Celebrate and explore
WRA's robust music program offers full-year courses in vocal performance, instrumental performance and music theory. Students also take individual tutorials with adjunct music faculty, who are practitioners from the Cleveland Orchestra and Akron Symphony. In past years, WRA musicians have traveled to Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria to showcase their work.
- Music Performance Programs
- Explore Our Music Courses
- Supplemental Music Programs
- Private Lessons
- Yearly Performances
Symphonic Winds (Band) encompasses students that play brass, woodwind and percussion. This performing ensemble focuses on building correct playing technique and comprehension of musical notation and style with an emphasis on performance. The band studies standard concert band repertoire from composers as Clare Grundman, James Curnow, and Robert W. Smith. Band members will also have the opportunity to participate in woodwind choir, brass choir, and percussion ensemble.
The Academy Choir is a traditional mixed choir (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) that performs music from a variety of styles and time periods in both large and small group settings. While emphasis is placed on developing vocal skills and independent music reading, the primary focus of the group is performance.
Choir: The Academy Choir is WRA’s traditional mixed chorus and is open to all students regardless of level of experience. While emphasis is placed on developing vocal skills and independent music reading, the primary focus of this group is performance. The choir performs music of many style periods and genres and is particularly proud of its history of multicultural works. Performance opportunities include a mid-winter Madrigal Feaste, Vespers, a major work with chamber orchestra, singing at numerous WRA events and occasional off-campus opportunities. Students seeking a more selective opportunity may also audition for Chamber Choir and/or unReserved, our a cappella group.
String Orchestra: The Academy String Orchestra brings together students who play violin, viola, cello and bass. The ensemble primarily plays classical repertoire for string orchestra, occasionally combining with members of Symphonic Winds to play music written for full orchestra. String players will also have the opportunity to play chamber music and partner with The Academy Choir. 14
Symphonic Winds: The Reserve Symphonic Winds is WRA’s ensemble for students who play brass, woodwinds or percussion instruments. This group plays standard concert band repertoire as well as occasionally working in jazz or contemporary music. Band members will also have the opportunity to participate in small ensembles and pep band. WRA has a small cadre of instruments for students who may not have their own. While most members have prior experience, it is never too late to learn!
CL Music Theory: This course is intended to help students master the tools necessary for understanding the building blocks of music; they will gain fundamental understanding in musical notation, rhythm and meter, scales and chords. Some prior music experience (playing an instrument or singing) is helpful; students will gain expertise in active listening and do some composing as well as focusing on building aural skills. During the second half of the year, the focus will be on extensive work in harmonic analysis and writing music using the rules of the Common Practice Period.
Studio Music: Open to serious musicians looking to develop their skills and explore performance in a sophisticated way. Students will work on repertoire illustrative of developing excellence in their particular instrument/voice. Students must be able to practice independently and will be expected to demonstrate exemplary progress towards their targeted goals through performance. A final program/ recital to showcase progress will be expected during each semester of participation. Prerequisite: Departmental permission and demonstrated expertise via audition or participation in WRA’s ensembles.
Jazz Ensemble: This course is offered to students who want to develop and grow in their performance and understanding of jazz. Instrumentation is limited to those in a standard jazz ensemble: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, percussion, keyboards and guitars. Band members will learn advanced scales, sight-reading and elements of jazz theory. Band Members will perform varying styles of Jazz Literature that will include swing, bebop, big band, blues, Dixieland, funk, pop, rock, gospel, fusion and multi-ethnic repertoire. This is a performance-based ensemble, where concerts take place in the evening and perhaps on weekends.
Digital Music Production: This course will introduce students to the realm of music production and the necessary skills needed in this digital age. The focus of this course will be honing students’ ability to listen and analyze professional productions, ranging from Michael Jackson to Randy Newman to Avicii. Topics covered will include stereo processing, analogue and digital processing, compression, limiting, filtering, panning, reverb, and EQ. Mixing and creating a final mastered product will provide students the ability to actualize the different components in producing commercial level music. All D.A.W.’s (Digital Audio Workstations) will be explored with the main use of Apple’s Logic Pro. Both live streams, D.A.W.’s, and production courses will be made available to the students.
PIONEER PEP BAND
Students participating in the Symphonic Winds also serve at the Pioneer Pep Band. The band performs at sporting events in the fall and winter sports seasons as well as other special events around campus.
ELECTRIC STRING ORCHESTRA
This ensemble combines students from the Academy String Orchestra with elements of a modern rock orchestra. This ensemble will perform contemporary rock music with a orchestra flair.
THE RESERVE JAZZ PROJECT
The Jazz Project performs jazz standards as well as contemporary jazz and pop. Students have to opportunity to work together to create new music through improvisation. The Jazz Project meets in the Jazz Lab located in the basement of Hayden Hall.
This collaborative ensemble features students from band, orchestra and choir. This ensemble is a unique form of marching music activity. This activity combines Music, Movement / Dance and Theater to tell a story. This all takes place in a gym. This ensemble will travel and participate in the Ohio Indoor Performance Association and Winterguard International competitive
Upon approval, students may participate in afternoon music to replace a sport for one season. Afternoon music offers short courses in basic music theory, rhythm workshops, small ensembles, and individual practice.
Any student can take private lessons for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet. horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass, and Voice. Lessons are also available for piano and guitar. Lessons are offered all school year and are credited monthly to the students bookstore account.
Built Circa 1878
- Three floors of music rehearsal space
- Band Room
- Orchestra Room
- Choir Room
- Recital Room
- Music Offices and Extensive Literature Library
- Each rehearsal room is equipped with a state of sound system, smart board and recording capabilities
- Practice Rooms
- each equipped with a piano and metronome/tuner
- 9 Pianos in the building 4 grand, 5 upright
- 7 Computers with recording capability
- Smartmusic Integration - music software used to record students progress and assess students throughout the school year.
- Smartmusic allows our students to access a vast library of music for solo, small ensemble or large ensembles. Students can play along with the band and listen to their progress in real time.
- Music Student Lounge