West Suburban Home School Band
Before reading "How to Join" you should have read About the WSHSB for an overview of what the West Suburban Home School Band has to offer. You will find general information on a wide variety of topics not mentioned here.
The bulk of the information on this web page is for anyone wishing to join the WSHSB for the two concert trimesters, during the school year. The third trimester is Summer Marching Band, which is open to current members and those thinking about joining the band. Experienced musicians may participate in the summer marching trimester, before they have submitted an audition video. Non-musician siblings or friends may march as part of our guard unit. For complete information about these unique opportunities, see Summer Marching.
To join the WSHSB a student must be home schooled. Those interested in joining the WSHSB, at any level but Cadet, must submit an audition video. Read more about Auditions further down this page. Recommended minimum age for any level is nine. The band includes all woodwinds and brass, as well as a full percussion section. There are no stringed instruments. There are four skill levels for you to consider.
The Cadet Band is for beginners, those with little or no prior wind or percussion experience.The Cadet level does not require an audition but does have requirements for over the summer. See Cadet Requirements. There you will also find information on choosing an instrument. Wind students generally spend one year in Cadet Band. However, it is expected of Cadet percussion students, who pass the Junior audition, to attend Cadet band for a second concert season, September through May, in addition to attending Junior band rehearsals.
The Concert Junior Band is for newly graduated Cadets and those who need time to develop skills at the early band level. Admittance into this band is by audition. As a guideline, students should expect to be in this band for 1 to 3 years. No audition is necessary at the Concert Junior level for adults with a minimum of one year experience on their instrument.
The Concert Senior Band serves those students who have achieved greater mastery of their instrument and are ready for more advanced performance music. Admittance into this band is by audition. Most students should expect to spend 2 to 3 years at this level.
The Symphonic Band is geared towards providing students with an opportunity to study and perform high school level music. Admittance into this band is by audition.
Those who wish to audition for Concert Junior, Concert Senior or Symphonic level as part of the WSHSB Annual Summer Chair Competition must submit an audition video by the deadline in August. AUDITIONING FOR A PARTICULAR BAND DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE IN THAT BAND. There may also be limits in instrument sections within each band level. The Concert Season roster is set by the end of August. However, once the audition video deadline has past you are still able to join by submitting an audition video with the following understanding. You will be placed in the band where we feel you fit best and you will be at the end of the roster for your instrument. Those who do not submit an audition video will not receive music and will not be considered a member of the band.
Audition requirements for each level are described on the Audition page. If a student is unsure whether to audition for Concert Junior, Concert Senior or Symphonic, they should review the required audition exercises. You may be able to borrow the necessary Essential Elements 2000 book from a friend or look at one in a music store. You may also consult with the director for her suggestions or recommendations.
Want to join the WSHSB?
This is the first step in the process of joining, or considering joining, the WSHSB. A parent of a prospective new student, for any of the four levels, should email the director, Karen Borow, at Director of WSHSB. She will call you at her earliest convenience. Include your name and phone with best time to call, students name, age and musical experience along with each instrument and number of years played. State any piano experience. Indicate what instrument your student might like to play in the band. This email notification is imperative for those wishing to join at any level. The director needs to know the number of students to expect. Sufficient music purchases for the concert trimesters are among her considerations. It is especially important for those wishing to audition for Concert Senior or Symphonic Band to assure their audition music will be ready and available on the pick-up date. They will also need information on where to pick-up their audition music.
Parents as members
Parents are also welcome to join the WSHSB. As members they are considered adult helpers. However, for a variety of reasons there may be limits on the number of helpers allowed. Email your information to the director as stated in the paragraph above. A parent may join at the Cadet level with no audition. See Cadet Requirements. Also, no audition is necessary at the Concert Junior level for adults with a minimum of one year experience on their instrument. Those wishing to join at Senior or Symphonic level must demonstrate proficiency at the respective level to determine if and where they might best be utilized. When you email your intention to the director, please let her know which level you are interested in and she will get back with you to discuss current instrument section needs and audition details.
Registration Form and Fees
Once there has been contact with the director, and audition requirements completed, it is time to register if you haven't already done so. This process involves several steps.
1. At least one parent needs to visit our Booster page and follow the instructions for signing-up for Booster hours. The choice of date(s) and position(s) will need to be entered on the Fall Registration form.
2. Student and adult musicians need to print and complete the Registration Form. The deadline is on the form. There is a discount for three or more children with a fee schedule located on the registration form. The form also lists a progressive late fee for missed deadlines. If applicable, print and complete an Instrument Rental Form. Both forms are on our Forms/Documents web page. Tuition and fees are non-refundable and are subject to change.
3. Mail your completed form(s) and check to the address on the registration form. No checks will be accepted without the necessary completed forms and vice-versa. Signing up for the required Booster hours must be completed as part of the Fall registration process, before your registration will be accepted. Music will not be distributed until registration is complete.
There is only one parents' meeting in mid-September. See our Calendar for the date and time. Once all Fall trimester music has been distributed the Orientation portion of the evening will begin. While all new families are required to attend this Orientation, returning families are welcome to stay for the director's address where she will give an overview of the year, describes goals and expectations for both parents and students and answers any questions. Please note that, in general, all Fall registrations should be complete before this date. That would include all applicable forms, fees, and required Booster hours sign-up.
If you would simply like to make an inquiry about the band, feel free to email the director, Karen Borow, at Director. She will call you as soon as possible. Give her your name and phone with best time to call, and the nature of your inquiry. If you have a potential student, it would be helpful to include their name, age and musical experience along with each instrument and number of years played. State any piano experience. Indicate what instrument your student might like to play if they were to join.