Cotter High School and Junior High School have a long tradition of outstanding instrumental music ensembles. Each year the bands receive many awards and accolades for their performances. There are several ensembles that students may participate in and all students are welcome and encouraged to participate in the band program.

Junior High Band

The Cotter Junior High Band program consists of three ensembles: Concert Band, Marching Band, and Jazz Band. These groups may be found performing year round throughout Winona and as far away as the Twin Cities. In our ensemble classes, students not only learn how to play their instruments and read music, but learn the value of music in our world, how to work as a team, become critical thinkers and listeners, and how to make independent musical decisions. Our ensembles are open to students of all ability levels, whether they have never played an instrument before to those who have been reading music for years. All students receive weekly lessons on their instrument to provide an extra musical challenge, as well as to develop skills in areas that are needed.

Symphonic Band & Ensembles

Cotter High School Bands

Symphonic Band

Symphonic Band is for students in grades 9-12. Each student receives one credit and each class meets 4 days/week for a full period. The bands perform at many concerts and events during the year. All performances are mandatory and each student is encouraged to participate in the Sub-Section Solo and Ensemble Contests.

Jazz Ensemble

Membership in jazz ensemble is by audition. The group meets two to three days a week in the morning before school. Students receive a ¼ of a credit and a grade for the ensemble. Attendance at rehearsals is mandatory. The ensemble performs at several concerts and festivals during the year and attendance at the performances are also mandatory.

Jazz Combos

Jazz combos are available to any Cotter High School student. The combos meet in the mornings before school. The day of rehearsal depends on which combo the student is in. Combos are an extra-curricular activity, however, all members are expected to participate in all scheduled performances. The combos perform several times during the year usually in conjunction with the jazz ensemble performances.

Pep Band

The pep band is comprised of all students in the Symphonic band. The pep band plays for football and basketball (boys and girls) games during the year. While all performances are required, any band member who is a member of the team for which the pep band is playing would be excused from that performance.

Honor Bands

Cotter students participate in several area honor bands during the school year. Membership in an honor band is by recommendation of the band director and being accepted by the organization that sponsors each band.

Marching Band

The fall season has begun! We will rehearse from 7:30am- 8:30 am at Cotter fields on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from now until Homecoming on Oct. 5. Students should be on time, with instrument and coordinate charts, ready to work! 

The parade marching unit is a highly recommended extra-curricular organization that practices and performs during the months of June and early July. The band performs in several competitive parades and takes an out-of-state trip each summer. Recent destinations have included Colorado, St. Louis, Chicago, Michigan and Calgary, Canada.

SUmmer 2018 schedule

  • May 29-June 1 - Band Camp
  • June 1 - Band Picnic/Preview Show
  • June 4-29 - Practice Monday-Friday 9:30am-12pm
  • June 14 - Flag Day
  • June 15 - Lake Crystal
  • June 16 - Owatonna/Waconia
  • June 17 - Steamboat Days
  • June 22 - Sauk Rapids
  • June 23 - St. Cloud
  • June 24 - Alexandria
  • July 3-8 - Traverse City, MI


2018 Awards

  • Lake Crystal- 1st- 69.0
  • Owatonna- 4th- 64.7
  • Waconia- 1st- 63.2, Best Percussion & Color Guard
  • Winona Steamboat Days- Host
  • Sauk Rapids- 2nd- 75.9
  • St. Cloud- 4th- 74.9
  • Alexandria- 2nd- 68.7
  • Traverse City, MI

Calendar of Events

2018 Pep Band Calendar

One event may be missed per year. Playoff games TBA.

Football (Fridays)    

  • Sept. 7 - 7pm @ WSU
  • Sept. 21 - 7pm @ WSU 
  • Oct. 5 - 7pm @ WSU

Basketball (Tuesdays)

  • Jan. 8 - 7:00 boys
  • Jan. 15 - 7:30 girls 
  • Jan. 22 - 7:30 girls
  • Jan. 29 - 7:30 boys 
  • Feb. 5 - 7:30 boys
  • Feb. 19 - 7:30 boys

Band Boosters

Meetings are held the Second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm, in room 210 by Mr. Meurer's office- 2nd floor St. Cecilia Theatre. Enter through the Theatre Lobby doors, and head upstairs!  See you there! 

Band Booster meeting minutes, agendas, and financials are available online. 

The Band Boosters offer various fundraisers throughout the school year to support the costs of the Marching Band program. Students can earn credit toward the cost of the summer band trip through individual sales. Group fundraising events will support the program as a whole and are used for uniforms, equipment, and to help offset trip expenses. We greatly encourage you to attend our meetings, and make your opinion heard!

