Band

The Stonewall Jackson Middle School Band Program provides the opportunity to explore instrumental music. Students start in beginning band with no prior experience required.  
SJMS offers three different band classes based on experience:

  • Beginning Band
  • Concert Band (Band 2)
  • Symphonic Band (Band 3)

Often times, the concert and symphonic band will combine as needed to meet the requirements of various performances in the spring. The SJMS bands perform on many occasions throughout the year including concerts, competitions, and all-county and all-district band events. They consistently earn superior and excellent ratings at VBODA Concert Band Assessment as well as the Kings Dominion Music Festival and Busch Gardens Musicale Festival.

Beginning Band

No experience is necessary! You will have the opportunity to try out many instruments with the intention of choosing the one you are naturally strongest at. You don’t even need to be able to read music yet; you will learn everything you need to know about reading music in class. The beginning band performs around two concerts during the year: a winter and spring concert, as well as performing at a competition at a theme park in VA. The director may add other performances at his/her discretion. 

Concert Band (Band 2)

The concert band is for students who have successfully completed their first year of band. The focus of this class is to refine individual skills and develop more ensemble awareness. This group is divided by instrument families during class: woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Students of this group will perform at VBODA Concert Band Assessment, usually combined with the symphonic band.

Symphonic Band (Band 3)

The symphonic band is for advanced students who have completed at least two years of band. This band focuses on advanced technical skills and further enhances ensemble skills. The symphonic band represents SJMS at various functions throughout the year on the county, district, and state level.

Contact Information

David Chung, Director of Bands
8021 Lee-Davis Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Phone: 804-723-2260

David Chung is the director of bands at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Chung has instructed, adjudicated, and has been an active clinician in the Richmond area since his arrival in 2011. He has coordinated many ensembles including drumlines; front ensembles; and indoor drumlines at Atlee, Powhatan, Douglas S. Freeman, J.R. Tucker, and New Kent High Schools. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of music education from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Music. Chung was also a performing member of the George Mason University's Mean Green Indoor Drum Line in 2010, 2011, and 2013 and was a member of the 2014 Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, the highest scoring Drum Corps in DCI history. In his spare time, Chung enjoys subbing and performing with various ensembles in the Richmond area, including the Richmond Philharmonic and the Commonwealth Winds. Chung owns two rescue cats, Angus and Tosser.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what instrument to play?

You will have a chance to try out different instruments in class during the first two weeks of school. We want all students to be successful, so it is important to select the instrument that suits you best. It is also important that you have a second choice in case we cannot select you to play your first choice. Our band has to be balanced with a certain number of instruments in each family.

What are my choices of instruments?

Students may choose from flute, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, French horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion. Bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and baritone sax are possible upon request.

How do you determine who plays percussion?

Anyone trying out for percussion will need to select a backup instrument. Once everyone has selected their instruments, we will have the percussion students demonstrate different skills for us, and we will evaluate them on their abilities. we will select the top six students for percussion. All other students will play their backup choice. Percussion students learn to play bells as their primary instrument and will eventually learn to play other percussion instruments as well.

How do I get an instrument?

Students may obtain instruments by renting them through a local music store. Most plans are rent-to-buy. Mr. Chung highly suggests renting due to the insurance options and the ease of switching instruments. You may also find interest in purchasing a new or used instrument from a reputable dealer. Please consider emailing Mr. Chung if you are interested in purchasing an instrument for a second opinion. I strongly advise against purchasing an instrument from any other store than a musical instrument dealer, to ensure that your student will be playing on a quality instrument that they can succeed on. A bad instrument equals a bad time in band!

Will I need a music stand?

Wire music stands are highly recommended for home practice but are not required.

What if someone else lets me borrow an older instrument they used to play?

The instrument needs to be inspected by a licensed repairman to make sure it is in good working condition. The local music stores have repair personnel available.

What do I do with my instrument during school?

Students may store their instruments in the instrument storage rooms in the band room. They may drop them off upon arriving at school and pick them up as they leave.

I don’t know anything about music. What will I do?

Don’t worry! We start everyone out from scratch. You will learn everything you need to know in class.

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