Vista Heights Middle School has a full and diverse band program, ranging from our beginning bands to percussion to jazz to our advanced bands. See the descriptions below to know more about the VHMS Band program and where it is headed! As in any good Middle School Band program, the primary focus for the students is to have fun and to be part of a 6-year Band experience. Mr. Lemen is working hard with Mr. Mangelson at Westlake High School to ensure that VHMS Band students are prepared to contribute to the Westlake High School Band when they arrive!
The Concert Band is our intermediate level band. It is made up of primarily 8th graders, and many of the advanced level 7th graders are added for the second semester. The band performs at District Festival and all band concerts. The Concert Band is a transitional group to prepare students for participation in the Wind Symphony.
The Beginning Band is Vista Height”s entry level band program. Consisting of nearly 150 students, the beginning band is separated into three families: Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion. Each class will consist of approximately 30-70 students. The Beginning Band will perform at all major concerts. Beginning Band is made up primarily of 7th graders, but 8th graders are welcomed to learn a new instrument as well! The primary purpose of the Beginning Band is to prepare students for participation in the advanced bands, and eventually for participation in the High School Band program.
The Vista Heights Percussion program is an exciting part of the band program. The percussion program is a full percussion curriculum. Students learn to play snare drum, mallets, timpani and auxiliary percussion. In all, students will learn to play 26 different instruments in their first year. Due to the high level of performance skill needed to be an accomplished percussionist, admittance into the percussion program is by audition only. Please see Mr. Lemen for details. The percussion classes perform with the bands and on their own for all major concerts. Additionally, the Advanced Percussion class performs with the Wind Symphony and Concert Band for all festivals and other performances. Finally, the percussion class will be performing at both the district festival and the Percussive Arts Society State Festival.
The Vista Heights Jazz Band is one of the primary ambassadors for the school. The Jazz Band is by audition only…see Mr. Lemen for details. The Jazz Band performs at all major concerts, District Festival, School Assemblies, Evening Programs, Boys and Girls Basketball games, and anywhere else that they are asked to perform. While the Jazz Band consists primarily of the instrumentation that is typical in the big band setting (trombones, trumpets, saxes and rhythm section), Mr. Lemen would welcome any students that play other instruments that would like to participate. The Jazz Band rehearses before school.