Our Bands and Ensembles
How do I join an ensemble?
Step 1. Figure out which ensemble(s) you want to join.
Symphonic Band: An auditioned group of advanced musicians that play wind and/or percussion instruments. This ensemble rehearses during the school day, performs at seasonal concerts, and competes at festivals in the spring. Students that want to join this ensemble must either be recommended by their previous band director, or audition with Mr. Simantel.
Concert Band: A group of intermediate musicians that play wind and/or percussion instruments. This ensemble rehearses during the school day, and performs at seasonal concerts. Students that want to join this ensemble must be able to read music fluently, and it is recommended they have at least one year of experience in a similar ensemble.
Jazz Band: A group of intermediate musicians that play trumpet, saxophone, trombone, bass guitar, electric guitar, piano, or drums. This ensemble is a class that students get credit for, but it meets after school hours on Mon/Wed/Thur/Fri from 2:45 - 3:30. Students that want to join this ensemble must be able to read music fluently.
Marching Ensemble: A group of students that play a wind or percussion instrument or perform in the color guard. This ensemble rehearses outside of school hours and performs at football games and competitions. The Marching season runs from mid August to early November. Anyone who is willing to do their best is welcome to join this ensemble, regardless of previous experience. However, it is recommended that prospective members have at least one year of either dance OR music under their belt.
Pep Band: Members of the above ensembles are automatically members of the Pep Band, which plays at sporting events, pep assemblies, and other events throughout the school year. Students interested in this ensemble should join one of the above ensembles.
Marching Percussion: Marching percussion is a performance ensemble that makes music solely on percussion instruments. They perform in the fall with the marching ensemble and in the winter as an independent indoor group. Students that want to join this ensemble must be able to read music fluently, and it is recommended they have at least one year of experience on an instrument.
Color Guard: The Color Guard is an advanced performance ensemble that uses flags, mock rifles and sabres, movement, and dance, to interpret the music that the marching band is playing during a show. They perform from August to October with the marching ensemble at football games and marching competitions. From November to April, the winter performs visual routines set to recorded music as an independent indoor group. Most members have little dance or spinning experience, so we start training at a very basic level. Anyone is welcome to join.
Step 2. Reach out to Mr. Simantel, either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the BHS band room (room 175). You can ask questions and get more information to see which ensembles might be the best fit for you.
Step 3. If it's a class, talk to your counselor to get it put on your schedule. If it's an activity, ask Mr. Simantel when and where it meets and we'll go from there.
If none of the ensembles sound like a good fit, or if you just want more music in your life, consider one or both of these alternative music classes:
Instrumental Music Studio: A group of beginning or near beginning musicians who want to learn the fundamentals of music. This class allows students to learn beginning music theory and literacy, as well as beginning technique on a variety of instruments including guitar, piano, ukulele, and percussion.
Music Production: A group of musicians and music makers of all levels and abilities. This class allows students to create, arrange and perform music by applying basic techniques used in music production software. Students will analyze compositions for musical elements and learn the rudiments of multiple acoustic instruments, and transfer those elements and skills into their own compositions using the GarageBand composition software.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
What does 'BHSBE' stand for?
- BHSBE stands for Beaverton High School Bands and Ensembles. We are more than just a 'band'. We are a percussion ensemble, a color guard ensemble, and several different kinds of bands.
Do I need to have my own instrument/equipment?
- If you are not able to provide your own, BHSBE has some you can borrow for the school year. Reach out to Mr. Simantel and he can provide you with an instrument rental form. Once it's signed and returned, you'll be able to take your instrument home with you. Just remember to clean it!
Are there any fees I have to pay to join one of the ensembles?
- Being a part of one of the ensembles will require the payment of an $85 activity fee to Beaverton High School. In the past, this activity fee has been covered by the Success Fund. You only need to pay this fee once if you join multiple ensembles.
- Being a part of the Marching Ensemble, Color Guard, or Marching Percussion will have additional fees on top of the $85 activity fee. These fees vary depending on how many students we have but range from $300 - $400 per student. These fees go to the Beaverton HS Band Boosters to help supplement the cost of these activities.
I'm not a BHS student, can I still join one of the ensembles that meets outside of regular school hours?
- Yes, but only if your home school doesn't offer that ensemble. For example, if you attend BASE and want to take part in a jazz band, you can join us for our jazz band since it meets outside of regular school hours. If you attend ACMA and want to be a part of a marching ensemble, you can join us (assuming ACMA doesn't offer a marching ensemble).
What are my obligations when I join one of the ensembles listed above?
- Jazz Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band all meet as a class. You are graded, and as part of your grade you are expected to participate in all performances and rehearsals. That includes Pep Band performances. Typically we attend 4 home varsity football games, and 6-8 varsity basketball games throughout the year.
- If you join one of the other ensembles (color guard, marching percussion, or marching ensemble) you are not graded because it is an after school activity. However, you are still expected to attend pep events, as you are part of the pep band. These ensembles typically have some kind of pre-season camp to get prepared for the competitive season. Marching ensemble has band camp in august, for guard and percussions winter season there is usually a camp sometime around winter break. These rehearsals are mandatory.
- In any ensemble, missing a performance is absolutely unacceptable.
I want to be a part of the band, but I'm also on a sports team that conflicts with a lot of the events.
- If you are part of another activity that conflicts with band events, that doesn't mean band is out of the picture for you. We can be flexible and understanding and work with your coach and you to figure out what works best without impacting your grade. In general, a performance/game trumps a rehearsal/practice. If you have a practice on the night that we have one of our concerts, you'll have to miss that practice. However, if you have a game or a meet that conflicts with one of our rehearsals, you should attend the game instead of the rehearsal.
Does BHSBE ever go on any trips?
Different ensembles go on different trips. Marching ensemble, color guard, and winter percussion regularly perform at competitions during their seasons. Symphonic Band goes to festivals in the spring, and the pep band occasionally attends pep events outside of BHS such as championships games or parades. Every so often one or more of the ensembles will take a big trip for a whole weekend. This April 2023 we'll be taking our symphonic band to Seattle for a heritage festival. In the future we're hoping to take one or more ensembles to Disney Land.