4-time WBA Grand Champion, and Bands of America Gold Medalist
Marching Band & Color Guard
The Mission Viejo Marching Band & Color Guard compete locally and regionally in Class 2A of the Western Band Association (WBA), a nonprofit organization that promotes high school music education in California, Arizona and Nevada. Including brass, woodwinds, percussion, and colorguard, these young adults work rigorously each year to put on incredible musical performances not present in any other activity. Starting in 2023, the Mission Viejo Band will also be competing in the California State Band Championships (CSBC) in class 2A. The Mission Viejo Marching Band is a 4-time WBA Grand Champion, in addition to numerous top WBA placements in previous years with numerous 2nd and 3rd place finishes. The band also formerly competed in Bands of America, receiving high placements and once being the gold medalist in 1996. Most recently, the band won 1st place in the 2019 WBA Grand Championships, earning best general effect, best music, and best percussion. In 2021, the band earned 2nd place in WBA Regional Championships (2A).
Marching Band season begins two weeks before school starts. We are proud to host the MVHS Field Show Tournament, or (aka Home Comp), which begins the WBA competition season and is our major fundraiser for the year.
Marching Band and Colorguard is available as a 6th period class for all students in the fall semester and counts as PE credit. Marching Band practices after school each weekday as well as Tuesday nights on the football field. Colorguard practices after the school day. The band performs pep tunes for Friday night football games and pep rallies during school, and compete in field show tournaments on select Saturdays from early October to the weekend before Thanksgiving, in addition to some occasional community events.
2019 WBA Grand Champions 1A/2A/3A
Best General Effect, Best Music, and Best Percussion 2019
WBA Champions Class 3A
Best Auxiliary and Best Percussion
Welcome to the MVHS Marching Band & Color Guard!
Band Camp is for all Marching Band and Colorguard students, and is held the two weeks prior to the start of school. This is a VERY IMPORTANT time during these camps where the students bond, and learn the basics. Please understand that it is imperative that these students commit, practice and participate and that the parents are on board with this time commitment. One person missing, 1 day or more can be frustrating and throw off the whole section and/or band. Therefore, we ask that your student makes it to all practices during Band Camp unless they are ill with a fever or a serious, personal or a family emergency. PLEASE keep these days clear as the rehearsals are typically all morning with sectional rehearsals in the afternoon and/or evening. These are long days for the kids but they are also super fun! Students will start conditioning, learning drill, visual design and music for the field show competitions. Your students may come home tired, not being used to working at this level. Please encourage them to stick it out…it gets easier!
UNIFORMS + COSTUMES
Uniform Fitting for Marching Band & Color Guard is scheduled during this time. Band students will not only come in to be measured for their uniform, they will need to purchase their shoes, dri-fits, pep gear t-shirts and band bags for the season. Color Guard will be sized for their costumes and accessories and orders will be taken for band bags, shoe bags, and various other accessories needed. A price list and recommended items for new students will be posted and/or emailed prior to Uniform Fitting Day. If you have any questions, please reach out to our uniform manager Diane Bjoirnstad at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Marching Band, Color Guard & Drumline students are required by the school district to have Athletic Clearance from their doctor. You can find the form and instructions under the forms tab. Once you have the signatures from your doctor, do NOT turn it into us. It needs to be uploaded at athleticlearance.com prior to the beginning of Band Camp. Please check that any other necessary forms are filled out, signed and turned in as well, prior to or at Fitting Day.
Program Donations are crucial to our program's success and are needed to cover the majority of our budget. For Marching Band & Color Guard, we request a donation of $750 per student for the 2022-23 season, to cover our excellent coaching staff and operational expenses (bussing, trucks, food…). An additional fee (TBD) will be collected to cover the WBA Championships trip if we are staying overnight. This fee will cover hotel, food, transportation, and volunteering. Please consider volunteering your time at several of the events this season, either at a football game, a competition or a concert. Sign-Up Genius’ will be sent out a few weeks prior to each event and you will receive free entry to the event that night. There are lots of great ways to be involved.
