The West Suburban Concert Band is always looking for new members. We rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., October through May, at Gurrie Middle School, 1001 S. Spring Ave., La Grange , IL. Auditions are not required. For additional information please contact the band via email.
Q: What are membership requirements?
A: Membership is open to all musicians. No auditions are required and there are no membership fees. We accept new members throughout the year.
Q: What difficultly level is the music?
A: The music ranges from grade 3 (good high school) to grade 5 (college plus).
Q: What kinds of music does the band play?
A: A variety: marches, show tunes, big band, light classical, patriotic….
Q: Where does the band rehearse?
A: Rehearsals are generally held at Wm. F. Gurrie Middle School, 1001 S. Spring Ave. in La Grange. The band room is closest to the 53rd Street entrance, near Catherine. There is a small parking lot along 53rd Street and additional street parking is available. Music stands are provided.
In the event that the room is not available to us, we may rehearse at an alternate location such as McClure Middle School in Western Springs or Willowbrook High School in Villa Park.
Q: What is the rehearsal schedule?
A: Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the band room at Gurrie Middle School and run from October through May. Rehearsals generally include a 10 to 15 minute break. We are on hiatus from the week before Christmas until the first Wednesday after school resumes in January and between the last summer concert and the first fall rehearsal.
The schedule is sent via U.S. mail to all active band members as soon as approval from District 105 is received, generally in mid to late September. The schedule is also posted on our website. Last minute changes to the schedule will be announced at a rehearsal and/or communicated to active members via a telephone tree.
Q: What happens if I cannot attend all rehearsals?
A: Members are encouraged to attend as many rehearsals as possible. If you cannot attend a rehearsal, please contact one of the directors and/or a member of your section. In order to participate in the spring concert, you must attend at least 2 spring concert rehearsals.
Q: Where and when does the band perform?
A: The band performs a formal indoor concert in April or May and between 10 and 12 outdoor concerts in parks around the western suburbs from Memorial Day through August. Occasionally, we perform an indoor Holiday concert in December. Every attempt is made to confirm a spring concert date by January or February. Most outdoor concert dates are determined during the spring and will be announced during rehearsals as they are confirmed. A summer concert schedule with maps and directions to concert locations is provided to each member at a rehearsal in early May. In addition, the schedule is posted on our website. Last minute changes to the schedule will be announced at summer concerts and/or communicated to active members via a telephone tree. Changes will also be posted on the web.
Q: What if I cannot attend all of the concerts?
A: We know that it may not be possible for you to participate in all of the concerts. If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend a concert, you are required to let us know by checking off your name on the “cannot attend list”. If you are unable to attend a concert at the last minute, we ask that you notify someone in your section and/or one of the directors.
Q: Where do I get information about changes to the rehearsal schedule?
A: Scheduling changes will be announced at rehearsals and concerts and will be posted on the website. Changes may also be communicated via telephone tree or email.
Q: What do I need throughout the year?
A: Other than your instrument(s) (and a pencil)……
- music stand
Indoor “formal” concerts:
- Men: dark suit (preferably black), white dress shirt, long tie
- Women: black slacks or skirt, white blouse, black sweater or jacket (optional)
Summer/outdoor concerts (usually start Memorial Day):
- clothes pins or music clips
- black pants
- white polo shirt or band shirt
Q: How is the band funded?
A: A patron drive is held approximately 3 weeks before the spring concert. Band members and former patrons will be contacted via U.S. mail and asked to contribute to the band. Since band members are not required to pay membership fees, all band members are strongly encouraged to donate. Donations supplement concert fees and are used to purchase music, rent rehearsal and/or storage space, maintain/purchase instruments and other equipment (trailer, PA system, etc.), pay insurance premiums, etc.
Q: Can I take the music home?
A: We strongly encourage members to practice between rehearsals so band members are permitted to take music folders home. If you are unable to attend the next rehearsal or concert, it is your responsibility to ensure that the music is returned to the band so that it is available to others.
Q: How can I contact other band members?
A: A membership list including phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses is maintained by the band and is published twice a year, It will be included in the fall mailing to active members and will be provided with the summer concert schedule and maps. The list is for the exclusive use of band members and will not be made available to anyone outside of the band.
Q: I have more questions, who should I ask?
Q: Can I attend a few rehearsals before I decide to join?
A: Absolutely. Feel free join us for a few rehearsals…..but, please contact us before you do. We would hate for you to arrive only to find out that there was a last minute rehearsal cancellation that didn’t get posted to the website. We’re sure you’ll want to become an active member of the band once you try us out.