Ensembles of Berkley High School
The Symphonic Band is the premier concert ensemble at Berkley High School. The members of this ensemble strive to create on a higher level of musicianship and technicality, performing some of the best literature available to wind bands today. The Symphonic Band regularly receives Superior ratings at festival, earning strong accolades for their achievements. In the past, this ensemble has traveled to various destinations throughout the United States.
The Wind Symphony is Berkley's middle ensemble. This group also regularly receives high ratings at MSBOA Band Festival, and many of the members of the Wind Symphony also partake in the Marching Band and Jazz Ensembles. The group also performs many quality pieces of literature for the band medium.
The Concert Band is for students wishing to further develop their technical abilities on any given instrument. This class allows for students to focus on the individual aspects of their playing as well as what it means to perform in an ensemble setting. This group performs many developmental pieces to help the musicians grow.
The Berkley Bears Marching Band is the largest and most visible of the ensembles at Berkley High School. The Marching Band's season starts with band camp, where the members learn the basics of marching, as well as the halftime and pregame programs presented at each home football pregame and halftime. The Berkley Marching Band also regularly receives Superior ratings at MSBOA Marching Band Festival, held each Fall.
Berkley prides itself on its strong jazz program, consistently performing and presenting itself as one the top jazz ensembles in the state. In the past, the Jazz Ensemble has been featured performers in many settings, including New Orleans, New York, and Chicago. The ensemble is comprised of top members of the Concert Ensembles, and meets before school for rehearsal. While the Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble, any musician wishing to perform jazz may partake in the Lab Band, also held before school.
The Berkley Jazz Lab is for any student wishing to study jazz, on any instrument. This developmental ensemble is designed for students who wish to further develop their skills in the jazz medium, including playing stylistically and improvising.
G. Jonathan Thomann
Artist educator passionate about engaging students in creating, performing, and responding in music, as is critical to the human experience. Mr. Thomann earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Eastern Michigan University and obtained a master's degree in Music Education and Wind Band Conducting from The Hartt School, a performing arts conservatory for music, dance, and theatre through the University of Hartford in Hartford, Ct.
Mr. Thomann began his career at Novi High School serving as the Assistant Director of Bands (2007-2009), and Director of Choirs (2010). Mr. Thomann served as the Associate Director of Bands at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (2011-2015) and Director of Bands (2016-2019). Mr. Thomann directed and conducted the Plymouth-Canton Ed. Park Wind Ensemble at the 2019 Michigan Music Conference and was a guest conductor in 2011 and 2009.
In 2015 Mr. Thomann presented at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass and Glen Adsit, Director of Bands, Hartt School in a clinic titled "Teaching Children to Create Music." Mr. Thomann has served as a Challenge Day mentor, RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality) mentor, and Corwin Student Leadership Program mentor.
Students under Mr. Thomann's instruction have performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and The Tournament of Rose's Parade. Bands and Choirs have received top honors at District and State Music Festivals with Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Michigan School Vocal Music Association, Michigan Competing Bands Association, Bands of America, Festivals of Music, and Dixie Music Festival, and have traveled to Boston, Chicago, New York, California, Ohio, and Indiana.
Mr. Thomann was a free-lance musician and performer in the greater Detroit Metro-area. Mr. Thomann's primary instrument is the saxophone. Highlight performances include a performance at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Thad Jones Celebration concert in Pontiac, MI and the Michigan Music Conference with the EMU Wind Symphony. While at EMU Mr. Thomann served as Drum Major for the Marching Band and performed with Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Thomann marched baritone with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps and instructed Southwind (2004-2006), and the Spirit of Atlant Drum and Bugle Corps (2009-2013). Mr. Thomann is excited to join the Berkley Community School District for the next chapter in his career.
Doug Engle grew up in Royal Oak. In school, Doug played cello until a friend asked him to come play dodgeball at the Salvation Army. When dodgeball was over, everyone went upstairs where each kid was given a brass instrument to learn how to play. Through performing at nursing homes, concerts, parades, and attending camps, Doug learned how being part of a band can be a life-changing experience. Doug has travelled the midwest, Canada, Australia and Southern Africa playing trombone and teaching others how to make music.
Doug attended Central Michigan University and was a Graduate Assistant Oakland University majoring in Music Education.
He and his wife Katy have 3 kids: Clara 4, Evie 2 and Clark (born August 22, 2017)
Mr. Folmar is in his 3rd year of teaching in the Berkley School District. He currently directs the MYP Bands at Norup International School and the 8th Grade Band at Anderson Middle School, as well as teaching Elementary Music for Norup's 3rd and 4th Grades. Before coming to Berkley, Mr. Folmar taught for 4 years in Manton, Michigan, where he was awarded the 2015 HS Teacher of the Year from the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 12.
Mr. Folmar is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where he studied saxophone with Professor John Nichol. He is an alumni of the Lambda Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Fraternity) and the Iota Rho Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music Honors Society). Currently Mr. Folmar plays Baritone Saxophone in the South Eastern Michigan Wind Ensemble and Cass Quartet.