Music

Ambridge Area Marching Band

Ambridge Area Marching Band Website

Ambridge High School Marching Band Bio

The Ambridge Area School District has a rich history that spans almost 100 years. The American Bridge Company (a division of US Steel) built the current High School for the children of its employees. As the district has grown with the area, weathering both good times and bad, we have strong ties to our heritage and to our community. From the early years of the steel mills to the current surge in businesses in the region, Ambridge Area School District has remained consistent in its commitment to providing the very best education possible to our students.

The Ambridge Area High School Marching Band is rich in tradition, with almost many of the school’s students participating in the music program. The music they perform is unique because the students add their own personal mark to the performance, adding to the “show” quality that is the Ambridge Area High School Marching Band.

The band’s numerous honors include participation in the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2004, participation in Disney’s Very Merry Christmas Parade in 2002 and several appearances at Steelers games, both during the season and in the playoffs. More recently, the band performed in the halftime show at the Sugar Bowl in 2009, at the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 2016,  and at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in 2011, 2014, and 2018.

Ambridge Area Steel Drum Band

Ambridge Area Steel Drum Band Website

The Ambridge Area High School Steel Drum Band, under the direction of Todd Hartman, has received regional and national recognition for its outstanding musical ability, unique style, and infectious energy. The ensemble was founded by Sal Aloe and with the help of Phil Solomon, a local steel pan builder. The Late Richard Zana took the reins a few years later and took the program to new level of popularity beyond “Bridger Country” during the 1990’s. After Mr. Zana’s retirement in 1999, Todd Hartman took over and has been leading the program ever since.

Since its inception in 1988, the steel band program has grown from five students participating after school to an average of eighty band students enrolled in three levels of classes spread over four periods during the school day. Their current musical repertoire reflects a diverse collection of styles including traditional calypso & soca, big band swing, afro-cuban and latin-jazz, classical, pop, and tropical-rock.

The steel band was one of only three high school groups from across the nation selected to perform at two of the American Association of School Administrators National Conferences, one of which gave them an opportunity to open up for Steven Spielberg’s keynote address in San Francisco. Additionally, they have been to three National School Board Association Conferences, and most recently, performed for over 9,000 engineers and vendors from all over the world at the annual Association for Iron and Steel Technology’s International Conference.

The band has shared the Heinz Hall stage with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops and has appeared annually in B.E. Taylor’s popular Christmas show. Since 2002, the steel band has been invited to perform cultural outreach assemblies at thirty two different school districts located around the Pittsburgh area and has performed at twelve different institutions of higher learning. Their most memorable experience came when they played with the marching band in the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. It marked the first time in the 115 year history of the parade that a steel band combined with a marching band.

High School Music

PHILOSOPHY 

The High School Music Programs attempt to stimulate the students to take an active part in musical activities and to develop an aesthetic understanding of the performing arts. As music educators, we will facilitate learning and discourse and prepare students to be productive members of society. Through music, we will engage students in activities that require them to be creative, disciplined, flexible, focused, and work cooperatively with others towards common goals. We will help students explore the emotions that various songs or types of music brings them and help them learn to articulate what they feel and why. Lastly, our goal is to educate students about other cultures so that they learn to see the world through another’s eyes and can appreciate or tolerate other ways of thinking and living. 

 

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC 

Band                    

Credit:   1 

(Please visit our website at http://www.bridgerband.com/) 

This is a performing group that stresses ensemble playing.  This course includes Marching Band.  The remaining time will be divided into Symphonic and Concert Band.  Band camp is required and will include all auxiliary units. Attendance and performance at Band Camp will be included in the first nine weeks grade.  Junior High Band Director’s recommendation is required.  

Prerequisites:  Teacher recommendation 

  

Jazz Band                

Credit:    1  

The jazz band is a performing ensemble that fosters elective creativity through improvisation.  It promotes the student’s sense of true ensemble technique because of the small size of the group.  This class can develop all the usual skills acquired in any performing group, as well as a dose of jazz history.   

Prerequisites:  Teacher recommendation 

  

Band Auxiliary                                                                                                   

Credit:   0.5 

Students who try-out and successfully make one of the several band auxiliary units (belles, silks, flags, or color guard) have an option of signing up for this course or participating as an extra-curricular activity.  Students who sign up for the course will receive a grade and .5 credit and must attend one semester during the school year.  For credit, will be required to attend band camp, evening rehearsals and any additional rehearsals called outside the school day.  They are also required to participate in all band performances and attend Band Auxiliary as a class during the school day. 

