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De Soto School District #73 Band Program

The De Soto School District #73 offers an active band program for its students. Formal band instruction begins in 6th grade. Students will be given the chance to try out several band instruments at the beginning of the school year. The music staff helps each student select an instrument on which to begin instruction. The 7th-grade band rehearses during school in two groups, the Beginning Woodwinds and Beginning Brass/Percussion.  The 7th Grade Beginning Band performs two or three concerts during the school year.  

In 8th Grade, students join the DJHS Concert Band.  This group meets as one large ensemble and also rehearses during the school day Monday-Friday.  Students will perform 3-4 concerts throughout the year and take part in Music in the Parks at Six Flags, St. Louis. More opportunities are opened up to the students to take part in after school ensembles and groups once they are in 8th Grade.  On top of the DJHS Concert Band, 8th graders are able to stay after and learn to Jazz improvisation skills in the De Soto Jazz Lab Band that rehearses in the JH band room.  Additional opportunities include playing in small ensembles, performing a solo, and trying out for regional honor bands. In the Fall, the 8th graders are invited to perform with the DHS Dragon Pride Marching Band at Homecoming.

The High School Band offers numerous performance opportunities for students.  The Dragon Pride Marching Band is an auditioned ensemble that performs in local civic parades, home football games, and several local and regional competitions. Students performing in this group also perform as the Symphonic Band following the fall season.  The De Soto High School Symphonic Band serves as the premier performance ensemble at DHS.  The Symphonic Band often performs at regional and local festivals and also performs annual concerts.  Students in Symphonic Band are eligible to perform a solo or ensemble at District and State Contests and are prepared for the college-level performance.  The HS Band program also offers the De Soto Concert Band.  This group is made up of students 9-12 and serves as a preparatory music course for students to further their musical ability.  Members of the HS band program make up the Pep Band.  This group provides musical entertainment at several sporting events playing a mix of new music and classic pep tunes.

The high school program also offers two jazz bands.  The DHS Jazz Ensemble is the top Jazz band in the program and performs in multiple festivals each year. The De Soto Jazz Lab Band is made up primarily of HS students but is also open to 8th graders.  This ensemble focuses on building a basic understanding of Jazz concepts.  Students in the jazz program perform in multiple concerts and local events.

The De Soto band program takes great pride in providing every student with high-quality music education.  It is our goal to provide students with an environment where they can learn, grow, and succeed.  The program provides the opportunity for students to develop the technical performance skills, knowledge, and understanding of music necessary to make music a part of their lives. Students will develop critical thinking skills at every level of band education, which will enable them to appreciate music on an independent level throughout life. The critical thinking developed through band training will enhance the development of thinking skills needed in other academic areas. The band program assists students in developing knowledge of our musical heritage, which is necessary to become a discerning listener and/or performer. Students learn to make knowledgeable and discriminating judgments about the music that they hear.

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