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Frequently Asked Questions and Information for Incoming Freshmen and Parents

There are numerous exciting opportunities at Petaluma High School for students who wish to be active in the music program.     PHS Music offers many different types of instrumental ensembles and a choral ensemble, all of which are open to any incoming freshmen. Some of the ensembles require an audition.     To begin, here are some frequently asked questions:

Do I need to audition for the PHS Symphonic Band?

No.     As long as you are in band at the Jr. High, you may sign up for the Symphonic Band without an audition.     If you are not in band at the Jr. High, you will need to schedule an audition. If you would like to be placed in a more advanced ensemble such as the Wind Ensemble, J.V. Jazz Ensemble, or Varsity Jazz Ensemble, an audition is required. Auditions will take during the 8th grade Honor Band class. Auditions can also be arranged by calling Mr. Eveland at the PHS Music Office: (707) 769-9650.

If I sign up for band, will I also be in Marching Band?

Yes.     All students who are enrolled in Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble are also in the Marching Band.

Auditions take place after my class registration is due. How do I know which band or ensemble to sign-up for if I haven’t had an audition yet?

Please have your student sign-up for whatever ensemble or band they would hope to be in (it is perfectly fine to sign-up for the Wind Ensemble and/or Varsity Jazz Ensemble). After the audition, the student will be placed in the ensemble or band that is appropriate for them.     It is worth noting that most incoming freshmen are placed in the Symphonic Band and J.V. Jazz Ensemble.     The Wind Ensemble and Varsity Jazz Ensemble are comprised mostly of juniors and seniors who have gained additional experience by playing in high school ensembles for several years, and many of whom have taken private lessons.     Occasionally, exceptional freshmen students are placed in the advanced groups after an audition.

Do I have to sign up for 2 bands in order to be in a jazz ensemble?

Concurrent enrollment in either the Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble is recommended to be in the J.V. Jazz Ensemble or Varsity Jazz Ensemble. To enroll in the J.V. Jazz Ensemble, there is a prerequisite of 2 years of Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble which may be taken concurrently.     To enroll in the Varsity Jazz Ensemble, there is a prerequisite of 3 years of Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble which may be taken concurrently. An exception regarding concurrent enrollment is made for those students who only play an instrument that is not part of a traditional marching band (piano, guitar, bass guitar).     To enroll in a jazz ensemble, an audition is required, but the J.V. Jazz Ensemble is designed for incoming freshmen who would like to play jazz. To arrange an audition, please contact Mr. Eveland at (707) 769-9650.

I didn’t sign up for the Symphonic Band or J.V. Jazz Ensemble, but I have changed my mind and I would like to do so. What should I do?

Parents: please call the Counseling Office at Petaluma High School and ask that your student be placed in the Symphonic Band and/or J.V. Jazz Ensemble. Their phone number is (707) 778-4779.

I did not make band my first elective choice on my registration, will I still be placed in the Symphonic Band?

It is highly suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen band students to PHS request any band as their first elective choice. If a band is not listed as a student’s first elective choice, the student may not be placed in a band class. If you wish to change your first elective choice to band, please contact the PHS Counseling Office at the number above.     If you are registering for Symphonic Band and J.V. Jazz Ensemble, it is highly suggested that you request the two bands as your first and second elective choices.

As an incoming freshmen, how do I get more than one elective offering so that I can play in both the Symphonic Band and the J.V. Jazz Ensemble?

Incoming freshmen who would like to have more than one elective choice are recommended to take a zero period class which would create a second elective choice (7 classes).     In the past, some students and parents have elected to delay taking Physical Education during the freshmen year, and instead have elected to take P.E. during summer school, or as a junior or senior.     Some students have taken junior college P.E. courses during their junior and senior years in high school.     Also in the past, some students and parents have elected to waive the Human Interaction requirement.

How long do I have to make a change to my schedule for next year?

Schedules can be changed anytime, even until the end of the first two weeks of the upcoming school year. You can change your elective choice(s) by calling the Counseling Office at PHS (707) 778-4779.

I have still have more questions…

Questions regarding the PHS Music Program can be directed to Cliff Eveland at 769-9650 (PHS Music Office, leave a message). Please also check our website:

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