High School Program of studies
High School Band
The North Allegheny High School Bands have a long and fine tradition of musical excellence. The Bands at North Allegheny have traveled all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. The North Allegheny High School Band Program is made up of three concert groups in grades 9-10 and three concert groups in grades 11-12. The program also offers the nearly 300 member "Tiger" Marching Band, three Jazz Ensembles, a Percussion Ensemble, and other chamber groups. Alumni of the North Allegheny Band Program have gone to on to major in both music education and/or music performance at some of the finest colleges and universities in the country including Michigan State University, Syracuse University, Indiana University, Youngstown State University, Slippery Rock University, The University of Northern Iowa, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Duquesne University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Belmont University, Mercyhurst College, Vanderbilt University, Penn State University, Appalachian State University, and Ithaca College. Other non-music majors have also continued to play and study their instruments at such fine institutions as Ohio State, Notre Dame, The University of Pittsburgh, Duke University, Kent State University, Case Western University, Penn State University, Slippery Rock University, Cornell University, Clemson University, The University of Delaware, The University of Dayton, Appalachian State University, and Carnegie Mellon University.
High School Choir
The North Allegheny Senior High School Vocal Department is directed by Mr. Ernest M. Pontiere, grades 11-12, and Mrs. Lisa A. Pontiere, grades 9-10 at North Allegheny Intermediate High School. Together, they serve grades 9-12, over 372 choral students daily in eight different choral ensembles. Each ensemble meets one full period every day. The North Allegheny Senior High School Honors Chamber Choir consists of students grades 10-12, and is a weighted honors course with membership attained by audition only. The senior high choirs perform three major concerts per year and partake in a major tour/adjudication to Disney Orlando, Florida every other year.
The North Allegheny Senior High School Choral Parents Association is and will continue to be the backbone of the organization. It is led by a 24 member executive board that handles all fundraising, chaperoning, and business transactions for all choral students grades 9-12.
High School Orchestra
The North Allegheny High School Orchestra is made up of students in grades 9-12 with experience on violin, viola, cello, and string bass. These students meet during the school day and perform several concerts throughout the year. Additionally, all of the orchestra students participate in and perform with the Golden Strolling Strings.
The orchestra travels and performs on a trip every year and has performed in cities such as Atlanta, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Washington, D.C., Orlando, and Toronto. The orchestra regularly receives "Superior" ratings. The NASH Chamber Orchestra has performed several times at the PMEA convention, most recently at the 2016 state convention held in Hershey, PA. In 2017, the NASH Chamber Orchestra and NAI Chamber Orchestra were both selected to be demonstration groups at the National ASTA Convention. Students are regularly accepted to participate in Honors Festivals at the local, regional, state and national level.
The Golden Strolling Strings was organized in 1988 by Mrs. Christine Loverti. The popular performing group is treated as a co-curricular activity and consists of all string orchestra students from grades 9-12. These students play music of all styles including: classical, folk, popular, seasonal and dance music. Selection may include the following: "Canon in D" by Pachelbel, "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" by Tchaikovsky, The William Tell Overture" by Gioachino Rossini, and folk medleys from Ireland, Italy, Mexico and America. Much in demand, the Golden Strolling Strings have been invited to perform for national conventions with 1000 people in attendance, church dinners, country club parties, weddings and other school and community functions. In April of 1997, the Golden Strolling Strings performed for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference banquet in Monroeville, Pa. The North Allegheny Golden Strolling Strings continue to receive appreciative responses from the community.
High School General Music
There are many high school general music classes offered that stress the creation of music.
