The West Suburban Home School Band, also known as the WSHSB, follows
the model of a community band and includes all wind instruments, woodwinds and brass, as
well as a full percussion section. There are no stringed instruments. Membership has grown
from 46 students/26 families in 2001, to over 200 members and almost
100 families in 2012-2013.
Director, founder and staff
Mrs. Karen Borow is the director and founder of the WSHSB. She is a home school mother of
seven. The director, assistant director, percussion coordinator and staff are volunteers.
Students must be home schooled to be part of the WSHSB.
All home schooled students, elementary through high school age. Home schooled graduates
may continue their membership as adult helpers. See Student and Adult Helpers
Band practice is every Thursday at Resurrection Church in Wayne (NW corner of Route
59 & Army Trail Road). 5:15-6:00 Cadet Band, 6:00-7:00 Concert Junior Band, 7:00-8:00
Concert Senior Band, 8:00-9:00 Symphonic Band.
At band practice, students work together as a group. Students are expected to take
personal responsibility for their musical development as part of their home schooling
experience. Daily practice is required and is the only sure means of progressing and
improving. While private lessons are not a requirement, they are encouraged, and will
generally help students progress faster than those who do not have private lessons.
Two concert trimesters are followed by a voluntary, summer marching trimester. First
concert trimester is late September through Winter Concert in January. Second concert
trimester is February through Spring Concert in May. There are a few additional
performance opportunities during the year.
There are four band levels to accommodate those with no musical training whatsoever to
those with advanced experience and abilities. The levels are Cadet, Concert Junior,
Concert Senior and Symphonic.
Junior, Senior and Symphonic Band members may take up a second instrument as a Cadet.
However, when the combined bands play, they must play their instrument from the higher
band, otherwise known as their primary instrument. IMPORTANT: Exceptions to this
rule may occur based on the musical needs of a particular song. In that case, students who
play more than one instrument are expected to accept and follow the directors
choice/decision as to which instrument they will play for that song.
an audition video may be required.
Beginner parents and experienced parents are welcome to participate, but must demonstrate
proficiency to determine if and where they might best be utilized.
Student and Adult Helpers
Student or adult band members interested in being a helper in a lower band are welcome to
do so with the approval of the director. However, there may be limits on the number of
helpers allowed, for a variety of reasons. Alternatively, the director may invite someone
to become a helper, based on musical needs. Once helpers commit, they are expected to
fulfill that role for the entire concert season, both trimesters.
Cost Forms/Documents web page. Fees are subject to change.
For each of the two concert trimesters, there is a nominal family fee plus a modest per
student fee with a discount for three or more children. The marching trimester fee for
student musicians is refundable. Details are on the respective registration forms, found
The WSHSB Boosters are band parents who contribute their time and talent to fill the
variety of needs of the band program. Since the bands inception in 2001, to make the
band what it is and keep our fees as low as possible; no one is compensated for what they
do. In order for the band to survive we rely on the assistance of ALL the member families.
Please refer to our Band Boosters webpage
for details about required Booster hours.
Solo and Ensemble ContestOur annual Solo and Ensemble contest, also known as the SEC, is held in March. You
can read more about this popular event on our SEC webpage.
The WSHSB runs an economical, limited rental program, as a courtesy to its members.
Highest priority is to meet the instrument needs of new Cadet members, at the start of
each concert season. Instruments are offered on a first come first served basis as
long as the WSHSB supply lasts. Contact the Director, Mrs. Karen
Borow, regarding the band's rental fees and available rental instruments.
The WSHSB website is our primary means of communication. It is the responsibility of
both parents and students to check the Members News Page regularly, for the most
current information. There, members will find links to weekly Rehearsal Notes,
time-sensitive announcements and forms or documents currently in use. Most of these
contain information for both parents and students. Parents should also check the Boosters
tab for the current Band Booster jobs needing volunteers.
Marching Trimester The marching trimester is voluntary and is open to
current WSHSB members and non-members alike. We need both musicians and
non-musicians. Any experienced, home-schooled musician, age 9 or older, is eligible to
march with the WSHSB. Musicians must have at least one school year of instruction or
experience on their instrument. Well-disciplined and similarly experienced,
non-home-schooled students as well as adult musicians are also encouraged and welcome to
join. Besides musicians, there is also a need for non-musicians to fill the limited
number of guard unit positions. For complete marching info see Summer Marching.
For the marching trimester, the WSHSB is also known as "The Patriots".
for General Information
Click here for Musical Director