Students participating as an extracurricular will be required to attend band camp, evening rehearsals and any additional rehearsals called outside the school day.  They are also required to participate in all band performances.  Those participating as an extracurricular activity must also be aware that due to changes in field drills over the course of the season, they may be assigned different responsibilities and movement during performances.  Students must try-out and be selected to one of the squads. 

All school rules will apply to all participant when participating as a part of this group.        

Prerequisites:  Successful audition. 

 

Steel Band I 

Credit:   1 

This performance-based class is the first class of a three-year track that creates a unique performing ensemble that will enable students to learn and understand the steel pan art form.  Students will develop skills necessary to play unique percussion instruments, learn the cultures of  

other countries and enhance their overall understanding of musicianship.  Students will be given the opportunity to perform in the annual Spring Steel Band Concert.  Students must remain in a HS performing ensemble, including band or chorus to be eligible for this class. 

Prerequisites:  Teacher recommendation 

  

Steel Band II                          

Credit:   1 

This performance-based class is the second class of a three-year track that creates a unique performing ensemble that will enable students to learn and understand the steel pan art form.  Students will continue to develop skills necessary to play unique percussion instruments, learn the cultures of other countries and enhance their overall understanding of musicianship.  Students will be given the opportunity to perform in the annual Spring Steel Band Concert.  Students must remain in a HS performing ensemble, including band or chorus to be eligible for this class. 

Prerequisites:  Teacher recommendation 

  

Steel Band (Touring) 

Credit:   1  

(Please visit our website at http://ambridgesteelband.com/ or our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/AmbridgeSteelband) 

This is the final class of a three-year track that creates a unique performing ensemble that will enable students to learn and understand the steel pan art form.  Students will continue to develop skills necessary to play unique percussion instruments, learn the cultures of other countries and enhance their overall understanding of musicianship.  In addition to performing in the annual Spring Steel Band Concert, students will be given many opportunities to perform off campus at various events around the region.  Students must remain in a HS performing ensemble, including band or chorus, to be eligible for this class. 

Prerequisites:  Teacher recommendation 

 

VOCAL MUSIC 

Concert Choir  

Credit:  1 

This is a performing Choir whose members will perform on several occasions including holiday and spring concerts.  After school rehearsals and performances are required. 

Prerequisite:  None 

 

Chamber Choir                                                    

Credit:   1 

Chamber Choir is an upper level course designed for students in grades 10 – 12 who will perform periodically for a variety of functions as well as in the holiday and spring concerts.  After school rehearsals are required. 

Prerequisites:  Concert Choir I, audition and Music teacher recommendation. 

  

GENERAL MUSIC 

Elements of Music                                    

Credit:   1 

Elements of music is an introductory course to music.  Students will develop their understanding of music and the language we use to describe it by exploring music fundamentals such as pitch, rhythm, tone color, texture, form, and expression.  We will learn about these elements through the study of historical music, music for stage and screen, music for public entertainment, music as identity, and music as media. 

Prerequisites: None  

 

Guitar I 

Credit: 1 

This one-year course is designed for students with no previous guitar experience.  Students will receive guidance and direction in solving problems related to playing the guitar at a beginning level and will learn many of the different styles, skills and techniques required to become a successful guitarist.  Areas of concentration include correct posture, note reading, aural skills, flat-picking, singing songs, rhythmic patterns, chord study, finger-picking styles, musical forms, improvisation and performing experiences. 

Prerequisite: None 

 

Keyboard Lab I                                                   

Credit:   0.5 

Keyboard Lab is for students who want to become more proficient piano and synthesizer players through individualized instruction and with the help of computer aided instruction.  Grades are based on amount of progress.  Students must provide their own headphones.  Students, intending to enroll the entire year, must also schedule Keyboard Lab II. 

Prerequisites:  None 

 

Keyboard Lab II    

Credit:   0.5 

Keyboard Lab II is a continuation of Keyboard Lab I, advance keyboard skills and performing duets and small ensemble pieces.  Students will learn scales, chords, and how to use the computer to create their own songs and enhance songs that they have learned.  Students must provide their own headphones. 

Prerequisites:  A grade of “C” or better in Keyboard 1, or audition. 

