posted Aug 14, 2017, 11:04 PM by Gregory Gates

Welcome to the Band and Orchestra program in the Columbine Area!  Your student has the opportunity to begin one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of their education so far – learning how to play a musical instrument!

The Columbine Area instrumental music program includes the five elementary schools that feed into Columbine High School: Governor’s Ranch, Leawood, Normandy, Dutch Creek, and Columbine Hills.  The classes are taught during the school day by Mr. Gates.  Both Band and Orchestra meet twice a week for half an hour.  These are a “Go-To Resource Class,” which means students will leave their regular classroom for instruction on their instruments.  This different type of instruction enhances music students’ abilities to connect different skills and subjects together, and ultimately become better students.  Additionally, students who participate in music often score higher than non-music classmates in reading, writing, and math standardized tests!

Participating in band and orchestra requires very few out-of-school commitments. We have three concerts a year. Other than that, your student just needs to practice! You can see these dates here on this website (I'll have them up by August 29th) and they will be made available at the instrument rental night in our Band and Orchestra Handbook.

We are very fortunate in the Columbine Area to have incredible support at our elementary schools for the music program.  It is not uncommon for there to be 40-60% of a class involved in band and orchestra.  We would love to have an entire class playing instruments! Every destination starts with a decision to embark on a journey, and now is the time to start your child in music and the Columbine Area Music Program is the place to do it! We can’t promise that every child will be a musical prodigy, but we can promise they will learn, laugh, and grow along the way.

Getting an Instrument:

Students will need to provide their own instruments and method books to participate in band and orchestra.  We highly suggest rent-to-own programs from local music stores above purchasing an instrument. It is especially helpful in orchestra where instrument sizes vary and your student could need a new one after only a year of playing as they grow. Cost of instruments generally range from $18/mo for small instruments (flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, percussion, violins and violas) to $38/mo (cellos, saxophones) to $54/mo for large instruments (horns, tubas, bass clarinets, tenor saxophones). Some of these larger band instruments can be rented from the school, and are only available to students as they gain playing experience on other instruments in band. More information here.

Please do not let cost keep your student from participating!

Contact Mr. Gates if you are in need of some assistance with procuring an instrument, as there are a limited number of instruments that the school can rent for families who qualify. It is our goal that every student is able to participate in band and orchestra – music isn’t about money, it’s about music!

Instrument Rental Night:

We have scheduled a rental night on Tuesday August 29th from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Ken Caryl Middle School.  This evening you be able to talk with several music stores to discuss instrument rental options, meet Mr. Gates, and ask any questions you may have. The music stores will be available with instruments, books, and the other supplies that you will need to get started.  Please plan on attending and meeting with Mr. Gates!  We are excited to get started!


Instrument Rental Night – Wednesday August 30th

Ken Caryl Middle School – 6509 W Ken Caryl Ave

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM – This is open door: come when you can

Location: Start in the cafeteria



Sincerely and Musically Yours,


Gregory Gates