Arts Education

  • Seventy-First BandBand instruction is offered at middle and high schools throughout the county schools. In addition to school performing ensembles, students may also audition for placement in the annual All-County Band Clinics and Concerts for middle and high band students.  Many CCS band students compete successfully for membership in the All-District and state Honors Band clinics.  In addition, high school band students participate in CCS’s exciting and outstanding Marching Band programs. 

    Purpose: To provide all high school band students of Cumberland County an environment where they can develop their musical skills and knowledge to the fullest in all possible musical genres.

    Participation: Participation in the Academy is open to all high school students in Cumberland County. Students must meet all general requirements for the 71st Arts Academy, then:

    • Students must complete a placement audition on their instrument(s),
    • Present 2 letters of recommendation from the current principal, guidance counselor and/or teachers. These recommendations should speak to the student’s classroom performance in all subjects and especially their behavior in the school environment.
    • Students may continue to participate as long as they complete all the requirements of the program. This will include successful progression through the performance requirements of the Band Program.
    • Each student will be required to take at least one band class per year and fulfill all the requirements. The director will assign the class. Students are expected to take at least one additional class in the performing arts sometime during their four-year high school career.
    • Participating students will also maintain a 3.0 average in Arts classes while in the program.
    • Students will be expected to demonstrate proper behavior within the entire educational environment.
    • Academy students will be required to take the honors level band classes, usually in grades 11-12.
    • Students that fall short of any of the academy requirements may be removed from the program. In most instances, the student will be placed on probation and given a chance to improve any deficiencies first. This includes student conduct.

    Auditions: Auditions for the next year during the enrollment period. Each student will:

    1. Play district band scale requirements for their current grade level.
    2. Play a short solo that demonstrates their musical ability. Please bring 2 copies for the faculty to read. (Accompaniments are allowed, but not required)
    3. Sight-read to demonstrate current musical ability.
    4. Turn in the 2 letters of recommendation from school personnel and proof of current school grades in all subjects. (See above)
    5. Complete an application, including an essay in their own handwriting stating why they want to attend the 71st Arts Academy.

    Students will be notified of their acceptance or rejection after their audition.

    Classes and Ensembles: Band students at 71st High School may participate in the following classes.

    • Beginning Band
    • Intermediate Band
    • Proficient Band
    • Advanced Band

    Travel, Enrichment and Honors: Academy participants will be given an opportunity to participate in special educational trips and performances to enhance their musical knowledge. Students will receive special graduation recognition at graduation from the Academy.


    Choral music instruction is offered at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the county schools. In addition to school performing ensembles, students may also audition for placement in the annual All-County Chorus Clinics and Concerts for elementary, middle and high band students.

    Purpose: To provide all high-school chorus students of Cumberland County with an environment where they can develop their musical skills and knowledge to the fullest in all possible musical genres.

    Participation: Participation in the Academy is open to all high school students in Cumberland County. Students must meet the following requirements for admission to the 71st Arts Academy in Chorus:

    • Students must complete an application.
    • Students must complete a placement audition.
    • The current principal, guidance counselor and/or teacher must fill out a recommendation letter.
    • Students may continue to participate as long as they complete all the requirements of the program. This will include successful progression through the performance requirements of the orchestra program.
    • Each student will be required to take at least one chorus class per year and fulfill all the requirements. The director will assign the class.
    • Participating students will also maintain a 3.0 average in Arts classes while in the Program and a 2.7 overall average while in the program.
    •  Students will be expected to demonstrate proper behavior within the entire educational environment.
    • Academy students will be required to take the Honors Level Chorus classes, usually in Grades 11-12.
    • Students that fall short of any of the academy requirements may be removed from the program. In most instances, the student will be placed on probation and given a chance to improve any deficiencies first. This includes student conduct.

    Auditions: Auditions will be held in March for the next school year. Each student will:

    1. Sing a selection from two different musical periods demonstrating various styles. (Accompaniments are allowed but not required. The Arts Academy will not provide accompaniment for you. If you choose to use a pre-recorded accompaniment, sound equipment will be provided.)
    2. Complete a short written theory test that will help to determine the student’s musical knowledge and ability.
    3. Sight-read to demonstrate your current sight-reading ability.
    4. Complete an application, including an essay.

    Reassessment: Students will be re-evaluated each year based on their growth in their technique and performance.

    Classes and Ensembles: Chorus students at 71st High School may participate in the following classes.

      • Beginning Chorus
      • Intermediate Chorus
      • Proficient Chorus
      • Advanced Chorus

    Travel, Enrichment and Honors: Academy participants will be given an opportunity to participate in special educational trips and pe


    Seventy-First OrchestraBeginning at the fifth-grade level, the String Orchestra program is offered to all interested fifth-grade students as part of a sequential instructional program that continues through middle and high school. Two auditioned countywide orchestra ensembles provide challenges beyond the classroom – the Middle School Youth Orchestra (MSYO, gr. 6-8) and the Cumberland County Youth Orchestra (CCYO, gr. 9-12). While a string ensemble in the fall, CCYO expands to a full orchestra with the addition of band students in the spring.  The All-County High School Orchestra clinic, a rigorous two-day clinic with a guest conductor, provides orchestra students with an exceptional opportunity for learning. In addition, the Annual Spring Orchestra Festival is two nights of concerts featuring different grade levels of orchestra students as well as MSYO and CCYO.

    Purpose: To provide all high school orchestra students of Cumberland County with an environment where they can develop their musical skills and knowledge to the fullest in all possible musical genres.

    Participation: Participation in the Academy is open to all high school students in Cumberland County. Students must meet the following requirements for admission to the 71st Arts Academy in Orchestra:

    • Students must complete an application.
    •  Students must complete a placement audition for their instrument(s),
    •  A recommendation letter must be filled out by the current principal, guidance counselor and/or teacher.
    •  Students may continue to participate as long as they complete all the requirements of the program. This will include successful progression through the performance requirements of the orchestra program.
    •  Each student will be required to take at least one orchestra class per year and fulfill all the requirements. The director will assign the class.
    •  Participating students will also maintain a 3.0 average in Arts classes while in the program and a 2.7 overall average while in the program.
    •  Students will be expected to demonstrate proper behavior within the entire educational environment.
    •  Academy students will be required to take honors-level orchestra classes, usually in Grades 11-12.
    •  Students that fall short of any of the academy requirements may be removed from the program. In most instances, the student will be placed on probation and given a chance to improve any deficiencies first. This includes student conduct.

    Auditions: Auditions will be held in March for the next school year. Each student will:

    1. Play the Eastern Regional All-State Orchestra requirements for their current year (JHER or ER).
    2. Prepare a short solo that demonstrates their musical ability. Please bring 2 copies for the faculty to read. (Accompaniments are allowed, but not required)
    3.  Sight-read to demonstrate current musical ability.
    4. Complete a short written theory test that will help to determine the students’ level of musical ability.

    Reassessment: Students will be re-evaluated each year based on their growth in their technique and performance.

    Classes and Ensembles: Orchestra students at 71st High School may participate in the following classes:

    • Beginning Orchestra
    • Intermediate Orchestra
    • Proficient Orchestra
    • Advanced Orchestra

    Travel, Enrichment and Honors: Academy participants will be given an opportunity to participate in special educational trips and performances to enhance their musical knowledge. Students will receive special graduation recognition at graduation from the Academy. Students may also become a member of the Tri-M National Honor Society.