Fundraisers for 2018-19

  • Steamboat Days Chicken Q - June 17, 2018 (Chairs - Kim and Barry McRaith)
  • Ashley for the Arts - August 19-11, 2018 (Chairs - Peggy Duellman, Anne Besek)
  • Ford Test Drive Event- Oct. 27, 2018 from 9 AM to 3 PM at 360 Vila Street, Winona - outside of the John Nett Recreation Center doors
  • Fall Frozen Foods
  • Holiday Plants Sale
  • Lasagna Dinner - January 27, 2019 from 4 to 6:30 PM at the Winona Elks Club
  • Spring Plant Sale
  • Spring Frozen Foods


Cotter High School and Junior High School have an excellent choir program with multiple options for choir involvement for students grades 7 through 12. Options include participation in two choirs, show choirs, music listening team and performances in musical theater. All students are welcome and encouraged to participate in the choir program.

Junior High Choir

The Cotter Junior High Choir program consists of 7th and 8th grade students. Students meet during a regular class period four times per week. The choir performs several concerts each year at the Cotter campus.

Concert Choir

Concert Choir is for students grades 9 through 12. Each student receives 1 credit, and each class meets four days per week for a full class period. The choir performs at many concerts and events during the school year. Additional opportunities for choral performance include large group music contest and solo-ensemble music contest. Singers are required to have an individual lesson once per week.

Choir Achievements

Show Choirs

Show Choir participation is for 9th through 12th grade choir students, by audition only. The show choir performs at several concerts and events during the school year.

Accomplishments & Awards

Our choir students are recognized each with invitations to select honor choirs. They can also earn All-Conference and All-State honors. Read all about our students accomplishments in our Cotter news! 

Dorian Honor Choir Festival
Three Rivers All-Conference
Clearwater Honor Choir Festival
ACDA State Honors Choir

Calendar of Events

  • Aug. 27 - Show Choir Auditions 7:00 PM - Choir Room
  • Oct. 20 - UW-EC Honors Choir Festival - All day - UW-Eau Claire
  • Oct. 27 - Show Choir “Goes Green” recycling fundraiser, 9-3:00 PM 
  • Nov. 5 - Three Rivers All-Conference Choir, 7:00 PM
  • Nov. 9-11 - CHS Musical 7:00/3:00 St. Cecilia
  • Dec. 6-14* - Community Caroling - Nursing Homes, Banks etc...
  • Dec. 13* - CHS Choir Christmas Concert 7:30 PM  Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels
  • Dec. 17** - Cotter Junior High Concert 7:00 PM St. Cecilia Theatre
  • Jan. 13-14 - Dorian Choir Festival Luther College in Decorah, IA
  • Jan. 14 - Dorian Choir Concert  7:00 PM Ctr. For Faith & Life
  • Jan. 18 - Music Listening Contest 1:00 PM Regional-WSU
  • Feb. 1 - Catholic Schools Mass 9:30 AM St. Stan's
  • Feb. 1 - Music Listening Contest 1:00 PM - State Augsburg College
  • Feb 12 - ACDA 9-10 Grade State Choir Concert Minneapolis
  • Feb. 14 - MMEA (Minnesota Music Educators’ Association) All-State Concerts Orchestra Hall
  • March 7* - High School and Junior High School Spring Choir Concert 7:00 PM  St. Cecilia 
  • March 19* - MSHSL Large Group Contest   All day – Cotter
  • March 22-24 - Show Choir Trip Minneapolis
  • April 5 - "Young at Heart" Show Choir Concert 1:20 PM Cathedral of the Sacred Heart 
  • April 11 - MSHSL Sub-Section Solo-Ensemble 4:00 PM  Lewiston-Altura
  • April 28 - Show Choir Concert 6:00 PM St. Cecilia
  • May 9* - CHS Pops Concert 7:30 PM  Gym 
  • May 16** - CJHS Pops Concert 7:00 PM  Gym
  • May 24* - Graduation  Cotter Gym

*Mandatory – CHS        

**Mandatory - CJHS

Choir Boosters

This volunteer parent/family group supports choral students, choir and small ensemble singing activities, and fundraisers, like the "Go Green," throughout the school year. Everyone is welcome at meetings, and everyone is welcome to join! Become a part of the support for our choir students and director. Contact Cathy Snyder for further information.

Andy Meurer
Band Director

Phone: +1.507.453.5000 ext: 5052

Cathy Snyder
Choir Director
Phone: +1.507.453.5000 ext: 5053