Symphonic Band is the top-level band at St. David. Comprising of students mostly in grades 9-12, the symphonic band is dedicated to excellent performance of quality literature. The aesthetic aspect of music is stressed and emphasis is placed on musical style. During the fall semester, students who are enrolled in symphonic band form a pep band for home football games, as well as home varsity basketball games during basketball season. The symphonic band performs three school concerts per year - a Christmas concert in December, a pre-festival concert in April, and a spring concert in May. In addition, the symphonic band performs in the annual Broadway and Beyond benefits concert and participates in the annual Eastern Arizona College Large Group Festival in Thatcher, Arizona. 

Audio Links

Fall 2018 Pep Band Music: Disco Dynamite (Disco Inferno - The Trammps) (Staying Alive - The Bee Gees) (YMCA - The Village People)

Christmas Concert Music:

Symphonic Band Curriculum


  • The ability to establish a pulse at faster tempos and stick to it
  • Various exercises to establish an inherent sense of keeping time


  • Staccato
  • Marcato
  • Tenuto
  • Legato
  • Different types of accents
  • Advanced slur patterns


  • Flute: Low C to high G
  • Clarinet: Low E to high C
  • Saxophone: Low B-flat to high F
  • Trumpet: Low A to high C
  • Trombone: Low F to high F
  • Baritone: Low F to high F

Tone Production

  • Breathing exercises
  • Listening to reference recordings to develop a personal sound 
  • Use of warm air
  • Playing at soft volumes with supported air


  • Proper use of the tuner
  • Advanced techniques for listening to and adjusting intonation
  • Elements that affect pitch (reed strength, temperature, different volumes of playing, etc.)


  • More advanced articulation variations and exercises
  • Crescendo/decrescendo exercises
  • Controlling pitch on dynamic changes
  • All 12 major scales: tongued in eighth notes at quarter note = 108 (both ascending/descending and in thirds)
  • All 12 minor sclaes (natural and harmonic form): tongued in eighth notes at quarter note = 108 (both ascending/descending and in thirds)
  • Full range B-flat chromatic scale (tongued in eighth notes at quarter note = 108)
  • Sight-reading ability to grade three


  • Style
  • Form
  • Historical/cultural background
  • Key signatures (Both major and minor)
  • Circle of fifths/fourths
  • Difference between concert pitch and specific instrument pitch

Balance and Blend

  • Blending and matching tone to surrounding musicians, within sections, and within the entire band
  • Train ears to hear different sounds within the band (melody, harmony, bass line, moving lines, etc.)
  • Pyramid balance
  • Bringing out lower parts within sections
  • Matching everything: note lengths, articulations, tone, pitch, etc.
  • Not sticking out of the ensemble

Other Concepts

  • Phrasing (four-measure phrasing, musical contour)
  • Jazz/swing style and articulations
  • Time signatures: 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, common time, cut time, 6/8, and more advanced simple and compound meters)
  • Continued sight-reading procedures and practice