Music Department

The course offerings in the Pius X Music Department flow from a philosophy which says that students need the opportunity to experience and to create beauty in their lives and the lives of others. The courses, both academic and performance oriented, have value in a variety of ways for the student of today.

  • Academic value – Music education introduces the student to the matter of music: its structure, its performance, its meaning.
  • Social value – Participation in one of the performing groups which involves the student in an activity that demands discipline, group work, and cooperation. At the same time, the student is given the chance to experience the acceptance and success so important during adolescent years.
  • Aesthetic value – In today’s world, value seems to depend on monetary worth. Introduction to music and its wealth helps the student to develop an appreciation for the beauty around him/her, helps him/her to see that joy can be found outside material worth.
  • Christian value – Strong emphasis is placed on the fact that talent is to be shared. Pius students are given ample opportunity to perform for others, and are encouraged to develop their talents for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.
Full Pius X Concert Choir at St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Course Offerings

Marching Band
Concert Band
Symphonic Band
Women’s Choir
Men’s Choir
Sotto Voce
Contabella
Concert Choir
Music Theory and History
Music Appreciation
History of Jazz
Academic Decathlong

Teachers in Physical Education

Course Descriptions

MARCHING BAND – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Sem. 1 – 5 credits)

Marching Band includes all band members in grades 9-12. During the marching band season, the band will perform during select football games, marching competitions and parades. At the conclusions of the marching season, the band will concentrate on preparation for the indoor concert season through continued work on music fundamentals and ensemble playing. During semester one, eligible students will have the opportunity to audition for the many honor band festivals held in the area. Practices will be at 7:30 a.m. daily during the marching season. Attendance at band camp, usually held one to two weeks prior to the start of the school year, is mandatory.

CONCERT BAND – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Sem. 2 – 5 credits)

[Prerequisite: Prior participation in school band program or teacher permission]

The Concert Band is for students in any grade who play a wind band or percussion instrument. The emphasis is placed on rehearsal skills, musicianship, fundamentals, and growth of the student’s technical abilities on the instrument. The Concert band performs band literature in a variety of styles to be performed at school concerts. When appropriate, this group also performs for music festivals. Members of this group are also eligible to participate in the district solo and small ensemble festival.

SYMPHONIC BAND – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Sem. 2 – 5 credits)
[Prerequisite: Audition or teacher permission]

The Symphonic Band is an auditioned group comprised of musicians from all grades. Senior band students who have successfully completed Concert Band or Symphonic Band in previous years may be able to opt-in to Symphonic Band with their audition. The emphasis is placed on high level band literature, development of advanced instrumental and rehearsal techniques, and the highest level of musicianship. The band performs for school concerts and festivals including the district music festival. Members of this group are also eligible to participate in the district solo and small ensemble festival.

WOMEN’S CHOIR – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr.- 10 credits)

This vocal ensemble of girls provides a unique choral experience without auditions. Students who enjoy singing and who are interested in learning more about their voice may register for this class. The principle work of the group will be the development of their music reading ability, understanding of vocal usage, and the study of varied music literature. This class meets every day and outside performances are required.

MEN’S CHOIR – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

This vocal ensemble of boys provides a unique choral experience without auditions. Students who enjoy singing and who are interested in learning more about their voice may register for this class. The principle work of the group will be the development of their music reading ability, understanding of vocal usage, and the study of varied music literature. This class meets every day and outside performances are required.

SOTTO VOCE – 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits) – Audition

This vocal ensemble is open to a small number of students interested in performing classical and other styles of challenging music. The group covers difficult repertoire, sometimes requiring outside work on the part of individual members. Sotto Voce rehearses five times a week as a scheduled class. Out-of-school performances are required. Students in Sotto Voce will be required to purchase matching costumes.

CANTABELLA – 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits) – Audition

This vocal ensemble of girls will be by audition only. The music studied will range in styles from classical to popular. Some of the music will be choreographed. Girls selected for the ensemble will be expected to purchase matching outfits. School concerts and out-of-school performances will be required.

MUSIC THEORY AND HISTORY – 10, 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

Music Theory and History is a class for any student who wishes to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for music. This class will especially benefit the college-bound student. Music theory covered in the class will included music notation, meter, intervals, major and minor scales, triads and seventh chords. Some beginning composition will be covered if time allows. Students admitted to this class should be able to demonstrate some degree of basic music reading ability. This course will only be offered during school years that begin in an even year, i.e. 2018-2019 school year.

CONCERT CHOIR – 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits) – Audition

This choir will be auditioned in the spring semester preceding and placement will be based upon a medium to high proficiency level in the vocal evaluation and music theory test. Students in Concert Choir will sing a high level of choral repertoire from classical to contemporary. The principle work of the group will be the further development of their music reading ability, understanding of vocal usage, and the study of varied music literature. This class meets every day and students will check out a choir robe from the vocal department for concerts and be expected to attend/perform concerts outside of the school day.

MUSIC APPRECIATION – 10, 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This class serves as an introduction into the world of music, including classical, jazz, pop and musical theater. The class is open to any student with a desire to learn and discover more about the importance of music historically and in our lives today.

HISTORY OF JAZZ – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course will offer an introduction to the history of jazz and its contribution to, and reflection of, American culture. The course will consist of a survey of the evolution of jazz from its inception to the present, contributions of important performers and composers, and musical techniques involved in the creation and performance of jazz. It will consist of lectures, listening and reading. This course will only be offered during school years that begin in an odd year, i.e. 2019-2020 school year.

ACADEMIC DECATHLON – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

Academic Decathlon is an accelerated and intensive year-long course of study in science, social studies, math, English (literature, critical reading, and writing), art, music, speech and economics. A new theme focuses the study each year, so a student may take this course more than once. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one scrimmage the first semester. A select group of twelve students will compete in Regional, and if successful, State, and possibly National Competitions. Because students in Academic Decathlon must come from three academic levels (A, B, and C or below) as determined by selected portions of their GPA, students of varying ability and grade will be in class together. Grading standards for this course are adjusted for grade and ability. Summer reading is encouraged.