DeMatha’s Music Program began in 1970 with 19 students. The Music Program now has an enrollment of over 40% of the student population.
The music curriculum includes five concert bands, three choruses, three percussion ensembles, three string orchestras, six levels of music theory, and a History of Rock and Roll class. The program also includes two jazz ensembles, a pep band for basketball games, a gospel choir, as well as numerous small ensembles.
The Music Program has received national and international acclaim. The National Catholic Bandmaster’s Association named DeMatha’s Wind Ensemble the top Catholic High School Band in 18 of 20 years. Each year the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Concert Band II, the Advanced Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble II, Sinfonia, Voices of DeMatha, DeMatha Harmonics and the DeMatha Singers perform at local, national and international music festivals. DeMatha performing groups consistently receive Superior ratings at these festivals and have received over 40 Gold Medals at music festivals held in Chicago, Toronto, Orlando, Atlanta, Gatlinburg, Nashville, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach and Daytona Beach.
Since 1970 well over 1,000 student-musicians have been chosen to perform with the Maryland All State Bands, Orchestras and Choruses. An equal number have performed with the Washington Archdiocese Music Teacher Council Honor Bands throughout the years.
DeMatha also offers summer music programs for student musicians.
John Mitchell, the founder of the music program, received The Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award for Private Schools in 1996. In 1993, the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) named Mr. Mitchell a “National Educator of Distinction”, one of seven high school educators nationwide selected. Mr. Mitchell, Mr. James Roper, Mr. James Turk, Dr. Michael Gatti and Mr. Matt Bickel ‘95 have a collective 114 years of teaching experience, including 84 years teaching at DeMatha. Upon Mr. Mitchell's retirement in 2011 Mr. Carlos Castrillon '95 was hired as a full time band director.
Click here to learn more about Kaleidoscope Concert, a fundraiser to benefit and showcase the talents of the DeMatha Instrumental Music Program. Click the "Get Involved" link to learn more about all of the Instrumental Music Program's special events, fundraising activities, and volunteer opportunities.
In August, 2009, the entire Music Department relocated to their new state-of-the-art facilities in the McCarthy Activity Center. Click here to learn how you can contribute to the new center through The Recognition Program.