Oak Mountain High School is located in Shelby County, Alabama. The band program is nationally recognized having had groups within it invited to perform for a variety of national and state-wide events. Most notably are the invitations extended by Percussive Arts Society to the Percussion Ensemble, to perform at their international convention in 2007, and the invitation extended to the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2010.
Membership in the band program is an elective course, with individuals placed in appropriate groupings based on an individual audition. There are four of these groupings within the program as a whole. These groupings are Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. With the addition of the visual groups, all band students are also part of the Oak Mountain “Spirit of Cahaba” Marching Band.
The Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band are the concert bands of the Oak Mountain program. These bands perform expressive and challenging music that stretches each individual member to achieve a higher level of musicianship. Performances by these groups are time and again experiences in musical banquets where the audiences are the guests of honor.
From mainstream to swing, the Oak Mountain Jazz Bands demonstrate a more laid back aspect of the music program. Performances by the Jazz Ensembles are celebrations of music for the audience as well as the musician. Membership in a Jazz Band is strictly by audition and requires extra rehearsal time for its members. In addition to the normal complement of instrumentation, Oak Mountain also makes use of vocal talent from within the band.
Nationally recognized, the Oak Mountain Percussion Ensemble represents percussionship at its finest. Members utilize all aspects of the percussive experience, often playing instruments in ways not typically thought. While utilizing an assortment of traditional percussive instruments, the ensemble is able to give voice to something as utilitarian as a plastic bucket.
The Oak Mountain “Spirit of Cahaba” Marching Band performs at all of the high school’s football games as well as marching contests throughout the fall. The marching band consistently garners superior ratings and captures many of the best in class and best overall awards. Rehearsals in the marching band begin in mid-July and continue throughout the fall. Some units within the band actually begin rehearsals for the fall season during the spring.
On an individual level, members of the band can be found performing with state-wide honor bands hosted by various colleges and the Alabama Bandmasters Association. These members very often are rated as the top players which is indicative of the players’ talents as well as the quality of the band program. 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.