Small Ensemble

This one-of-a-kind course is for the advanced student who is interested in working independently or in small groups on selected music projects. Students may build a combo or small ensemble of any style or instrumentation. They may work on composition or arranging. They may woodshed on a special presentation. They may develop a second or third instrument. The possibilities are limited only by one’s musical imagination. There are numerous ‘Smamble Nights’ throughout the year, where the students show off their creativity and hard work. See the calendar for dates.


Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors who are taking a Concert band class or have already completed Honors Concert Band may be eligible for Small Ensemble, with approval of the instructor. Small Ensemble is designed only to be a second band class for students, taken concurrently with a concert band or jazz band (if Honors Concert Band has been successfully completed).


Small Ensemble students are expected to work on musical projects every class period, and will have numerous projects in development at all times, so that there is always something to work on. It is the responsibility of each student to design their own musical path, and to work creatively and collaboratively to stretch their abilities and knowledge.

Small Ensemble is a student-centered class, and members will be working independently, without direct supervision from the instructor. As a result, they must be self-motivated, responsible, trustworthy and mature.

Students failing to work consistently and seriously, who leave campus or stated boundaries during class or who engage in behavior displaying a lack of responsibility or maturity may beremoved from the class, and egregious instances may result in removal from the band program entirely. See Rio Band behavioral guidelines for further information.

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