The Drew Charter School Band program is dedicated to mastering fundamental musical concepts that can be transferred to more challenging and rewarding musical experiences. Students are afforded the opportunity to participate in large performance groups such as Concert and Symphonic Band, as well as small chamber and jazz ensembles. In addition to class instruction, many of our students are afforded private and/or group instruction through our Georgia State University partnership.
Students start their band experience in the 4th grade at the Elementary Academy and transition to the Junior Academy (JA) Beginning Band in 6th grade. Our Junior Academy Bands are divided into a 6th grade Beginning Band and a 7th and 8th grade Concert Band. Both bands present an annual Costume Concert in October; the 7th and 8th grade Concert Band participates in Large Group Performance Evaluation; the bands participate in an annual holiday concert; and they close the year with an annual themed Spring Concert. JA Band students have participated in the Georgia Music Education Association (GMEA) All-State auditions, University of Georgia’s MIDFEST Honor Band Clinic, and the Atlanta Public Schools Honor Band Clinic.
Our Senior Academy (SA)Band program consists of a Beginning Band class, Symphonic Band, Jazz Combo and Ensemble, and Chamber Ensembles. SA Band students have participated in GMEA All-State auditions, GMEA District 5 Honor Band, University of Georgia’s JANFEST Honor Band Clinic, Solo and Ensemble Festival, Large Group Performance Evaluation and will participate in a National Performance Evaluation in Orlando this spring.
Both JA and SA Bands have consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings at both Solo and Ensemble Festival and Large Group Performance Evaluation.
Drew Charter School’s Chorus Programs spans the Elementary, Junior and Senior Academies. Students are taught the fundamentals of voice training, choral performance and gain an understanding of how music is put together as a composition. Chorus students also learn creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and personal responsibility.
The chorus program holds annual student performances each year, including a holiday and spring concert. A number of chorus students, representing all three academies, are selected annually for the Georgia Music Education Association (GMEA) District Five Honor Chorus, where they are given the opportunity to further develop their choral training and collaboratively perform with other top chorus students. Additionally, several Junior and Senior Academy chorus students have auditioned for and were selected by GMEA for All-State Chorus. Drew’s Chorus Program is often invited to perform for special events throughout Atlanta and the nation. In 2018, Drew’s Senior Academy Chorus earned all superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE), including a superior rating in sight-reading, arguably the most challenging area.
The mission of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble is to deliver quality musical instruction on the harp, develop music reading skills and musicianship. Students completing this course are expected to gain a deep understanding and appreciation for harp, the arts, the musical world and their impact on society. They will improve upon their skills on the harp, theory knowledge, and learn to support one another within an ensemble setting and have fun.
The Charles R. Drew Elementary Academy Orchestra Program empowers students with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to reach their full potential as young, well-rounded musicians while enriching their campus, community, and world around them.
Kindergarten through Second Grade students explore the musical world around them through dance, song, and play. Using the John Feierabend methodology, the elementary orchestra classroom focuses on creating tuneful, beautiful, and artful children.
Third Grade students have the opportunity to discover the beauty, virtuosity, and versatility of the violin. In a nine-week period, children will reach multiple milestones in playing an instrument. From leaning to unpack their case to basic note reading to plucking a piece of music, students will get a taste of what it’s like to play violin!
Fourth and Fifth Grade Orchestra expands upon music theory and violin skills learned at an earlier age and launches students into the strings family with the opportunity to learn violin, viola, cello, or bass. With an end goal of creating a lifelong appreciation for orchestra, students will begin with a focus on fundamentals and from there, expand their instrumental horizons, developing into skilled musicians.
The Junior Academy Orchestra program is comprised of sixth and seventh grade students who are interested in learning to perform music on a string instrument. Students choose the violin, viola, cello, or bass and learn the fundamentals to string playing. Eighth grade students refine their techniques and learn to play more advanced literature. Junior Academy Orchestra performs concerts at least twice a year.
The Senior Academy Orchestra program is comprised of ninth through twelfth grade students. Students will become more accomplished musicians by learning more difficult rhythms, techniques, and refine their sound and musicianship through more advanced literature. The Senior Academy Orchestra has at least four performances per year.