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Frequently Asked Questions

Is band a class?
Yes, every section of band is an elective academic course, taken for credit, that meets every day during school.  Grades for music classes appear on your official transcript and count toward your GPA.

What are the band classes?
Concert Band – woodwinds and brass
Concert Percussion Ensemble – percussion
Symphonic Band – woodwinds and brass
Symphonic Percussion Ensemble – percussion
Wind Symphony – woodwinds, brass, and percussion
Wind Ensemble – woodwinds, brass, and percussion

Do I have to audition?
Concert Band and Concert Percussion Ensemble do not require an audition.  Symphonic Band, Symphonic Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Wind Ensemble do require auditions.

When are auditions for 8th grade students?
Monday, November 19, 2018, from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Tuesday, November 20, 2018, from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Each audition lasts about ten minutes and they will be held in the band room (167) at Hinsdale Central.

How do I get audition music?
Audition music can be downloaded from  Please make sure you download the correct music for your instrument and that the audition materials are titled Fall Auditions 2018.

How do I sign up for an audition time?
Register online using the Google form linked to the band website at 

When do I find out the audition results?
Results are typically emailed home in the middle of January.  It takes a long time to hear all the auditions and compile the results.  Last year there were over 450 different band and jazz auditions for 8th through 12th grade students.

Do athletics or activities conflict with band?
Not really.  A majority of band students are also involved in additional athletic teams or other activities.  Practices and games rarely conflict with rehearsals and performances, and if they do, the coaches and band directors usually work it out in advance.

Can I take honors and AP courses while enrolled in band?
Yes, band students are often signed up for multiple honors and AP classes.  In addition, past valedictorians and National Merit Semifinalists have also been band students.

Can I play jazz?
Yes, the Hinsdale Central band program includes three jazz courses and an extracurricular combo club.  All wind and percussion students must enroll in a band class to enroll in any jazz classes.

What are the jazz classes?
Jazz Lab – divided into small combos, open to all instruments
Jazz Band – limited to traditional big band instruments
Jazz Ensemble – limited to traditional big band instruments

All jazz classes meet every-other day during the “Early Bird” Zero Hour Period from 7:00 to 7:50 am.

Do I have to audition for a jazz class?
Jazz Lab does not require and audition.  Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble do require auditions.  You should request a jazz audition at the same time you request a band audition

How does marching band work?
During the first quarter all band students prepare in class to perform at the home football games as part of the Red Devil Marching Band.  Since this occurs during school, there are very few marching rehearsals outside the school day, and because the band only plays at home football games there are no weekend competitions or long summer camps to attend.

What is the Physical Education Exemption?
School board policy states that all band students can exempt out of their P.E. class and replace it with a study hall during the varsity football season as a result of ongoing participation in the Marching Band.

What about a study hall?
While it is up to individual students and parents to decide upon an appropriate course schedule, most band students find study halls to be unnecessary.  The P.E. exemption provides the opportunity to take a study hall instead of gym during the varsity football season, when the band is performing the most.

Does the band have commitments outside the school day?
Yes, every band class is co-curricular, requiring some rehearsals and performances outside the school day that include home football games, home basketball games, and evening concerts, along with occasional rehearsals; however, since band is a class, a majority of instruction occurs during the school day.  The full calendar is available to view and sync to other devices on the music department website at

What is Bandamonium?
On Friday, October, 12, 2018, band students from Butler Junior High, Clarendon Hills Middle, Hinsdale Middle, Westview Hills Middle, and Hinsdale Central High schools will participate in an exciting combined event called Bandamonium.  The evening will include a rehearsal, pizza dinner, and combined performance with the Red Devil Marching Band in the gym.

Is Honors Credit available for band classes?
Yes, students can earn an honors weighted grade for any band class by meeting additional requirements that can be downloaded from the music department website at

If band is a class, how do I earn my grade?
Your grade in band class is roughly divided into four equally weighted parts that include playing tests, written work, daily class participation, and performances.  In addition, like every academic class at Hinsdale Central, each semester ends with a final exam.
 Is there a way to try marching?
The Hinsdale Fourth of July Parade is an opportunity to try marching before choosing classes at the high school.  Everything you need is provided free of charge including the kick-off picnic, music, and t-shirts.  Please register online using the link on the band website by Friday, June 8, 2019.

Monday, July 1, 2019, 3:30 to 8:30 pm – Picnic & Rehearsal
Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 5:30 to 8:30 pm – Rehearsal
Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 5:30 to 8:30 pm – Rehearsal
Thursday, July 4, 2019, 10:00 am – Parade

Are there other opportunities to perform?
Yes, there are many additional opportunities for band students to perform including the musical pit, orchestra winds and percussion section of the Symphony Orchestra, and the Holiday Winds.  The Hinsdale Central Bands have performed: in London’s New Year’s Day Parade, at Mullen’s Bar & Grille in Lisle with the Pete Ellman Big Band, in the NYC Veteran’s Day Parade, in front of the Grand Ole Opry, inThe Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, in Disneyland Resort, in the Boo at the Zoo Parade at Brookfield Zoo, outside Madame Tussad’s on Hollywood Boulevard, on the Deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City, on the ABC7 Morning Show, and at Hackney’s in Palos Park.

Does the band travel?
Yes, the band traditionally travels every other year and we are currently working on a trip to perform in Rome’s New Year’s Day Parade on January 1, 2020.  Travel experiences are an important part of the band program and student participation is expected.  Fundraising opportunities are also available.  Previous destinations include London, Nashville, Orlando, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Does every band student perform with the Red Devil Marching Band?
Yes!  Every wind and percussion player is a member of the Red Devil Marching Band.

•Next year, the band will be made up of over 300 students.  That’s 300 friends who know your name and share your interests.
•The marching band travels.  The band has performed at Brookfield Zoo, outside The Grand Ole Opry, in the Magic Kingdom afternoon parade, Disneyland, on the deck of the USS Intrepid in New York, in the NYC Veteran's Day Parade, and in London's New Year's Day Parade.
•The marching band is one of the largest, most visible organizations at Hinsdale Central and it performs for more people than any other ensemble.
•Students in the band develop excellent music reading skills because the band performs over 20 different pieces of music each fall.
•The marching band is a service organization that allows students to be connected to the school and surrounding community. 

Is Honors Credit available for band classes?
Yes!  Students can earn an honors weighted grade for any band class by meeting additional requirements that include studying with a private teacher, playing a solo at contest, writing a paper on a musical topic, and performing in an additional ensemble outside of class.  Students sign up for Honors Credit during the first quarter.

Are there band requirements outside the school day?
Yes, like any performing school ensemble, the band classes have some rehearsals and performances outside the school day; however, a majority of rehersals are during class. The full calendar is available at

Are there other opportunities to perform?
Yes!  Band students can choose to perform in many different ensembles at Hinsdale Central including the Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Ensembles, and the Musical Orchestra Pit.  Students can also perform at the IHSA Solo & Ensemble festival.  In addition, there are several auditioned performance opportunities that include the IMEA District 1 Festival Band and the Augustana College Honor Band.