The instrumental music program offers classes (course descriptions listed below) and private instruction for beginners and advanced students. The annual Mennonite regional orchestra festival provides an opportunity to perform with musicians from other schools.
Beginning Instruments (grade 5)
A course for all students in grade 5 wanting to learn to play a stringed, woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. Students are introduced to the range of instruments available for study. After acquiring an instrument, the course begins with the basics and develops skills in a sequential fashion. The course focuses on playing the instrument and basic skills in music literacy. Students are encouraged to develop individual playing skills alongside their ensemble participation.
Middle School Band (grades 6-8)
The Middle School Band is a performance-based ensemble composed of wind and percussion students in grades 6-8 who have completed Beginning Instruments with a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument; or an equivalent (private lessons or outside study). The Middle School Band meets daily as a class during the school day. Students will refine their playing technique, expand upon previously learned skills, learn new skills, increase their knowledge of musical concepts, and work with literature of varying musical styles. This includes some opportunities for full orchestra selections performed with the Bethany Middle School Orchestra. Performances include three main concerts, opportunities to participate in the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest and/or ISSMA Organizational Contest, and any other opportunities as they become available.
Middle School Orchestra (grades 6-8)
The Middle School Orchestra is a performance-based ensemble for grades 6-8 composed of string students who have completed the Beginning String Ensemble class or have had at least one to two years of private lessons on their instrument. The Middle School Orchestra meets during the school day regularly as a class. Students will work on improving note reading skills, learn to listen as an ensemble, and work on string techniques all while exploring different musical genres written for strings. The Middle School Orchestra will participate in main performance opportunities at Bethany as well as have the opportunity to participate in the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble in early February and ISSMA Organizational Contest in mid-March.
High School Band (grades 9-12)
The High School Band is a performance-based ensemble composed of wind and percussion students in grades 9-12 who have successfully completed Middle School Band or the equivalent (private lessons or outside study). The High School Band meets regularly as a class during the school day. Students will refine their playing technique, learn advanced skills on their instruments, and work with more advanced literature of varying styles. This includes some opportunities for full orchestra selections performed with the Bethany High School Orchestra. Performance opportunities include three main concerts, opportunities to participate in the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest and/or ISSMA Organizational Contest, and small group church performances, in addition to any other opportunities as they become available.
Bruin Jazz Ensemble (grades 9-12)
The jazz ensemble, Bruin Jazz, introduces students to a uniquely American style of music. Students experiment with various forms of jazz music including ragtime, Dixieland, big band, swing, bebop, cool jazz and latin jazz styles. Students learn to play these classic styles of music, while also have the opportunity to improvise solos and develop their individual skills. Studying jazz music provides a unique learning experience for students to develop an understanding of the role of minority groups in the development of American music. The jazz band performs in 3 main concerts throughout the year, as well as in some unique performance opportunities scattered throughout.
High School Orchestra (grades 9-12)
This a performance-based ensemble comprised of strings. Students rehearse and perform various styles and levels of music. The High School Orchestra builds upon the foundations and techniques taught in previous years of either Middle School Orchestra participation and/or private lessons for several years on the individual’s instrument. In the High School Orchestra we explore advanced techniques as well as repertoire and work extensively on ensemble listening across the orchestra. This group has several opportunities to perform both at Bethany and also as part of the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble in early February.