The Onaway High School Band

Pic of Ms Ward


The Onaway High School Band meets Monday thru Friday, during 2nd hour (9:33-10:46am). We are comprised of approximately 35 students, from grades 9-12. The band performs a variety of different styles of music, in a variety of different settings.

In the fall, we hold a band camp the first week of August to get back into playing our instruments, as well as marching & playing at the same time. We also do a lot of team-building activities to build ensemble comraderie. Our main focus, in addition to 'marching band basics', is learning our halftime show for performance at all home football games. It's a lot of fun while doing lots of work at the same time.

In the winter, we switch gears to concert band, focusing more on proper tone & technique, as well as performance & sightreading strategies. We perform a holiday concert in December, and then move onto preparing for performance at MSBOA District II Band Festival in Petoskey. Festival includes three pieces (a march, a 'required piece' from a list set by the State Office, and a piece of our choice). We receive an adjudication rating based upon the overall performance of our prepared pieces, as well as the execution of a sightreading piece. Festival is usually held the first weekend in March; a preview concert is scheduled at Onaway School several weeks beforehand for all to attend.

We also perform as a pep band at several boys' & girls' varsity basketball games.

In the spring, we begin to prepare a spring concert for the community, centered around a main theme. This is a nice change from the rigor of Festival preparation, and often involves pieces that the audience may recognize. All three bands (beginner, junior high, and high school) perform at the spring concert as a way to celebrate a year of learning, hard work, and musicianship. The middle school band also learns marching basics and the fight song, to prepare for 4th of July & future participation in high school band.

In the summer, we perform at Onaway's "Biggest Fourth in the North" Parade. Grades 7-12 are invited to march & perform in the parade. We also begin preparations for band camp, held the first week of August.