The Upper Arlington High School Golden Bear Bands consist of the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Gold Band, Pep Band, and Jazz Bands. Students also have the opportunity to audition and perform in several honor groups and solo & ensemble performances.

Membership in band is open to students who have successfully demonstrated their proficiency level in the spring of the preceding year. Members of Symphonic, Concert, and Gold Bands must participate in Marching Band or the fall (non-marching) group. All students in Marching, Symphonic, Concert, Gold Bands, and fall concert group are assigned to 1st period. Students unable to participate in Marching Band due to a direct conflict with sports will be assigned to fall non-marching concert group with permission of instructor. Students must complete an application for exclusion to participate in the fall non-marching group. After marching season, students are assigned to Symphonic, Concert, or Gold Band based on an audition that takes place in early November.

In addition:

  • Successful completion of one year in the Band program satisfies the Arts requirement for graduation.
  • Participating in Marching Band for two full seasons entitles the student to receive the PE Credit exemption.

Marching Band

The Upper Arlington Golden Bear Marching Band proudly performs at all home and away football games, community events, parades, and out of state trips. A traditional show style marching band, members learn new music and a new routine for each home game during the season. The band does not participate in competitions. Marching Band begins in June with rehearsals for the 4th of July parade in Upper Arlington. Preparation for the fall season begins in early August with one week of Band Camp. Once school is in session, rehearsals are held daily during the marching season beginning at 7:30 am and extending through 1st period.

Members of the marching band must be proficient on their instrument and demonstrate the drive and determination necessary to be in a group constantly striving for improvement. First year members will experience new terms and new experiences – leg lift, toe point, ramp, locker signs, inspection, spats, plumes, summer and full uniforms, music checks, sectionals, spreads, 3rd quarter, pregame, cadences, and cheers.

The Upper Arlington Marching Band has a long history and members are proud to be a part of a tradition that spans decades and generations and represents Upper Arlington High School with pride and dignity.

Marching Band is an activity that requires extra time and effort, but is extremely rewarding.

Symphonic Band

The Upper Arlington Symphonic Band is the highest level band at the High School performing advanced instrumental literature. The Symphonic Band is directed by Todd Fessler. Membership in the Symphonic Band is determined by audition in the fall upon the conclusion of the marching season. Symphonic Band members are encouraged to perform at OMEA Adjudicated events and have often received “Superior” ratings. Concerts are usually held in March and May.

Concert Band

The Upper Arlington Concert Band begins rehearsal in the fall after the conclusion of the marching season. The Concert Band is directed by Kolin Redman. Concert Band performs before the Symphonic Band during the March and May performances.

Gold Band

The Upper Arlington Gold Band begins rehearsal in the fall after the conclusion of the marching season. The Gold Band is directed by Matthew Zelnik. Gold Band performs before the Concert Band during the March and May performances.

Pep Band

The Pep Band performs at several UAHS basketball home games and a hockey game every year. Pep Band is a voluntary group that occurs if enough students sign up to participate in a particular performance. The group meets for about 30 minutes before the game and performs music from the Marching Band repertoire and some new music.

Jazz Bands

Students have the option of participating in the Jazz Bands. Jazz Bands meets 2-3 times per week from 7:15–8:00 am. beginning after the conclusion of Marching Band and receives 0.5 credit. Jazz Bands consists of two groups:  Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab. 

Membership in Jazz Ensemble is open, by audition or recommendation of the director, to musicians on the following instruments: trumpet, saxophone, trombone, guitar, bass, percussion and keyboard. Enrollment is limited by instrumentation. Music literature studied and performed includes jazz, rock, swing, pop, ballads, and fusion.

Membership in Jazz Lab is open to students who are members in good standing of 1st period band. Jazz Lab focuses on learning the different fundamentals of different jazz styles and an introduction to the art of improvisation in an ensemble setting. Auditions for the rhythm section of Jazz Lab occur in late October or early November.

All members in the Jazz Bands must participate in 1st period band with the exception of piano, guitar, and bass musicians. Although classes begin in November, grades and credits are posted for the 2nd quarter.

Groups Requiring Auditions

The Jazz Ensemble is an audition-based group that performs at several clinics, concerts, and festivals every year. The Jazz Ensemble experience includes improvisation and one on a part playing. Membership is based on auditions that take place near the end of the football season.

The Jazz Lab is an experienced-based group that focuses on the fundamentals of jazz styles and improvisation. Rhythm members are placed based on audition. Wind players are placed based on interest. The Jazz Lab group is not a performance-based group but may give performances during the year.

The Pit Orchestra is assembled as needed to support the annual UAHS musical production. If and when the musical score requires band instrumentation, auditions are held several months prior to the performance. The Pit Orchestra musicians rehearsal schedule is published prior to tryouts and selected musicians are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances.

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UAHS Band Program