York Cougar Bands is a comprehensive program that serves approximately 350 students at YCHS, YMS, YIS, & HGSES in instrumental music and dance education. Opportunities at the 6th grade level include: beginning music reading, instrumental training, concert performances, and State Solo & Ensemble Assessment trip. Opportunities at the middle school level include Christmas Parades, 7th grade intermediate band, 8th grade advanced band, Jazz Band class, State Concert Performance Assessment for concert band & jazz band, All-County Band, State Solo & Ensemble Assessment, and Region/All-State Band. Opportunities at the high school level include Marching Band, Honors Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Honors Jazz Class, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Ensembles, Fall & Winter Cougarettes, and Cadet Cougarettes. Within these programs of study and ensembles students participate in a wide variety of performance opportunities and competitions sponsored by SCBDA.
The YMS Band has continued its tradition of excellence during the 2021-2022 school year. The YMS band program placed numerous students in both 7th and 8th grade in Region Bands. The CPA Honor Band recently performed at the State Concert Performance Assessment, receiving an overall rating of "Excellent.” This past April the YMS Band traveled to Carowinds and received a rating of “Superior” at the Carowinds Festival of Music. Students in the YMS band also received numerous Superior and Excellent ratings at the State Solo & Ensemble Assessment this past April.
The sum of the YMS band’s rankings and individual achievements resulted in the YMS Band Program receiving the State Outstanding Performance Award for the 10th time in school history! The OPA is the highest honor awarded to the most comprehensive high-achieving band programs in the state.
YCHS “Cougar Band” enjoyed a very successful competitive marching season in the fall of 2021. They won 1st Place at the Byrnes, Gaffney, and Boiling Springs competitions, also winning 3 Best Music Awards, 2 Best Percussion Awards, 2 Best Color Guard Awards, 1 Best Visual Award, and 2 Grand Championships. The marching band placed 3rd at the 4A Upper-State Championships and was awarded advancement to the 4A State Championships. The marching band finished as the 3rd Place Bronze Medalist at the 4A State Marching Band Championships also winning the High Music Award.
In the spring of 2022, the YCHS Jazz Band received a “Superior with Distinction” and perfect numeric score at the State Jazz Assessment. The Wind Ensemble also received a “Superior with Distinction” and perfect numeric score in Division V at the State Concert Band Assessment. YCHS placed several students in the Winthrop University Honors Band Clinic, received numerous Superior Ratings at the State Solo & Ensemble Assessment, and placed many students in Region/All-State Band.
The YCHS Winter Ensembles also enjoyed great success in the spring of 2022. Our Cadet & Diamonds Cougarettes teams placed in the top 5 at all competitions. The concert percussion ensemble won the gold medal and were Circuit Champions for their division at the CWEA Championships.
The sum of the fall marching band rankings and spring achievements resulted in the YCHS Band Program receiving the State Outstanding Performance Award for the 11th time in school history. The OPA is the highest honor awarded to the most comprehensive high-achieving band programs in the state.