LGHS Music Program
“If music be the food of love, play on."
Los Gatos High School is proud to offer 13 different music ensembles for our Freshmen through Senior students. Over 250 students are in at least one LGHS ensemble, performing and perfecting their trade to new levels. To learn more about the ensembles, click on the category you are interested in:
Includes Marching Band, Color Guard, TRI-M, Music Theory, and Winter Ensembles
Los Gatos High School offers 3 Concert Bands and 1 Jazz Band which meet during the school day and perform at school/civic events, and at adjudicated music festivals. Concert bands perform diverse styles of music such as renaissance, classical, romantic, 20th century, film, and pop. Students will work with professional clinicians to deepen their knowledge on specific instrument techniques, as well as how to perform together as an ensemble. Members also have the opportunity to perform in CMEA Solo & Ensemble Festivals, the SCCBDA Honor Band, and the CBDA All-State Bands. Students in these ensembles may receive up to 3 years Performing Arts credit (grades 9-11) and 1 year of Applied Arts credit (grade 12).
Questions about Marching Band, Guard, or Winter Percussion? See FAQs.
The Symphonic Band is an intermediate/advanced ensemble open to students with an instrumental background who wish to be a part of a quality performing group. There will be a strong emphasis on instrumental techniques and music fundamentals taught through performance. This course is open to grade 9 students only. As a result of participation in this class, the student will be ready to audition for more advanced ensembles.
The Symphonic Band is an ensemble committed to a high level of study and performance of standard and contemporary large band repertoire. This ensemble provides the students with the opportunity to study and perform outstanding band literature from the Renaissance to the present.
Attendance at all performances is mandatory. Performance opportunities include fall, winter and spring concerts, CMEA Band Festival, solo/ensembles, and feeder school concerts. There are also opportunities for individuals to audition for other ensembles: Honors Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Bands, All-State Honor Band, and the Santa Clara County Honor Band.
• Prior Recommended Course(s): At least one year of instruction on a band instrument, and at least two years’ experience in your middle school band program. If you do not meet this requirement, you must audition for the directors. If you were not part of your 8th grade band you must audition. Please contact Mr. Nakamoto to set up an audition.
• Homework Expectation: 90-120 minutes per week outside of class practice. Both performance and written assessments will be included in the curriculum
Crescent Ensemble is an advanced ensemble open to students with a strong instrumental background who wish to be part of a quality performing group. There will be a strong emphasis on performance techniques and developing a repertoire of the finest literature for performances. This course is open to grades 10, 11, 12. As a result of this experience, the student will be able to better express themselves creatively, and they will have a knowledge and appreciation of music history. Both performance and written assessments will be included in the curriculum. Crescent Ensemble is an ensemble committed to a high level of study and performances of standard and contemporary large band/chamber repertoire. This ensemble provides the students with the opportunity to study and perform outstanding band literature from the renaissance to the present.
Attendance at all performances is mandatory. Performance opportunities include fall, winter and spring concerts, CMEA Band Festival, solo/ensemble, feeder school concerts, and graduation. There are also opportunities for individuals to audition for other ensembles: Jazz Band, Honors Symphony Orchestra, All-State Honor Band, and the Santa Clara County Honor Band.
• Prior Recommended Course(s): At least two years of instruction on a band instrument and at least one year in Concert Band at Los Gatos High School. If you are entering Los Gatos from outside LGSUHSD schools you must audition for the directors. Please contact one of our band directors to set up an audition.
• Homework Expectation: 90-120 minutes per week outside of class practice. Both performance and written assessments will be included in the curriculum.
The Wind Ensemble is a highly advanced and audition-only ensemble open to students with an extensive background in instrumental music performance. This ensemble will focus on the performance techniques and knowledge of repertoire associated with the finest in band and wind literature. All of the selected works, concepts learned, and techniques developed, will adequately prepare students to participate in collegiate-level musical ensembles. This course is open to grades 9-12.
There is an opportunity for all students in this ensemble to participate in small chamber music ensembles. Performance assessment, written assessment and self-assessment will be integral parts of the curriculum. Attendance at all performances is mandatory. Performance opportunities include Fall, Winter, and Spring concerts, California Music Educators Association Festivals, Solo-Ensemble festivals, feeder school concerts, regional and national tours, community events, and graduation. There are also opportunities for students to audition to participate in select
ensembles such as the Jazz Band, Honors Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Clara County Honor Band, the California Band Directors Association All-State Honor Band, and the California Music Educators Association All-State Honor Band.
• Prior Recommended Course(s): Teacher approval and/or audition required. Auditions for Wind Ensemble are held in the spring each year for the following year. At least three years of instruction on a band instrument is required. Incoming 9th-Graders are welcome to audition into the ensemble or enroll in Symphonic Band. If you are entering from outside LGSUHSD, you must have performed in your school band for one year.
