The intent of this study was to examine the comprehensive musicianship approach to instrumental music education utilized by the Thomas Jefferson High School Band Program chronologically from and prior to its beginnings in 1970 through 2007. Three major educational eras within the band program’s history were studied—that of Dr. Earl C. Benson, from 1970-1996, that of Dr. Doug Orzolek, from 1995-2002, and that of the author, from 2002-2007. Within each era, the genesis, curricular development, and implementation methods of a comprehensive musicianship music curriculum at Thomas Jefferson High School were examined.
This historical study utilized information acquired from formal interview, informal interview and the personal material archives of each of the three Jefferson High School Band Directors.
Results of this study indicate that the Band Program at Thomas Jefferson High School has maintained a high standard of delivering a comprehensive musicianship curriculum since the school’s inception in 1970.
Fluctuating staffing and scheduling constraints forced the band program to continuously adjust, modify and reinvent itself to preserve the integrity of its comprehensive aim without sacrificing performance goals.