The Bak MSOA String Department has approximately 100 string majors in grades 6-8. Students are placed in Advanced, Intermediate, or Level I Strings based on their playing ability. Seventh grade string majors are required to take music theory. Chamber Ensemble is open to those eighth grade students that are in Advanced Strings that want experience playing and performing in string quartets, and trios. Starting in the fall of 2011, the students in Advanced Strings will have the opportunity to take full orchestra as an elective!
All of the string students perform at least four times a year. The string department presents a fall, winter and spring concert in the evenings, which are open to the public, in our Bak MSOA Main Theater. In addition, our students perform in the annual Palm Beach County String Festival. String students in grades 7&8 can elect to audition for All-State Orchestra. If selected, they get to perform at the Florida Music Educator’s Conference in Tampa, Florida in January. Bak MSOA has had the most string students for the last four years! Eleven students were selected to perform in 2011.
Each year, at the end of January, string students have the opportunity to perform for Solo & Ensemble Festival. Each student receives a written evaluation on his or her selected piece, as well as valuable verbal comments about their playing from a string adjudicator. Both the Intermediate and Advanced String Orchestras have participated and performed at the Florida Orchestra Association’s District Music Performance Assessments and have received straight superiors. The Advanced String Orchestra has received straight superior ratings for thirteen consecutive years.
The Bak MSOA String Department is very fortunate to have four string consultants. The string consultants: Antonio Rincon-violinist, Laurice Buckton-violist, Tawny May-cellist and Jeff Adkins-bassist lead sectionals and lend their expertise with the students on a week to week basis.
The Advanced String Orchestra has performed and received first place awards at National and International high school festivals and competitions through Heritage Festival. The musicians in this group have performed at the Riverside Church in Harlem, Symphony Hall in Boston, The Royal Academy of Music in London, and Orchestra Hall in Chicago.
Over 100 students participate in classes every year in the Bak Piano/Keyboard program. There are four classes for piano majors, 6th,7th,8th and advanced level and two elective classes each semester. Class sizes usually instruct 15 to 22 students and individual lessons can be provided at each level. Many students from various art programs enjoy the opportunities offered and our majors excel in every area of piano instruction. Technique training is a very integral part of our curriculum and students are guided to self-actualization. A state of the art, digital keyboard lab offers a unique and special experience here at Bak.
Students from all classes can perform at three school recitals, the Fall, Winter and Spring programs and many other community opportunities are offered throughout the year. Our students have received straight superior ratings at every level for many years! Our standards are held high! We are also very fortunate to employ the services of Sara Quincoses, classically trained, concert pianist and graduate of the Havana Conservatory as our Artist in Residence. She works with students at every level from beginner to the most advanced on a daily basis.
We are very proud of the accomplishments and work being done here in the Bak Piano/Keyboard program. We look forward to serving students in the Palm Beach County school system with an excellent program for years to come. We know that the discipline and ethics instilled here are invaluable to our many students. We are to prepare them for a life to follow an extremely important Bak Middle School experience!
The Bak MSOA Band Department has approximately 139 band majors in grades sixth – eighth grade. Students are placed in either Advanced, Intermediate I or II, Jazz Band I or II and Chamber Ensemble based on their musicianship level. Sixth grade band majors are required to take music theory
The band department’s concert bands and chamber ensemble present a fall, winter and spring concerts in the evenings, which are open to the public, in our Bak MSOA Main Theater. The students in band participate in workshops and masters classes from some of the best musicians/music educators in the country. In the past they have worked with University of Illinois Brass Professors, Palm Beach Chamber Festival Musicians, Ron Blake, Terrell Stafford, Jack Wilkins, Marcellus Brown, Wycliffe Gordon, Dion Parson, Rashawn Ross, Reuben Rogers, Duffy Jackson and John Michalak.
The bands have long enjoyed a national reputation for musical excellence and worthy educational achievements. The Advanced Band and Jazz Band has performed and received first place awards at National festivals and competitions through Heritage Festival. The Concert Bands and Jazz Band has earned Straight Superior ratings at the Florida Band Master Association Music Performance Assessment for thirteen consecutive years. The musicians in these groups have performed at the Riverside Church in Harlem and Orchestra Hall in Chicago.
