Click on the tabs above to find out more about the program offerings at Manhattan Beach Middle School.

Band

Band

Ms. Haslop

Instrumental Music Director | Denise Haslop, dhaslop@mbusd.org

Members of our Manhattan Beach Middle School Band ensembles enjoy involvement in a campus organization that provides immediate identity and purpose. MBMS instrumental music ensembles encourage and promote academic excellence, and rehearsals and performances are compatible with the students’ academic responsibilities. Band members are involved in concerts, festivals, recitals and honor groups.

MBMS Band Ensembles:

  • Cadet Band – all incoming 6th grade students currently enrolled in 5th grade band automatically qualify and need not audition for the cadet level band.
  • Concert Band – Our mid-level ensemble harnesses the skills and experience of playing music daily from the year before. This gives the ensemble a wider variety of music to play from classic early 17th century music to the popular contemporary tunes.
  • Symphonic Band – Our top ensemble that historically garners top ribbons at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Festival.

Goals:
Through the making of music, all participants in the MBMS instrumental music program will work towards the following musical and non-musical goals:

  • Development of playing skills through a planned sequence of study, emphasizing instrumental fundamentals.
  • Development of musical talents that lead to individual and group performance.
  • Development of the individual’s self-confidence through working as a team member.
  • Attainment of self-discipline through the development of group pride.
  • Respect for fellow musicians / instrumental music groups.

Auditions:
Before the end of the school year there will be auditions for membership to all of the ensembles to appropriately place students in the correct classes. Audition requirements will be available in January. Please contact Mrs. Haslop for details.

Students playing popular instruments may decide to switch to instruments that are not common. This will help in the instrumentation needs of each ensemble, and also alleviate competition to advance into the next group. Placement into the next level group will be based solely on the audition. Students in Symphonic Band who are currently 6th and 7th graders do not need to audition again, but must maintain an average of 90% in the class to remain in the group next year.

5th graders currently enrolled in band/strings in MBUSD elementary schools automatically qualify for Cadet Band. No audition is required. However, incoming 6th graders who’d like advanced placements need to audition in April. They would need to contact their current band teacher in February regarding audition times and materials.

Recitals and Solo Competition:
Recitals are usually held twice a year. Students get to perform pieces in front of their peers, family and friends in solos or small groups. We are fortunate to have the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club sponsor our annual Instrumental Music Solo Competition. Top students are encouraged to participate in the competition. First place winners will get to perform for the Rotary Club, usually taking place in January. Information about this competition will be sent home with students.

Find out more here.

Choir

Choir

Vocal Music Director | Heather Gold-Pollak (Ms. Gold-Pollack is on hiatus for the 2020-21 school year. Mr. Mark McCormick, Director of Choirs at Mira Costa High School will be teaching MBMS Choir during that time. mmccormick@mbusd.org)

Accompanist | Gordon Glor

The award winning MBMS Choirs are fun electives for kids who like to sing. Our choir courses are designed to help singers develop strong healthy singing/vocal technique, while mastering musicianship and literacy skills. In choir, students make lasting friendships and perform great music in a variety of styles from classical to pop. There are concerts given on a regular basis. Students of all levels are welcome and encouraged to join

MBMS Choir is a place to share talent & enjoy being part of a group that likes to sing. All singers are welcome and encouraged to let their voices shine! MBMS choirs build well-rounded performers and strong musicians. Singing in choir prepares our members to audition and perform anywhere they like. Many of our members audition and are selected to participate in local and national honor choirs, musical theater shows, and/or continue singing in the internationally acclaimed Mira Costa Choirs.

Our MBMS Choirs:

Choirs for 6th Grade:
Sand & Sea Singers – 6th Grade Girls & Guys

Choirs for Upper Grades:
Ocean Wave Chorale – 7th and 8th Grade Girls & Guys (Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass)
Madrigal Singers*- 7th and 8th Grade Girls & Guys, Advanced Auditioned Chamber Choir

*Madrigal Singers is an advanced, auditioned, chamber choir for 7th and 8th graders that rehearses after school on Wednesdays from 3:10-4:10 p.m., and Tuesdays at reading/lunch, and also during some additional reading time & lunches. This ensemble often represents our school by performing in our community. *Madrigal Singers must be enrolled in Choir as one of their electives during the school day.

