Contact Us 

Crystal Lake Central HS Music Dept.
45 W Franklin AVE

Crystal Lake, 60014

Phone: +1 0815 4592505 +1 0815 4592505


Welcome to our prospective Tiger Band members and parents! 

We are glad you're here. 

Please read the info below to find out all about the CLC band program.  

Why should I be in high school band?
The Crystal Lake Central Tiger Band is a "family" that supports the continued musical and personal growth for ALL of our members, no matter their ability level. Band is a group activity where no one sits on the sideline; everyone participates! Students are actively engaged every day in an activity that stimulates creative thinking, problem solving, teamwork, self-discipline and motivation. Other benefits of music education include aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, social harmony, improved emotional expression, and appreciation of diversity. Plus, making music is FUN!

How does being in band help on my college applications?
Colleges LOVE to see band on a student's transcript.  In this world of Advanced Placement, Honors, etc. students that also have band experience really stand out from the crowd.  In band, we also focus on the literacy, analytical, and critical thinking skills necessary to be successful in college and beyond!

What should I write on my School Registration to make sure I’m in band?
Just check the box that says BAND on your class request form.  That's it!  We'll take it from there.

When does Band currently meet at school?
Concert Bands in the high school meet during the school day as a regularly scheduled class period. 

Do I have to give up lunch for band?
No! Unless students are taking an overload of classes, EVERY STUDENT WILL HAVE A LUNCH HOUR EVERY DAY! 

Does Percussion meet separate from the band?
For 1st semester, yes. For over 25 years, we have had a separate class for percussionists. We focus specifically on percussion techniques and work on ensembles in addition to the band music. Before concerts we bring the percussionists in with the wind players to rehearse the concert music. As a percussionist at CLC, you will learn to be an all-around musician focusing on snare, mallets, timpani, drumset, and auxiliary instruments. The result is more playing opportunities for you! 

Is there an audition for band?
No, there is no required audition to be in the CLC band program.  In the fall and spring, all students in the program will complete an audition for individual skill assessment.

Percussionists will participate in "drumline workshops" in the spring which will culminate with an audition to help us with placement for the marching band drumline or pit (mallets).  Information will be emailed out after spring break.

I’m in Honors/AP classes, is band going to be too much?
No. Many of our students are enrolled in Honors and AP classes. These students quickly learn the skills of time management to balance the workload with their activities.  Plus, the band students provide a great support network within their classes and also between grade levels.

Do Band grades count in the GPA?
Yes! Band counts in your GPA as a ¼ credit class. Band also fulfills the Fine Arts graduation requirement. Depending on your academic status, you may wish to take band as a pass/fail class, however now that District 155 no longer has class rank very few students take this option. More information will be provided to the students in the fall so they can make an informed decision.

Do I need a new instrument for high school?
Yes and No. While your instrument may be in fine working order, it may be time for a “step-up,” or advanced model. Higher-level instruments will provide you with a better tone quality, intonation, and mechanical response. They are meant for older students whereas entry-level instruments are meant for beginners. When you do make the decision to purchase a higher quality instrument, make sure you talk to area band directors, private teachers, and other music professionals to help you decide on a brand and retailer. Always make sure you test several instruments of the same model to make sure you pick the one that’s the best fit for you! All instruments, even by the same manufacturer, are not alike! Many students will use their new instrument for concert band while keeping their older one for marching band.

Do I have to be in Marching Band/Pep Band?
Yes! Everyone in the band program participates in the Marching Tiger Band and Pep Band. Don’t let that dissuade you from being in band! Most students find out that marching/pep band is a lot of fun and not what they expected. Have questions about your unique situation? Please ask!!

Can I do a sport and be in Band?
Absolutely! During all athletic seasons we work out compromises between band and athletics. This is especially important for fall activities. In high school we want to give you the flexibility of trying different activities. The coaches and I will make it work for you. We have successful student athletes in every sport AND BAND every year. They help make our band unique!  If you would like to talk to current band members who also participate in athletics I would be happy to coordinate that conversation, just contact me (

Is there a summer band camp?
Yes! This is a fun time for our band. Besides working on music and marching skills we plan lots of games and activities to welcome you to our program. Because of band camp, our freshmen start high school with the confidence of already knowing the building and many students. This year we will once again have 2 band camps. 
The 1st camp is scheduled for WEDNESDAY, MAY 22nd.
The 2nd "main" band camp is scheduled for AUGUST 1-2, 5-9 (specific times schedule forthcoming). More information will be provided in the spring. And YES, we coordinate with the CLC athletic camps too!

Does Marching Band meet outside of the school day?
Yes, once school begins the marching band rehearses one or two days a week after school from 5-7pm. This time slot allows our athletes to be at practice after their athletic commitment is complete. We use this rehearsal time to polish our halftime show for the football games. The rehearsals conclude in mid-October as the football season finishes.

How many concerts does the band put on each year?
Typically the band performs a December Holiday concert, a February “Music Showcase” at the Raue Center/Willow Creek and a Spring Concert in May. We may also attend area festivals or contests.

Is there a Jazz Band?
Yes! Our jazz band is open by audition only and begins in late October after marching band concludes. The jazz band performs at band concerts as well as at area music festivals and competitions. Jazz band instrumentation includes saxophones, trumpets, trombones, drums, bass, piano, and guitar. All wind and percussion players must be members of the regular band program to participate.
In 2014 we launched a jazz combo program for our top jazz improvisers and in 2015 we added a 2nd jazz band!

What other musical opportunities are there in the Tiger Band?
We have Madrigal Musicians, which consist of a 10-piece recorder ensemble and a brass quintet. These groups perform at our annual Madrigal Dinner in December. We also have a Pit Orchestra that performs for the Spring Musical in March. In addition, we have chamber ensembles and solo opportunities for Solo and Ensemble Contest. Every year we also participate in ILMEA and the McHenry County Honors Band. Top students are also eligible for the All-State Music Festival.

What leadership opportunities are there in the band?
We have a “Band Staff” that organizes many of the social aspects of band. The group is lead by our upperclassmen, with representatives from the other classes. In addition, there are drum major and section leader positions available for the marching and concert bands. These students help to build strong work ethics and leadership skills in our students.

Does the band travel?
Yes! The band traveled to Orlando in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013; Toronto in 2003, Italy in 2007, Hawaii in 2011 and 2019, New York City in 2015, San Francisco in 2017, and we're headed to Los Angeles/San Diego in 2023.  In 2006, 2008, 2015, and 2019 we were selected as an “All-State Pep Band” and performed for the IHSA state volleyball finals! We have also traveled to local universities to participate in Band Days and clinics on their campuses, seen Broadway shows, and performed at other high schools. Our trips are a balance of music performance, education, sightseeing, and of course, having FUN!
After this year, the next "big trip" should be Spring Break 2025!

How can parents be involved in the Tiger Band Program?
We are always looking for parent volunteers to help out. In your SPRING online marching band information you will find a link to our parent volunteer website. Check it out!

How do parents stay informed about the band?
We use a lot of e-mail for communication. It’s the easiest way to give a lot of people information at once. In addition we use this website! We also have a Band Parent Remind list that you can join by texting the code @clcba to 81010.

If I have more specific questions about my child who should I contact?
Please feel free to contact Keith Levin, Director of Bands, at or (815) 459-2505 x2176.

We are looking forward to working with you and welcoming you as a part of the Tiger Band Family!
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