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Music Department

Music Department
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Believing that music study is an essential and integral part of every child’s education, we will prepare students for success through music allowing them to become lifelong music learners.
To serve our students and community by creating one of the nation’s finest school music programs.
The North Hills Music Department is committed to the ideas that:
  • Music is a unique and integral part of the human experience
  • Music performance stimulates the entire brain in powerful ways
  • Music study positively impacts other experiences within a school and in a community
  • All students can and should learn a sequential and standards-based music curriculum delivered by certified music educators as a critical component of the program of study
  • Music study can develop students who are critical thinkers, self-directed learners, effective and creative communicators, informed and responsible citizens, collaborative workers and quality producers 
North Hills School District has a thriving and rigorous music curriculum that has a long tradition of excellence. Rooted in the National Standards for Music Education published by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and also aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Arts and Humanities, North Hills prides itself on reaching students at all grade levels.
North Hills supports a staff of 12 certified music educators.
In the elementary schools, all students receive instruction in general music once every six days from an elementary music specialist. Students may elect to participate in band or orchestra beginning in grade four, and continuing through grade six, receiving two lessons per ensemble every six days from an instrumental specialist, and coming together with students across the district for performances as full band and orchestral ensembles. A children's choir gathers together students from each of the elementary schools in grades four through six for an extra-curricular vocal ensemble experience.
North Hills Middle School offers students in grades seven and eight the ability to participate in a variety of ensembles including three bands, two choirs, and two orchestras. General music courses utilize guitar and world drumming instruction. Extracurricular offerings include marching band, jazz band, concert choir, world drumming ensemble and the Drama Club winter musical.
At North Hills High School, four concert bands, a jazz band, an orchestra, two choirs, and a guitar ensemble rehearse daily. Extracurricular ensembles include the marching band, Jazz II, symphonic orchestra, chamber strings, rock orchestra, pit orchestra, high school musical, madrigal choir, Dreamcatchers, Arrow, and North Hills Singers. Several levels of music theory and technology courses are offered including AP Music Theory.
Throughout its long history, the North Hills Band Program has been accepted to perform at conventions around the country, including PMEA, MENC/NAfME All-East, Midwest, and the National Concert Band Festival. Recent performances include the MENC All-East Convention, the PMEA Convention, the PASA/PSBA Convention and the Youngstown State University Wind and Percussion Invitational. North Hills High School Bands have maintained a Commission Series since 1965, making it the longest-running series in the United States. The series has resulted in the creation of nearly fifty works. Composers in this series have included Fred Allen, James Barnes, Jerry Bilik, James Curnow, Calvin Custer, Elliott Del Borgo, Norman Dello Joio, Frank Erickson, David Holsinger, Robert Jager, Joseph Wilcox Jenkins, Anne McGinty, Vaclav Nelhybel, Alfred Reed, Jared Spears, Mike Tomaro and Dana Wilson among others. 
North Hills High School Choirs have performed three times in collaboration with the River City Brass Band on their holiday concert, with the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale in their Festival of Choirs, as well as with several area high school choirs for major works such as Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. They joined forces with 1,500 singers in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's landmark "Singing City" concert at the Petersen Events Center in April 2013. Cast members of the Spring Musical have consistently earned high recognition with nominations and awards from the Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater. 
For more information on what is specifically offered at your student's building, contact the music teachers by calling your student's main office.
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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