Music


The music department offers several courses and the opportunity to be part of a performing arts group. Students can join the Jazz Band, String Ensemble or the Prep Singers. Under the direction of three musical directors, students come together for two annual concerts and other performance opportunities.

Note: Freshmen may earn credit and a grade for full year participation in Jazz Band, Prep Singers or Jazz Ensemble in lieu of taking Music I.



Freshman Music

This one-semester course provides an introductory experience to Western music and its historical, religious, economic, and scientific elements that set the unique direction it followed over the last 15 centuries. Major topics include an examination of Western musical notation and its historical evolution; the elements of musical sound; the physics of sound and music; the properties of musical instruments; the history of recording and the techniques involved in making a modern recording. The course concludes with a brief history and survey of Western music from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century with an emphasis on the unique sociological factors that set Western music apart from music of other cultures and the music as an effect of those factors. An additional goal is to help students improve study skills; improve organizational skills through writing and essays; enhance critical listening skills; and give students a beginning understanding of music and the humanities as an integral part of all parts of the fabric of Western culture. In conjunction with the Freshman Art course, this course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement necessary for graduation. (0.5 credits)

* Students with musical ability sufficient to pass an audition for the Prep Singers, the Jazz Ensemble, or the String Ensemble may substitute a year as a member of one of those groups for the Freshman Music course. The auditions will be held throughout the first two weeks of the school year, and information will be readily available at that time about the timing and location.

Advanced Music Theory & Literature

This course is designed to incorporate basic elements of AP Music Theory and an Intro to Music Course that may be found in the freshman year of college along with beginning composition instruction and opportunities to perform. It is designed for juniors/seniors who would like to learn about the mechanics of music and basic tools of composition in a traditional genre (Common Practice Era), modern avant-garde techniques (e.g. aleatoric in the style of John Cage, etc.), and pop/rock music.

Applicants should be currently involved in music performance at Georgetown Prep (such as String Ensemble, Vocal Ensembles, or Jazz Ensemble), similar ensembles outside of GP, or who have been studying a musical instrument or voice and are at a basic to intermediate level of reading music.

This course is not intended as preparation for the AP Music Theory exam. (1 credit)

Audio Engineering

The goal of this unique music class is to teach students the fundamental skills of audio engineering in both a live and studio setting. The classroom format will be centered around music creation and live production, in which students will learn and master the basics of audio engineering - tracking, mixing, and editing - using Garage Band and Pro Tools software. Garage Band serves as an excellent platform for beginner audio engineers to later transition to Pro Tools, the industry standard software used in most professional recording studios, including the Fanone Recording Studio at Georgetown Prep. Additionally, students will take the engineering fundamentals learned in Garage Band and Pro Tools and directly apply them in the field as they learn to operate the technological audio and lighting systems in the Figge Theatre. Students in Audio Engineering are responsible for the audio and lighting production at all school assemblies and concert events at Georgetown Prep. (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors who have produced a song on each Recording Studio Club compilation album as a freshman and sophomore (2 per year - 4 total) will be eligible to apply for this course.

Music Media

This unique course will focus on the creation of video projects highlighting the members and organizations within the Georgetown Prep community. Students will learn how to create and edit the audio, graphic, and video elements necessary to produce professional videos in a variety of genres. The class culminates with a cross curriculum final project in which each Music Media student will design a comprehensive media platform for the original music of a partner student in Audio Engineering including a music video, an artist logo, album artwork, and online representation. Original video and music projects will include collaboration with sports teams, clubs, administrative offices, service trips, and academic offices. The class will utilize iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Protools, Soundcloud, and Photoshop to produce multimedia projects. Class time and assignments will be split between individual skill set development and group projects.

Prerequisite: Juniors and Seniors who have been recommended by a faculty member of the Art Department.

Performance Groups

Jazz Ensemble

The course is a performance ensemble centered around musical repertoire for jazz ensemble. The focal point of the course is several performances that take place over the academic year. Rehearsals are used as instructional time where students learn the music theory and the skills necessary to perform as a member of an ensemble, and also as a soloist. Incoming freshmen with sufficient ability to perform in the ensemble may commit to the ensemble for a year as a substitute for the Freshman Music course requirement. Students in grades 10 through 12 may also participate each year until graduation. The class meets one evening a week for the entire academic year. Additional rehearsals are added before and after school close to performances dates. (0.5 credits)

Prerequisite: A basic level of proficiency playing one of the traditional jazz instruments. Woodwind (clarinet, saxophone, etc.), brass (trumpet, trombone, etc.), keyboard, guitar/bass, and percussion instruments are all needed in the ensemble. Membership is by audition.

Prep Singers I

Prep Singers I is a beginning choir for high school freshmen. Emphasis is on proper vocal technique, and singing in unison and in parts. Repertoire is based on choral standards for high school students as recommended by the National Association for Music Educators and the American Choral Directors Association. Students participate in two major concerts – Christmas and Spring concerts. They will also participate in some service projects and smaller concerts. This course fulfills the freshman music requirement at Georgetown Prep. The class meets two mornings each week before school for the entire academic year. Additional rehearsals are added after school, close to performances dates. (0.5 credits)

Prerequisite: No prior experience singing is necessary nor is the ability to read music required. Students must pass an audition process for acceptance into the course.

Prep Singers II: A Couple of Hoyas

A Couple of Hoyas is a vocal ensemble for advanced students. The music consists of 3-4 part harmonies of varying styles including pop, rock, and music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Students must be very strong singers with the ability to sing their part without accompaniment. This class continues on the foundations of singing and musicianship that were established in Prep Singers I. Prep Singers performs two formal concerts each year, Christmas and Spring, in addition to on and off-campus concerts at area hospitals, senior centers, and churches. Students are expected to audition for the Maryland All State Chorus and participate in the Catholic High Schools Honors Choir. (0.5 credits)

Prerequisite: Participation in Prep Singers I. Students must pass an audition for this course.

String Ensemble

The course is a performance ensemble centered around musical repertoire for string orchestra/ensemble. It focuses on a number of performances each year, including two major concerts (Christmas and Spring) in addition to musical events such as Open House and school liturgies. Incoming freshmen with sufficient ability to perform in the ensemble may commit to the ensemble for a year as a substitute for the Freshman Music course requirement. Students in grades 10 through 12 may also participate each year until graduation. In addition to the full ensemble, opportunities are available to perform in smaller chamber ensembles such as a string quartet or solo work. The class meets two mornings each week before school for the entire academic year. Additional rehearsals are added after school, close to performances. Rehearsals for smaller chamber ensembles will be worked out with the individual schedules either before school or after school. (0.5 credits)

Prerequisite: An intermediate (or higher) level of proficiency playing one of the traditional bowed string instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass). Membership is by audition.

* Students with musical ability sufficient to pass an audition for the Prep Singers, the Jazz Ensemble, or the String Ensemble may substitute a year as a member of one of those groups for the Freshman Music course. The auditions will be held throughout the first two weeks of the school year, and information will be readily available at that time about the timing and location.