General Information about Parkway Central High School Music Department

369 North Woods Mill Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Fax 314-415-7941

The strength of Parkway Central High School Music Department is most readily demonstrated in the quality of our ensemble experiences as well as our academic music class offerings. We currently have 3 bands, 3 orchestras, 5 choirs as a part of the class curriculum. We offer courses in music appreciation, two levels of class piano and class guitar. Our honors music theory courses regularly produce students who receive top honors on the Advanced Placement college theory test and who proficiency college music theory in universities across the nation.

Fifty seven percent of the 1350 member student body at PCHS is enrolled in at least one music class. A large number of our music students participate in sports and other activities. As a department we strive to give our students as complete an education as possible in every arena of academic, musical and personal excellence. Our ensembles and students have received recognition in a variety of arenas. For example; recognition for international choir tour of Austria and Germany, top ratings for ensembles in state and national competitions, record numbers of students participating in District and State Solo & Ensemble Contest, selection of students for St Louis Youth Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Children's choir, etc., selection of 10-15 All State Musicians annually, selection of students for NSOA/ASTA Orchestra and ACDA honors choir.

The PCHS Orchestra and Choirs have been selected as a Missouri Honors Ensemble and have been featured on several All State MENC conferences . The orchestra has performed by invitation at University of Illinois, Southwest Missouri State, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Missouri Music Educator's Conference and at National MENC conference with the PCHS choirs. The orchestra has received first place rankings and gold ratings at National competitions. Members perform regularly with the Webster Young People's Orchestras and the St Louis Symphony Youth Symphony. The PCHS Choirs were selected to perform at a National MENC convention. The PCHS Marching Band has been featured at a Presidential Inaugural Parade, two Orange Bowl Parades, a Rose Bowl Parade, a Fiesta Bowl Parade and a Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Department collaborative efforts include full scale productions of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana", Beethoven's "Mass in C", Handel's "Messiah", and Mozart's "Requiem Mass". Full scale musical productions have included shows such as "The Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan, "A Little Night Music", "Anything Goes" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie". Students are featured soloists in all productions. All of our ensembles play regularly in the community.

A number of music students each year continue their careers as musicians. Music alumni include Trey Hardage, trombonist in the President's Own Marine Band, Todd Waetzig, lead drummer and percussionist for the Blue Man Group, Kim Portnoy, music professor at Webster University, John Tafoya, percussionist for the National Symphony, Nina Maria Lee, cellist in the Brentano string quartet, Andy Lebon, Dana Wilson, Sashin Bhatt, singers on tour in various Broadway productions, and Bryan Greenberg, actor and singer.

In 2000 the music department received a Grammy Gold Signature Award from the Grammy Foundation as one of the top ten high school music departments in the country. In 2005-2006 Central was once again recognized by the Grammy Foundation.

Recent visitors to Central High School Music Department include: Brian McNeill, head of traditional music at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, David Halen, concertmaster of the St Louis Symphony, Jan Gippo, Rick Holmes, John Kasica of St. Louis Symphony, Phil Smith of New York Philharmonic, Dr Tim Lautzenheiser of Attitude Concepts, "Pieces of Eight", "Hip Pickles", Mike Vax Band, faculty or ensembles from University of Illinois, Truman State, Southwest Missouri State, University of Nebraska, Butler University, Southern Illinois University, University of Missouri, etc.