Music at Hillsdale

  • Over 350 students have already chosen to be a part of something great and we continue to grow each year.  Come join in the excitement! The enthusiasm of music students is very evident in each of the student’s attitudes. Hillsdale students are here because they that want to be here to make music with other interested students. They want to accomplish something at a high level of excellence and in the process they are able develop lasting friendships and have fun! Music at Hillsdale is something uniquely different from any other class. When you say you are a member of a music ensemble at Hillsdale you are looked upon with respect and the music students feel a sense of pride in the program and their accomplishments.

    The music program at Hillsdale appeals to students of all varying abilities where everyone is welcome and appreciated. You might be a beginning student who is just starting in music or you might be someone who was involved in music in the past, stopped and would now like to pursue your passion again. Perhaps you are already an advanced player or singer who would like the opportunity to perform top high school and collegiate level literature in a professional performance setting. The Hillsdale music department is a place that works with everyone to help make their dreams a reality. We believe you will remember your time with the music department fondly for your entire life.

    The program is led by two of the most prolific music educators in the state whose combined teaching experience totals over 45 years of music excellence, educating literally thousands of musicians helping them to become the best they can be. Mr. Kevin Gallagher and Mr. Jim Yowell are pleased and proud to offer a music class for everyone. We offer a Jazz Ensemble, two Concert Bands, Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Chamber String Orchestra, Women’s Choir, Chamber Singers Choir and are proud to offer an innovative Audio Production class to round out a full array of choices that fit everyone’s needs. Music classes meet U.C. requirements.

Performing Arts Courses

  • CHORUS

    Grade: 9-12 Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “f” - VAPA.

    The choir class is open to female students and is wonderful class designed to feature literature for the female voices. The literature featured will highlight music of all styles and periods including the Renaissance, Classical, Baroque, World Music, Jazz and current Pop styles. Students will also learn supportive skills in sight singing and music theory fundamentals. No audition is required, all singers of welcome. No formal singing experience is required only a desire to do your best and become an integral part of an exciting singing experience. This is an excellent class for the beginning to advance singer. Opportunities are provided for personal vocal development through solos and the opportunity to audition for Regional, State and National Level Honor Choirs. A performance calendar indicating the 4-5 evening performance dates is provided in August. Attendance at all performances is mandatory. Students purchase their own prescribed performance clothes. Financial assistance is available upon request. This class may be repeated for credit.

    CHAMBER SINGERS

    Grade: 9-12 Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “f” - VAPA.
    Prerequisite: Audition Only 

    The Chamber Singers is a “Mixed” ensemble made up of both male and female singers, and enrollment is only through audition. Past singing experience is expected but not required. 9-12 grade men are eligible to audition while only 10-12 grade women are eligible to audition. The audition consists of singing a required song, and sight singing an 8 bar example. Students are selected on their vocal skills not their past vocal accomplishments and may sing a different voice part than they have in the past to assure proper balance in the group. Opportunities are provided for personal vocal development through solos and the opportunity to audition for the Regional, State and National Honor Choirs. Private voice lessons are strongly encouraged. Literature performed will feature selections from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, World Music, Jazz and current Pop idioms. A performance calendar of evening performances is provided in August indicating all performance dates. Attendance at all performances is mandatory. All students must purchase their own prescribed performance clothes. Financial assistance is provided upon request. This class may be repeated for credit. This is a college level course and grades will appear on students’ permanent college transcript. Students are required to be concurrently enrolled through the College of San Mateo.

    CONCERT BAND

    Grade: 9-12 Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “f” - VAPA.
    Prerequisite: One year of previous band experience.

    Beginners accepted only with teacher approval. Students will perform a variety of Concert musical styles from various time periods within a band setting. There will be multiple in class performances and outside of class performances. Instrumentation consists of various brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Students are required to have taken band for at least one year prior to joining Intermediate band. No Audition is necessary to join Concert Band.

    SYMPHONIC BAND

    Grade: 9-12 Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “f” - VAPA.
    Prerequisite: Consent of teacher via audition.

    Any student with at least one year of band experience is eligible to join the Symphonic Band. Students will perform a variety of Concert musical styles from various time periods within a band setting. There will be multiple in class performances and outside of class performances. Instrumentation consists of various brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Students are required to audition in order to be admitted in the class. This is a college level course and grades will appear on students’ permanent college transcript. Students are required to be concurrently enrolled through the College of San Mateo.

    JAZZ ENSEMBLE

    Grade: 9-12 Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “f” - VAPA.
    Prerequisite: Consent of teacher via audition.

    Students will perform a variety of advanced music such as: Jazz, Latin, Rock, Funk and Contemporary music styles. There will be multiple in class performances and outside of class performances. Instrumentation consists of various Trumpets, Trombones, Saxes, Guitar, Bass, Vibrophone, Piano, Latin Percussion and Drum set. Students are required to audition in order to be admitted in the class.

    CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

    Grade: 9-12 Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits 28 UC/CSU: Yes; “f” - VAPA. .
    Prerequisite: Audition Only

    This class is an exciting opportunity for an intermediate to advance string player to perform thrilling music at an exceptional level of excellence. Students in 9-12th grade are eligible but should have previous string performance skills. 9 th grade string players are encourage to first enroll in the Hillsdale String Orchestra their first year here at Hillsdale but are still welcome to audition. The audition consists of playing designated scales, performing a designated orchestral excerpt and sight reading. Chamber Orchestra members will have the challenge of performing exceptional standard String Orchestra literature as well as contemporary and world music ranging from levels 3-5 of the state performance standards. Students are strongly encouraged to take private lessons. The level of literature performed will demand a great deal from the players and additional weekly practice outside of class time along with private lessons is advisable. A performance calendar for the 5-6 evening performance dates is available to the students in August and attendance at all performances is mandatory. Students are expected to purchase their own prescribed performance outfit. Financial assistance is provided upon request. This class may be repeated for credit and most students do so. This is a college level course and grades will appear on students’ permanent college transcript. Students are required to be concurrently enrolled through the College of San Mateo.

    STRING ORCHESTRA

    Grade: 9-12
    Duration/Credit Year / 10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “e” - VAPA.

    String Orchestra performs orchestral and chamber music in a variety of genres, including classical, folk, pop, and jazz. Students will have opportunities to perform solos, conduct, and write music; and improve techniques including sightreading, playing more in upper positions, different types of bow articulation. This year, students in String Orchestra will also combine with members of Concert Band for full orchestra music. At least one year of experience playing a string instrument is required.