The John Overton High School Band is comprised of three concert ensembles designed to give students a learning experience in music that is commensurate with their experience, musical proficiency, and level of commitment. Membership in the John Overton Band is based on a full-year commitment. The directors reserve the right to reassign students within each ensemble according to student standing and compliance to course requirements.
Marching Band is an ensemble comprised of concert band membership, including three concert bands, percussion, and color guard. The marching band rehearses 10 hours a week outside of the school day until the last football game or competition in late October or early November. Participation in the marching band is strongly recommended for all members in the band program. There are required pre-season training camps that enable the group to put on public performances early in the school year. Camps include kick-off camp in May, band camp in July, and guard and percussion camp in July. Each student is responsible for the annual marching band fee to help pay for expenses necessary to put on a quality and competitive program on the field.
Jazz band is an ensemble that meets once a week after school on Wednesdays for two hours. Students audition at the beginning of the school year, and those that don't play jazz based instruments are encouraged to consider learning one if transfer is simple enough. Nathan Barna is the jazz band director and can be reached at Nathan.Barna@mnps.org.
Overton offers a variety of chamber ensembles. Currently, we offer french horn ensemble, woodwind quintet, sax quartet, and string quartets. There are unlimited opportunities to what chamber groups can be created. Students take ownership of these ensembles and are expected to learn and growth without much direction from the directors.
Percussion is a year-long course at John Overton. During the fall marching season, students participate in the drum line or front ensemble with the marching band. During the school day students participate in percussion ensemble class, where they learn music to perform with the concert bands, have their own percussion ensemble pieces, and work towards individual advancement on solo literature. Percussionists are expected to be enrolled in the band program for the entire year. David Watkins is the percussion instructor at John Overton and can be reached at the following email: David.Watkins@mnps.org.
Color Guard is a year-long course. This group works as a unit with the marching band to visually enhance the field show. Auditions are held in the spring and are open to any current or incoming John Overton student. In addition to their color guard audition, all color guard members who play a wind or percussion instrument must also audition for placement in a concert band. These color guard members are required to play in their assigned concert bands. They are expected to maintain a high level of performance on their instrument throughout the year. Auditions will be held for a competitive Winter Guard during the fall semester after marching band is over. The Winter Guard has extra costs associated with membership and is a supplemental but important part of the band program. All color guard members are expected to participate in winter guard and vice versa. Heather Arnett and Jeff Scales are the color guard and winter guard instructors. If you have questions about guard, reach out to Ms. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.