Oak Mountain High School Band
The Oak Mountain High School Band program is truly multi-faceted. The program encompasses three concert bands, two jazz ensembles, a marching band, two percussion ensembles, and a variety of chamber ensembles. Over 250 students participate in our various ensembles over the course of the school year, representing our school and our community with pride and excellence!
In addition to the “Spirit of Cahaba” Marching band, students audition for membership in various groupings, including the Jazz Ensembles, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Percussion Ensemble.
The Oak Mountain High School “Spirit of Cahaba” Marching Band, a cornerstone of the Fine Arts Department at OMHS, is made up of two hundred and fifty two students. The “Spirit of Cahaba” performs at all of the high school’s football games as well as two or three marching contests throughout the fall, consistently garnering superior ratings and capturing many of the best in class and best overall awards at these contests. Each year, this ensemble marches in the annual Oak Mountain Homecoming Parade. In the spring of 2017, the band performed in Orlando, Florida at the Festival Disney Marching Competition in Walt Disney World. The band has also marched in Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, both in 2018 and 2023.
The Oak Mountain Wind Ensemble is made up of seventy-three ninth through twelfth grade students at Oak Mountain High School. Membership in the band is determined by individual audition. Since the school’s inception, the ensemble has continued to push the boundaries of high school musicianship by performing literature in the advanced realm of the wind band repertoire. Students in this ensemble regularly pursue roles in the Alabama All-State Bands and Orchestras. From 1999 to 2012, the ensemble was under the direction of Jim Duren. Now, under the direction of Kevin Ownby, the OMHS Wind Ensemble has continued a tradition of excellence, consistently receiving superior ratings at adjudicated competitions and assessments. The ensemble has twice been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In the spring of 2016, the ensemble performed as a featured band at the Music for All National Band Festival in Indianapolis. The ensemble has been invited to perform at the Alabama Music Educators’ Association Conference five times since the school’s opening, and will be performing at the University of Alabama Honor Band as a guest ensemble in 2018.
The Oak Mountain Symphonic Band consists of seventy ninth through twelfth grade students at Oak Mountain High School. Membership in the band is determined by individual audition. Under the direction of Dr. Travis Bender, the ensemble performs a wide variety of genres in the high school wind band repertoire. Notably, this ensemble frequently performs newly published compositions for wind band. Under the baton of Dr. Bender, this ensemble has only received adjudicated ratings of superior at all contests and festivals. Since the school’s inception, the Oak Mountain Symphonic Band has twice been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In the spring of 2016, the Symphonic Band was invited to perform at the Music for All National Band Festival in Indianapolis. Most recently, the Oak Mountain Symphonic Band performed at the 2019 Alabama Music Educators Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Concert Band was created in 2014 as a third wind band for the instrumental music program at Oak Mountain High School. Consisting of 60 members in grades 9-12, the ensemble performs popular high school literature from the wind band repertoire. Participation in this ensemble is open to any student at Oak Mountain High School, and the group often contains several first year players. Private instruction is strongly encouraged, and students in this class frequently receive individualized or small group instruction during the school day. The Oak Mountain Concert Band performs five times each school year – the fall concert, the Christmas concert, a Pre-MPA concert, at the Alabama Music Performance Assessment, and a spring concert.
The Oak Mountain High School Band program is truly multi-faceted. In addition to the "Spirit of Cahaba" Marching band, students audition for membership in various groupings, including the Jazz Ensembles, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Percussion Ensemble.
For the 2013-2014 school year, Oak Mountain has once again formed two separate Jazz Ensembles due to the abundance of talent in the program. From mainstream to swing, the Oak Mountain Jazz Ensembles demonstrate a more laid-back aspect of the music program. Membership in the Jazz Ensembles is strictly by audition and requires extra rehearsal time for its members. Students are given the opportunity to play improv, as well as develop their solo-playing abilities.
Members of the Jazz Ensembles are multi-talented. Many play multiple instruments, and the vocal talents showcased are from within the overall band program. In 2010 and 2011, audiences at the Alabama Theatre were wowed by the performance of the Jazz Ensemble as they took the stage for "An Oak Mountain Christmas" with a combination of instrumental songs and vocal numbers featuring Carrie Tillis, as well as members of the Oak Mountain band program. Additionally, they participate annually in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student Jazz Band Festival.
The Jazz Ensembles play during regular school band concerts, and also for private events.
The Oak Mountain High School Percussion Ensemble has an annual membership of 10 to 15 students each year, consisting of the finest percussion players at OMHS. The ensemble meets daily during the school schedule and, under the direction of Kevin Ownby, performs music covering a large spectrum from the percussive repertoire.
The OMHS Percussion Ensemble has placed first in the high school percussion ensemble competition at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. They were later invited to perform as a featured ensemble at PASIC in 2007, and are the only high school ensemble from Alabama to ever earn this honor. In 2016, they were invited to perform at the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. And in 2023, they were invited to perform at the Alabama Music Educators Conference in Birmingham. They have also performed on three separate occasions at the Alabama Percussive Art’s Society’s Day of Percussion and twice at the Samford Percussion Ensemble Festival. The majority of students enrolled in this group take private lessons and members have consistently placed in the Alabama All-State Bands since the program’s inception in 1999.
The Oak Mountain Color Guard is made up of talented and hard-working individuals who continually receive all superior ratings at their competitions. Members perform and compete as part of the Spirit of Cahaba marching band in the fall season, as well as at pep rallies and the homecoming parade.
During the winter and spring, most of the guard members compete in the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit as part of the Oak Mountain High School Winter Guard. The 2021-2022 Winter Guard’s members continually push themselves to hone and improve both their equipment and movement skills. This season they were the Alabama Silver Medalists and SCGC Bronze Medalists in their class.
The Color Guard and Winter Guard are both choreographed by the University of Alabama’s Guard staff.
Spirit of Cahaba Majorette Line
In the fall you can find the Oak Mountain Majorettes on the field as part of the award winning Spirit of Cahaba marching band. They are an integral part of both the halftime and pregame shows and perform both at pep rallies and parades. Over the years the majorettes have won numerous “best in class” majorette awards while competing as part of the marching band.
OM Majorette Competition Team
After the marching season the majorettes begin preparing for their indoor competition season. The Oak Mountain Majorettes have competed at both the state and national levels and have won many awards and championships in different events including a 2nd place at the 2020 Twirlmania international competition in High School Classic.
Oak Mountain JV Majorettes
The Oak Mountain JV majorettes are open to those in grades 7-9 and want to one day be part of the Spirit of Cahaba majorette line. They perform at both pep rallies and middle school games. In the spring they compete at both the local and state level where they have won multiple awards and championships.