How To Join MBMS Choir:

6th Grade:
Students entering sixth grade may sign for choir when they register for sixth grade.
No audition is required to join choir in sixth grade.

7th and 8th Grade:
Sign for MBMS choir when you register for classes in the Spring.
Want to join one of our award-winning ensembles?
Please fill out the choir elective form and return to the Choir Room (120). For more information, or to email your elective form, please contact Mr. Mark McCormick, Director of Choirs, at mmccormick@mbusd.org
Do you want to take two electives?
Zero periods are offered to students wishing to take music plus another elective.


About Mr. McCormick

Mr. McCormick

Mark McCormick has travelled the world as an in demand collaborative pianist, organist and music educator. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Mark began his career with the Fox Valley Symphony producing classical and educational concerts. Soon thereafter, Mr. McCormick began a career in music education, instructing K-12 instrumental and choral music as well as music theory and composition. In 2005, Mark took a hiatus from teaching and relocated to Los Angeles to begin work as a music and sound editor. He collaborated with Academy award winning composer Hans Zimmer at Remote Control Productions and created sampled instruments used in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean III: At World’s End.”

Returning to the call of teaching in 2008, Mark joined the music faculty at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, a 2014 GRAMMY Gold Signature School. He is the Director of Choirs to the award winning choirs, instructs classes in music theory and composition and is the orchestra director for the annual spring musical. He is the recipient of the 2014 Sandacre Teacher of the Year award, an honor given to him by the student body.

Mr. McCormick studied piano, organ and instrumental conducting at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, earning B.S. and M.M. degrees in music education. He also serves as principal accompanist to the Angel City Chorale.

When not behind the keyboard, he enjoys camping, hiking and reconnecting with nature.

Find out more here.

Orchestra

Orchestra

Instrumental Music Director | Denise Halsop, dhaslop@mbusd.org

Ms. Haslop

MBMS Strings Ensembles:

  • Cadet Orchestra – All incoming 6th grade students currently enrolled in 5th grade strings automatically qualify and need not audition for the cadet level orchestra
  • String Orchestra – Our mid-level ensemble harnesses the skills and experience of playing music daily from the year before. This gives the orchestra wider variety of music to play from classic early 17th century music to the popular contemporary tunes.
  • Chamber Orchestra – Our top orchestra that historically garners top ribbons at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Festival.
  • String Ensemble – The ensemble members are a select group of 12 musicians who come together outside of class time, including practices throughout the summer, to rehearse and perform for our school and in other events in the city and beyond. The ensemble can be requested to perform for events.

Goals:
Through the making of music, all participants in the MBMS instrumental music program will work towards the following musical and non-musical goals:

  • Development of playing skills through a planned sequence of study, emphasizing instrumental fundamentals.
  • Development of musical talents that lead to individual and group performance.
  • Development of the individual’s self-confidence through working as a team member.
  • Attainment of self-discipline through the development of group pride.
  • Respect for fellow musicians / instrumental music groups.

Auditions:
Before the end of the school year there will be auditions for membership to all of the ensembles to appropriately place students in the correct classes. Audition requirements will be available in January. Please contact Mrs. Haslop for details. 

Students playing popular instruments may decide to switch to instruments that are not common. This will help in the instrumentation needs of each ensemble, and also alleviate competition to advance into the next group. Placement into the next level group will be based solely on the audition. Students in Chamber Orchestra who are currently 6th and 7th graders do not need to audition again, but must maintain an average of 90% in the class to remain in the group next year.

5th graders currently enrolled in strings in MBUSD elementary schools automatically qualify for Cadet Orchestra. No audition is required.  However, incoming 6th graders who’d like advanced placements need to audition in April.  They would need to contact their current string teacher in February regarding audition times and materials.

Recitals and Solo Competition:
Recitals are usually held twice a year. Students get to perform pieces in front of their peers, family and friends in solos or small groups. We are fortunate to have the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club sponsor our annual Instrumental Music Solo Competition. Top students are encouraged to participate in the competition. First place winners will get to perform for the Rotary Club, usually taking place in January. Information about this competition will be sent home with students.

Listen and watch the Chamber Orchestra perform “Allegro Vivo”, “Reverie” and “A Bark Gigue” at the adjudicated 2012 Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Festival as recorded by parent Eran Rich.

Find out more here.