Elmwood Park High School's music program — a division within the school's Fine Arts Department — is proud to offer several courses and performance options for the student body.
Exploration of sound in both performance and nonperformance courses provides learners with experiences in composing, performing and listening to music.
Course options include Music Theory, a nonperforming class in which students learn the fundamentals of how music composition works. This course is highly recommended for band and choir students who wish to gain a deeper understanding of how their music is created and how to analyze it.
Putting Theory into Practice
Performance options include the spring musical, an extracurricular, auditioned production staged during March of each school year.
Students usually audition for cast roles in December and rehearse from January until the performance date. Also available to our students are chances to work on stage crew or play their instruments in the pit orchestra.
For other performance options, see the "EPHS Band Program" and "EPHS Choir Program" sections located below.
EPHS Band Program
Mr. Kyle Rhoades is director of EPHS Bands. The program builds on the District-wide foundation laid at Elm Middle School with the Elm Concert Band, and at Elmwood and John Mills Elementary Schools with their respective bands. EPHS students have the following opportunities to participate in the program:
Marching Band is the main focus of the band curriculum during the fall. Participation is a required part of the curriculum for all band students. Performances are usually held at the EPHS Stadium, with a possibility of other competitions at area venues. Rehearsals are usually held on Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. as well as during the day in Band class.
Concert Band is the main focus of the EPHS Band program for the majority of the school year. Seating auditions for Concert Band will coincide with the end of the Marching Band season. Performances include the annual Winter Concert, All-District Concert and Spring Concert. Evening performances will usually be held in the EPHS Auditorium, with the possibility of extra concerts, competitions or travel.
Jazz Band is an optional class offered at EPHS every morning from 7 to 7:45 a.m., except late start Wednesdays. All interested students may participate if they are able to play a jazz band instrument. Instrumentation is different from that of Concert Band. The class is graded the same as Concert Band, but the Jazz and Concert grades remain separate. Jazz Band performs several times a year at EPHS concerts.
Percussion Ensemble is open to any band student who would like to play melodic or battery percussion instruments, regardless of previous percussion background. This extracurricular ensemble meets most Wednesdays at 8 a.m. The group performs during band concerts and other District 401 events.
EPHS Choir Program
Mr. Michael Popplewell is director of the EPHS Choirs. The program builds on the District-wide foundation laid at Elm Middle School with the Elm Choir, and at Elmwood and John Mills Elementary Schools with their respective choirs. EPHS students have the following opportunities to participate in the program:
The Chorale is open to all students and is a beginning choir designed to provide a foundation for the Concert Choir. The Chorale studies and performs a variety of music throughout the year. A commitment to singing and performing is important, and upon successful completion of Chorale, a student can then audition for Concert Choir and/or Swing Choir. Chorale students participate in the four major concerts of the year, and attendance at all concerts is required.
The Concert Choir is the largest performing vocal group at the high school. The Concert Choir performs at the four major concerts each year as well as commencement. Advanced performers may audition to participate at the IHSA competition and appear as solo vocalists throughout the school year. Along with more advanced part-singing ability, a sincere interest in musical training, participation and performance is vital to the group. Members perform in four major concerts during the school year.
Swing Choir is the most advanced choral offering at Elmwood Park High School, and it is limited to those students who excel in vocal talent and part-singing ability. This performance-oriented ensemble will focus on all types of music with an emphasis on proper singing, staging and microphone technique when called for. Performers may audition to participate at the ILMEA auditions and appear as solo vocalists throughout the school year. Students must audition to receive director’s approval to enroll in this course. Attendance at four major concerts plus commencement is required with occasional out-of-school performances throughout the school year.