Children who are in the fifth through eighth grades are eligible to participate in the school’s band program. Those children who are learning to play an instrument for the first time are placed in the “Beginners’” band; those who are proficient at playing an instrument become part of either the “Intermediate” or the “Advanced” band. Children who do not own their own instrument may rent an instrument from a local music company or use one of the instruments owned by the school. A fee is charged all band students for music. The bands play in several band concerts, clinics, assemblies and parades annually.
Children in second through eighth grade are eligible to participate in the school’s stringed orchestra. This group is divided into four sections: “Level 1”, “Level 2”, “Junior Orchestra” and “Gloria Dei Strings”. Private or semi-private lessons as well as group rehearsals take place during the school day. A weekly lesson fee is charged all stringed orchestra students. Children who do not own their instrument may rent one.
Public concerts are given at the same time as the school band by Levels 1, 2, and the Junior Orchestra. Additionally a separate concert is given every other year in the spring. The Gloria Dei Strings group performs throughout the year during church services, Boar’s Head Festival and Grandparents’ Day in addition to the two annual public concerts.
Children who are in the fourth through eighth grades are eligible to participate in the school’s handbell programs. There are two handbell groups: the “Agape Ringers” comprised of 5-8 graders and the “Praise Ringers” made up of fourth graders. Students have one group rehearsal each week after school. There is no fee involved. The handbell groups participate in Sunday morning church services and play on other occasions including several public concerts each year.
The choir program is an outgrowth of the music program and has as its central purpose the glorification of God and the beautification of worship services as well as the spiritual enrichment of the child and all listeners. Choruses have been organized for the fifth and sixth grades; students in seventh and eighth grade may participate in School Chorus as an elective. Rehearsals are scheduled during school time. Our choirs participate in Sunday morning church services and other special services such as Christmas Eve, Boar’s Head Festival and Easter. All children who are members of the choruses are expected to be present whenever their choir sings. Written excuses are expected whenever an absence is necessary. Periodically during the year the children of Grades 1-4 also sing for worship services.