JOINING THE WEST HIGH ENTERTAINMENT UNIT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
As a high school student, will I have time for band?
This seems to be the most common concern for the freshmen. Perhaps the first question you should ask yourself is whether you want to end your association with band participation after several years of dedication and training. Some students decide to “wait and see” and, with a few exceptions, they never play again. Later, most regret not playing. Most students reflect after freshman year that they did have time to participate in the band and at the same time do well academically.
What are my chances of becoming a member of the West High Entertainment Unit?
Great! Membership in the band is open to all students. The marching band class is set up as a PE class so that you will receive PE credit while in marching band during the first semester.
When does WHEU rehearse?
During the fall, the marching band rehearses daily during zero period and every Monday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. These Monday night rehearsals go from September to mid-November. The percussion section the color guard hold additional rehearsals. The total unit begins the year at the annual preseason band camp. Dates are June 15, 17, 22 & 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. August 10 to the 21, from 8 am to 3 pm with several long breaks. Attendance at camp is MANDATORY.
The opportunity to participate in a highly respected high school organization that offers social activity, music enjoyment, and many other personal awards is uniquely available to members of the West High Entertainment Unit.
What costs are involved for members of the Entertainment Unit?
There are some costs involved with being a member of the Entertainment Unit. Students paid $500 for the 2019-2020 school year, which covered competition fees, uniforms, instructors, Music, etc. A separate requested donation of $200.00 for transportation is required by TUSD. The Drumline and Color Guard will have additional contributions for the second semester Winter Competition season. Financial assistance will be provided if the need should arise.
What classes do I need to take?
All incoming freshmen woodwinds and brass players will need to take Marching Band PE, which is zero period, and Advanced Band which is offered second period. Percussionists will need to take Percussion Ensemble, which is fifth period. Since marching band provides PE credit, you do not need to take additional PE classes. Incoming Color Guard members must enroll in the marching band PE and Band A/B (fifth period) classes after try-outs.
Will I be able to participate in sports in addition to marching band?
YES!!! It will take an effort on your part to juggle your schedule, but many high school students are able to participate in a variety of sports and participate in band. Since most sport activities take place after school, you will be excused from band rehearsals if there are any conflicts except for the mandatory Monday night rehearsals. One way to make room is your schedule is to take a Health Class during the summer online; OR, take the health class in the second semester online.
How do I enroll in the Entertainment Unit?
If you are interested in maintaining and improving your musical skills and being a part of this successful organization, please complete the “Intent to Register” form <link to form>. At the time of programming, or when you meet with your counselor to sign up for your classes, you should indicate to your counselor that you wish to be enrolled in Entertainment Unit.
WHS PERFORMING ENSEMBLES
The West High Entertainment Unit meets daily in the fall in preparation for parades, field tournaments, football game performances, assemblies, and community performances. Marching band meets during zero period. Instruments are provided if needed and uniforms are provided after the student has paid the band fee. Black band shoes and black socks are included in the fees. All woodwind, brass and percussion players for Wind Ensemble, Advanced Band, and Jazz Band are selected from marching band. Attendance at all rehearsals and performances is required as well as regular home practice and sectionals. This Class is not separate from the other band classes. It is in the curriculum for those band classes. You also get P.E. credit for the First Semester too.
Color Guard members are selected by tryouts in April 20-24, 27-30 and May 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. All guard members meet daily in the marching band class. Members receive instruction in dance routines and equipment work for flags and banners for parades. The guard performs at all competitions and home football games. They are an integral part of the total marching unit. Size of the guard will be determined by the number of qualified students trying out and by the need of the group. Uniforms, warmups, and shoes must be purchased by each member. Cost for these items will be provided after tryouts are completed. Attendance at all performances and rehearsals are required.
Winter Guard: Optional, competitive program open to all WHEU color guard students. The season runs from December through April. Practices are held two evenings during the week and weekends. Students compete in weekend events during February, March and April. An additional contribution of $500/student offsets the cost of instructors, competition fees, props, trucks and costumes.
This class enrolls the most proficient Wind and Brass players. (Grades 10-12) first semester this class concentrates on marching band music and “Pop” concert music. Sectionals are also run during this period. During the second semester, the wind ensemble performs class E-AA concert literature. Formal concert dress is provided. Size and instrumentation vary from year to year. Students are selected by audition and marching band music test grades in December/January. Private lessons are highly recommended and regular home practice is expected. Attendance at all rehearsals and performances are required.
In the first semester, the Advanced Band (grade 9) is for all freshman woodwind and brass players. New members of the Entertainment Unit receive extra help on the marching band music. This class is required for all freshmen. During the second semester, the Advanced Band continues in developing musical skills in performing class C-A concert literature. Attendance at all performances and rehearsals is required. Students will need to provide proper concert attire for performances.
Jazz Ensemble is open only to all classmen by audition from marching band. Membership in another instrumental music class at West High School is a prerequisite (Wind Ensemble or Advanced Band). Selected instrumentation will include four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, one piano, one drum set, one guitar, and one bass. Admission is by permission of the Director. Attendance at all performances and rehearsals is required.
This is a required class for all percussion players. This class provides instruction in Marching Band techniques, concert literature, and participation in the other concert groups. Students must be enrolled in both Marching Band and Percussion Ensemble. Workshops for this ensemble will take place in the month of May.
Winter Drumline: Optional, competitive program open to all WHEU students interested in performing with a percussion ensemble. The season runs from December through April. Tryouts are typically held in October. Practices are held two evenings a week. Students compete in weekend events during March and April. An additional contribution of $500/student offsets the cost of instructors, competition fees, props, trucks and costumes, etc.