The Shorewood High School Band program began in the fall of 1926, under the direction of Sandy Smith, and included about 50 students from Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, and Glendale, since neither Whitefish Bay now Nicolet High Schools had yet been built. After 42 years, Mr. Smith retired as band director, turning the program over to LeRoy Augustine, who directed the Shorewood High School Band from 1968 until 1974, when he left to become Shorewood’s elementary band director. Marlin Pendelton became Shorewood High School’s third band director in the fall of 1974. In his 23 years at S.H.S., Mr. Pendelton built the program into what it is today, with its two concert bands, marching band, jazz ensemble, and pep band program. Salvatore Terrasi took over the program from Mr. Pendelton upon his retirement, in 1997. Justin Olson joined the high school band staff as director of the Concert Band in 2011. Nick Castonguay joined the Shorewood High School Band program as Band Director in 2014.
The band program consists of two types of ensembles: those required of all students and those that are voluntary.
The Concert Band is the ensemble to which most students are assigned and begins at the conclusion of marching season (late October). This ensemble ranges in size from 45-65 students in grades 9-12 and performs standard high school band literature at three scheduled band concerts throughout the year.
The Wind Ensemble is a select group of approximately 40-50 wind and percussion players chosen by audition each spring and begins at the conclusion of marching season (late October). This band plays advanced high school- and college-level band literature and performs at three scheduled band concerts throughout the year.
The Pep Bands’ principal responsibility is to provide entertainment at select sporting events throughout the year. Although all band members are required to participate in a pep band, students may trade performance dates with other students who play the same instrument. (Students receive extra credit for playing at non-required pep band performances and points toward their music department letter/service pin for playing at all pep band performances.)
Participation in the Jazz Ensemble is open, by audition, to any member of the school Band, Choir, or Orchestra program who plays saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass guitar/string bass, drums, or a mallet instrument. Once Band, Choir, and Orchestra students have had the opportunity to sign up for the Jazz Ensemble, vacancies in the rhythm section will be opened, by audition, to students outside the school’s music program. After that, all remaining vacancies will be made available, by audition, to music students from other schools within the School District of Shorewood. (Music students from other district schools will be invited to audition based entirely on the recommendation and approval of their school’s music director.)
Top-chair players of the Wind Ensemble are eligible to perform full-orchestral compositions with the Shorewood High School Orchestra. (The number of Wind Ensemble members invited to participate varies from concert to concert and is dictated by the instrumentation requirements of the piece or pieces being performed.) Wind and percussion sectionals, and some full orchestra rehearsals, are scheduled during lunch and after school hours, but most rehearsals are held during the common Orchestra/Wind Ensemble period.