What is the Pomona College Band? The Pomona College Band is the concert band for The Claremont Colleges. Funded by Pomona College, its membership is drawn from students, faculty and staff of The Claremont Colleges, and members of the local community. Its goal is to prepare significant music in a collaborative atmosphere for performance at the highest level and to provide a valuable and enjoyable learning experience for both the players and the audience.
How do I join? There is no audition required to join the Pomona College Band. You should bring your instrument to the first rehearsal of the semester and be prepared to play. Seating assignments are arranged informally during the first few rehearsals.
What is the time commitment? The Pomona College Band normally rehearses twice each week, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:45-8:10 p.m., and gives a pair of concerts each semester. The dates and times of the concerts are announced at the beginning of the semester. The dress rehearsal on the Wednesday before the first concert runs from 6:45-8:45 p.m., but no extra rehearsals are called. There will be no rehearsals or concerts during Fall 2020. All Band activities will be through the online class MU 35P. (Read about the online Fall 2020 adaptations Ensemble Descriptions.)
What type of music does the band play? The Pomona College Band plays original works and transcriptions from the classical tradition, with an occasional foray into more popular fare. The repertoire consists of classic works for band or wind ensemble (e.g. the First and Second Suite by Gustav Holst; Overture to Candide by Bernstein; Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger); lesser-known pieces that are worth reviving (e.g. A Glorious Day by Albert Roussel; Triumphal Ode by Howard Hanson; Broadside for Band by William Bolcom); and new compositions, some by faculty members and students (e.g. Agua by Frank Stemper; Triple Set by Karl Kohn; The Smileys of Redlands by Steuart Goodwin). The level of difficulty is generally Grade 4 or 5.
Do members of the Pomona College Band receive academic credit? The band is offered as a class (MU35) by the Pomona College Music Department and is open to all students of the Claremont Colleges. The amount of academic credit granted varies between schools in the Consortium; Pomona grants a half course per semester. Most students enroll in the course, but it is also possible for students and non-students to audit.
Does the Pomona College Band tour? Because the membership of the band includes townspeople, and because the band generally imports a few professional players at concert time to fill gaps in instrumentation, it has never been possible to tour. The band has done occasional run-out concerts, but generally focuses on the pair of concerts at the end of each semester. It is, however, possible for outstanding students to be nominated to perform with Intercollegiate Bands sponsored by the College Band Directors National Association at Regional and National Conferences.
Is it possible to take lessons on my instrument? Lessons on all standard band instruments are offered through the Pomona College Music Department and must be taken for academic credit. Lessons are free for all Pomona students and for students from the Claremont Colleges enrolled in a Pomona ensemble. Lessons are available at a subsidized rate for townspeople who are members of Pomona ensembles.
Are there instruments available to borrow? The Pomona College Music Department has a small collection of musical instruments which students taking lessons and/or enrolled in an ensemble may borrow. These are mostly “exotic” instruments that students would not be expected to own themselves (e.g. E-flat clarinet; bass and alto clarinets; English horn; C trumpets), but there are a few normal wind and brass instruments available as well. Please contact Graydon Beeks by email.
Is it possible to participate in band and other musical ensembles or athletics? This is a difficult question to answer because the schedules of the various groups are so different. It is certainly possible to play in the band and also the Pomona College Orchestra and/or Pomona College Jazz Ensemble because they rehearse on different days. It is not possible to play concurrently in the Claremont Concert Orchestra, which is run by the Scripps College Music Department for the Joint Music Program, or Pomona’s rotating non-Western ensemble, because they rehearse at the same times. There may also be conflicts between the band rehearsals and athletic practices and/or contests. You should check with the coach of your particular sport to determine your options.