Strike Up the Band: Columbia HS Band Director Bauer Promises Big Changes this Season

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Deborah Gaines is a band and choir parent and serves on the board of the CHS Music Parents Association. 

Columbia High School’s music programs are justly famous, with more than 500 students participating in a dozen band, orchestra and choir ensembles. The program’s goal is to give every student a lifelong love of music, and – judging from the enthusiasm and talent you’ll find in concert – it has been a resounding success.

The 2016-7 music season kicks off with a bang as the 65-member Cougar Marching Band takes the field for a full calendar of football games and competitions. “With ten more members than last year, along with a new program, Dusk ‘til Dawn, arranged by band staff, we’re looking forward to a great season,” says Bands Director Peter Bauer.

Catch the “Pride of Columbia” playing stands music at the first home game, Friday September 9 vs. Bloomfield, or in full uniform vs. Morristown on Friday evening, September 23. Both games take place at 7 p.m. at Underhill Field in Maplewood.

This year, the band plans to invite middle schoolers and other interested musicians to join them for an evening of practice followed by playing music in the stands at an upcoming home game. Please contact for more information.

The excitement extends to the halls of the high school, where a new section of the ninth grade Concert Band has been added due to overwhelming student interest. We have nearly 100 kids in the ninth grade band, up from just over 60 last year,” Bauer says. “Kudos to the middle schools for upping their game and sending us an astounding number of talented musicians.”

In addition to the ninth grade band, CHS ensembles include the Symphonic Band, the Honors Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Band, the Drumline and the CHS Musical Pit Band. “All in all, we have well over 200 kids participating in band classes and ensembles,” according to Bauer.

A current schedule of band performances, along with a wealth of other information about CHS Music programs, can be found on the Columbia High School Music Parents Association website,, as well as CHS Music Parents Association Facebook page.

This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the district’s music and arts programs.




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