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The Urban School
of San Francisco
1563 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 626 2919

Music at Urban

Central to the philosophy of music education at Urban is the idea that music is a language everyone can learn and that with proper support and guidance, even young musicians are capable of excellence.

Students with a wide variety of musical experience – from beginners to seasoned musicians – are encouraged to participate in Urban’s ensembles. The Urban Singers, Jazz Band and the Chamber Orchestra serve as ambassadors for the school community and perform at school functions, neighborhood outreach centers, other Bay Area schools and regional music festivals. The ensembles hold two annual concerts at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.

Urban’s Jazz Band (Advanced Jazz and Lab Jazz) and its small combos  play in a variety of styles, from swing to rock, pop, fusion and funk.  In recent years, the Jazz Band has also become a source of talent for the highly regarded SF Jazz High School All-Stars program. Through its ongoing relationship with SF Jazz, the Jazz Band continues to enjoy access to workshops with nationally acclaimed artists.

The Urban Singers draws its repertoire from a board range of styles, including gospel, folk, rock, jazz and classical. Students have the opportunity to work with a range of outstanding guest artists and perform the national anthem annually at a home game of the San Francisco Giants. In addition to the co-ed Urban Singers, there are opportunities for men’s and women’s a capella and solo singing performances.

The Chamber Orchestra has become a central part of Urban’s performing arts program.  Students work in small ensemble settings, playing music drawn from the standard western classical repertoire as well as some more contemporary pieces. 

See Music courses for 2017-18.


The Urban School curriculum provides an exceptionally strong foundation in college preparatory subjects. Many of our classes have distinctive features that set them apart as particularly challenging and comparable to college level work. These classes, designated as UAS (Urban Advanced Studies), are developed by the Urban faculty and comprise the school's most rigorous coursework. UAS classes are offered in every subject area and most are recognized by colleges (including the University of California) as honors level courses. Many Urban students choose to take Advanced Placement subject exams after taking these courses.

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