York Bands is comprehensive program that serves over 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 Parade performance, 7th grade intermediate band, 8th grade advanced band, 8th Grade 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 2018-2019 school year. The YMS band program placed numerous students in both 7th and 8th grade in All-County and Region Bands. The 8th Grade Band recently performed at the State Concert Performance Assessment, receiving an overall rating of "Excellent" with a perfect score in sightreading. This past March, the YMS Jazz Band received an overall rating of Superior, with a perfect numeric score -- the first time in school history! Students in the YMS band also received numerous Superior and Excellent ratings at the State Solo & Ensemble Assessment this past April. On June 1st, the 7th Grade Band will travel to Carowinds to Perform in the annual Carowinds Festival of Music.
YCHS “Cougar Band” enjoyed a very successful competitive marching season in the fall of 2018. They won 1st Place at the Byrnes & Gaffney competitions, also winning the Best Music Award at both, and Best Percussion at Gaffney. The “Cougar Band” also competed at the Bands of America Regional Championship placing 2nd in class. 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 and winning High Music.
In the spring of 2018, 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” in Division V at the State Concert Band Assessment. YCHS placed many students in the in the Winthrop University Honors Band Clinic, received 58 Superiors at the State Solo & Ensemble Assessment, and placed the highest number of students in Region/All-State Band in school history.
The YCHS Winter Ensembles also enjoyed great success in the spring of 2019. All 3 Cougarettes teams were top 3 at CWEA competitions throughout the year. During championships, The Cadet Cougarettes were 5th place, the Pearls received a promotion medal and placed 10th place, and the Diamonds were 5th place in their individual classifications. 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 10th time in school history, and for the 7th consecutive year. The OPA is the highest honor awarded to the most comprehensive high-achieving band programs in the state.
The YCHS Marching Band was invited to perform in the 2019 Camping World Bowl Game. The trip will take place in December of 2019 in Orlando Florida. This trip will also include visits to 2 Disney World theme parks.
In April of 2018, 110 members of the YCHS Marching Band toured Baltimore, New York City, & Philadelphia. While in New York City the YCHS Wind Ensemble performed in Carnegie Hall as a part of the invitation only Symphonic series.