ABOUT THE BAND
Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Bands invited to perform in
Carnegie Hall - New York City
The award-winning Houston High School Band has over 300 members from grades 9 through 12 and is the largest single activity on campus. The Houston Band is widely regarded as one of the most competitive, meritorious bands in the mid-south. Led by Band Director Jim Smith and Assistant Band Director, Spencer Nesvick, the band attracts students from a variety of races and creeds who are highly involved in many other areas of campus life. In addition to band, our students excel academically, play sports, are class officers, are selected to homecoming courts, serve on the annual staff and compete in Knowledge Bowl. This exemplary music program inspires young musicians to master their art and work as a team to achieve the highest level of craft and character.
The Houston Band proudly presents its 2013 marching program "Porgy and Bess" with music from George Gershwin. It will be set in the 1930s with three or four of the main themes from the opera. Their innovative program will showcase the band's musical talent and precision marching.
© Cindy Thymius Photography
The award winning Houston Band has earned the coveted Chancellor's Cup at the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational for six of the last eight years. Their programs of The Giving Tree, See Rock City, Monty Python's The Holy Grail, Crusin', Reflections of Earth, and An American in Paris were all technically and artistically received.
The band participates in many notable competitions in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Houston marched in the Fiesta Flambeau Parade in San Antonio, Texas (the nation's largest illuminated night parade) in April 2006 and was declared the Out-of-State Champion. In November of the same year they marched, by invitation, in the nationally televised Hollywood Christmas Parade in California. The band also traveled to Disney World Florida in 2008 to be featured in the renowed Main Street Parade. In the spring of 2011 the band marched in the Universal Orlando Studio parade.
Houston annually marches in the Germantown Holiday Parade and the Collierville Christmas Parade.
The 2009 program, Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, brought together the hilarious and silliness of the Python group with serious music renditions. The class of 2010 had the distinct honor and privilege of being four time winners of the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational Chancellor’s Cup.
Crusin’, the 2008 show was a compilation of various styles of music, much like putting the radio to ‘scan’ - from hip hop, symphonic, Top 40, rap, and classical. This popular and successful program saw the band continue to perform at the highest levels winning. The Class of 2009 was the winningest class in the band's history.
Their dynamic 2007 show, Reflections of Earth, featured music from the EPCOT nighttime laser light show. Four Grand Championships, two Reserve Grand Championships, and the Grand Champion Chancellor’s Cup at the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational for the second year were won with this show. One of the distinctions from this program was the extreme changes in time signatures. The members excelled in their musicality.
The Houston Band was declared the 2006 Mid-South Marching Grand Champions. Their show, An American in Paris, won five of their six competitions, including the coveted Bandmaster’s Championship held in the Liberty Bowl Stadium. The Mayor of the City of Germantown, Tennessee proclaimed a day as “Honorary Houston High School Band Day.”
The Wind Ensemble is made up of approximately 60 members and is established through auditions at the end of the marching season. The very best musicians in our band program become members of the Wind Ensemble. Many of its members are also members of the All-West Tennessee Band, the All-State Tennessee Band, the All-West and All-State Tennessee Orchestra, the Memphis Youth Symphony, and the Memphis Youth String Orchestra. Wind Ensemble plays and interprets the highest level of high school band literature. They present several concerts a year and take a trip each spring to compete nationally. The Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Jim Smith.
The Symphonic Band is made up of approximately 60 members and is established through auditions at the end of the marching season. This band serves as a feeder group for the Wind Ensemble. A high level of band literature is performed. The Symphonic Band presents several concerts each year and takes a trip each spring to participate in national competitions. The Symphonic Band is under the direction of Spencer Nesvick.
The Concert Band is comprised of approximately 70-80 members and is established through auditions at the end of marching season. This band serves as a feeder group for the Symphonic Band. Basic fundamentals are taught as well as appropriate band literature. The Concert Band is under the direction of Jim Smith and Spencer Nesvick.
There are two Jazz Bands at Houston High. One is comprised of about 20 members and the other around 30 students. This is a separate class from the other bands. Students must be involved in a regular band class to participate. The Jazz Bands play for school functions, at band concerts and travel with the band on the spring trip each year. The Jazz Bands are under the direction of Spencer Nesvick and Jim Smith.
Jazz Band performs on Live @ 9! on WREG
Flute Choir, Sting Ensemble, Horn Quartet, and Clarinet Choir are offered to members of the band program as interest demands. These groups meet after school once a week after the conclusion of the marching season. Lobby and pre-concert performances, as well as local school and community performances are scheduled.