For general information about specific concert dates, concert attire, other musical opportunities, and the district-wide music TK-12 Music Program, please check out:
King Middle School offers three large performing ensembles during 0 Period, before school, and two jazz bands which meet directly after school during 7th Period. Band members play the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophones, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, euphonium, tuba, or percussion. All students entering the program should feel comfortable reading music. ALL 0 PERIOD MUSIC CLASSES START THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL at 8:00am. JAZZ CLASSES START THE SECOND WEEK OF SCHOOL.
Families do not need to purchase an instrument for their student. All instruments are available through the district-wide music program. (A donation to BUSD music is requested, but not required, for the loan of the instruments. The donation is waived for any student who needs it.)
Programs – Zero Period
The following band programs are offered before school, during Zero Period, 7:45 to 8:30am. Students are assigned to a band by the instructors. Incoming sixth graders will be placed in Concert Band. All three bands take a musical journey through a variety of diverse music and performances, and most importantly, have a lot of fun!
Concert Band meets in S-1 ("The Game Room”). It is the next step after the elementary music classes. Most students have had 1-2 years of experience on their instruments, including students who have had a lapse in their music instruction of a year or more, whether due to challenges with distance learning or family choice. One of the highlights of the Concert Band experience is a Spring field trip to a major league baseball game to play the National Anthem from the field.
Symphonic Band meets on the stage of the Little Theater and is the mid-level performing group. Most students are in their 3rd-4th year of study on their band instrument. This class is a continuation of Concert Band with concentration on developing musical proficiency in ensemble balance, rhythm and melodic reading, intonation, and tone development.
Wind Ensemble meets in A1, underneath the Little Theatre. This group is made up of 8th graders and advanced 7th graders - most students are in their 4th-5th year on their band instrument. Musicians further their musical ability through extra performing opportunities, and also prepare for continuation in the ensembles at BHS.
Programs – 7th Period
The following band programs are offered directly after school. Participation is free of charge. Both Junior Jazz and Advanced Jazz focus on the roots of jazz, focused listening, ear training, rhythm reading and most importantly, improvisation. This is a graded class and attendance is mandatory. Students must be enrolled in a 0 Period music class in order to participate in Junior or Advanced Jazz.
Junior Jazz is the entry level class for those interested in exploring jazz. Players must attend class twice weekly after school.
Advanced Jazz is a continuation of Junior Jazz. Players are expected to have previous jazz experience and must attend class twice weekly after school. The ensemble also has off campus performances several times a year.
MLK Middle School has two orchestra performance classes - the Junior Orchestra and the Senior Orchestra. You should be in orchestra if you have experience on violin, viola, cello, or double bass. If you played a string instrument in elementary school and are interested in moving to double bass, email Ms. Martin!
Both orchestras meet during 0 period (7:45 - 8:30am) before school. Students will arrive early to set up the musical space and instruments, so as to be ready to play at 7:45! Instruments are available to rent from the district, and students are encouraged to use these instruments at school. If you have your own instrument, it’s better to leave it at home, for practice there. After the beginning of school, both orchestras will post sectional schedules, showing which days students will meet with their sections and which days they will practice with the entire orchestra. Typically, most students will meet 3 times/week.
Most 6th grade students will enter the Junior Orchestra if they have at least 1 year of experience on the instrument. This orchestra is directed by Georgia Martin. Basic instrument technique and fundamentals will be covered in this class, along with the fundamentals of music theory, and a variety of music. Orchestra provides a unique opportunity for musicians to develop the skill of playing with and listening to other instruments, and is encouraged for all musicians!
The Junior Orchestra meets in the Science Building.
The Senior Orchestra is for 7th and 8th grade students, with at least 2 years of experience, and a firm handle on the fundamentals covered in the Junior Orchestra class. A clear understanding of first position, and reading music is an essential prerequisite for this class. Orchestra playing develops ensemble skills, music theory, history, discipline, and group spirit. Music will be carefully chosen to challenge the wide range of playing levels. This orchestra is directed by Carlotta Jacobs.
The Senior Orchestra meets on the stage.
Performing Arts Showcase
Chamber Concert - Senior Orchestra and selected Junior Orchestra
Back to School Night - Chamber groups perform around the school
The King Singers
The King Singers consist of students 6th through 8th grade, of all musical levels. We meet
during 0 Period from 7:45 - 8:30 am daily. Here are some of the things that we work on during
● Songs of various musical eras and styles (including classical, pop, jazz, folk and musical
● Reading notes and rhythms on the staff
● Healthy singing technique, in both solo and ensemble settings
● Correct breathing, posture and tone
● Listening to one another, blending and producing a variety of dynamics
● Interpreting music in an artistic and creative way
Students perform three mandatory concerts throughout the year: The Winter and Spring
Concerts, and Performing Arts Showcase in March. We also collaborate with other BUSD
schools and often perform in the community. One of our highlights is singing the National
Anthem at an Oakland A’s baseball game. Students create great friendships, explore their
musical talents and start the day energized.
The director, Olesia Gordynsky Castuera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year there are 3 performances that all students in the music program should attend:
December - Winter Concert
Usually on a Thursday night. (Please check the date on the calendar)
In the King Auditorium
March - BUSD Performing Arts Showcase
Weekend in Late March (Please check the date on the BUSD calendar)
District wide Performing Arts Showcase at Berkeley High School (BHS)
Musicians in band, orchestra, and chorus from all schools in BUSD
Rehearsal on Saturday
Concert on Sunday
June - Spring Concert
early June (Please check the date on the calendar)
In the King Auditorium