The AHS music department is a nationally recognized, comprehensive performing arts program.
Currently under the direction of Mr. Chad Bloom and Mr. Robert Hackett, AHS music program students have received top awards at some of the most prestigious classical and jazz high school festivals throughout the United States including the National Orchestra Cup, Savannah Swing Central, and Essentially Ellington. Our music students have also earned spots in the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, Tanglewood Institute, Vail Jazz Foundation Workshop, California All-State Honor Bands and Orchestra and SCSBOA All-Southern Honor Groups.
The AHS music program consists of several string orchestras, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, choirs, a marching band and extra-curricular groups such as madrigals and jazz combos. Music students have the opportunity to participate in an intensive and comprehensive program that emphasizes disciplined practice, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence in the field of music. Students are encouraged to develop their musical talents and enhance their appreciation for music by learning about music theory, history and performance. Our ensembles have performed at numerous events in venues and national festivals across the United States. Opportunities to travel and perform enable our students to meet other musicians, students and professionals. On these trips, students visit universities to explore academic and/or career opportunities and to meet faculty members. Workshops and master classes are also arranged with professional musicians and faculty at prestigious institutions such as the Boston Symphony and The Juilliard School.
Part of the program’s success is a result of the numerous clinicians and professional musicians who have visited the school and provided clinics for the students. In the last few years, the students have studied with Choral Conductor Grant Gershon of the LA Master Chorale, the world-renowned trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, jazz educator Carl Allen, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, legendary music producer Bob Ezrin, CSUN music professors Dr. Larry Stoeffel (Director of Bands, Head of Wind) and Gary Pratt (Director of Jazz Studies), Tony Cason, Director of Bands at Pepperdine University, studio musicians and celebrated jazz artists Dan Higgins and Ira Nepus, former AHS Music Director John Mosley and many more. Clinicians provide a wide range of educational and performance experiences for our students, as well as provide students with opportunities to meet some of the top performers in the music industry.
AHS music students do exceptionally well after graduation. The majority go to four year colleges and universities. Over the past few years, our students have been accepted to New England Conservatory, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UCLA, USC, CSUN Jazz Studies, New York University, Cornell University, The Juilliard School, M.I.T., Columbia University, Northwestern University, University of the Arts, Temple University, University of Indiana, Trinity College, the New School in New York, Berkelee College of Music, and many more prestigious institutions. We believe that whether our students major in the arts or not, our program gives them an extra edge in preparing their college applications.