The White Oak Middle School Band includes grade levels 6th through 8th. The program is divided into three main divisions: 6th Grade Beginner Band, 7th Grade Band, and the 8th Grade Band.
7th & 8th Grade Band
The Middle School Band meets as two bands during 3rd and 7th Periods resp. These bands are unique because they start to expose the students to the actions and perks of the High School Band. The band plays at home football games (8th Grade Game only) and performs at peprallies. The band also has Flags and Majorettes. Membership in the twirling groups are by tryouts only.
After football season the band switches into Concert Mode, getting ready for the Christmas Concert. In the Spring Semester, the band practices and prepares for the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest. This is a two part contest. In the first part, the band prepares three pieces and performs them for three judges. The band will receive a Division Rating from 1 to 5. 1 being Superior and 5 being very bad. In the second part, the band goes into a room where they have 7 minutes to silently look at a brand new piece of music. During this time, the band CANNOT perform the piece or practice the piece. They can make no sounds whatsoever. After the 7 minute period, the band performs it for three judges. As stated previously, they receive a Division Rating from 1 to 5. The scoring is based on a “2 out of 3” scoring procedure. If the band receives a 1st Division from two judges in the concert part and a 1st Division from two judges in the Sightreading part, they will receive the title of a “Sweepstakes Band”. This is the highest honor given by the UIL to band programs.
6th Grade Band
This band is made up of beginners. We start them off and teach them to play the instruments assigned, and then prepare them for concerts and a contest. Instrument choice is determined by the student. However, we can’t have an entire group of one particular instrument. So, in some cases, they will not get their first choice, but will have to move to their second choice.
Example: Most kids want to play the drums. Well, we can’t have 50 percussionists because that will over balance the band. We will test them out and the top numbers will be allowed to choose the drums. Usually we will take between 8-10. Those that tried out on drums as their first choice, but didn’t make it, will have to select another instrument.
Selecting an instrument is a very critical time. Once that student selects what they want to play, then that’s it. It is VERY difficult to switch to another instrument in later years.
COLLEGE!!!! Parents, colleges pay big money for students to be a part of their band! It does not matter if they are a music major, or a Pre MED Major, or a Business Major. They will give scholarships to anyone that can play a horn. Why am I saying all of this? Because choices that are made by students, either instrument selection or staying in band all the way through High School, determines whether or not this would be an option. We can guarantee that any band student that graduates as a member of the band can be 100% assured of a college scholarship. This is vastly different from other school programs where the percentage is around 1-2%. Kids don’t think down the road. Their decision making skills are limited to the Here and Now. Please encourage your student to STAY IN ALL THE WAY! Whether they want the option of a college scholarship or not, at least it would be available.