The Germantown High School Varsity Band is the top performing ensemble at Germantown High School. Admission to the Varsity Band is by audition only. Any new student interested in performing in the Varsity Band needs to review the audition requirements and set up an audition time with the Band Director. The audition will cover basic skills that each musician should have to perform at the Varsity level.
Varsity Band begins during the summer months with "rookie camp". After successfully passing the audition each new student must attend a week long training camp during the summer to acquaint them with music fundamentals, marching terminology, and other aspects of the Varsity program. After "rookie camp" the students progress to the Varsity Band Camp. Both camps are mandatory for all new Varsity members. All Varsity Band members pay a band fee that covers the cost of camp instruction, music, drill writing, copying, bus transportation, uniforms, instruments, and equipment purchases not covered by Shelby County Schools. This fee is due by the end of Varsity Band Camp.
Once regular classes begin the Varsity Band has after school marching rehearsals on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 2:45 - 400pm every week. These rehearsals continue until the end of the marching competition season. All students in the Varsity Band and Color Guard must attend these rehearsals and they must provide their own transportation to and from the rehearsal site. The Varsity Band usually attends three marching competitions during the season. These are on Saturday and usually within 100 miles of Germantown. The Varsity Band travels on buses to all away football games, parades, and marching competitions. There are 10 regular season and 5 possible playoff games where the Varsity Band is required to perform. The Band also participates in the Germantown Christmas Parade usually the second Saturday in December.
During the spring semester the Varsity Band functions as a concert band. The Varsity Band performs a Holiday Concert in December, a Winter Concert in February, and a Spring Concert in May. The Germantown High School Jazz Band also begins rehearsals in January and these students are selected by audition from the Varsity Band. The Jazz Band rehearses on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30 - 4:00pm. All Varsity Band members have the opportunity to audition for All- West Tennessee Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra. These are honor groups that perform All-Star concerts during January and February.
All Varsity Band students perform at the West Tennessee Solo and Ensemble festival. Each student must perform one solo and one ensemble as part of their nine weeks grade. There is a $5.00 fee for each event and the students are assigned a performance time. They must provide their own transportation and attendance is mandatory.
The Varsity Band takes a major trip in even numbered years and students have the opportunity to earn money credit to defray costs by working on numerous fund raising activities held each fall. Each student has an I.S.A. (Individual Student Account) that builds credit as the year progresses, if the student participates in the fund raising activities. Those who choose not to participate will be responsible for all expenses during trip years.
The orchestra for the spring musical is chosen from Varsity Band members and those who wish to perform must attend all orchestra rehearsals. Past shows have included South Pacific, Oklahoma, Pippin, Showboat, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ragtime, Beauty and the Beast, and Curtains. Students in the orchestra will perform for "sold out" audiences and have the opportunity to experience the Broadway Musical at it's fullest.
The Germantown High School Fine Arts Department has an awards banquet for all arts students in May. Awards and scholarships are presented to deserving students and all Varsity Band members are urged to attend. The final performance of the year for the Varsity Band is graduation. All members (except seniors) are required to perform at the Coliseum sometime in May.
This has been a brief outline of the Varsity Band experience. I hope it answered any questions that you had concerning the Varsity Band's activities for the 2009-2010 school year. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the Band Program at Germantown High School.
Lanny Byrd, Director GHS Bands
(901)-754-8380 12 noon - 2 p.m. Monday - Friday
Click here to visit the Germantown Band webpage.