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  • What is the dress code for the LGHS music ensembles?
    Marching Band members are fitted for and assigned uniforms, including marching shoes, at the beginning of each school year. Each student also needs their own boxer shorts to wear under the uniform, and black socks tall enough to keep the ankles covered when marching. For Pep Band performances, members wear the current season’s field show T-shirt or Music Department polo, along with jeans and their Marching Band jacket. Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Jazz Band members wear all black clothing and black shoes (long black socks if pants are worn). Please avoid denim, tennis shoes, very high heels, shiny material, or fishnet stockings. Choir girls wear an official black “concert” dress (fitted and ordered through Choir class at the start of the year), black dress shoes (with a heel no higher than 1-1⁄2 inches), and hair away from the face (using a clip or hairband). Boys wear a black suit (jacket and trousers), black tie (available for purchase through Music Boosters), black dress shoes, and black socks.
  • Are parents allowed to park along the red curb when dropping off and picking up Music students?
    NO. The curb is painted red because stopping there obstructs passage of emergency vehicles. Fire trucks have been unable to get through. In addition, parking along the curb obstructs vehicles that are legally parked in the adjacent parking spots, leaving them insufficient room to move in and out of their spaces and leading to collisions. Don’t park along the red curb!
  • Do students who volunteer to work at Music Department events earn community service hours?
    Usually not. If the hours worked are used to credit a student’s account for music program payment shares, then the student may not also earn credit for community service hours. However, at the discretion of the Music Director and Music Boosters Board, work at certain extracurricular performances may qualify for community service hours.
  • What are "Concert Bands"? I hear the term, but don't see it listed under Courses
    A concert band is a large group of brass, woodwind, and percussion players who perform in concerts. LGHS has three concert bands: Symphonic Band, Crescent Ensemble & Wind Ensemble.
  • What is Marching Band?
    The Los Gatos High School Wildcat Marching Band and Color Guard is comprised of members of the Symphonic Band, Crescent Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble classes in grades 9-12. Marching Band performs with Color Guard at all home football games and various town events, and travels around the local region and state to adjudicated marching band competitions. A team of specialized, high-class educators provide students with first-rate instruction on their areas of expertise; including percussion (battery and front ensemble), woodwinds, brass, marching/movement skills, flags, rifle/saber, and dance. The student leadership team assists the staff by being positive role models for the other members and volunteering their time outside of rehearsal to provide extra help. ​
  • What is Color Guard?
    An integral part of the Marching Band, the Los Gatos High School Color Guard is comprised of students in grades 9-12 who utilize flags, rifles, sabers, and dance choreography to make the marching band music come alive for the audience. Color Guard has the same rehearsal commitment as the marching band. Dance and equipment experience is not required, but placement auditions may be necessary for particular equipment or specific elements of Color Guard. During the fall season, the Color Guard performs with the Marching Band at football games, regional competitions, and the Los Gatos Holiday Parade During the winter “season,” when it is known as Winter Guard, the ensemble performs at regional competitions and school events.
  • How long is Marching Band Season? What is the time commitment?
    The marching season begins with a weekend “mini-camp” in May the previous school year, which includes all incoming freshmen. We then have “Band Camp,” typically held the first two weeks before school starts in August, which includes 8 days of training to get as much fundamentals work and show material done before the start of school. Once school starts, Marching Band meets after school on Mondays/Wednesdays from 5:45pm – 9:00pm and Saturdays for 8 hours (sometimes 9:00am – 5:00pm; sometimes 1:00pm - 9:00pm). There are several home football games on Friday nights, which require approximately 5 hours of time. This schedule lasts from the start of school in August until mid-November when the season concludes. The band typically travels to four local and one overnight competition every season. For local competitions, expect a 13-15 hour day with warm-up/practice in the morning and the competition in the afternoon/evening. We take a short hiatus for Thanksgiving break, and then typically have one or two rehearsals before participating in the town’s Los Gatos Holiday Parade the first Saturday of December! For the full marching band calendar, which includes practices and competitions, visit Events from the main menu.
  • What about homework? Can a student do all this and succeed in academics?