Music Theory 1 and Music Theory 2
- these include Ear-training, which is given at all four levels and includes rhythm, pitch, intervals, chords, and simply melodies. These four levels are on a semester basis, and are augmented with technology. Class work is done at computer workstations using web-based units. These units can include examples and practice. The reading and notating of music is approached through the use of notation software (Finale). Students must be able to express themselves in the terms of notes to achieve success at music according to MENC National Standard 5(reading and notating music). Rhythm and form analysis, style, and musical concepts are heightened through this software too so students are gaining skills towards MENC National Standard 6(listening to, analyzing, and describing music). Interval, chord, and melody recognition and listening can be practiced and tested through computer-aided instruction (CAI) giving students the opportunity to achieve at to MENC National Standard 1 and 2, the ability to sing and perform alone and with others. This can be done on the computer where we have the ability to play a MIDI file or show a notated piece of music and have students record into a microphone either their voices singing, or them playing the a keyboard. These recordings are saved as sound files that can be played and critiqued. Students also can review and practice lessons on the Internet which has the ability to keep track of student progress and ability. Writing assignments based on the units can be assigned and students have the ability to write them in notation programs (Finale). This is also good to continue the practice of reading music (MENC National Standard 5). These assignments can be reviewed and critiqued with the whole class. Music in the form of digital audio and MIDI files can be analyzed on computer giving access to a large amount of music. Here too students can respond to the instructor through email.
Electronic Music and Advanced Electronic Music
-these courses meet the demands of our ever-evolving information age society. It is offered in two levels. In each of these levels, students learn how to read and notate music, analyze music, and gain composing skills. Theory for electronic music students is delivered through an online workbook. This workbook is a series of activities to enable students to read music.
-this is a class that attracts students who are not as interested in theory but do show interest in music. Songwriting students cover topics that will focus their musical ideas towards successfully writing popular music. The content of their course begins with the development of successful song structures. Songwriting students learn how to analyze music, learn basic skills in melody and harmony writing, and compose primarily on the computers and software.
AP Music and Honors Music Theory
-these classes are a necessity for any student who wishes to continue music study after high school graduation. This class is offered as yearlong courses. Successful completion of Music Theory 1 and 2 is a prerequisite. Some students choose to take the Advanced Placement Music class both in eleventh and twelfth grade. The units in the Advanced Placement Music classes are integrated with history units so students can relate their learning to periods in time. Along with these history units, Honors Music Theory and Advanced Placement Music students deal with developing their ear. These listening units are also integrated with the theory units. These aural units begin with improving students’ awareness of sound. A music teacher’s goal for students should include being able to write what they hear. To help achieve this goal, some of these units engage the students in singing of humming activities. These activities start with a single pitch and progress to complex melodies. This will help to strengthen their tonal memory.
Multimedia Arts and Advanced Multimedia Arts
- In this course the students design and create original media rich web sites and computer interactive multimedia presentations that include animation, digital video, photography, graphics, sound and MIDI music. Students will learn to use digital cameras, scan and edit photographs. They will shoot and edit digital video. Students create animation and dynamic web content. Students learn sound recording, sound editing, and design and compose MIDI music. In the independent final project, students are encouraged to work to their interests and strengths, emphasizing a particular subject or artistic discipline. Projects have included digital art or music portfolios, web site development, online exhibits, learning games, multimedia stage performances, and interactive presentations on a variety of topics.
The course emphasizes conception and planning, solving design challenges, personal artistic expression and communication through new media technology. The course provides a foundation for careers in the growing field of web and multimedia design. The course is taught by art and music faculty.
We will conceive, plan and create original multimedia artworks that express an idea, feeling or point of view, individually or as a member of a creative team.
We will use new media and traditional media in a craftsman like way that explores the boundaries of the media.
We will shape the elements of sight and sound; time, space, color, light and texture, timbre, pitch and volume to express our ideas and to create interest, exorability, and beauty.
We will view and listen to a wide array of work by artists, composers, filmmakers and other media artists, including student work, to analyze, critique and understand the work and the context in which it was made.
Our evaluation of your work and your grade is based on the above standards and goals for your learning and accomplishments in Multimedia Arts.
In each artistic project we will evaluate:
craftsmanship; the effective use of media tools, software, an work process.
design and composition; the effective arrangement of visual and sound elements.
original expression; unique, personal development of a theme or vision.
In verbal and written responses to the works of art of others and your own we will evaluate your:
critical analysis of the formal and expressive features of the art work.
interpretation of the themes and ideas of the artwork.
understanding of the historical and cultural context of an artist and artwork.
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