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Advanced Ensemble Opportunities

Elementary Schools

Gifted and Talented Band

The Howard County Elementary Gifted and Talented Band is a county wide musical opportunity for elementary band students who excel in their school band program. This auditioned group’s membership is based on the ability of a student who performs music of above-average difficulty and their demonstration of a high level of commitment and responsibility. Auditions are held in early January, with rehearsals running January-March, and a culminating performance at the end of March.

Honor Band

The Howard County Elementary Honors Band is an honors ensemble made up of 5th grade students from every elementary school in the county. Their respective band directors nominate eligible students, and co-directors select the participants based on the instrumentation needs of the band. The mission for the Elementary Honors Band is to provide students with a challenging, fun, and rewarding musical experience, and to assemble a band truly representative of Howard County’s rich diversity. This ensemble rehearses weekly from January-March, and culminates with a concert at the end of March.

Gifted and Talented Orchestra and Sinfonia

The Howard County Gifted and Talented Orchestra and Gifted and Talented Sinfonia are year-long programs created to enhance the orchestral experience of our students. Each orchestra is designed to meet the needs of the student who exceeds the orchestra curriculum at their grade level. Students wishing to participate in the Howard County GT Orchestra and GT Sinfonia must be active members of their school orchestra programs. Students are selected to participate via an audition at the beginning of the school year. Please visit http://www.esgto.org/ for more information.

Honors Orchestra

The Howard County Elementary Honors Orchestra is an ensemble made up of 5th grade students from every elementary school in the county. Their respective orchestra teachers nominate eligible students, and co-directors select the participants based on the instrumentation needs of the orchestra. The mission for the Elementary Honors Orchestra is to provide students with a challenging, fun and rewarding musical experience, and to assemble an orchestra truly representative of Howard County’s rich diversity. Rehearsals and the concert will take place in March.

Howard County Children’s Chorus

The Howard County Children’s Chorus (HCCC) is a Gifted and Talented Ensemble for Elementary students and is comprised of two choruses: Lyric and Cantus. The Lyric Choir is comprised of auditioned fourth and fifth grade students that have been nominated by their music teachers to audition. The Cantus Choir is for second and third grade students that have been nominated by their music teacher to join. Both choirs are year-long and rehearse weekly.

Festival Chorus

The Howard County Festival Chorus provides a unique opportunity for fifth grade students to participate in an extended master class and performance. The goal of this ensemble is to provide students with an opportunity to perform challenging, high-quality choral music with a master conductor, without requiring a weekly time commitment. Each elementary school choral director can nominate up to four students. Students are provided with music rehearsal tracks and are expected to practice the music on their own or in conjunction with their music teacher before the day-long rehearsal and concert. The full day rehearsal and evening concert are scheduled in May.

Middle Schools

Gifted and Talented Band and Honors Band

The Howard County Middle School Gifted & Talented (GT) Band and Honor Band provide a county-wide musical experience for the most advanced and accomplished band musicians in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Each middle school band director receives the audition requirements in September, which are the same as the Maryland Junior All State Band requirements (available at http://www.mmea-maryland.org/band/). The audition date will precede the Junior All State Band audition date. The audition will be used to determine acceptance in the Howard County Middle School GT Band and the Howard County Middle School Honors Band. Students must audition to be considered for either ensemble. Rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and the concert take place during the month of January.

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Gifted and Talented Orchestra and Sinfonia

The Howard County Gifted and Talented Orchestra Program was created to enhance the orchestral experience of our students. Each orchestra is designed to meet the needs of the student who exceeds the orchestra curriculum at their grade level. In order to be aligned with the purpose of the Gifted and Talented Program the orchestras have been named GT Sinfonia and GT Orchestra.

The Sinfonia performs music one to two grade levels above the curricular standard and the GT Orchestra performs music three or more levels above the curricular standard. Both the Sinfonia and Orchestra are audition-based ensembles that run for the entire school year. Please visit out website at http://www.msgto.org/ for more information.

Honors Chorus

The purpose of the Howard County Middle School Honors Chorus is to provide an enrichment opportunity for talented sixth grade singers from each middle school in Howard County, where they can perform together in a large choral setting one weekend in early February. Participants are nominated in October by their school’s choral director and will be required to attend an evening rehearsal on Friday, and an all-day rehearsal Saturday on the same weekend as the scheduled Sunday concert. Optional preparatory rehearsals will be offered for students throughout November, December, and January as they learn and practice their music for this one weekend event.

Gifted and Talented Chorus

The Howard County Middle School Gifted and Talented Chorus is a countywide musical opportunity for seventh and eighth grade choral students who excel in their school choral programs. Rehearsals are required and are once a week during the month of October culminating with a concert in November. Students will receive a folder containing music and a rehearsal CD. As befits the GT Choral student, the expectation is that the majority of the music will be learned at home. The purpose of the rehearsals is to further refine musical nuances prior to working with the guest conductor.

High Schools

Honors Band

The Howard County High School Honors Band is a countywide program for high school band students who excel in their school programs. Students are nominated by their respective band directors based on their demonstration of excellent music skills and cooperation in the school band program. Throughout the weekend-long experience, the students work with guest conductors from regional universities and U.S. Military Bands.

Gifted and Talented Orchestra

The Howard County High School Gifted and Talented Orchestra is a year-long auditioned full orchestra created to enhance the orchestral experience of our high school wind, percussion, and orchestra students. This orchestra rehearses weekly, and performs numerous times during the school year, including a side-by-side concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in February. Students wishing to participate in the HSGTO must be active members of their school orchestra or band programs. Students are selected to participate via an audition at the end of the previous school year. Please visit www.hsgto.org for more information.

Gifted and Talented Jazz Ensemble

The mission of the Howard County Gifted and Talented Jazz Ensemble is to provide top quality jazz experiences for high school students, including working with renowned conductors and clinicians, collaborating with peers that share a passion and commitment to the art of jazz, and to pursue an elite level of musicianship and professional performance experiences. This auditioned group will begin following marching season, with weekly rehearsals and performances throughout the school year. Please visit www.mrhsbands.com/hsgtje for more information.

Gifted and Talented Chorus

The Howard County Middle School Gifted and Talented Chorus is a countywide musical opportunity for high school choral students who excel in their school choral programs. Rehearsals are required and are once a week during the month of October culminating with a concert in November. Students will receive a folder containing music and a rehearsal CD. As befits the GT Choral student, the expectation is that the majority of the music will be learned at home. The purpose of the rehearsals is to further refine musical nuances prior to working with the guest conductor. Please visit our website at https://sites.google.com/a/hcpss.me/howard-co-gt-honors-choir/ for more information.