered in this performance-based ensemble. Performances will include the Christmas Concert, Pops Concert, and state or regional festivals. Instrumental experience on violin, viola, cello, or double bass is required. Students are strongly encouraged to repeat this course for credit. Enrollment for the year is preferred.

 

Orchestra Honors (982)                                                                   

Grade 10 – 12

Full year

1 credit

Prerequisite: A- in Orchestra

Students enrolled in Orchestra Honors must fulfill quarterly responsibilities in addition to those prescribed in the Orchestra course. These responsibilities will include performing individually and/or in chamber groups at various school and community functions, assuming leadership roles during rehearsals, and attending approved outside of school performances. Private instruction is strongly encouraged.

 

Introduction to Guitar (973)                                                         

Grade 9 – 12      

½ year        

0.5 credit

Intended for beginners, this course will introduce students to the basics of proper playing position, pick use, left hand technique, music notation, chords, and finger-style techniques. Students will also learn basic ensemble skills in preparation for public performances. Class will be taught on acoustic guitar, but the skills covered will provide a foundation for playing any type of guitar.

 

Introduction to Singing (963)                                                       

Grade 9 – 12   

½ year   

0.5 credit

This course is intended to introduce students to basic vocal technique, choral blend, and various music styles. Students will learn the rudiments of music notation and theory, music history, and ear-training.

 

Girls’ Choir Honors (966)                                                               

Grade 9 – 12

Full year

1 credit

Prerequisite: Interview/audition and chorus director approval

The Bishop Guertin Girls’ Choir is designed to enhance the vocal production and ability of female singers by developing a clear vocal tone for a choral setting and balance within three or more parts. This group will perform music of all genres from early music to contemporary a cappella. Students will join the Boys’ Choir for combined mixed performances as well as solo opportunities. A service component is compulsory to fulfill the honors requirement in this course.

 

Boys’ Choir Honors (969)                                                               

Grade 9 – 12

Full year

1 credit

Prerequisite: Interview/audition and chorus director approval

The Bishop Guertin Boys’ Choir is designed to enhance the vocal production and ability of male singers by developing a clear vocal tone for a choral setting and balance within three or more parts. This group will perform music of all genres from early music to contemporary a cappella. Students will join the Girls’ Choir for combined mixed performances as well as solo opportunities. A service component is compulsory to fulfill the honors requirement in this course.

 

Monday Night Chorus (970)                                                          

Grades 9 – 12

Full year

0.5 credit

Prerequisite: Approval of the chorus director

This performance-based choral group rehearses every Monday night for the full academic year. This is open to students who cannot fit Honors Chorus into their schedule and would like the opportunity to perform with Chorus at their annual concerts. Participation in concerts or other performances is mandatory. This group is open to boys and girls. Students in Monday Night Chorus will be considered full members of the choral program and are entitled to all opportunities/performances.

 

Introduction to Music (913)                                                           

Grade 9 – 12

½ year

0.5 credit

Students in this course will learn fundamental concepts in music, including how to listen critically to a piece of music. An exploration of music’s role in today’s society will be followed by a thorough investigation into the musical elements. Students will analyze songs, using various elements to ascertain a deeper meaning, before studying music in myriad of media. This course includes many listening and writing assignments.

 

Intro to Music Technology (972)                                                   

Grade 10 – 12

½ year

0.5 credit

Introduction to Music Technology is open to all students, however, high interest in and knowledge of instrumental and/or vocal music is integral to success in this class. The purpose of this course is to build students’ musical awareness through technology-based experiences. Students will develop musicianship in a 21st century environment by completing projects utilizing critical response, reading and notation, improvisation, and composition, as well as some singing and instrumental performance.

 

History of American Popular Music (971)                               

Grade 10 – 12

½ year

0.5 credit

Students in this course will explore the evolution of popular music in America, beginning with the development of jazz, the transition to rock and roll, and finally the far-reaching genre of pop music. Students will be able to identify important pieces of music, artists, composers, and industry figures, as well as the significance of each to the continued evolution of this important American art form.

 

Music Theory (965)                                                                            

Grade 10 – 12

½ year

0.5 credit

Students in this course will learn fundamental concepts and techniques related to music theory. Specific concepts include pitch and rhythmic notation, intervals, scales, major and minor keys, triads, seventh chords, and voice leading. Instrumental or vocal experience and the ability to read basic music notation are highly recommended. This course includes daily homework assignments.

 

Applied Topics in Music Honors (967)                                      

Grade 11 – 12      

½ year     

0.5 credit

Prerequisite: Music Theory, concurrent enrollment in a music ensemble, music teacher recommendation, and department chair approval

This course is designed for advanced music students. Students enrolled in this course will have the opportunity to explore more challenging musical concepts. Topics may include: performing as a soloist, working with an accompanist, performing in a chamber ensemble, advanced music theory, analysis, conducting, score study, ear training, as well as music history and literature. Students should have prior instrumental or vocal performance experience and understand the basics of pitch and rhythmic notation.

 

AP Music Theory (968)                                                                    

Grade 11 – 12     

Full year      

1 credit

Prerequisite: Music Theory, concurrent enrollment in a music ensemble, music teacher recommendation, and department chair approval

An intense and extended study of advanced music theory concepts, this course follows a rigorous curriculum with specific requirements set forth by the College Board. This course is only for those students serious about music who may potentially be interested in studying music in college. Students will encounter functional harmony, modulation, form, and phrase structure and will expand their aural skills through ear training and sight-singing. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May.

Watch the Cardinal Marching Band Perform Live on TV

Hear our Girls Honors Chorus Perform

Boys and Girls Honors Chorus Sing Over Zoom