The Abilene Independent School District secondary music organizations maintain the highest standards of excellence in music education. Hundreds of students participate in the bands, choirs and orchestras of all four middle schools as well as both Abilene High School and Cooper High School. The bands of AISD are well-known for their high performance levels and traditions of excellence. All AISD high school band, choir and orchestra programs boast years of University Interscholastic League (UIL) Division I ratings. In addition, many students from these programs have been selected over the years for the prestigious Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State organizations.
Band students begin their training in the sixth grade. Those who elect to participate are placed in classes of similar instruments. These classes meet daily, building on the fundamental musical skills learned in the elementary music program. Students also learn the technical skills to perform on their selected instruments. All beginning instrument classes are taught by specialists in the areas of woodwind, brass and percussion.
Each middle school campus has both a full-time band director and assistant band director who direct an advanced and an intermediate band in addition to teaching beginner classes. Seventh and eighth grade students are given their first opportunity to be members of full bands. Students are placed into leveled ensembles based on their overall skill on their particular instrument. The bands perform a minimum of three concerts each year. The varsity band competes in the Region 16 UIL Concert/ Sightreading contest each spring. Students may choose to compete in the AISD All-District Honor Band competition and district-sponsored Solo/Ensemble events.
In the spring semester, high school band students compete in both the Region 16 UIL Solo/Ensemble contest as well as the Region 16 UIL Concert/Sightreading contest. Historically, AISD high school band students have been extremely successful in both UIL contests and TMEA auditions. The colorguard transitions to their indoor winterguard season in the spring, competing as an independent unit against other winterguards across the state.
There are multiple performing groups at each campus that accommodate varying degrees of musical expertise from the beginner to junior varsity to college preparatory level. The AHS Jazz Band, CHS Jazz Band and AHS Steel Drum Band represent their schools and AISD, entertaining audiences for numerous civic and school functions.
Band students from both high schools participate in annual trips and march in numerous parades. Many AISD band students perform on a regular basis for civic and military functions. The programs strive to teach more than music, training leaders and motivating students to achieve personal success in all aspects of life.
The high school bands provide students their first experience with marching band. Marching bands are comprised of wind, percussion and colorguard students. The colorguard is an auxiliary unit that provides a theatrical component to marching band shows. Colorguard membership is obtained through an audition process in the spring semester, and includes both male and female students.
The high school marching bands rehearse outside school hours (before or after school). They perform at all football games played in Abilene as well as all UIL district/post-district football games. Both bands participate in one pre-UIL marching festival, as well as the Region 16 UIL Marching Band competition. Both high school marching bands boast years of UIL Division 1 ratings. In addition, students may choose to compete individually in the TMEA Region 16 All-Region Band and All-Region Orchestra competitions.
Private Music Lesson Program
A Private Music Lesson Program is available to students who wish to enhance their vocal or instrumental skills through individualized instruction with a private music instructor. The campus director can assist students and parents in arranging for such lessons before, during or after the school day.
For further information, please contact any of the choir, band or orchestra directors listed on the staff page, or the fine arts office at (325) 677-1444, ext. 1153.