The music program, under the direction of Wendy Stein, gives Cadets the opportunity to participate in a variety of musical ensembles. Instrumental and vocal ensembles rehearse and perform throughout the academic year. Private study is offered to Cadets as a supplement to the core curriculum.
St. John’s Military School owns a set of beautiful quality English Malmark Bells. The Hand Bell Choir meets outside the academic day under the direction of music director, Wendy Stein. The Bell Choir performs at special events on and off campus.
The study of pipes is offered on Monday evenings in the Vanier Academic Center. Local piper and teacher, Lonny Liljegren, instructs the Cadets on the chanter and gives the Cadets an introduction to the history and significance of the pipes in military traditions. Cadets have the opportunity to continue the study of bagpipe music during tutorial period in the morning before the academic day begins.
Browning Drum and Bugle Corps
The Browning Drum and Bugle Corps meets during the academic day. Special rehearsals are held on weekends and evenings to prepare for special events. The Bugle Corps performs for military ceremonies, sporting events and retreat parades. Members of the Browning Drum and Bugle Corps are authorized to procure and wear the ribbon and cord on their dress uniforms.
Cadets enrolled in the instrumental music program are eligible to participate in the Battalion Drum Detail. They are also authorized to procure and wear the Battalion Drum ribbon and cord on their dress uniform.
Cadets enrolled in the instrumental music program are eligible to audition for the position of Battalion Bugler. The Battalion Bugler is responsible for playing bugle calls at battalion formations and must play the bugle calls as outlined in the Army FM-22 music manual. The Battalion Bugler is authorized to procure and wear the Battalion Bugler cord and ribbon on his dress uniform. St. John’s buglers are often called upon to play taps for area funerals and annually perform echo taps at the Veteran’s Day Ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial in Sunset Park, Salina, Kansas.
The SJMS Military Tattoo, patterned after the Edinburgh Tattoo performed annually in Edinburgh Scotland, features performances by members of the Drill Team, Drum and Bugle Corps, Color Guard and Battalion Staff. The Tattoo is a showcase of SJMS drill and ceremony units. Individual performances by both instrumentalists and vocalists add to the color and pageantry of the ceremony. A special ribbon is awarded to the Cadets performing in the Tattoo.
Military School Band Festival
Cadets enrolled in the instrumental music program may be nominated to attend the annual Military School Band Festival. Cadets attending the festival participate in the concert band, jazz band, or drum major clinic and competition. SJMS Cadets have been participating in the festival for many years. Zak Anderson, former SJMS Band Master was the 2009 winner of the drum major competition. In 2007 “Old Boy,” Nicholas Cantrell won the competition his senior year at St. John’s. The clinicians for the festival are world renown and provide a wonderful experience for the Cadets who participate. Patrick Harden, Eduardo Velasco and Zak Anderson attended the 2009 festival with Mrs. Stein.
Band and Orchestra
Cadets enrolled in the instrumental music program are eligible to audition for the North Central District honor groups. District band and orchestra auditions take place at Junction City, High School the first weekend in November. Enoch Lau, Greg Saville and Patrick Harden auditioned and were selected to membership in the 2008 District Band and Orchestra. Greg Saville made second chair in the Tuba section, Patrick Harden made first chair Euphonium and Enoch Lau was seventh chair in the first violin section. Patrick Harden participated in live auditions for state band in January of 2009. Harden represented St. John’s at State Band during the Kansas Music Educators Convention in Wichita, Kansas in February.
Salina Youth Symphony
Cadets enrolled in the instrumental music program at St. John’s are eligible to audition for the Salina Youth Symphony, which boasts membership from several central Kansas communities. The Youth Symphony rehearses on Saturday mornings during the academic year and presents two concerts at the beautifully recently restored Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Salina.
Music awards offer incentives to Cadets participating in the music program at St. John’s. Awards are given during commencement weekend and consist of:
- The John Phillip Sousa Award
- SGM Eugene R. Louis Memorial Award
- Most Improved Bandsman
- Battalion Bugler Award
- Battalion Drummer Award
- Best Drummer Award
- Michael E. Harris Bandmaster Award
- Kevin Kerns Outstanding Bandsman Award