For New or Prospective Band Families

Information for New Band Families

Future Cougars: Please join us on Friday, October 13, 2017 for our Future Cougar Night. All students in 5th through 8th grades in any of the OHS feeder schools are invited.

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Please join us in our final concerts of the year:

Jazz Concert and Senior Solo, Thursday, May 18, 2017, 7pm
Spring Concert (Symphonic, Concert 1 and Concert 2), Thursday, May 25, 2017, 7pm

Both concerts are at the OHS Auditorium.

(On both concert days, the Oakton Band Hospitality Committee will be offering pizza and baked goods in the gym lobby (near Door 6) from 5:30-7:00 pm. Pizza will be for sale for $2/slice, water for $1/bottle, and baked goods by donation. If you wish to order a whole pizza, please email Pizzas are $10/cheese, $12/pepperoni.)

Important Dates: Oakton High School Band 8th Grade Audition Nights for 2017-2018 and Parent Receptions on May 2/May 3, 2017

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Welcome to the Oakton High School bands!

If you or your student is still undecided about he/she joining the school band, you are in the right place where you can find the information that will help you make the decision.

If you have already decided to join the band, Congratulations! You have made a great choice 🙂 and this page should have all the information that you will need to get you started in your new home within the school!

Oakton Bands by the Numbers

Concert Bands
Jazz Bands
Marching Band
Band Students


Marching Band Class


Years Named Virginia Honor Band


We Are Oakton Bands

The Oakton High School Bands are under the direction of Dr. Jamie VanValkenburg.

These are the ensembles that make up the Oakton High School Bands:

Concert Bands

Marching Band

Jazz Bands

Color Guard

Why Join the Band?

High School Band is unlike anything your student has done before. Participating in band will enhance your child’s high school career, and will be one of the best experiences in his or her life! All students are welcome in band … even beginners!

Benefits of Band

  • Band builds self-esteem (everyone is welcome and everyone matters),
  • Band develops skills in concentration, collaboration, communication and cooperation - all highly sought by employers today,
  • College Board research* and other studies** *** show that students with musical performance experience score significantly higher on both verbal and math portions of the SAT*,
  • Music is one of the few academic disciplines that require students to master skills and then apply them in performance - thus involving multiple forms of learning and building brain connectivity,
  • Like all the arts, music has a profound effect on the academic success of students**. Oakton Band students are top scholars and our students are consistently accepted into the best colleges and universities in the country.
  • Band helps students develop perseverance and highly effective learning techniques that will follow them through their high school years, college years, post-graduate years and throughout their career.
  • All band classes are comprised of students at different grade levels; thus enabling friendship and mentoring between freshmen and upperclassmen. The guidance and support is invaluable.

Oakton High School has one of the best Band programs in Fairfax County. Our 22-year Virginia State Honor Band has achieved many accolades over the years. This March our highly rated Symphonic Band was invited to perform as a featured band at the prestigious 2017 Music For All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis.

The path to your student’s success begins in Band Class!

College Board Total Group Profile Report 2015 (
**Reference numerous sources cited by National Association for Music Education (NAfME) (
*** Jacobs, Tom, New Evidence Links Music Education, Higher Test Scores, August 26, 2013, (

Other Opportunities for Band Students

Pit Orcehstra

Select band students play in the pit in the spring musical. Audition is held in December/January. Instrumentation for each musical varies.

Winter Guard
Indoor Winter Guard starts after Color Guard/Marching Band season ends in November.

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OHS Chamber Ensembles (Clarinet Choir, Brass Ensemble, etc.)
Interested students form chamber ensembles and practice during cougar time or after school to perform in Solo and Ensemble Festival and various community outreach opportunities.
Area Ensembles and Summer Festivals
Many of our band students also take advantage of the many youth ensembles and summer music camps opportunities in and around our area and beyond.

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What Do Students and Parents Say

As a military family who has moved every 2-3 years and endured long separations due to deployments, the Oakton High School Band was a wonderful way for my sons to find friends.  It’s incredibly difficult to face starting at yet another school with no friends to sit with at lunch time and the friendliness of the students and the parents during the Summer months made all of the difference!  We are forever grateful to the Marching Cougars, the Orkney chaperones and the wonderful photographers who captured so many wonderful moments that we could forward to a deployed Dad trying to stay involved!

S.W. (a band mom)

I’m grateful that band has been a huge part of my daughter’s high school life. She came to Oakton while most of her middle school friends went to other high schools (just how our school district boundaries are). But because of marching band, she got to know many other students and was welcomed into the band community way before school even started. Band has been the anchor of my daughter’s high school life and now that she is an upperclassman who has a heavy workload, I’m glad that this is the one class in the day that she can walk in, let loose a bit and just play (music, that is)!

P.T. (Mom of a Three-Year Band Student)

Being in band is truly the best part about my day. You can always depend on band people to be there for you– seriously, we’re everywhere– and it’s always nice to know that even when your day is going horribly, there’s always going to be a band person who’s been through the same thing.

The different types of people in band ensures that everyone has a niche that they can fit into. We’re like a microcosm without the prejudices of stereotypical high school cliques.

A Band Student (Junior, three years in band)

I find it extremely rewarding to volunteer my time for the band. We parents are just there in a small way – it is really the talent, hard work and perseverance of our students that makes them succeed.

A Band Parent

Parents are Part of the Band Family Too!

Parents and Guardians are not only wanted; You are NEEDED!

As a parent or guardian of an Oakton student in the band program, you are automatically a member of the Band Boosters of Oakton High School (BBOHS).

The Band Boosters provide supports to our wonderful band programs by transporting equipment to and from performances and competitions, chaperoning students, and various fundraising activities including our annual Oakton Classic marching band competition—everything and anything so that our students, the band director and the support staff can focus on playing beautiful music, creating and doing the best marching show, and putting on a great guard performance.

The Band Boosters need parents to fill the positions of officers and committee chairpersons every year. For a list of job descriptions for the officers and committee chairs, see BBOHS Officer and Chair Job Description.

Volunteers are also needed for band activities. Links to Sign-up Genius for upcoming Oakton Band events will be posted in the Volunteer page. Please check that page for volunteering opportunities.

Remember, it takes all of us to support the wonderful band program that is a tradition at Oakton.

Band Family
Band Family
Band Family

Welcome to Oakton and we'll see you in the Band Room!

Have questions that are not answered here? The band boosters are here to help! Contact Carrie Cahoon at