The Oak Mountain High School Band Program
Oak Mountain High School is located in north Shelby County, Alabama, and is a suburb of the greater Birmingham area. The Oak Mountain community is nestled within the township of Indian Springs Village. Built in 1999, the high school serves a population of 1,589 students in grades nine through twelve. The band room at Oak Mountain High School is named in honor of Mr. Jim Duren, the founding director at Oak Mountain, who served in this role from 1999 – 2012. Now led by Kevin Ownby and Dr. Travis Bender, the Oak Mountain Band program continues a legacy of excellence.
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 thirty 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. The “Spirit of Cahaba” has most recently performed in the National Cherry Blossom Parade (2018) as well as parades at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT (2017) and Magic Kingdom (2020).
Other instrumental performance opportunities for students at OMHS include the award winning Oak Mountain Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, two jazz bands, two percussion ensembles, numerous chamber ensembles, show choir band, and a theatrical orchestra. Additional performing arts that operate under the band umbrella include the color guard, winter guard, dance team, and majorettes.
Individuals in the band compete in local, regional, and state band and orchestra auditions. All concert ensembles participate in the annual Alabama Music Performance Assessment, and each ensemble has consistently earned superior ratings at this event. Private instruction is strongly supported and encouraged. These lessons are a major focus of individual development for the students in the Oak Mountain Band. Individual members are sought after by universities across the southeast for the quality of musicianship and leadership inherent to members of the Oak Mountain program.
The Oak Mountain Bands have been invited on two occasions (2010 and 2015) to perform concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2016, the Oak Mountain Wind Ensemble received an invitation to perform at the Alabama Music Educators Conference to give a joint concert with the world renowned Boston Brass. Also in 2016, the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band were both invited to perform at the National Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, an honor only bestowed upon a handful of prestigious programs each year. Most recently, the Wind Ensemble was once again invited back to perform at the 2017 Alabama Music Educators Conference in Montgomery, Alabama and the Symphonic Band was invited to perform at the 2019 Alabama Music Educators Conference in Birmingham.