Band: Ms. Beatty and Ms. Anderson
At Taft Middle School we have three bands.
The 6th Grade Band begins with six weeks of summer lessons before school starts. When school starts in August, each band student has a small group lesson during the week at school; woodwind and percussion students study with Mrs. Beatty, brass students study with Mrs. Anderson. The large group band rehearses together two or three times per week during the school day, and presents three evening concerts during the year. In the fall, they have the chance to go to the Band Extravaganza at the U of I; and in the spring, they go on a playing tour of the elementary schools. Many sixth graders prepare and perform a solo for City Music Contest in April.
The 7th Grade Band is encouraged to take lessons and participate in our “Westside Summer Band Camp” in June. When school starts in August, they will again have one group lesson per week, rehearse as a band two or three times per week, and give four evening concerts. They have the opportunity to go to the Band Extravaganza at the U of I; and do a playing tour of the elementary schools in the spring. Most seventh graders prepare and perform a solo and/or ensemble for City Music Contest.
The 8th Grade Band is also encouraged to participate in summer lessons and play in the band at “Westside Band Camp”. They will have one small group lesson per week during the school year, they practice two or three times per week as a band at school, and they give four evening concerts during the school year. The 8th Grade Band rehearses and performs a concert each year at UNI, in conjunction with the New Horizons Band. They have the opportunity to attend the Hawkeye Band Extravaganza in the fall, and go on a playing tour of the elementary schools in the spring. Most eighth graders perform a solo and/or ensemble for City Music Contest in April.
Orchestra: Ms. Stern
Vocal Music: Ms. Cichoski
The middle school philosophy for a truly meaningful musical experience is to learn through performance. Music literacy, appreciation, and history are all addressed through the preparation of our concerts. Each individual class is a chorus of its own and performs with their entire class at the concerts.
During the student’s three years at Taft they can expect to perform concerts with a variety of themes: Classical, Multicultural, Jazz, Show Choir, Folk, Broadway, and Modern music that we hear even today on the radio. Our primary goal is to develop an appreciation for music, through hands on
experience rather than textbooks. Chorus will relate to all subjects through the analysis of rhythm & theory (math), lyrics (language arts), history & current events (social studies), physics of vocal production and sound (science).