 

Music in Pop Culture 

Credit:   0.5 

This course explores the history of pop and rock music, emphasizing primarily the period between 1950 to present day.  Discussion, listening and reading will focus on identifying a variety of rock-music styles within the historical context of the development, transformation, and interaction of pop styles.  Student evaluation is achieved through class   participation, quizzes, assignments, midterm and final. 

Prerequisite:  None 

 

Music Technology I 

Credit:  0.5 

Maximum of 16 seats available 

Music Technology I is a course available to students in grades 9-12. Students will discover and explore introductory concepts used in music sequencing, notation and recording. No prior musical experience is needed, however, having training on an instrument or voice is helpful. Students will create music using sequencing/editing software, synthesizers and drum machines. Students interested in the current methods of music creation and production should consider taking this course. 

Prerequisite:  None 

 

Music Technology II 

Credit:  0.5 

Maximum of 16 seats available 

Music Technology II is a course for any students who have successfully completed the course work in Music Technology I. This course reinforces MIDI recording and editing techniques learned in Music Technology I while adding audio recording and mixing techniques into the class projects. Topics covered include mixing, equalization, effects and final mix down of tracks to a finished product. Students interested in music education, music performance or music technology should consider this course. 

Prerequisite:  80% in Music Technology I 

 

Ukulele Class 

Credit: 1 

Each Student will realize that they can be a ukulele player.  This course serves as an introduction to the instrument and will provide students with an instant access to making music on the ukulele.  Focus points will be strumming and rhythms, reading music, improvising, and beginning songwriting. 

Prerequisite: None 

 

Stage Crew / Theatre Technology 

Credit: 1 

This course will provide students the opportunity to explore theatrical technology.  The first semester will focus on the skills needed to carry out the six primary responsibilities of technical theatre, including costumes, props, lighting, sound, stage management, and scenery.  During the second semester, students will apply those skills and can participate in the high school musical.  Throughout the school year, stage crew will support and provide production staff for all events that take place in the AAHS Auditorium, including general maintenance of auditorium equipment. 

Middle School Music

Philosophy 

For a developing middle school student, joining band, choir, guitar, or steel drums functions as more than just an Arts elective. Students take the foundations of music taught in the elementary level and progress into stronger musicians. Participation in a performing group inspires growth of the total person, as well. Performing boosts self-confidence and leadership skills. Students are encouraged to do their best, and they see the rewards for their efforts when they perform in our concerts and other performances. At AAMS, we believe that striving for excellence in music will transfer to other areas of the students’ lives. 

The 6th grade general music class is shaped by a vision of empowering and encouraging students to participate in the creative, expressive, and responsive process of the Arts. This exploratory elective gives students the chance to learn to read and perform music, compose their own songs, and learn of different careers in the music industry. Students are encouraged to explore the field of music and hopefully find a new creative outlet. 

 

6th Grade Exploratory 

Music 6 (9 Weeks) 

The units taught in the 6th grade music classroom include world music drumming, Orff instruments, and composing music.  World music and Orff instruments enhance skills associated with time keeping, rhythm reading, and performing together in an ensemble. Orff units focus on note reading skills and applying that literacy on melodic instruments.  Music composition allows student to be creative while using their newly learned skills from the nine-week period. All units taught in the 6th grade classroom enhance skills necessary to perform in band and/or chorus and will provide an overall appreciation for music. 

6th Grade Electives  

Band 6 (Elective/36 Weeks/M, W, F) 

This performance-based course develops instrumental proficiency, enhances music theory knowledge, and cultivates community through ensemble playing.  Two, required evening public performances presented annually will allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills. Small group ensembles will be scheduled as necessary on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

  

Chorus 6 (Elective/36 Weeks/M, W, F) 

This performance-based course expands vocal repertoire and singing technique, develops sight-reading skills, enhances music theory knowledge, and cultivates community through ensemble singing.  Two, required evening public performances presented annually will allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills. Small group ensembles will be scheduled as necessary on Tuesdays and Thursdays.    

  

Guitar I (18 Weeks/T, Th) 

PREREQUISITE(S): 3.0 Average GPA and TEACHER RECOMMENDATION 

This course is designed for the beginning guitar player.  The students will learn basic music theory, identification of parts of the guitar, 1st position notes, beginning chords, blues progressions, tablature, and accompaniment styles and picking patterns.  Students will play examples representing musical styles from folk to rock music, where performance skills are emphasized on a daily basis.  NOTE: This is a Tuesday/Thursday course that will take place during 6th grade tutorial. 

