Here at De La Salle, we offer a number of music programs to our students - ranging from music theory and choir to instrumental music and band opportunities. Each program allows musicians and singers alike to dive deeply into their work to improve and expand upon their individual musical skills, as well as function successfully as a member of an ensemble. Our students apply their acquired skills in performance situations outside of the rehearsal environment via various school concert performances as well as attendance at festivals and competitions throughout the Bay Area and the country at large.
We have two band opportunities at De La Salle: our yearlong Band course, which is split between marching band and concert band, and our Jazz Band course.
Our Band course begins with a marching band curriculum. This outdoor instrumental group performs at football games, school rallies, and local parades throughout the fall semester. It then transitions to concert band once the marching season has concluded.
Band coursework continues with concert band; an indoor instrumental ensemble that studies and performs both traditional and contemporary music. Performances take place at school, as well as at various festivals throughout the Bay Area. The fundamentals taught in concert band are the foundation upon which our students become musicians. Music theory, music history, musicianship, and listening skills are learned in the study and performance of wind band music.
Our other course offering is Jazz Band. Participation is by audition only. It is a smaller instrumental ensemble that studies and performs traditional and contemporary jazz music written for “big band.” If admitted into Jazz Band, students must also be concurrently enrolled in our Band course (except if you play bass, piano, or guitar).
Our instrumental music course introduces the traditional instruments of Band as well as the basics of harmony, rhythm, and analysis. Students study the art of reading and interpreting music notation, perform music independently and with others, evaluate music by using critical thinking and listening skills, and participate in the community's cultural life through involvement in school and local music opportunities.
Through a partnership with our colleagues at Carondelet High School, we offer our students three different choir opportunities.
Both Chamber and Concert Choir are available to our sophomores, juniors, and seniors and provide opportunities to further advance their vocal and musical skills, knowledge, and expression through the study of collegiate-level choral literature. There is a rigorous performance schedule that includes on-campus events like concerts and liturgies, as well as an opportunity to travel and compete at a national level.
Conversely, Chorus is the fundamental starting point for all of our students. In this class, students learn the fundamentals of singing and develop the adolescent voice into a healthy musical instrument. We learn the basics of "how to" sing (Two and Three-part choral music), how to read music, and how to write music by ear using musical notation. By the end of the course, students will have increased range, breath support, and confidence in singing as both an individual and as a member of a choral ensemble.
Music Theory is designed to provide students with the skills needed to read and write music notation, as well as to understand, analyze, and listen in an informed way. The course covers pitches, scales, intervals, clefs, rhythm, form, meter, phrases, ear training, harmony, and basic composition techniques. It is useful to experienced musicians with or without music notation skills who wish to improve overall musicianship. However, no previous musical experience is necessary.