Contact the HS band director Mr. Nick Rojek nrojek@BHSD228.com
Why Take Band at OFHS?
Often young people fear the added workload of the high school curriculum and assume they will not have time to participate in the music program. That is simply not true. Ironically, it is often the continuation of musical studies that serves as the transitional key to success. Being a member of a music ensemble ensures instant acceptance in a respected organization at the onset of freshman year. A group of supporting friends is already established with a firm sense of "belonging."
There is more to it. As a parent or student, you need to know that:
- Research shows that when music is included in a student's daily learning, reading, writing and math scores improve.
- There is a high correlation between positive self-perception, high cognitive competence scores, healthy self esteem, total interest in school activities and the study of music.
- College admissions officers give special consideration to students who are part of their high school music programs for four years.
- The longer an individual studies music, the higher his/her scores tend to be on both the verbal and math portions of the SAT exam.
- Employers often seek out students who are part of their high school music program because of the student's ability to solve problems and work well with all kinds of people.
Frequently Asked Questions About the OFHS Band Program
How do I register for band?
- At the Freshman orientation in January, you will receive a class sign up sheet that will include all of the course offerings at OFHS. Just check the box under band and you will be placed in one of our five band classes based on your previous musical experiences. The music ensembles offered at Oak Forest High School include: Concert Band (where most incoming instrumental students are placed), Symphonic Band where upperclassman or more experienced freshman students are placed after an audition requested by student / parent / or middle school director), Intermediate Band (where all percussion students are placed), Beginning Band (where new students with little or no musical experience are placed) and Jazz Ensemble (where interested students are placed while also being enrolled in either Concert/Symphonic/ Intermediate Bands).
- Yes! Due to the marching band component of the Instrumental music program, students can choose to opt out of gym class and still fulfill the requirements for graduation.
If I am in band, can I also belong to other student clubs?
- YES! Over 70% of our music students participate in other activities and clubs outside of band. There are many students that take multiple music classes as well. I encourage you take advantage of all the great musical opportunities at Oak Forest High School as it will make you a better musician. We encourage involvement!
If I am in band, can I also do Sports?
- Yes, however band and is an activity that requires equal participation among all members. There is no "Bench" in band like there is in sports. It therefore requires that every member be at every rehearsal. Band is a co-curricular activity which means outside rehearsals and performances are an extension of the class and included in the grade for the class. With this said, we have had students participate in multiple varsity level sports and still participate in band...With good communication, we can make it work. If you have questions about sports and band please contact Mr. Rojek and he'll be more than happy to speak with you.
Do I have to audition for the OFHS Band Program?
- Everyone "makes the band." By default, incoming students will be either placed in Concert Band (if you play a wind instrument) or Intermediate Band (if you play a percussion instrument). If you are a student that wishes to participate in the higher level, Symphonic Band, you may ask for an audition which will evaluate your skills and place you in the most appropriate ensemble. After your request has been communicated, Mr. Rojek will visit your school and hear you play individually. He will ask you to play a couple of scales, a piece you are playing in band or private lessons, as well as sight read 16 measures of music.
Can I be in band all four years?
- Yes! You only need 24 credits to graduate, band fulfills your requirements for fine arts, P.E. (marching band), and elective credit. You can even take 2 music classes every year and still have room for more electives.
Is there an honors level band course?
- YES! As a matter of fact we offer honors credit for both Symphonic Band as well as Jazz Ensemble. Most of the students in band are in the top of their classes and thus provided options to challenge themselves in music as well as their other academics. Sometimes students are worried about band classes conflicting with AP and Honors classes. If your schedule does not allow for a particular band course to be added, we always work to come up with an alternative plan to keep you playing and involved.
Does the OFHS Band take any trips?
- Yes! Trips are one of the many fun aspects of being in band. Past trips have included Orlando Florida, Cedar Point Ohio, New York, as well as weekend outings to some of the neighboring colleges for camps and clinics.
Do I have to be in Marching Band, or can I just do Symphonic or Concert Band?
- Oak Forest High School has a comprehensive band program and yes, everyone in the band program (with the exception of beginning band students) participates in marching band unless an EXTRAORDINARY circumstance prevents you from doing so. Marching band is a lot of fun!...It is where you meet/make many new friends and create lasting memories. It's a great way to make the transition to high school. While your non-band friends are nervous on the first day of school, you will have already made close to 100 new friends from camp. It's also where everyone gets a feel for how the band program operates, and develops your musical skills which will make you a better musician.As the the marching band at Oak Forest High School is Non-Competitive, the time spent in after school rehearsals in minimal. Much of the focus of the curriculum is based on learning and performing of the highest quality concert literature.
Being a part of the music department at OFHS provides students a chance to be a part of an exceptional organization that challenges, motivates, develops, and demands students to become responsible and creative young adults. Your child deserves the best as he/she enters the high school culture. Please contact Mr. Rojek at email@example.com, or 708-687-0500 x 5862, if you have any questions concerning this vitally important decision. We join you in your commitment to the best education possible for your son or daughter.
OFHS Choir Information