About WSHSB page...
The West Suburban Home School Band,
also known as the WSHSB, follows the model of a community band and includes all wind instruments, woodwinds and brass, as well as a full percussion section. There are no stringed instruments. Membership has grown from 46 students/26 families in 2001, to nearly 200 members from over 90 families in 2015-2016.
West Suburban Home School Band
About the WSHSB
Director, founder and staff
Mrs. Karen Borow is the director and founder of the WSHSB. She is a home school mother of seven. The director, assistant director and staff are volunteers.
Students must be home schooled to be part of the WSHSB.
WSHSB membership takes two forms - the student status and the adult status. All home schooled students are welcome, elementary through high school age. Rather than specify a starting age, there are specific abilities students should have.
•They need to be able to follow directions, both verbal and written.
•They need to be mature enough and have self-control to maintain appropriate conduct, as
would be expected in a classroom setting.
•They need to be able to attend band for an hour, staying focused and on track, without
requiring an aide to help them do so.
•If a student is not yet able to do these things, on their own, it would be best that they
not yet join and rather wait until they are ready.
As long as a student is still 18 on September 1 they are considered students for that concert year. Once a student turns 19, on or before September 1, they are welcome to join or continue under the adult status. See "Student and Adult Helpers" below.
There are four band levels to accommodate those with no musical training whatsoever to whose with advanced experience and abilities. The levels are Cadet, Concert Junior, Concert Senior and Symphonic.
Currently, band practice is every Friday. The location has changed. Contact the director for current location information. Starting times for each band: Cadet Band 5:15, Concert Junior Band 6:00, Concert Senior Band 7:00 and Symphonic 8:00.
See the Calendar for all dates and any exceptions.
At band practice students work together as a group. Students are expected to take personal responsibility for their musical development as part of their home schooling experience. Daily practice is required and is the only sure means of progressing and improving. While private lessons are not a requirement, they are encouraged, and will generally help students progress faster than those who do not have private lessons.
Two concert trimesters are followed by a voluntary, summer marching trimester. The first concert trimester is late September through the Winter Concert in late January. The second concert trimester is February through the Spring Concert in May. There are a few additional performance opportunities during the year.
Junior, Senior and Symphonic members may take up a second instrument as a Cadet. However, when the combined bands play, they must play their instrument from the higher band, otherwise known as their primary instrument. IMPORTANT: Exceptions to this rule may occur based on the musical needs of a particular song. In that case, students who play more than one instrument are expected to accept and follow the director's choice/decision as to which instrument they will play for that song.
Both beginner and experienced parents are welcome to participate, but must demonstrate proficiency to determine if and where they might best be utilized. Therefore, an audition video may be required.
Student and Adult Helpers
Student and adult band members interested in being a helper in a lower band are welcome to do so with the approval of the director. However, there may be limits on the number of helpers allowed, for a variety of reasons. Alternatively, the director may invite someone to become a helper based on musical needs. Once helpers commit they are expected to fulfill that role for the entire concert season, both trimesters.
For each of the two concert trimesters there is a nominal family fee plus a modest per student fee with a discount for three or more children. Students participating the annual Solo and Ensemble Contest have nominal fees. The marching trimester fee for participating student musicians is refundable. Details are on the respective registration forms as well summarized in our WSHSB Tuition - Fee Schedule. All forms as well as the WSHSB Tuition - Fee Schedule can be found on our Forms/Documents webpage. Fees are subject to change and deadlines apply.
The WSHSB Boosters are band parents who contribute their time and talent to fill the variety of need of the band program. Since the band's inception in 2001, to make the band what it is and keep our fees as low as possible no one is compensated for what they do. In order for the band to survive we rely on the assistance of ALL the member families. Please refer to our Band Boosters webpage for details about required hours.
Solo and Ensemble Contest
Our annual Solo and Ensemble contest, also know as the SEC, is an exciting and much anticipated musical event held on a Saturday, generally in March. ALL band members, Cadet through Symphonic, are encouraged to participate in the SEC. Read more about this popular event on our SEC webpage.
The WSHSB runs an economical, limited, rental program as a courtesy to its members. Highest priority is to meet the instruments need of new Cadet members at the start of each concert season. Instruments are offered on a first come first served basis as long as the WSHSB supply lasts. Contact the director, Mrs. Karen Borow, regarding the band's rental fees and available rental instruments.
The WSHSB website is our primary means of communication. It is the responsibility of both parents and students to check the Member's News webpage regularly for the most current information. There members will find links to the weekly Rehearsal Notes, and a list of important dates and deadlines, etc. Information is for for both parents and students. Parents should also occasionally check the sign-up link on the Band Boosters webpage for any jobs still in need of volunteers.
For the marching trimester the WSHSB is also known as "The Patriots". The marching trimester is voluntary and is open to current WSHSB members and non-members alike. We need both musicians and non-musicians. Any experienced home schooled musician, elementary through high school, is eligible to march with the WSHSB. Musicians must have at least 1 school year of instruction or experience on their instrument. Well-disciplined and similarly experienced, non-home-schooled students as well as adult musicians are also encouraged and welcome to join. Besides musicians, there is also a need for non-musicians to fill the limited number of guard unit positions. For complete marching info see Summer Marching.