The USD #116 Music Program is available to all students 5th through 12th grade and has a number of different opportunities interested students can join. A brief description of the groups are listed below by grade-level.
5th grade students across the District have the opportunity to learn to play a band or string instrument. Students are given 30 minute group lessons twice a week at their elementary school. This is a "pull-out" program which means that students are pulled from their regular class in order to have their lessons.
Students who sign up for band are given the opportunity to learn to play the flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone. Students occasionally start on other instruments, but this is at the discretion of band teacher.
Students who sign up for strings are given the opportunity to learn to play the violin, viola, or cello.
Students in these programs will have three concerts throughout the year where they will meet as a group of all 5th grade students from the district in band and strings (All-City Concerts).
UMS has multiple musical ensemble opportunities for students. There is a 6th Grade Band, Choir, and Orchestra. There is also another opportunity to begin playing an instrument in the Beginning 6th Grade Band or Strings Classes. There is a 7th Grade Band, Choir, and Orchestra. Again, at the 7th grade level, there is another opportunity to being playing an instrument in the Beginning 7th Grade Band or Strings Classes. There is an 8th Grade Band, Choir, and Orchestra.
In addition to these ensembles that meet during the school day, there is a Concert Band, Concert Choir, Concert Orchestra, and Jazz Band that meet before school. These ensembles are an enrichment opportunity for students who are excelling in their daily ensembles. These groups are selected by audition and/or invitation.
There is also a Music Workshop class for 6th grade students. These classes meet for 9 weeks as part of the Exploratory Rotation.
There are multiple musical ensemble opportunities for UHS students as well. There are two concert bands at UHS: Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony. Both groups enroll students from all grade levels, but the Wind Symphony is an auditioned group. These two bands also make up the Pep Bands that perform at home basketball games. There is also a marching band at UHS. The Tiger Marching Band begins its season with band camp which takes place in the summer, before the school year starts. This group performs at home football games, parades, and competitions during the fall. Marching band meets during the first quarter of the year and fulfills the PE requirement for enrolled students.
There are two orchestras at UHS: Symphonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Both groups enroll students from all grade levels, but the Chamber Orchestra is an auditioned group.
There are three choirs at UHS: Urbana Singers, Concert Choir, and Honors Choir. Urbana Singers is for all freshmen or students who are new to the choir program. Concert Choir and Honors Choir enroll students from grades 10-12, but the Honors Choir is an auditioned group.
In addition to these ensembles that meet during the school day, there are two A Cappella vocal groups, a Jazz Band, and a Jazz Combo. These ensembles are an enrichment opportunity for students who are excelling in their daily ensembles. These groups are selected by audition and/or invitation.
The Evelyn Burnett Instrumental Assistant Program
The Eveyln Burnett (EBU) Instrumental Assistance Program began 20 years ago to provide musical instruments to low income and minority students desiring to participate in the instrumental music programs in the Urbana schools. Student requirements include a desire to learn, an agreement to meet the expectations of the class, and a financial need. Over the past 20 years the EBU program has provided instruments for 1,060 students who otherwise would not have been able to participate in the instrumental music classes. For the 2014-2015 school year, the program assisted 183 students. Participants included elementary through high school students.