About Our Band Program
Shadow Mountain has a wide variety of instrumental sections available. Statistics have shown that music helps students grow socially and intellectually. Band students learn teamwork and how to work together towards a common goal; hard work is necessary for success; together we learn from making mistakes; and self-discipline is necessary in order to succeed in college, career, and life. Shadow Mountain offers Concert Band (full year), Marching Band (fall semester), Jazz Band (spring semester), Basketball Band, Winter Guard, and is home to LINEA Winter Percussion Ensemble.
Mr. Simon graduated from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. While at NAU, Natan played the trumpet in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and the Symphony Orchestra. Natan also enjoyed the great privilege of performing in three drum and bugle corps over the course of five summers, including the Blue Stars, The Academy, and the Santa Clara Vanguard. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Arizona Music Educators Association, Percussive Arts Society, and the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association. Mr. Simon also completed the Masters of Arts in Band Conducting degree program through the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in 2015.
Mr. Simon began his teaching career in the Peoria Unified School District in 2006, teaching 5th through 8th grade band and strings at two K-8 schools. In his final year in Peoria, Natan had the pleasure of teaching K-6 General Music as well. During that time, he was also on staff for three high school marching bands, teaching marching. He also wrote the marching band drill design for nine other schools between 2008 and 2010. In January 2011, Mr. Simon made the move to the Paradise Valley Unified School District and now teaches one 7th Grade Band and one 8th Grade Band at Shea Middle School, and Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Beginning Band, Beginning Guitar, and Unified Music at Shadow Mountain High School.
Natan Simon lives in the Shea neighborhood with his wife Justine, son Avi, daughter Stella, and black lab/mix Ellie.
Student Acquired Skills
Students who are enrolled into the band program will acquire skills that will transfer into the student's everyday life. Students will continue to build and enhance many of these skills, enabling them to effectively communicate with others verbally as well as through written forms of communication. The students will begin to take on leadership roles and over seeing and management of band projects and much more!
- Concentration and Focus
- Active Listening
- Consideration for Others
The marching band consists of woodwinds, brass, percussion [front ensemble ("pit") and/or drum line], and color guard (flag, rifle, saber, dance). The marching band meets every school day during the First Period and also rehearses during 8th Period (Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 pm).
The marching band performs at school pep assemblies, varsity football games (home and away), parades, and marching band invitationals and festivals. The season wraps up in mid-November, at which point the marching band transitions to concert band. Our Marching Band is our most publicly visible ensemble and the students involved enjoy performing for large audiences from all around the state while maintaining a high level of musical and visual achievement.
Once we return from Winter Recess, Concert Band is in full swing! The members of the Concert Band will focus on advanced wind and percussion instrument technique while preparing a variety of concert band literature. The Concert Band performs two concerts in the Spring, one in March and one in May. They also perform at the ABODA Area Concert Festival and may perform at the State festival as well. The final performance every year is for the graduating class commencement.
Jazz Band is the only instrumental ensemble on campus, that is by audition only. The instrumentation follows traditional Big Band structure: 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 1 baritone saxophone, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1 drum set, 1 piano, 1 bass, 1 guitar, and 1 auxiliary percussion position. Our Jazz Band meets every day during "Zero Hour" (6:30 - 7:23 am). Students learn to improvise and play in a variety of styles through performing swing, Latin, ballads, and rock/funk music. The Jazz Band will perform at two school concerts and may also participate in various Jazz Bands.
During the second semester of every school year, our band program leaves its marching activities to head for concert and jazz ensembles. Often times, percussionists are left without the literature or opportunity to continue to grow as individual musicians. This is why we offer a Winter Percussion Ensemble at Shadow Mountain High School. In Spring 2016, we enjoyed great success performing a chamber style percussion piece and earned great reviews from our performance at the Arizona Percussive Arts Society Spring Festival. These types of pieces include a variety of concert percussion instruments and are performed in similar venues as traditional concert band music. In Spring 2017, we continued this tradition and offered our percussion students the opportunity to grow, perform, and succeed by adding the marching component back into the spring season. Our students performed in the Winter Guard Arizona competitive circuit for the first time since 2010, and placed 3rd in the state for the Scholastic Regional A Class. This change means we will be performing a music and movement show inside school gyms across Arizona every Spring, from January through early April. We encourage all interested students to learn more about Winter Guard Arizona (visit website) and Winter Guard International (visit website) so they will better understand the performances these groups are capable of. Many indoor percussion performances can be found on Youtube. ANY dedicated student within the Shadow Mountain or Shea band program is able to participate in our percussion ensemble. Please contact Percussion Director Craig Harris by email for more information.
The Basketball Band performs entertaining music during at least five basketball games at Shadow Mountain. These students volunteer to play at the games and have a lot of fun supporting our Boys and Girls Basketball teams.
Successful Career Pathways
- Music Therapist
- Music Composer
- Choir Teacher
- Music Journalist
- Record Producer
- Music Librarian