• An Honors offering is available for 11-12th grade students
• Homework Expectation: 2 hours per week
The Jazz Band will focus on the performance techniques and knowledge of repertoire associated with the finest in jazz band literature. The jazz band is one of two audition-only ensembles in our band program at Los Gatos, open to grades 9-12. Emphasis placed on the preparation for the performances and evaluation at concerts and various jazz festivals throughout the year. Students will perform music from the international jazz heritage, drawing from, but not limited to, the following styles: blues, swing, be-bop, ballads, bossa nova, samba, funk and jazz rock.
Performance assessment, written assessment and self-assessment will be integral parts of the curriculum. Students will also study and practice jazz improvisation, using music theory and guided listening as tools to an exploration and development of improvising skills. Attendance at all performances is mandatory. Performance opportunities include Winter and Spring Concerts, guest artist concerts (featuring jazz professionals as guest soloist), various Jazz Festivals and various local concerts in other schools or the community.
• Prior Recommended Course(s): Student must be a concurrent member of the Band or Orchestra at LGHS. Teacher approval and/or audition required.
• An Honors offering is available for 11-12th grade students
• Homework Expectation: 2 hours per week
NOTE REGARDING MARCHING BAND
Please note that enrollment in our concert program(s) (district-wide) includes marching band. Students who complete three seasons of marching band will waive three semesters (15 units) of Physical Education, beyond Health and Fitness in the 9th grade. For more information on Marching Band please visit the FAQs.
Los Gatos High School offers three choral options: Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Mixed Choir. Students in these ensembles may receive up to 3 years of Performing Arts credit (grades 9-11) and 1 year of Applied Arts credit (grade 12). In addition to these classes, read information below regarding the LeGatos A Cappella Club choir.
Concert Choir is a non-audition ensemble open to 9-12th grade students. Prior experience in choir/private lessons is a plus! Students perform in concerts, assemblies, and adjudicated festivals. Students will be exposed to many styles and periods of music and will acquire skills in the use of basic music vocabulary, including terms, signs, and symbols used in music.
Chamber Singers: Mixed Choir & Women's Chorus
Two choirs make up the Chamber Singers: Mixed Choir and Women's
Chorus, by audition only for students in grades 10-12. Students must have advanced music literacy and vocal technique to join. The ensemble studies and performs challenging music in all styles and languages. Performances include concerts, adjudicated festivals, and community events.
The LeGatos A Cappella Club
The LeGatos A Cappella Club is an extra-curricular choir moderated by Maricel Riley, Los Gatos High School Choral Director. Membership is by audition only and the club performs regularly.
LGHS offers three orchestras, comprised of students in grades 9-12 who play violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano. These ensembles perform diverse styles of music and occasionally work with clinicians to help students gain a deeper understanding of the skills necessary to perform at a high level. Members may perform in CMEA Solo & Ensemble Festivals as well as the CODA All-State Orchestra. Up to 3 years of Performing Arts credit (9-12) and 1 year of Applied Arts credit (grade 12) may be earned.
There are no prerequisites to join String Orchestra, other than participation in a middle school orchestra program or private lessons on a string instrument or piano.
This ensemble is the highest level audition-only group for students in grades 9-12. Auditions occur in April/May for the following year.
LGHS offers additional classes and programs for further music enrichment. Read below for information on music theory classes, marching band, color guard, and winter percussion opportunities.
Music Theory & AP Music Theory
LGHS offers two theory electives: Introduction to Music Theory and AP Music Theory. The intro class will teach students how to read various musical elements and construct these elements. The AP class is a college-level course to develop understanding of music theory and prepare for the AP exam. As with all AP courses, a full point is added to the student's final grade for purposes of calculating GPA. There are no formal prerequisites for this course, other than a musical background and strong interest.
Winter Percussion & Winter Guard
Winter Percussion and Winter Guard are offered as extracurricular activites to supplement and showcase the skills of guard and percussion outside of marching band season. Students will work on a show with a theme expressed through music, choreography, drill, costuming, and characterization. Auditions being late November and rehearsals and performances continue through mid-April.
Marching Band / Color Guard
Participation in Marching Band/Color Guard is required for all Concert Band members. Practices and competitions are outside regular school hours and on weekends. The group performs at home football games and community events as well as travels the local and state region to adjudicated competitions. Note: participation in Marching Band/Color Guard satisfies PE requirements after Freshman year.
Tri-M is a music honor club at LGHS, and its mission is to serve the community through music. The club includes students from band, orchestra, and choir.