See and Hear the Instruments

Click the name of the instrument to jump to that section


The flute is the highest pitched instrument in the beginning band. With it’s clear, penetrating sound, the flute often plays the melody in the band.  

The flute is made of silver and is played by blowing across an opening in one end while the fingers press keys to change notes. 


of the band will play Flute


Flute player personality traits:

“contentious”, “detailed” and “consistent”


Flute player physical characteristics:

agile fingers, natural “frown” shape to the upper lip, even upper and lower jaw.


The oboe is similar in appearance to a clarinet, but it is played using a double reed instead of a single reed to produce its brilliant and distinct sound.

Soloistic and melodious, the oboe is a special part of the band. The oboe is a special instrument, and only a select few students will be chosen for oboe.


of the band will play Oboe


Oboe player personality traits:

“studious”, “dependable” and “diligent”


Oboe player physical characteristics:

 even upper and lower jaws – no over or underbites, agile fingers, solid coordination.


The bassoon, like the oboe, is a double reed instrument. It is the lowest sounding member of the woodwind family with it’s dignified and majestic sound.

The bassoon is one of the most specialized instruments in the band, and like the oboe, only a few select students will be chosen for the bassoon.

Universities and colleges seek out bassoonists who often receive substantial scholarships.


of the band will play Bassoon


Bassoon player personality traits:

“serious”, “aspirational”


Bassoon player physical characteristics:

slight overbite, agile thumbs, medium or greater handspan, coordination.


The clarinet is a popular choice for Beginning Band. The sound is a large, beautiful woody texture with an extensive range.

The mouthpiece and single-reed produce the sound, unlike the double reed instruments above.


of the band will play Clarinet

It’s the largest section of the band!


Clarinet player personality traits:

“focused” and “detailed”


Clarinet player physical characteristics:

the ability to flatten chin; non-rounded bottom teeth

Alto Saxophone

The saxophone is a woodwind instrument even though it is made of brass. Most people know the saxophone as they have heard it in jazz or rock music.

This instrument is versatile and is also used in the concert band. Some saxophone players will also have the opportunity to play tenor or baritone saxophones after the beginning year.


of the band will play Alto Saxophone


Alto Saxophone player personality traits:

“mellow” and “driven”


Alto Saxophone player physical characteristics:

ability to sit straight and tall, agile hands


The trumpet is the highest instrument of the brass family.  It is recognized by its bright and clear sound.  The trumpet is frequently used to play melody. 

Like some of the other instruments in the band, the trumpet is also used in jazz and pop music.  Similar to most brass instruments, the trumpet has three valves and is played by vibrating one’s lips on a mouthpiece.  


of the band will play Trumpet


Trumpet player personality traits:

“confident”, “strong” and “enthusiastic”


Trumpet player physical characteristics:

thin and even lips, slight over bite okay

French Horn

The French horn is the also a member of the brass family. Its sound is produced by buzzing into a small mouthpiece similar to a trumpet. Students with good musical ears, such as choir students, tend to be the most successful on this instrument. 

Recognized by its distinct coil shape, the french horn is one of the most commonly heard instruments in movie soundtracks, as it has the widest range of any brass instrument.  


of the band will play French Horn


French Horn player personality traits:

“methodical” and “academic”


French Horn player physical characteristics:

thin and even lips, slight overbite okay, must have the ability to match pitch, singing experience helpful


The trombone, easily recognized by its long slide, is one of the most powerful instruments in the band. The slide is not marked with positions so having a good ear is a must.

Playing primarily in the lower range of the band, the trombone is used both as a melodic and a supporting instrument.  Trombones are used in virtually every type of music, including jazz, blues, rock, and symphony orchestra.


of the band will play Trombone


Trombone player personality traits:

“analytical” and “coordinated”


Trombone player physical characteristics:

medium to long arms, medium to full lips, great ear – singing experience is helpful


The euphonium (you-PHONE-knee-yum), sometimes known as the baritone, is a member of the brass family and looks like a small version of a tuba. Its sound is similar to that of a trombone, but it uses valves like a trumpet instead of a slide.

Though originally designed as a harmony instrument, the euphonium has grown to become one of the most popular band instruments for solo playing in the most recent years due to its rich sound.


of the band will play Euphonium


Euphonium player personality traits:

“artistic” and “unique”


Euphonium player physical characteristics:

medium to full lips work best, right hand agility and ability to sit up very straight


The tuba is the most important instrument in the band.  It is the largest and lowest of the wind instruments, and it produces the fundamental sound upon which all others are built. 

Despite its relatively large size, even the smallest students can easily handle the tuba with proper instruction.  Good tuba players are generally intelligent and assertive, with a passion for their instrument. 

Tuba players do not have to carry their instruments home every night.  Instead, inventory permitting, they will be an issued an instrument to take home and leave home for practice and they will play on another tuba at school that remains on campus. 


of the band will play Tuba


Tuba player personality traits:

“unique” “reliable” “consistent”


Tuba player physical characteristics:

ability to sit up straight, medium to full lips


The percussion section is one of the most misunderstood sections of the band.  Often referred to as the “drums”, this name is actually a very incomplete description of what is involved in playing percussion. 

Percussionists learn to play a number of instruments, including mallet instruments like bells and xylophone, battery percussion like the snare and bass drums, and accessory percussion instruments like the tambourine and triangle. 

Enrollment for this course is limited, and students wishing to play percussion will need to attend an additional evaluation before students will be selected for this instrument.


of the band will play Percussion


Percussion player personality traits:



Percussion player physical characteristics:

high gross motor and fine motor skills, coordination, multi-tasker mentality