The Mukwonago High School Band Program prides itself on providing a comprehensive instrumental music education.
The Concert Bands are the heart of the MHS Band Program. These ensembles both develop young musicians, and challenge the more experienced players. There is a place for every student within one of these two ensembles.
Open to 9th-12th grade students, Wind Ensemble performs at the highest level. Students in this course are passionate about music and have both exceptional musical skills and a dedicated work ethic. This is an auditioned band and students are only accepted through this process. Daily practice and additional work outside of class is an expectation of this ensemble. Wind Ensemble is regularly involved in the comisioning and premiering of new works. Winds and Percussion rehearse together in this course. All curricular requirements (concerts, pep bands, etc.) apply to this ensemble.
Similar to: AP courses, Varsity teams
Open to 9th-12th grade students, Symphonic Band is our mid-level ensemble that serves those students with a high interest in performance and in developing their musical skills. This is an auditioned band, although students can be placed in this ensemble (if needed) to fill out instrumentation. Students in this ensemble are expected to practice outside of class. Winds and Percussion rehearse together in this course. All curricular requirements (concerts, pep bands, etc.) apply to this ensemble.
Similar to: honors classes, JV1 teams
Concert Winds & Concert Percussion (New in 2020-2021)
Open to 9th-12th grade students, Concert Winds and Concert Percussion is designed as an introductory ensemble that prepares students with in interest in music for the rigors of high school band. This is a non-auditioned ensemble and all students who do not audition will be placed in this course. To provide students with the very best instruction, winds (woodwinds and brass) and percussion rehearse as two separate classes - just like our 7th grade band program. All curricular requirements (concerts, pep bands, etc.) apply to this ensemble.
Similar to: non-honors classes, JV2 teams
The Jazz program at MHS consists of both curricular and extra-curricular ensembles. This provides students with the opportunity to experience jazz at a variety of levels based on their interest and skill level.
Jazz Ensemble I
The flagship ensemble in our Jazz Program, Jazz Ensemble I performs largely in the combo setting. This allows students to delve fully into the art of improvisation - the true language of jazz music. This ensemble regularly performs in smaller venues across Mukwonago including at Midnight Magic and for small private events. Jazz Ensemble I is an auditioned ensemble, with auditions typically taking place in January. These students participate in Pep Band, lessons with the director and may have opportunities to travel.
Jazz Ensemble II
This ensemble provides a more foundational approach to jazz for those still developing their skills in this genre. It also provides a jazz experience for those students who also enjoy performing as members of our concert band, but cannot fit Jazz Ensemble I as a class in their schedule. Although open to students of a wider skill level, this is still an auditioned ensemble with auditions taking place in early Fall. Students must be enrolled in a band at MHS to participate in Jazz Ensemble II (exception: bassists enrolled in Orchestra/consent of the instructor). It is recommended that students have prior experience performing in the PVMS Jazz Ensemble.
The Marching & Athletic Arts
MHS offers two unique marching experiences to students: the fall Marching Band and Blue2 Indoor - our winter Percussion and Colorguard ensembles. The focus of these ensembles are
A competitive, travelling ensemble, Marching Band is a curricular ensemble that meets after school and on weekends. Students perform across Southeastern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and Minnesota as a part of their competition schedule. Students can participate in one of three sections: Winds, Percussion and Guard. This ensemble is open to students in grades 8-12 and is non-auditioned, although students must have consent of the instructor to join. Please check out our Marching Band page for more information on this ensemble.
Blue2 Indoor Percussion & Winterguard
Designed to complement our fall program, Blue2 Indoor focuses on the niche sections of the marching band: percussion and colorguard. These two ensembles both prepare younger students for the rigor of the marching arts while further developing and expanding the skills of experienced marchers. Open to students in 5th-12th grade, there is a placement audition in mid-October to ensure the success of every member throughout the season. Blue2 is an extra-curricular ensemble that meets Wednesday evenings and Saturdays during the day throughout the winter/early Spring.
Blue2 Indoor Percussion & Winterguard
This ensemble is a part of our concert band, marching band and jazz ensemble curriculum. Students regularly develop their skills as musicians in their regular class work and then apply these skills to high energy performances at MHS athletic events. The Pep Band performs at Home Football Games, Home Friday Night Basketball Games and select Wrestling Meets. There is an option to travel with our teams if they advance on to sectional/state play.