Exploring the instrumental music program at Calvert Hall
The Calvert Hall Instrumental Music Program has flourished for over fifty years, giving students the opportunity to increase their musical abilities through instruction from expert musicians and numerous performance opportunities. The Calvert Hall Band serves the Baltimore community and gains widespread acclaim by performing in parades, football games, community events, and local and national competitions. Calvert Hall students recently performed at Walt Disney World in Florida, and in 2017, they were part of the half time show at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Our goal is to help our young men become versatile musicians, and we do this through a highly comprehensive curriculum. The Instrumental Music Program sets the highest standards and provides its members solid instruction in instrumental performance and music theory. From the marching field to the concert stage, members of the Instrumental Music Program strive, through self-discipline, hard work, and determination, to perform at their most professional levels.
Performance dates can be found on the Instrumental Music page and on our Facebook page. Please call 410-825-4266 ext. 153 or email Brian Ecton, Director of Instrumental Music, for additional information.
The Band course (1.0 credit) has two primary components. The first is participation in one of the three concert ensembles. The second is performing with the full marching band. Combined, these two experiences give students a large variety of performance opportunities.
The Wind Ensemble is the premier-instrumental performing ensemble at Calvert Hall. The group is dedicated to stretching the limits of both the individual and the ensemble. The ensemble explores the standard symphonic repertoire, as well as other contemporary musical settings. Students are selected from among their peers and represent some of the most talented musicians at Calvert Hall.
The Symphonic Band is comprised of 9th-12th graders and focuses on developing musicianship. With a wide range of ability levels, the Symphonic Band is dedicated to developing characteristic tone quality and fostering sight reading skills. The Symphonic Band is designed to prepare and develop students to perform at the extremely demanding level of the Wind Ensemble.
The Concert Band is primarily comprised of 9th & 10th graders and focuses on the fundamentals of playing an instrument. This group is geared to first year members and will expose students to a wide selection of music, while developing characteristic tone quality and fostering sight reading skills. Concert Band is designed to prepare and develop students for the increased demands of Symphonic Band. This ensemble also provides an opportunity for current instrumental students to learn a secondary instrument.
The Jazz Band course (0.5 credit) is an elective that offers students the chance to enhance their musical knowledge and skills by performing various styles of jazz music (swing, be-bop, Latin, rock, etc.). Eligibility is based on an audition and participation in the Band (1.0 credit) course. Students playing guitar, electric bass, and piano are the only exceptions to this prerequisite.
The Jazz Ensemble focuses on music from the jazz idiom, from Big Band, swing, be-bop, Latin, rock, and contemporary styles of jazz. The Jazz Band is by audition only. Eligibility is based on participation in the Band program. The only exception to this prerequisite is students playing guitar, piano, & bass.
The Jazz Orchestra is the premier jazz ensemble and is comprised of the most talented musicians from the larger concert groups. The group utilizes improvisation as a vehicle to push the performer to their “creative” limits. Jazz orchestra is dedicated to exposing its students to a diverse library of music from traditional big band standards to contemporary jazz charts.
The Big Band is the intermediate level jazz band at Calvert Hall. The group’s purpose is to mold and train musicians for the more demanding Jazz Orchestra. This ensemble utilizes jazz repertoire to develop fundamentals unique to the jazz idiom.
The Jazz Lab is open to first year musicians, selected by audition. Students learn the technical skills needed to perform jazz proficiently. This ensemble will explore a variety of styles of jazz music.
The Chamber Ensemble course (0.5 credit) is designed for students looking to improve overall musicianship skills in a small ensemble setting. These ensembles perform chamber music with the intent of exposing the students to music not performed in the larger concert ensembles.
The Brass Ensembleconsists of brass performers, who look to improve fundamental skills through a small ensemble setting. These ensembles will perform chamber style literature with intent to open the students to music generally not performed in the concert ensembles. Attention will be made on individual musicianship as it relates to performing within a small ensemble.
The Woodwind Ensembleconsists of woodwind performers, who look to improve fundamental skills through a small ensemble setting. These ensembles will perform chamber style literature with intent to open the students to music generally not performed in the concert ensembles. Attention will be made on individual musicianship as it relates to performing within a small ensemble.
The String Orchestraconsists of instrumentalists who look to improve fundamental skills through a three-tiered performance group structure (chamber ensemble, string orchestra, and full symphonic orchestra).The ensemble will perform various types ofwith the intention of exposing its members to numerous musical genres and styles.One year or more of study and experience on Violin, Viola, Cello, or Double Bass is required for acceptance into the String Orchestra.
The Percussion Ensembleconsists of percussionists, who look to improve fundamental skills through a small ensemble setting. These ensembles will perform chamber style literature with intent to open the students to music generally not performed in the concert ensembles. Attention will be made on individual musicianship as it relates to performing within a small ensemble.
The Calvert Hall Marching Bands are two of the most visible organizations on campus, performing for and entertaining thousands of people, year round, including in local parades and home football games. They also compete in a variety of marching band contests on the east coast.
The Full Marching Band (FMB) involves every wind instrument from the entire Instrumental Music Program. The Full Marching Band performs at a variety of local parades; such as the Towson, Dundalk, & Havre de Grace Fourth of July Parades, the Baltimore Mayors Christmas Parade, as well as the Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Competition Marching Band (CMB) involves members of the Instrumental Music Department to present one of the most visual groups within the Music Department by performing at home football games and throughout the mid–Atlantic region competing in US Bands sanctioned marching band competitions, as well as a variety of charitable events throughout the community. Membership is open to all members of the instrumental music program, subject to the Director’s approval. The CMB prides itself on its consistent musical excellence, and pushing the limits within its visual productions.
Yes, every four years the entire music program travels to Walt Disney World. We all march in the Main Street parade, and some of our groups perform for adjudication in the Magic Music Days Music Festival. While there, we also try to have our top ensembles perform in one of the Disney parks as guest cast members for a day. Between those trips to Disney, we try to take our top ensembles (Wind Ensemble & Jazz Orchestra) to small festivals across the country.
Yes, there are auditions and they typically occur in January. The audition process is very relaxed, as we generally accept anyone who currently plays or is interested in learning to play a wind or string instrument. However, some years due to demand and limited spots, we are not able to accommodate all Percussionist and Jazz Only Students (Guitar, Piano, & Bass).
We have a long standing tradition with our marching band, and we require all wind & percussionists to participate in the full marching band, which performs at home varsity football games and marches in a number of local parades. Participation in the Competition Marching Band is optional for all other instrumental music students.
Yes, for all wind & percussion students to be eligible for the Jazz program, they have to participate in the Band program. The only exceptions are Jazz Only students (guitar, electric bass, and piano), as these instruments are not used in the instrumental music program.
Instrumental Music Faculty
List of 3 members.
Fine Arts -Department Chair, Director of Instrumental Music
West Chester University - B.S. Towson University - M.S.
Associate Director of Instrumental Music
Towson University - B.A.
Director of Vocal Music, Assistant Director of Instrumental Music
West Chester University - B.S. Morgan State University - M.A. Shenandoah University - D.M.A.