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How to Join the WSHSB

The bulk of the information on this page is for anyone wishing to join the WSHSB for the two concert trimesters, during the school year. For information about the Summer Marching trimester, which is open to WSHSB members and non-members alike, please see our Summer Marching webpage.


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WSHSB Patriot Marching Band

For marching, the WSHSB is also known as "The Patriots." Patriots attend marching camp in June and average five parades in the summer.

WSHSB Winter Concert

With two concerts per year, our winter concert is usually held at the end of January. Concerts are FREE admission with open seating. Check our Music Resource page to listen to past concerts.

WSHSB Patriot Marching Band

Marching trimester is voluntary and open to current WSHSB members and NON-members. This includes experienced musicians who are welcome to join us for the summer marching trimester. For more details see our Summer Marching page.

WSHSB Spring Concert

Our second concert of the year is generally held mid to late May. Come hear our Junior, Senior, and Symphonic bands separately and combined.

West Suburban Home School Band

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The West Suburban Home School Band, or WSHSB in short, 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 ...more

WSHSB Member's News

Member's News has the link to the weekly Rehearsal Notes PDF and for quick reference, Important Dates and Deadlines and the Sectional Chart are included. Download  the weekly Rehearsal Notes for the week's practice assignments and more.



To join the WSHSB a student must be home schooled. Those interested in joining the WSHSB, at any level but Cadet, must submit an audition video. Recommended minimum age for any level is nine. There are four skill levels to consider...more

Getting Started

Before reading "How to Join" we recommend reviewing our webpage, About the WSHSB,  to get an overview of what the West Suburban Home School Band has to offer. There you will find general information on a wide variety of topics not mentioned here.

WSHSB membership takes two forms - the student status and the adult status. To join the WSHSB a student must be home schooled. One may audition for the student status up through the year they are still 18, on September 1. Once a student is 19 years of age, on or before September 1, they are welcome to join or continue under the adult status.

Those interested in joining the WSHSB, at any level but Cadet, must submit an audition video. Read more about Auditions further down this page. Recommended minimum age for any level is nine. The band includes all woodwinds and brass as well as a full percussion section. There are no stringed instruments. There are four skill levels for you to consider.

Band Levels
Cadet Band
is for beginners, those with little or no prior wind or percussion experience. The Cadet level does not require an audition but does have requirements for over the summer. See Cadet Requirements. There you will also find information on choosing an instrument. Wind students generally spend one year in Cadet Band. However, it is expected of Cadet percussion students, who pass the Junior audition, to attend Cadet band for a second concert season, September through May, in addition to attending Junior band rehearsals. Cadets who choose to repeat or do not pass to Concert Junior do not continue with new material the second year, rather they start at the beginning of the book with all the new Cadets.

Concert Junior Band is for newly graduated Cadets and those who need time to develop skills at the early band level. Admittance into this band is by audition. As a guideline, students should expect to be in this band for 1 to 3 years. No audition is necessary at the Concert Junior level for adults with a minimum of one year experience on their instrument.

Concert Senior Band serves those students who have achieved greater mastery of their instrument and are ready for more advanced performance music. Admittance into this band is by audition. Most students should expect to spend 2 to 3 years at this level.

Symphonic Band is geared towards providing students with an opportunity to study and perform high school level music. Admittance into his band is by audition.

Auditions Required
Those who wish to audition for Concert Junior, Concert Senior or Symphonic level as part of the WSHSB Annual Summer Chair Competition must submit an audition video by the stated deadline. AUDITIONING FOR A PARTICULAR BAND DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE IN THAT BAND. There may also be limits in instrument sections within each band level. The Concert Season roster is set before the first band rehearsal. However, once the audition video deadline has passed you are still able to join by submitting an audition video with the following understanding. You will be placed in the band where we feel you fit best and you will be at the end of the roster for your instrument. Those who do not submit an audition video will not receive music and will not be considered a member of the band.

Audition requirements for each level are described on the Auditions webpage. If a student is unsure whether to audition for Concert Junior, Concert Senior or Symphonic, they should review the required audition exercises. You may be able to borrow the necessary Essential Elements 2000 book (instrument specific) from a friend or look at one in a music store. You may also consult with the director for her suggestions or recommendations. (Note: While the Essential Elements title has changed from Essential Elements 2000 to ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS for Band, the contents are the same.)

Want to join the WSHSB?
This is the first step in the process of joining or considering joining the WSHSB. A parent of a prospective new student, for any of the four levels, should contact the director, Karen Borow. Include your name and phone with best time to call, student's name, age, and musical experience along with each instrument and number of years played. Indicate what instrument your student might like to play in the band. The director  will call you at her earliest convenience. Notifying the director is imperative for those wishing to join at any level. The director needs to know the number of students to expect. Sufficient music purchase for the concert trimesters are among her considerations. Is is especially important for those wishing to audition for Concert Senior or Symphonic Band to assure their audition music will be ready and available on the pick-up date. They will also need information on where to pick-up their audition music.

Parents as Members
Parents are also welcome to join the WSHSB. As members they are considered adult helpers. However, for a variety of reasons, there may be limits on the number of helpers allowed. Contact the director with your information as stated in the paragraph above. A parent may join at the Cadet level with no audition. See Cadet Requirements. Also no audition is necessary at the Concert Junior level for adults with a minimum of one year experience on their instrument. Those wishing to join at Senior or Symphonic level must demonstrate proficiency at the respective level to determine if and where they might best be utilized. When you contact the director, please let her know which level you are interested in and she will get back with you to discuss current instrument section needs and audition details.

Registration Form and Fees
For quick reference, our tuition and all fees are can be found in the WSHSB Tuition - Fee Schedule, on our Forms/Documents webpage.

Once there has been contact with the director and audition requirements completed, it is time to register if you haven't already done so. This process involves several steps.

1. One parent must volunteer at least 4 hours per trimester in which student(s) is/are participating. For volunteer job descriptions and the link to the WSHSB job sign-up site, see our Boosters webpage. Your choice(s) including date(s) and position(s) will need to be entered on any Registration Form, whether for fall and spring or summer marching.

2. Student and adult musicians need to print and complete the Registration Form which includes a Commitment page and the Handbook Agreement. There is a discount for three or more children with the fee schedule also on the form. There is a deadline on the form along with a progressive late fee for missed deadlines. Signing-up for the required Booster hours must be completed as part of the registration process. If applicable, print and complete an Instrument Rental Form. Both forms are on our Forms/Documents webpage. Tuition and fees are nonrefundable and are subject to change.

3. Mail your completed form(s) and check to the address on the registration form. No checks will be accepted without the necessary completed forms and vice-versa. Music will not distributed until registration is complete.

Overview and Orientation Meeting
For the 2021-2022 concert season there will NOT be the usual Overview and Orientation Meeting the week before our first band rehearsals take place. Instead, there will be a video sent, prior to 9/24/21, for all band families to watch. It will include new updates, information about the band year, and a brief instruction for all newcomers.

Inquiries Welcome
If you would simply like to make an inquiry about the band, feel free to contact the director, Karen Borow. Include your name and phone with best time to call, and the nature of your inquiry. She will call you as soon as possible.

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