The secondary music program of the McKinney ISD is designed to provide opportunities for each student to develop his/her creative talents in a number of ways. The program consists of four areas—band, choir, orchestra, and music theory.
The band program begins in the sixth grade where members of the program are enrolled in classes of similar instruments. These classes meet daily and focus on establishing and developing basic musical and performance skills. The classes combine on two or more occasions during the year to present concerts for the parents and public, usually during February and May.
In the seventh and eighth grades, students are provided their first opportunity to be a member of a full band. The bands perform from three to five concerts each year, including performances for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) concert and sightreading events. Students may elect to participate in the PISD solo-ensemble contest or the TMEA all region band audition process, to further develop their individual musicianship. Rehearsal time outside the school day is usually limited to one forty-five minute sectional each week.
The ninth and tenth grade, or high school, bands provide the students with their introduction to the marching program. The high school bands rehearse outside the school day during the fall and perform at all home football games. In addition to the UIL and TMEA events in which the middle schools compete, the high school bands also enter UIL marching contest. In addition to the local performance opportunities, the high school bands take an in-state, overnight trip to a performance festival on alternate years.
Throughout the years, the high school bands from the McKinney ISD have performed at major competitions across the nation. The marching band rehearses outside the school day and performs at all football games. Consistent winners in all categories, these outstanding ensembles are highly-visible. The high school bands take an overnight trip each year.
Jazz bands and other small ensembles are offered as an afterschool program at the high school level. All high schools offer a jazz band class that meets daily. Students are auditioned for placement in groups. Jazz bands from all the high schools perform several concerts throughout the year, as well as entering selected competitions at local universities.