The Jackson Academy Marching Band has a long tradition of innovation and excellence. The band’s first appearance on the national scene was in 1990 at the Bands of America regional competition at the University of Southern Mississippi. They earned the Novice Award for the highest scoring band appearing for the first time in a BOA event. Since then, the JA Marching Band has appeared at BOA events held in the Georgia Dome (Atlanta), the Edward R. Jones Dome (St. Louis), the RCA Dome and Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis) and the Alamo Dome (San Antonio) as well as Regionals in Johnson City, Tennessee, and the University of Southern Mississippi. The band is a 13-time BOA Regional Class A Champion and two-time BOA Grand National Class A Champion. It remains one of only two Class A bands to be named a National Finalist.
The JA Marching Band is open to students in grades 7-12 and has on occasion allowed the participation of exceptional sixth grade students. The marching season lasts from late summer to early November, during which the band adheres to a regular rehearsal schedule that requires a minimum of the students’ time with maximum effort. This is accomplished through carefully structured rehearsals and a strong commitment from staff and students to “get it done and go home”.
Each year the entire marching band attends a two week band camp, before school begins. This camp is held in an air conditioned gym on the campus of JA. It lasts from 8-5 daily, and it is vital that all members attend, as the entire competitive program is taught during this time. The camp finishes with a performance of the entire program for the parents and friends.
In addition to local and national band competitions, the marching band season involves performances at football games and pep rallies. The JA Marching Band prides itself on supporting and helping create the school spirit which is such a vital part of student life at Jackson Academy.
For information about upcoming JA Marching Band performances and activities, please visit the JA Band Blog.
The Jackson Academy Concert Band is the primary teaching tool of the band program. It rehearses and performs from the end of marching season through the completion of the school year. The Concert Band prides itself on exploring and performing quality literature for wind bands, and through that developing the musicianship of the individual players. It performs concerts at Jackson Academy and around the Jackson area, and has participated in festivals and competitions in New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Nashville.
January and February offer many performing opportunities to interested band members through participation in clinics at universities throughout the state. Held primarily on weekends, these clinics are a way for students to meet and work with some of the finest music educators in the country and are often used a recruiting tool for university bands in offering scholarship opportunities to students.
The Mississippi Lions’ All-State Band is an audition-based group that rehearses and travels each year in July. Many JA Band and Guard students have been chosen through the years for this elite band of 120 high school students from band programs across the state. The Lions’ Band has contained as many as 11 members in one year from Jackson Academy.
Private instruction is a vital part of the development and nurturing of the individual band student. Jackson Academy prides itself on offering its members the opportunity to study with some of the finest instructors in the Jackson area.
For information about upcoming JA Concert Band performances and activities, please visit the JA Band Blog.
The Jackson Academy Color Guard members are multi-talented student musicians and performers. Open to students in grades 7-12, the guard adds color and and grace to the Marching Band show, and the JA Winter Guard also have received many awards and recognition at Mississippi Indoor Association, Winter Guard International, and other regional events.
All JA Guard members, in addition to performing with flags, sabres, rifles, and dance, play a musical instrument. They contribute musically to the Marching Band and are also members of the Concert and Jazz Bands.
For information about upcoming JA Guard performances and activities, please visit the JA Band Blog.
The Jackson Academy Jazz Band is comprised of brass, wind, and percussion students in grades 7-12. It focuses on learning and improving jazz performance techniques, including traditional jazz, big band, swing, pop, fusion, rock, funk, and Latin.
The Jazz Band at JA has long been recognized for its high level of musicianship, performing at regional festivals and competitions. It is also a favorite featured ensemble on campus.
The JA Band staff believes performing jazz is a valuable way to improve overall musicianship. Participation in the Jazz Band enhances technical abilities, sight reading aptitude, and improvisational skills as well as providing many performance opportunities beyond typical school venues.
Jazz Band members are encouraged to listen to and explore jazz as an original American art form and hopefully carry with them an appreciation for Jazz Literature and the impact it has had on the American landscape.
For information about upcoming JA Jazz Band performances and activities, please visit the JA Band Blog.
SIXTH GRADE BAND
At Jackson Academy, the Sixth Grade Band is designed as an instruction-based class (as opposed to a performance-based one) which serves as an introduction to instrumental music for all interested students. No prior musical experience is required to be a part of this class, and individual guidance by the band staff is provided to entering students, including the selection of an instrument.
In the class, directors strive to create a nurturing environment, providing for the individual needs of each student as they develop tone and technique while progressing through an ensemble method book in a group setting. Each student is encouraged to advance as far as possible on his or her instrument during the school year, as well as to begin to develop limited performance techniques. A minimal but consistent home practice routine is encouraged to maximize this process. 6th Grade Band class meets each day during Special Subjects for a fast-paced 40 minutes, with two or three teachers assisting students. There are no after-school rehearsals. The ensemble performs at the Christmas Concert in December and an end-of-the-year concert in May.
As the initial step in the development of our student musicians, the Sixth Grade Band is a vital part of the JA Band Program, as well as serving as an introduction to instrumental music for any interested students.
The Drumline at Jackson Academy consists of percussion, brass, and wind musicians and performs on battery percussion at football games, pep rallies and other campus events. It is a very visible and popular aspect of the JA Band.
The primary purpose of the drumline is to enhance school spirit, while at the same time improving the members’ musicianship.
The JA Band staff strongly believes that playing percussion is an optimal tool to improve any instrumentalist’s sight reading abilities, rhythmic understanding, and awareness of time and pulse.
For information about upcoming JA Band performances and activities, please visit the JA Band Blog.