Information for Incoming Freshmen and Parents

There are numerous exciting opportunities at Petaluma High School for students who wish to be active in a music program. PHS Music offers many different types of instrumental ensembles and a choral ensemble, all of which are open to any incoming freshmen provided they meet certain requirements or in some cases, meet the audition criteria. To begin, here is some important information regarding scheduling:

  1. It is highly suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen music students to PHS request band or choir as their first elective choice.  If band or choir is not listed as a student’s first elective choice, the student may not be placed in a music class.
  2. 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).  This is recommended for students who wish to be in J.V. or Varsity Jazz Ensemble and the Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble.
  3. Concurrent enrollment in either the Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble is recommended to be in the J.V. Jazz Ensemble or Varsity Jazz Ensemble.
  4. In the past, some students and parents have elected to delay taking Physical Education during the freshmen year.  Instead, they have elected to take P.E. during summer school, or as a junior or senior.  Also in the past, some students have taken junior college P.E. courses during their junior and senior years of high school. Delaying P.E. gives a freshmen student an extra elective choice.
  5. Also in the past, some students and parents have elected to waive the Human Interaction requirement.
  6. You can change your elective choice(s) at anytime (even after registration) by calling your freshmen counselor at PHS.     Schedules can be changed through the first two weeks of the school year.
  7. Questions regarding the PHS Music Program can be directed to Cliff Eveland or Elizabeth Robertson at 769-9650 (PHS Music Office, leave a message).  Please also check our website: www.petalumahighmusic.org

Below is a list of the various ensembles and the requirements for each group:

Symphonic Band/Marching Band: An intermediate instrumental ensemble that is open without audition to any student who participated in band at Petaluma Jr. High School during their 8th grade year. If a student wishes to enroll in the Symphonic Band, but did not participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High, a simple instrumental audition is necessary and can be arranged by calling the Music Department Office at the phone number listed above. Auditions will be scheduled for after school hours at Petaluma High School. It is suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen music students to PHS request Symphonic Band as their first elective choice.

Wind Ensemble/Marching Band: An advanced instrumental ensemble that requires an audition. The Wind Ensemble is open to any student (incoming freshmen as well) who meets the audition criteria. An opportunity to audition is available for students who participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High School during the 8th Grade Band Honor Band class. These auditions will take place in the Jr. High Band Room during normal class time. If a student wishes to enroll in the Wind Ensemble, but did not participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High, an instrumental audition is necessary and can be arranged by calling the Music Department Office at the phone number listed above. Auditions will be scheduled for after school hours at Petaluma High School. It is suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen music students to PHS request Wind Ensemble as their first elective choice.

Junior Varsity Jazz Ensemble: (saxophones, trombones, trumpets, piano, guitar, bass guitar, drum set). An intermediate instrumental jazz ensemble that requires an audition. The J.V. Jazz Ensemble is open to any student (incoming freshmen as well) who meets the audition criteria. An opportunity to audition is available for students who participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High School during the 8th Grade Band Honor Band class. These auditions will take place in the Jr. High Band Room during normal class time. If a student wishes to enroll in the J.V. Jazz Ensemble, but did not participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High, an instrumental audition is necessary and can be arranged by calling the Music Department Office at the phone number listed above. Auditions will be scheduled for after school hours at Petaluma High School. It is suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen music students to PHS request J.V. Jazz Ensemble as their first or second elective choice.   Prerequisite: 2 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).

Varsity Jazz Ensemble: (saxophones, trombones, trumpets, piano, guitar, bass guitar, drum set). An advanced instrumental jazz ensemble that requires an audition.  The Varsity Jazz Ensemble is open to any student (incoming freshmen as well) who meets the audition criteria. An opportunity to audition is available for students who participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High School during the 8th Grade Band Honor Band class. These auditions will take place in the Jr. High Band Room during normal class time.     If a student wishes to enroll in the Varsity Jazz Ensemble, but did not participate in band at Petaluma Jr. High, an instrumental audition is necessary and can be arranged by calling the Music Department Office at the phone number listed above. Auditions will be scheduled for after school hours at Petaluma High School. It is suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen music students to PHS request Varsity Jazz Ensemble as their first or second elective choice. Prerequisite: 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).

Chamber Choir: A large intermediate/advanced choral ensemble that is open to any student who participated in choir at Petaluma Jr. High School during their 8th grade year. If a student wishes to enroll in the Chamber Choir, but did not participate in choir at Petaluma Jr. High, a simple vocal audition is necessary and can be arranged by calling the Music Department Office at the phone number listed above. Auditions will be scheduled for after school hours at Petaluma High School. It is suggested that 8th graders who are incoming freshmen music students to PHS request Chamber Choir as their first elective choice.

Drum Line: An extra-curricular all percussion ensemble.  Auditions for the ensemble take place on the 1st day of Drum Line Camp in August before each school year (runs concurrently with Band Camp). Even if a student does not play a percussion instrument in marching or jazz band, we will teach you to play percussion for this ensemble.  Attendance at Drum Line Camp is mandatory.

Color Guard: An extra-curricular coordinated movement, dance, and equipment based performance group open to any PHS student. An audition is required in the spring (usually in May), and attendance at the Color Guard Camp in August is mandatory (runs concurrently with Band Camp).