Not only has it been said, and rightly so, that music may be nothing but a secret philosophizing of the soul… music prompts the philosopher’s continued interest because it is by its nature so close to the fundamentals of human existence

– Josef Pieper, Only the Lover Sings

The Heights has a long-standing tradition of musical excellence and has performing ensembles for every level and age. We offer general music in 3-5th grade, a 4th-grade band, 5th-grade band, Middle School band and Upper School band. We offer boys’ choir for grades 3-8 and Men’s Chorus for grades 9-12. Music is a strong influence in human life, in the culture of our school and it is a primary form of communication and emotional and social engagement.

Students at The Heights experience music by great composers. Students listen to masterworks of symphonic and other classical music and perform band and chorus compositions by major composers. They are mentored and instructed by Dr. Strother and Mr. Love who both possess degrees in music and have a combined 35 years teaching experience at various levels. The music, its content and the manner in which students experience it is tailored to the way boys think, act and perform.

Music in the Lower School

General Music

General music is offered in the lower school. Classes include reading and writing music, music history and theory, and an approach to experiencing great music and discussing and writing about it.

Boys’ Choir

The Boys’ Choir performs at the Fall Concert, Christmas Concert, Spring Concert, Maryland Day Gala, and All-School Masses

4th Grade Band

Beginning instruction is provided for all 4th-grade students who choose from flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone or baritone. Instruments are provided by the school. In 4th grade, we focus on preparation for 5th-grade band and development of individual skills. There are no public performances. There are no requirements, but students who transfer in are expected to read pitches and rhythms.

5th Grade Band

Ensemble instruction is provided to all 5th-grade students who form a 5th-grade band. Instruments include all offered in 4th grade and percussion and all other instruments including oboe, bassoon, french horn, tuba, piccolo, and bass clarinet. The 5th Grade band performs at the Spring Band Concert at the end of April. One year of instruction is expected on a related band instrument.

Music in the Middle School

Boys’ Choir

The Boys’ Choir performs at the Fall Concert, Christmas Concert, Spring Concert, Maryland Day Gala, and All-School Masses

Symphonic Band

Symphonic Band is offered every day. Between 50 and 65 students, each year participate and the group is composed of 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Students perform grade 2, 3, and 4 music.The Symphonic Band performs at the Fall Concert, Christmas Concert, Spring Concert, and an Adjudication Festival in Williamsburg, VA.Students are expected to have 2-4 years experience on their instruments.

Music in the Upper School

Men’s Chorus

The Men’s Chorus meets daily and consists of fifty to sixty 9th – 12th graders. The ensemble has a rich tradition of men’s choral music and has recorded two CD’s and performed internationally for copious amounts of dignitaries. The Men’s Chorus performs at the Fall Concert, Christmas Concert, Spring Concert, MD Day Gala, All-School Masses, and various other performances as they arise. An audition with the director is required.

Wind Ensemble

Wind Ensemble, offered every day as the premier performing ensemble at The Heights. Much like our English classes read great and classic writers, our Wind Ensemble engages with great American Band composers. The Wind Ensemble performs at the Fall Concert, Christmas Concert, and Spring Concert. An audition with the director is required and 5–8 years of experience is expected.

Jazz at The Heights

At The Heights, we have a special affection for America’s “art music” – jazz. Students in the upper school form large and small jazz groups and learn the art of improvisation on keyboard, guitar, saxophone, trombone, and trumpet. Experience on your instrument is required and prerequisite theory introduced in Upper School Band during freshman year.