Islander Middle School provides a remarkable music experience to students and prepares them to participate in the exciting Mercer Island High School Band program.
Class Configuration and Focus. In sixth grade, students focus on expanding their musical technique, meeting every other day and in small groups. The seventh grade band meets every day, and meets in much larger groups, including two equal concert bands, woodwinds, brass and percussion subgroups as well as individual sectionals. Seventh Grade Band continues to emphasize structured skill development, but has a greater emphasis on group performance of band literature. The eighth grade band is the culmination band experience for students at IMS, and springboard to the stellar high school band program. Class structure is similar to the seventh grade band, however curriculum shifts to include a greater emphasis on performance band works, and less on technique books. Interested eighth grade students also have the opportunity to play in the IMS Jazz Ensemble (see What to Expect – MI Jazz).
Grading and Participation. All IMS Band students have periodic graded playing tests, as well as required practice records, provided in class. Participation at all concerts is required, and a significantly weighted and important part of each student’s grade. In addition, enrichment opportunities for small ensemble playing are available for motivated students.
What to Expect
- Mid-October – All Island Band Night is truly a night to be remembered. It’s the 5th grade band’s debut at a Mercer Island High School Football game. The program starts with the 5th grader’s traditional rendition of “Hot Crossed Buns”, includes performances by the 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands, and concludes with a spectacular performance by the Mercer Island High School Band. With over 700 musicians on the field, it’s something parents look forward to year-after-year.
- Early November– 7th grade band students will perform at the Seventh
Grade Band Concert.
- Late November/Early December – 8th grade students perform at the Winterfest Concert at Seattle Center, the IMS Winter Concert at the IMS Winter Music Assembly.
- Early February – Younger IMS band students show off their developing skills at the Sixth and Seventh grade Band Concert.
- Mid-February – Motivated students may be selected to play in the WMEA Jr. All State Honor Band
- Early March – 8th grade students perform at the Eastshore Region Solo and Ensemble Festival. Motivated 6th and 7th grade students may also choose to prepare and perform at this exciting event
- End of March – 7th and 8th grade students perform at Fine Arts Showcase at Mercer Island High School.
- End of April – 8th grade band students perform at the Eastshore Band Festival.
- Mid-May – 8th grade band students demonstrate instruments to incoming 5th grade students during the elementary music tour.
- Early June – The year concludes with the Spring Band Blast concert which showcases the 5th, 6th and 7th Grade Concert Bands.
The specific schedule for the year, are found here: