The band’s primary purpose is music education. The Band program begins in 5th grade. In May of 4th grade, students are given a listening and pitch test, and then watch a demonstration of all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. The students then have the opportunity to “try on” one or two of the instruments. Band lessons start in the beginning of the fall of the child’s 5th grade year.
Students are given small group lessons during the day at their ‘home schools’. Lessons are 30 minutes and are held once each week. Lessons are scheduled on a rotating basis so that the students do not miss the same class each week. Students are expected to make up class work they missed while at band lessons.
Fifth grade students are given a trial period of three months. After the beginners have progressed, early morning band rehearsals begin. District buses transport the students from their home schools to Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School and then back to their home schools by 8:50 a.m.
The award winning District 123 Concert Band is composed of the best student musicians from the six schools in the district. The band rehearses three mornings per week and students receive one group lesson each week.