    ABSOLUTELY. The discipline, time management, and overall striving for excellence developed in Marching Band/Color Guard serve as tremendous assets in academics as well. Marching Band/Color Guard students become very efficient in the fall season, as they simply have less time to waste. Overall, grades remain stable — in fact, the anecdotal evidence from parents is that students actually do better in the fall semester than they do in the spring.
  • Is Marching Band required for Concert Band students?
    Participation in Marching Band or Color Guard is required for all students enrolled in one of the Concert Band ensembles (Symphonic, Crescent, Wind Ensembles).
  • Do I get PE or Arts credit for participating in Marching Band or Color Guard?
    Students may earn up to 3 years of Performing Arts credit (grades 9-11), 3 semesters of PE credit (grades 10-12), and 1 year of Applied Arts credit (grade 12).
  • What is the "Pep Band" and how is it different from Marching Band?
    Pep Band is made up of all band students, with the exception of front ensemble members (mallet and auxiliary percussion), who, due to the size and bulk of their instruments, generally are unable to participate.At home football games, Pep Band performs in the bleachers/stands rather than on the field. Typically Pep Band attends games in a black LG Music Shirt and black pants and plays lively music such as the “fight song” in the bleachers. It is recommended for students to wear their Marching Band jacket for the games. We do have some Pep Band jackets available for use during the game. This ensemble also performs in Pep Band attire at campus rallies and other school functions. Only formal Marching Band attire is permitted at field show competitions.
  • What is the "Pit Crew?"
    The Pit Crew is made up of Marching Band parents who help students transport the large pieces of frontline “pit” equipment — mallets, auxiliary percussion, and electronics — between the storage areas and the field. Their assistance is also needed at field show competitions, where movement of equipment on and off the field is timed and time violations incur scoring penalties. Pit Pops are easily recognized by their bright orange Music Boosters vests.
  • Evening practices are scheduled until 9 pm. When should parents expect to pick up their student?
    Monday and Wednesday practices generally end on the field or front lawn at 9pm. Students are not usually ready for immediate pickup. First they must head to the band room, assisting with equipment return (pit, percussion, flags, etc.). Parents may expect to pick them up anywhere from 1 minute to 20 minutes after they are released. Cell phones are very useful for working this out.
  • Do Marching Band students need ear protection?
    Earplugs are not required, as our best information is that decibel levels for outdoor performances are generally acceptable. However, depending on where a student is in the drill and what instrument they play, they may want to avail themselves of ear protection. Etymotics ear guards have been recommended by professional musicians, rockers, and former Marching Band students. The basic models are economical, and are as useful at concerts as they are in marching settings.
  • What happens after football and marching competition season ends?
    Marching Band members continue on in Symphonic Band, Crescent Ensemble, or Wind Ensemble (“concert bands”) for the rest of the school year, usually on the same instruments they played in Marching Band but sometimes learning new ones. Freshman percussionists are assigned to the Percussion Techniques class, which is also open to other instrumentalists who wish to learn percussion. Concert bands rehearse in class during the regular school day, and also perform at school and community events and compete at adjudicated music festivals. Due to the reduced time commitment as compared with Marching Band, some members also participate in winter/spring sports, or join LGHS’s award-winning Winter Percussion, an after school activity offering additional performance and competition opportunities. Most members of Color Guard remain enrolled in the second semester (then known as Winter Guard). Members continue working on their routine and skills during regular class time as well as in after school rehearsals with their coach. They also perform at school and community events.
  • How much does Marching Band / Color Guard cost?
    Marching Bands are complex organizations - lots of equipment, uniforms, instructors, props, busses, trailers, instruments, and instrument maintenance. We request a voluntary contribution of $1300 per marching band season. The inability to pay does not impact your student's participation, but please give what you can. Company matching helps!
  • What are Honor Bands and All-State Bands?
    Honor Bands and All-State Bands are countywide or statewide bands that require separate auditions outside of school. Musical styles include classical, symphonic, and jazz. Auditions are generally held in late November and early December, and normally require the recommendation of the school band director. If a student is accepted into one of these ensembles, rehearsals and performances around the county and/or state take place in winter and early spring and can involve a substantial time commitment. As the names indicate, acceptance into an Honor Band or an All-State Band is an honor, and speaks to an exceptional level of musical achievement. Information about the Santa Clara County Band Directors Association auditions can be found at Information about the California Band Directors Association (CBDA) All-State Honor Band is available at
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