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About the BCA Music Program and AVPA-Music


flautistsWith over 20 music courses and almost as many performances each year, BCA has one of the most active and diverse music programs found anywhere! Full-stage concerts, community performances, building instruments, composing, or recording - students find a home at BCA exploring the fascinating world of music. This section will provide information about the music program at BCA (applicable to all students) as well as the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts music concentration (AVPA) for those interested in applying to the program.

What is the difference between the regular BCA music program and AVPA?
The Academy for Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA - Music Concentration) is one of the 7 programs of Bergen County Academies. It is an honors-level, high school academic program with a focus in music. Students apply while in 8th grade and pass a rigorous application/audition process. Keep reading to find out more about the BCA music program and then click over to page 2 for details about AVPA-M.

The regular music program at BCA is like any excellent music department, with several music electives and activities available to every student here on campus (in all 7 programs). Keep reading to find out more about our music program.

How many courses does BCA offer?
We currently offer 25 music courses. Most are available to all students on campus, while 5 are exclusive to AVPA-M students. 

Electives available to all students: Concert Choir,  Chamber Choir,  Concert Band,  Jazz Band,  Orchestra, Guitar & Mandolin Orchestra,  6 chamber ensembles,  Pit Orchestra (musical),  Guitar Class (I, II, III), Musicians Workshop (build musical instruments),  AP Music Theory,  Advanced Problems in Music Theory, Music & Society, Digital Recording Lab, Ukulele Cafe, History of Rock Music.

Exclusive to AVPA-Music students: Musicianship,  Digital Keyboarding,  Digital Recording Lab (exclusive section),  Electronic Music Synthesis,  Conducting,  Senior Music Seminar.   

Are there any special music opportunities at BCA?
In addition to our music electives/courses, many additional music activities are available to students including Ensemble Prestige, a chamber music concert held throughout the county. Choir Coffeehouse, an open-mic night and popular fundraiser for our choral program.  Tri-M National Music Honor Society recognizes students through a formal induction ceremony. Soundwave Audio Lab is a club held in Bergen Makerspace, where students use soldering skills to create unique electro-music devices (mini amplifiers, drum machines, music effects, etc.). The entire fine arts department participates in the Bergen County Teen Arts Festival every year. Whether interacting with music professionals or simply enjoying a performance, students are exposed to a variety of music opportunities through trips, projects, assemblies, and guest artist visits! There are several school assemblies where any student can perform without the requirment of registering for a course. There is something available for every student here at BCA!

BCA Projects offer additional oppotunities:
- Theremin Project- learn soldering and electronic circuitry nasics... then build a Theremin and amplifier. 
- Amplify Your Instrument- design, build, and install a pickup system for you acoustic guitar or ukulele. 
- Wind Chimes- design supporting hadrware, use applied math to cut and tune chimes, and then assemble         the project to take home!

Our Gold Rated Choirs consistently receive the highest ratings in national competitions by certified college adjudicators. Our music department participates in auditions for many honors ensembles, including County, Senior HS Region, All-State, All-Eastern, and All-National Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. Each year we have many acceptances in all categories.

The maker movement thrives at BCA. Because our educational roots are in vocational-technical education, we offer unique courses where students build authentic musical instruments, Theremon, wind chimes and and electronic musical gadgets. Every step in the construction process is performed, allowing students insight and hands-on experience rarely found in school music programs. Students may be designing the lacquer/finishing process for an acoustic guitar, electro-static powder coating a metal enclosure, or soldering electronic components onto a PCB.

Is there anything you do not offer at BCA?
Since the BCA music program is not a conservatory or a traditional music program, we do not offer private/class lessons. Although we participate in several County, Regional and All-State honors ensembles, BCA does not sponsor students for Junior HS Regionals (grades 7-9). However, 9th graders may audition for Senior HS Regionals, which may provide an opportunity to audition for All-State. The nature of the BCA schedule precludes marching band. However, students may participate in their home town marching band, dependent on scheduling and their home district's participation policy.

Can students take all the music courses they wish?
Almost all music courses are open to students from any program or grade level. We do expect students to be able to handle the demands of the music, so they must audition to qualify. Other considerations are free time and scheduling- some music courses run at the end of the school day and may conflict with sports, while other electives may conflict with a core course (math, history, etc.). As you can see, scheduling and making choices are a reality students will be confronted as they grow into adulthood. The learning community is very supportive of our strong music program!

Parent involvement
Academy students and teachers expect parents to take an influential role in school life and we cannot continue our successes without parent involvement. We have a strong Parent and Patrons of the Arts (PAPA) association that provides volunteer, organizational, and fundraising support for the entire arts community. Please visit the PAPA website and learn how to join. Parents are also encouraged to join the Parent Partnership Organization (PPO), a recipient of NJ State Department of Education's Best Practice Award. Please visit the PPO website to see how the parents' contribution to the learning community is incomparable!

----Click below for page 2 and AVPA-Music program----