Welcome to the website of the
Manchester High School Band Program!
The band program at Manchester High School has provided thousands of students in the MHS community with a truly comprehensive and dynamic music experience. Current ensembles offered include Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band, Jazz Combo, Beginning & Advanced Percussion Ensembles, and Chamber Ensembles.
MHS sophomore bass player Christian Mills earned an extraordinary honor on Saturday January 31 at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston. He was recognized for Outstanding Musicianship in the highly competitive Jazz Combo large school division (S1). The Berklee festival has more than 200 ensembles and over 3,000 student musicians participating, making it the country’s largest high school jazz festival.
Mr. Douglas Maher, director of the MHS Jazz Combo said that he "believed that the judges understood the high level of skill that Chris displayed on a very challenging jazz composition called 'Tricotism' ". No Manchester High School student has ever received this level of recognition at the prestigious Berklee festival.
What makes Chris' accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that he only began playing the acoustic bass last year (Previously, he had played the electric bass.). Christian is a tuba player in the MHS Band program, a recent addition to the MHS Orchestra on string bass, and the bass player in the MHS Jazz Ensemble. He has also been working with Sean Rubin, a bass instructor in the school’s "Endangered Instrument" program.
MHS Band director Keith Berry mentioned other recent accomplishments for Chris including earning a position in the 2015 CMEA Eastern Region Jazz Ensemble and becoming eligible to audition for the 2015 CT All-State Jazz Ensemble. Berry said “other colleges have begun to notice Christian’s skills as he was selected for a summer scholarship at last year’s UMASS Jazz Festival”.
Three MHS Ensembles (Jazz Choir, Combo, and Ensemble) participated in the 2015 Berklee High School Jazz Festival on Saturday January 31. In addition to the exciting performances, 3 students earned the Judge's Choice award. Midi McCool-Jazz Choir, Chistian Mills-Jazz Combo, and Matt Mocarsky-Jazz Ensemble. See many more Berklee photos in the photo gallery.
Members of the MHS band and Orchestra enjoyed hearing the incomparable sound of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra on December 4, 2014. We met Principal Bassoonist Judith Leclair for some questions and answers after the rehearsal, took photos in front of the famous Metropolitan Opera House, and then enjoyed some time in Times Square and at the Rockefeller center Christmas tree. Check out the photo gallery for more.
***Check out the Hugh Panaro photo gallery***
FOX61 video HERE
Hugh Panaro, one of Broadway's great leading men, visited with the MHS Marching Band on Monday November 3, 2014 to help the students get an in-depth understanding of the Broadway musical Les Miserables. Mr. Panaro was accompanied by Broadway pit orchestra conductor Tim Stella. The two musicians performed, worked with the students, and then answered questions to help get the MHSMB ready to see Les Mis on Broadway on November 5. Panaro has performed in a variety of roles including Marius and Jean Valjean in Les Mis and has more than 3,000 performances in Phantom of the Opera as both the Phantom and Raoul.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra principal trombonist Brian Diehl will present a trombone/baritone master class on Monday November 10 from 2:30-4:30. He has invited any and all brass players to attend.
Our MHS Jazz Combo practices almost every morning at 7:00 am! Mr. Maher challenges all of the members to become jazz artists and performers using important improvisation studies and great repertoire. Recently the combo performed for an MHS Guidance Department function and a charity event at MCC on Main...and the year is just starting!