Ensembles

Wind Ensemble ◊ Chorus ◊ String Orchestra ◊ Jazz

Towson High School music ensembles perform in the Winter and Spring concerts as well as the BCPS Assessment performances in March and the graduation performance in May/June. Students enrolled in an ensemble class are encouraged to audition for the Baltimore County All-Honors Chorus/Band/Orchestra, All-State, the BSO Side-by-Side Orchestra, and to participate in the BCPS Solo and Ensemble Festival. Additional school and community performances are announced throughout the school year. These courses satisfy the Maryland State requirement of one (1) fine arts credit for graduation from high school.

Wind Ensemble

Towson High School follows the modern American wind band tradition set forth by the composers Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Percy Grainger and John Philip Sousa. Specifically, Sousa’s band of 75 wind, brass and percussion players established sonority and performance practice that can be heard in the great halls where ever the Towson band plays.

All THS wind ensembles perform in our Winter and Spring Concerts and the BCPS Band Assessments in March. Many students are invited to perform at the THS Commencement Ceremony. Students in wind ensemble are strongly encouraged to audition for the Baltimore County All Honors Band, All State Band, the BSO Side-by-Side Orchestra, and to participate in the Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Honors Wind Ensemble is an intermediate level performance group. Fundamental concepts of tuning, tone production, and wind band techniques are reinforced and developed. This group performs Grades 3, 4, and 5 literatures with the goal of preparing students to qualify for the GT Wind Ensemble.

GT Wind Ensemble is an advanced level performance group. This group performs Grades 4, 5, and 6 literatures. Fundamental concepts of tuning, tone production, and wind band techniques are reinforced and developed.

Chorus

All choral ensembles perform in our Winter and Spring Concerts. The GT Chamber Choir also performs at the BCPS Orchestra Assessments in March. Many students are invited to perform at the THS Commencement Ceremony. Students also have the opportunity to perform in Walt Disney World.

Honors Treble Choir is an intermediate level performance group who may or may not have experience singing baroque, classical, modern and popular repertoire. This groups performs Grades 2, 3, and 4 literatures with the goal of preparing students to qualify for the GT Chamber Choir. The Honors Chorale performs at the Winter and Spring Concerts.

Honors Tenor/Bass Choir is an intermediate level performance group who may or may not have experience singing baroque, classical, modern and popular repertoire. This groups performs Grades 2, 3, and 4 literatures with the goal of preparing students to qualify for the GT Chamber Choir. The Honors Chorale performs at the Winter and Spring Concerts.

GT Chamber Choir is an advanced level performance group. It is a mixed group of men and women who demonstrate advanced sight-reading and vocal production skills and are dedicated to performing Grades 4, 5, and 6 literatures. Students in this ensemble are strongly encouraged to audition for Baltimore County All Honors Chorus, All State Chorus, Baltimore County Honors Jazz Chorus, and to participate in the Solo and Ensemble Festival. The GT Chamber Choir performs at the Winter and Spring concerts as well as at the BCPS Vocal Assessments, THS Commencement Ceremony, and other school and community events.

String Orchestra

Orchestra at Towson High School consists of violin, viola, cello and string bass musicians. All String players perform in our Winter and Spring Concerts. The GT Chamber Orchestra also performs at the BCPS Orchestra Assessments in March. Students in string orchestra are strongly encouraged to audition for the Baltimore County All Honors Orchestra, All State Orchestra, the BSO Side-by-Side Orchestra, and to participate in the BCPS Solo and Ensemble Festival. Many students are invited to perform at the THS Commencement Ceremony. Students also have the opportunity to perform in Walt Disney World.

Honors Chamber Orchestra is an intermediate level performance group. This group performs Grades 3, 4, and 5 literatures with the goal of preparing students to qualify for the GT Chamber Orchestra.

GT Chamber Orchestra is an advanced level performance group. This group performs Grades 4, 5, and 6 literature. Wind, brass and percussion musicians join this group for Full Orchestra performances at the Winter and Spring concerts.

Percussion Ensemble

Student drummers and percussionists should enroll in this ensemble instead of band. Percussion Ensemble studies and performs a wide variety of Western and non-Western music literature on a wide range of percussion instruments. This ensemble cultivates individual sticking technique, mallet technique, hand drumming, along with learning complex rhythms and ensemble balance. A large emphasis is placed on personal responsibility, instrument care and maintenance, and musicianship.

In addition to performing as an ensemble, these students also have the opportunity to perform with the Wind Ensembles and Orchestras on the Winter and Spring Concerts, school assemblies, THS Commencement and other community and school events.

Skills:

  • The mastery of a technical facility and understanding of concepts of phrasing that will enable the student to perform with sensitivity and musical expression on percussion instruments

  • The cultivation of an understanding of the interrelations of mental and physical (psycho-physiological) aspects involved in the learning of musical skills and the performance of music

  • Performance of a cross-section of literature in all styles and areas of percussion

  • The development of sight reading

  • Experience in solo and ensemble performance

Standard Percussion Ensemble for students in Grade 9 and/or first year percussion students.

Honors Percussion Ensemble for students in Grades 10-12 who have already taken the standard class.

Honors Jazz Ensemble

Honors Jazz Ensemble is a select performance group by audition only. Intermediate through advanced literatures are rehearsed and performed. The focus is on developing specific techniques of jazz performance and improvisation across a wide variety of styles within the idiom.

This group performs at THS Winter and Spring concerts, other THS events, the Christmas Concert at Kenilworth Mall, Basket Bingo in February, Towson Garden Day at the Towson Courthouse, Towson Law Day at the Towson Courthouse, Inauguration Day for the Baltimore County Executive, and other events.

Students in this ensemble are strongly encouraged to audition for the Baltimore County All Honors Band, BSO Side-by-Side, All State, the Honors Jazz Band, and to participate in the Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Auditions are held in February for the following school year. Contact Mr. Rhen.