Students with a passion for the arts can exercise their talents in activities such as band, choir, color guard, debate, orchestra, show choir, speech, and theatre. Clubs and organizations also exist to help students excel in academic pursuits or leadership.
East High has two curricular band ensembles, Symphonic Band and Concert Band. The Symphonic Band is the top auditioned group and consists of roughly 45 students. Concert Band is the foundational and fundamental high school ensemble and consists of all the other students enrolled in the program. Both ensembles perform many concerts throughout the year, as well as compete at a large group festival in Des Moines at the end of each April. Students in both ensembles prepare and audition for the Iowa All-State Band and the Northwest Iowa Honor Band.
The Black Raider Marching Band is a co-curricular ensemble consisting of all students enrolled in the East High band program. Students begin preparation for the marching band season in July with two weeks of full band camp. Here, they learn marching fundamentals, drill, and show music; color guard and drumline also have separate camps. The ensemble rehearses every morning before school, beginning at 6:45 am throughout the entire season. The Black Raider Marching Band participates in competitions in the tri-state region every Saturday from mid-September through mid-October. In addition to competitions, the marching band performs at all home football games, both in the stands as a pep band, and on the field as halftime entertainment.
The East High band program has two competitive jazz bands. Both ensembles are made up of students who audition for specific chair placements in late fall after the marching season has ended. Both ensembles rehearse every morning beginning at 6:45 am from late October through March. The jazz competition season begins in early January and both ensembles travel to and compete in several festivals and events each year. Jazz I frequently represents East High and Siouxland at the Iowa Jazz Championships in early April. 2020 was the fourth consecutive year the top ensemble qualified for this prestigious, invite-only event. Both jazz ensembles also present a showcase concert in early April as a way to show off their hard work from the season.
The East High pep band performs at many home games for both girl’s and boy’s basketball, as well as senior night for the volleyball team.