Band, Choir and Art


Band is a class where we not only play music but build a community within our classes.  Students work together to produce beautiful tones, master various tempos, work on posture, breathing, and air support.  When all these are achieved, wonderful music is created.  6th grade begins with learning to care for the instrument as well as the basics of playing and mastering simple notes and rhythms in unison with each other.  7th grade band students begin to widen the note ranges of their instrument as well as beginning to play more complex rhythms and creating harmonies as an ensemble.  In 8th grade, students will learn their entire instrument's note range and dive into even more complex rhythms and harmonies to prepare for playing sheet music in high school with more part independence. 

When students enter high school, we cover a wide variety of styles and composers.  Students will rehearse and perform music from some of the greatest wind band composers' music that has stood the test of time as well as music from up-and-coming composers.  Not only will students perform pieces written specifically for band, but also arrangements of some of the greatest classical music written.  The High School Concert Band will be challenged with complex rhythms, lyrical passages, and various key signatures as they create some of the most beautiful music ever composed.

Here is a link to the band concert in the on demand section where it was live-streamed: 


hs choir

High School Choir

The High School Choir consists of students in the 9th-12th grades.  Music of various periods and styles will be studied and performed. Proper vocal technique, ensemble skills, large group rehearsal and performance etiquette are taught, and music theory concepts are emphasized. Participation in the Veteran’s Day Assembly, Christmas and Spring concerts is expected and integral for successful completion of this class.


honor choirThe Honor Choir, Harmonia, is an auditioned singing group.  Harmonia is usually 15-20 in number and consists of students in the 10th-12th grades.  More advanced vocal arrangements and some a cappella pieces are learned and performed by this group.  In addition to participation in the Veteran’s Day Assembly, Christmas and Spring Concerts, students from Harmonia also participate in the annual Honor Choir Festival at CSU Pueblo, as well as other various contests in Colorado.  Auditions for Harmonia are held every February for the following school year.    

Watch the Spring 2021 concert!



Teacher with studentsArt 1:

Is a requirement in order to graduate from James Irwin Charter High School.   Art 1 consists of exploring different forms of medium and projects. The projects included may be Longboard designs, Paper-Mache’ Creatures, Calligraphy, Charcoal self-portraits, Zoetropes, and Copper Foil relief, as examples. Combined with learning about weekly Artists and the Elements and Principles of art, the focus is a well-rounded appreciation of the many facets of Art.

Art 2:

Is exploring a plethora of different forms of art, such as in Art 1, but we delve deeper into more challenging projects- such as Conte’ drawing of animal bones from the Biology department, illustrated envelopes, and 3-D totem poles.

Ceramic rabbitCeramics:

The student will spend a semester learning the fundamentals of how to make a Bas-relief tile, a textured box with attached parts, an animal whistle, broomstick vase or rain stick, coiled project and a mask.Students may take a second semester which explores higher lever ceramic projects, (teapots, human/animal sculptures), and includes some wheel work.

Drawing and Painting:

Students concentrate on pencil shading and value, learn watercolor, oil and pastel techniques. Each material leads to a different project- wrapped animal drawings, watercolors still lifes, Fauve portraits and bringing one’s own interpretation to a famous painting- such as the Mona Lisa.

Art History:  

The students follow the line of Western Art from caveman days to modern times. We explore the art movements and the sociological and historical reasons that contribute to them. We identify major artists and learn to critique their work. We discuss how to “see” art and Aesthetic theories.

3-D Art

In this fun class, all projects are 3-D. Accordion Books, Pop-up books, wire sculpture, drywall-plaster of Paris wall hangings and Joseph Cornell boxes are some of the examples.