Johnstown High School
The Johnstown High School bands are directed by Mr.
Andrew LaCoppola. Currently, there are two curricular
performing groups (Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble), and
two co-curricular groups (Jazz Ensemble and Marching
Band). Students are given group instrumental lessons each
week; these groups may sometimes perform as chamber
ensembles, such as Percussion Ensemble, Woodwind Choir,
Brass Ensemble, etc.
Symphonic Band is the transitional band between the
instrumental experiences at Knox and the JHS Wind
Ensemble. Symphonic Band, typically working at a NYSSMA
level 3-4, is comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores,
as well as some upper classmen who had room in their
schedule. The group is full of promising talent! The band
rehearses every day during seventh period. The intensive
rehearsals provide musical development which virtually
guarantees success for the individual performer and for
future bands in Johnstown High School. The students take
weekly lessons and will learn solo or duet pieces and all
their major scales.
Wind Ensemble is the top instrumental ensemble of the high
school. It is comprised of mostly junior and seniors, with
a few talented sophomores and a few hard-working freshman
that made the cut. The group plays at a NYSSMA level 5-6,
as well as the standard literature of the band repertoire.
The group also experiments with the more contemporary
styles of recently composed pieces. The music selected for
this group truly relies on the individual performers.
These students take weekly lessons, learn solo works,
small ensemble pieces and all their major scales. The Wind
Ensemble meets every day during second period, making
great music together. The group will continue to perform
major contemporary works from the band repertoire as well
as some lighter numbers for the enjoyment of our
All students in the program are required to present a
performance final, which mirrors the requirements of a
NYSSMA solo performance. This final exam determines their
placement for the following year. The students are also
encouraged to attend the NYSSMA Solo Festival in the
Spring to perform for a trained adjudicator and receive a
Knox Junior High School
The Knox Junior High School bands are directed by Mr.
James Morton. The Knox Band Program includes two
curricular performing ensembles; the Purple Band and the
Gold Band that meet and rehearse on a daily basis and an
extra-curricular Jazz Band. All band students are
required to attend a weekly small group instrumental
lesson focusing on playing and rehearsal techniques,
rhythmic study, scale study, history and pedagogy all
specific to their instrument.
The Purple Band is comprised mostly of seventh graders
who are performing at a NYSSMA Level I after the sixth
grade. Also included are eighth graders who are either
starting out, or did not achieve a NYSSMA Level II by
the end of their seventh grade year. The group performs
music that reinforces basic music skills and concepts,
usually at the Level I or Level II range. The band gives
several public performances a year including the Winter
Concert, PRISM Concert (Celebrating Music in our Schools
Month), Spring Concert, and Eighth Grade Promotion. In
June, students are required to perform a NYSSMA Level II
solo, scales, and sight-reading in order to be promoted
to the Gold Band the following year.
The Gold Band is made up of those eighth graders who
have successfully completed the requirements of the
Purple Band program. Advanced seventh students may be
recommended by their elementary band teacher to perform
with the Gold Band. The members perform more challenging
music (NYSSMA Level II, Level III and Level IV), and
must reach higher standards of musicianship in their
group lessons. The Gold Band also gives several public
performances a year including the Winter Concert, PRISM
Concert (Celebrating Music in our Schools Month), Spring
Concert, and a daylong tour of the Johnstown elementary
schools. In June, students must perform a solo, scales
and sight-reading at or above NYSSMA Level III.
Successful completion of the Gold Band program will
automatically advance students into the JHS Symphonic
band the following year. Gold Band students may be
invited to audition for a seat in the High School Wind
Ensemble by the JHS Band Director in June.
The Knox Jazz Band meets after school once a week from
October to May. The band membership includes band
students in both seventh and eighth grades, as well as
the occasional student not involved in other performing
groups. Instrumentation includes alto, tenor, and
baritone saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, guitar,
bass, drums, and percussion. Instrumentation may be
customized at times to accommodate interested students
that do not play traditional jazz instruments. The
students are exposed to basic jazz playing technique and
rhythms, jazz history, artists, and listening -during
rehearsals to expand their developing improvisation
skills. A commitment to after school rehearsals is
required to be a member of the group.
All students in the program are encouraged to attend the
NYSSMA Solo Festival in early June to perform for a
trained adjudicator and receive a rating. Students that
choose to do this are exempt from performing their solo,
scales, and sight-reading for promotion at the end of
The Glebe Street, Pleasant Avenue and Warren Street
elementary band programs are under the direction of Ms.
Tamara Healy. Elementary school students have the
opportunity to begin instruction on a musical instrument
in fifth and sixth grade.
Each elementary school has a concert band consisting of
second year instrumentalists and the more advanced first
year band students. Students involved with the concert
band perform for Veteranís Day assemblies, the Winter
Concert, the All-City Band & Chorus concert in May, and
end of the year assemblies.
In celebration of national Music in Our Schools Month,
each concert band performs for the community at the
Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, the Wells House
Nursing Home, or the Willing Helpers Home for Women.
Selected second year players perform with the Fulton
County Music Educators Associationís All County
elementary band held in February.