Bak MSOA Band students appear at county, regional, and state music festivals. Conductors, audiences, music educators, and students from other schools alike, have come to expect exceptionally high levels of musical performance and personal behavior from the Bak Bands and their members. Performances out of state include Atlanta, San Antonio, New Orleans, Williamsburg, Anaheim, Chicago and New York. In 2010, the advanced band was invited to perform in a side by side concert with the Florida Atlantic University Wind Ensemble.
The Bak MSOA Band Department is very fortunate to have four music consultants: Karen Dixon, flutist, Michael Forte, Clarinetist/woodwind specialist, Ron Hughes, percussionist, and Jeffery Kaye, trumpeter lead sectionals and lend their expertise with the students on a weekly basis. The sixth grade students all study music theory with Mrs. Catherine Mitil voice and music theory artist in residence at Bak MSOA.
What others are saying:
“Bravi, Bravi, Bravissimi – My compliments to the chef”
Ronald A. Sutherland
“Excellent Program – You chose a difficult program and created musical performance – it’s hard to believe this is a middle school group. Great Teaching, Cleve”
Carl Strommen, Composer/arrangers, nationally and internationally, Long Island University
“Wow wow wow!!! A fantastic ensemble chocked full of talent and maturity – Bravo! You are a model for all of us! Please never lose sight of how lucky you are to be a part of this...”
Jason Duckett Bartram Trail High School St. Johns, Florida
“Absolutely Beautiful – I cannot tell you how much you have warmed my heart to experience the level that you outstanding young people are at… You are the next generation and it is in good hands! You have something very special”
Donald M. Zentz, Chairman, Fine and Performing Arts, The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Florida
The Bak MSOA Vocal Department has approximately 180 vocal majors in grades 6-8. Incoming 6th grade students with unchanged voices sing in the 6th Grade Treble Chorus. Boys, grades 6-8, with changing or changed voices sing in the Boys Chorus. All 7th and 8th grade girls sing in the Girls Chorus. Chorale is the elite singing group of the Vocal Department. Students of all majors in 7th and 8th grade are eligible to audition for Chorale. All Vocal Majors in grades 6-7 are required to take Music Theory. Students in 8th grade NOT in Chorale are also required to take Music Theory in 8th grade.
All of the vocal students perform at least four times a year. The Vocal Department presents a fall, winter and spring concert in the evenings, which are open to the public, in our Bak MSOA Main Theater. In addition, our students perform annually at the Florida Vocal Association (FVA) sponsored Solo/Ensemble and Choral Music Performance Assessments (MPA). Vocal students in grades 7 and 8 can elect to audition for 1 of 2 All-State Choruses. If selected, these students get to perform at the Florida Music Educator’s Conference in Tampa, Florida in January. Bak MSOA has had the most vocal students for the last six years! Ten students were selected to perform in 2011.
Participating in MPA festivals as explained above is a highlight for the Vocal Department. At Solo/Ensemble Festival, each student or ensemble receives a written evaluation for the selected piece, as well as valuable verbal comments about their singing from a vocal adjudicator. All four choruses have participated and performed at the Florida Vocal Association’s District Music Performance Assessments and have received straight superiors since the schools beginning in 1998.
The Bak MSOA Vocal Department is fortunate to have three vocal consultants who serve as Artists-in Residence. The vocal consultants: Tammy Ross (10 years with Bak), Catherine Mitil (4 years with Bak) and Eleonor Ayala (2 years with Bak) teach private vocal lessons to every 7th and 8th grade vocal major free of charge through a grant given by our Bak MSOA Foundation. We are proud that both Mrs. Mitil and Ms. Ayala are graduates of Bak MSOA.
The Boys and Girls Choruses and Chorale have performed and received first place awards at National and International high school festivals and competitions through Heritage Festival. Vocal musicians from Bak MSOA have performed at the Riverside Church in Harlem, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Avery Fischer Hall in New Your City. In April of 2011, the 6th Grade Chorus was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall as the featured children’s chorus for a performance of John Rutter’s Mass of the Children.