 

7th Grade Electives 

Band 7 (Elective/36 Weeks/Full Year/Full Time 

This performance-based course develops instrumental proficiency, enhances music theory knowledge, and cultivates community through ensemble playing.  Two, required evening public performances presented annually will allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills.  

Chorus 7 (Elective/36 Weeks/Full Year/Full Time) 

This performance-based course expands vocal repertoire and singing technique, develops sight-reading skills, enhances music theory knowledge, and cultivates community through ensemble singing.  Two, required evening public performances presented annually will allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills. 

 

8th Grade Exploratory Semester Classes 

Steel Drumming (18 Weeks) 

This performance-based course will provide students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to perform on steel pans. Along with fundamental performance techniques, students will explore the cultures of other countries and enhance their overall understanding of musicianship.  Prior or current experience in band or chorus is highly recommended. Possibly an evening performance will take place at the end of the semester.  

Theater Arts (18 Weeks) 

This introductory level course will provide students the opportunity to explore both theatrical technology and performance.  The course will focus on the skills needed to carry out the responsibilities of six primary categories of technical theatre, including costumes, props, lighting, sound, stage management, and scenery as well the skills necessary to produce and perform a small-scale theatrical performance. 

 

8th Grade Electives 

Band 8 (Elective/36 Weeks/Full Year/Full Time) 

This performance-based course develops instrumental proficiency, enhances music theory knowledge, and cultivates community through ensemble playing.  Two evening public performances presented annually will allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills.  

  

Chorus 8 (Elective/36 Weeks/Full Year/Full Time) 

This performance-based course expands vocal repertoire and singing technique, develops sight-reading skills, enhances music theory knowledge, and cultivates community through ensemble singing.  Two evening public performances presented annually will allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills. 

 

Get to know the MS Music Staff 

Christine Ceratti – Chorus / Guitar / Steel Band 

Devin Householder – Band / General Music  

 

Elementary Music

Philosophy 

The Ambridge Area Elementary Music program strives for each student to be tuneful, beatful, and artful. Students will have songs in their heads and use their voices to sing them, feel the pulse of music, and be moved by music with an emotional response. Students are also immersed in World Music through various songs and developing the skills necessary to perform on African hand drums and auxiliary instrumentsThese musical experiences allow students to develop into well-rounded musicians. 

 

General Music– AASD Elementary General Music classes occur once every 5 days. We use a variety of instruments and songs to make learning about music fun. American folk songs are the base of our curriculum and we also include songs from different countries. World Music Drumming allows us to incorporate drumming patterns from West Africa and other regionsStudents not only learn about musical concepts, they work on team building, coordination, communication, reading, math, science, and social studies skills and concepts. Students create, perform, move, and play throughout the year.  

 

Band – The AASD Elementary Band program consists of fourth and fifth grade students. Our students can choose from a variety of instruments from the woodwind, brass, and percussion families. Once a week, students are given instruction in like-instrument groups as well as a large group band rehearsal. Our fifth grade band students perform during the Winter and Spring Concerts. The fourth band students perform during the Spring Concert. 

Join Band
 

 

Chorus – The AASD Elementary Chorus program consists of fourth and fifth grade students. Once a week, students are given vocal instruction based upon grade level. Our fourth and fifth grade chorus students perform during the Winter and Spring Concerts. 

 

Elementary Music Staff 

Samuel Eisenreich – Economy   

Celeste Schaltenbrand – Highland   

Gregory Becker – State Street 

Music Department

Hartman
Hartman, Todd
Teacher

Ambridge Area High School

724.266.2833 x2520

thartman@ambridge.k12.pa.us

Becker, Gregory
Teacher

Ambridge Area Middle School

724.266.2833 x3287

gbecker@ambridge.k12.pa.us

Schaltenbrand
Schaltenbrand, Celeste
Teacher

Highland Elementary School / State Street Elementary

724.266.2833 x7274 / x4230

cschaltenbrand@ambridge.k12.pa.us

Eisenreich
Eisenreich, Samuel
Teacher

Economy Elementary School

724.266.2833 x6204

seisenreich@ambridge.k12.pa.us

Ceratti
Ceratti, Chris
Teacher

Ambridge Area Middle School

cceratti@ambridge.k12.pa.us

724.266.2833 x3218