North Hills School District Music Department
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:
The North Hills School District supports a staff of eleven 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 lessons twice every six days from an instrumental specialist. A district-wide children's choir gathers together students from each of the elementary schools.
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 orchestra. General music courses utilize guitar and world drumming instruction. Extra-curricular offerings include Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Choir, the World Drumming Ensemble, and the Drama Club Winter Musical.
At North Hills High School, four concert bands, a jazz band, an orchestra, and two choirs rehearse daily. Extra-curricular ensembles include the Marching Band, Jazz II, Symphonic Orchestra, Rock Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, the Spring Musical, Madrigal Choir, and the North Hills Singers. Students can also perform through the advanced guitar course and elect several levels of music theory and technology, including AP Music Theory.
Throughout its long history, the North Hills Concert Band Program has been accepted to perform at conventions around the country, including PMEA, MENC All-East, Midwest, and the National Concert Band Festival. Recent performances include the MENC All-East Convention in 2011, the PMEA Convention in 2012, the PASA/PSBA Convention in 2012 and the Youngstown State University Wind and Percussion Invitational in 2013, the PMEA Convention in 2014 and the NAfME All-Eastern Convention in 2015.
The 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.
The North Hills High School Choirs have collaborated three times in the last 10 years with the River City Brass Band on their holiday concert. In 2013, the combined Women's and Symphonic Choirs joined forces with 1,500 singers from ensembles all across the Southwestern Pennsylvania region at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's landmark "Singing City" concert held at the Petersen Events Center. During the fall of 2014, the Symphonic Choir was selected to perform in the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale's Festival of Choirs held at Carnegie Music Hall. In preparation for the event, the singers performed as guests with the NHHS Wind Symphony in a collaborative presentation of movements from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Cast members of the Spring Musical have consistently earned high recognition with nominations and awards from the Pittsburgh CLO's Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater. The 2015 production of "Footloose" earned 7 nominations, including Best Musical, giving cast members the opportunity to perform a scene on the Benedum stage.