- Almost one third of students at San Elijo Middle take music, over 500 students (roughly 200 more than San Marcos High School).
- There are 5 different levels of band: Beginning, Intermediate, Concert Band, Golden Eagle Band, and Wind Symphony (our top band). All but Intermediate have 60 students or more, allowing for good sized bands at every level.
- There are 2 levels of band in 6th grade allowing for beginners and non-beginners to progress at appropriate paces.
- There is currently one level of choir open to students of all grades.
- Unlike most schools, which only have one music teacher, San Elijo has 2 credentialed music teachers and has coaches specialized all the different sections of the band, plus jazz.
- San Elijo Middle uses online software (SmartMusic), issued to each student, to encourage them to practice, give them feed back on their progress, and allow the Band director to monitor effort and ability.
- Musicians love to perform - so we use every opportunity to show off our students.
- Advanced students, are given the opportunity to take part in an annual, adjudicated Solo & Ensemble Festival which pushes them to higher levels of achievement.
- For the truly dedicated, the school offers, not one, but 2 levels of jazz, daily, during zero period (7-8am): House Band and Gig Band. The Gig Band contains roughly 25 students, participation being by audition only. The Gig Band represents the school at Festivals and other outside performances.
- San Elijo also offers an after school Glee club for students who want to sing, but don't have room in their school schedule.
- San Elijo consistently earns the highest rating at almost every festival it takes part in.
- Music students are amongst the highest academic achievers in the school.
- Students are rewarded for their efforts over the course of the year, our Awards Night is a fun and social end to the year in June.
What the Students Say
- It’s their favorite class of the day.
- They are proud to be 'Band Geeks'.
- Band is one big family, you get to know kids from different grades, it's a place to hang out.
- They can't imagine their life without Band.
- The festivals and field trips are so much fun.
- They want to continue to take Band at High School.
What Makes San Elijo Middle School Band So Successful?
- Dr. Gary DeBora, our principal, and his administration team of Ms. Patricia Kurylo, Mr. John Livingston, and Mr. Gary Pope fully support the Band. They attend and assists at every event, and recognize that we offer an exceptional program.
- Ms. Kossler & Mrs. McInnis, our band directors. They has one clear objective: to expose their students to the joys of playing music, such that they develop a passion for music, that lasts them a lifetime. With young energy, experience and a clear vision, Ms. Kossler & Mrs. McInnis know what it takes; the SEMS band program and its support structure are all their making.
- Dedicated music coaches.
- A group of parents who run the Band Boosters that acts as the administrative arm of the band. They photocopy music, collect donations, organize field trips, and other activities.
- Once the district allowance has run out Band Boosters funds those extra coaches, the software each student receives at the start of the year, the program printing costs and everything else. The band program costs around $40,000/year to run above what is provided by the District. Hence our request for $100 donation per student at the start of the year.
- Awesome parents who offer their support in any and every way they can: attending fundraisers, helping to run fundraisers, moving instruments, printing certificates, chaperoning field trips, sorting band photos, and much more.
- And last but most importantly, our wonderful students who are enthusiastic, capable, talented, spirited, and dedicated; and who recognize a good opportunity when they see it!