We love to have parents come and watch evening practices at the football field! It is always fascinating to watch the kids go through the rehearsal process and see the progression of the show (because it can get really tricky when they are all dressed!).
Make sure we have your email and cell number. Our main means of communication is via email. You can reach us at MVHSMBManager@gmail.com and/or email@example.com to be included in all Marching Band & Color Guard emails. As a parent of a Music student, you are automatically part of the MVHSIMBA Booster Association. We encourage you to join our Booster meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 pm in the Band Room. Please make sure to check the calendar to make sure the date or location has not changed. We also encourage you to step up and become a board member. You won’t regret it and will have a great time!
Again, welcome to this amazing program!
How do auditions work?There is an audition packet that can be picked outside the band room office STARTING THE VERY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. The packet is specific for each instrument, and in it contains two pieces to perform during the audition. They are bebop heads, and also have the chord changes above the line. Horn players can improvise on either of the two tunes. Improvisation is not required, although is highly encouraged in order to receive feedback, and have a higher chance of making it into the ensemble. Horn players sign up for an exact time slot when they pick up the packet. Rhythm section players audition all together in all combinations of players. Piano and guitar players learn several voicings for each chord and the goal is interact with each other. Piano and guitar players should also play the written line to each tune. At the audition we are looking for competence in comping, and improvising, and interaction between players. Bass players and drummers also be prepared to invent funk and Latin grooves at the audition.
Are all of the positions open?Yes, all positions are open. Being in the band the year before does not give a player seniority of any kind. The best players at the audition are the ones who make the band.
How long is an audition?Auditions are no longer than 7 minutes for horn players. Each player plays the tunes first in unison with the teacher, then alone, and then with a backing track. Improvisation is to a backing track of one of the two pieces. The rhythm section plays all together for approximately 40 minutes, including a combination of players.
How do I prepare for an audition?There is over a week to practice the content. Start by learning the melodies slowly and get them under your fingers correctly. Then speed them up. Search YouTube for recordings and performances of these tunes. Observe interaction, transcribe solos, come to tutorial for help, or ask your private teacher for help.
How many bands are there?If there are enough players for a second rhythm section, we make a smaller band with that rhythm section and various horn players. That jazz combo performs at the fall concert and also the Irvine jazz festival and the spring jazz concert. That rhythm section is encouraged to be the rhythm section for the jazz improvisation class. Generally speaking, we may have 1 big band and up to 2 combos each year. The combos can have up to three or four horn players, and the top combo gets to choose their own material and schedule. Sometimes the rhythm section audition does not show a clear best player. In that case we will take two and have them split time. This is not ideal for either player. If both players are weak, then we re-audition after a semester. If both players are strong both stay in the band. There is always room for a good player.
How do I get into jazz improvisation class?If you demonstrate strong interest, there is a place in improvisation class for you. Becoming a jazz player takes much more practice time than any other ensemble, or any form of music for that matter. There are two sets of players divided by ability and experience. During the class sessions we spend a lot of time playing and trading, and most players get much better quickly. If someone is not practicing, it becomes obvious right away. It takes a small amount of talent and a huge amount of belief in practice. A student can do improv class every year and many have. If you want to get good, nothing will help you more than participating in these sessions.
What kind of music do the big-band and combos play?The big band plays music from the giants of that idiom. Music from the bands of Thad Jones, Basie, Herman, Kenton, Buddy Rich, Maria Schneider, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, etc. In other words, we play music written for professionals and steeped in tradition. This music rarely has any written notes or voicings for piano, bass, or guitar--chord symbols only. Combos play from lead sheet style notation ("realbook") which have a melody with chord symbols above. Arrangements are informal and created on the fly or through discussion or emulation.
What is the jazz schedule?Fairly complicated because we need to work around the master schedule, and also in the months of September, October, and November, around the marching band schedule. Jazz band is a 7th period class, which means that that it meets by arrangement. For the first 3 months the big band schedule is: Monday: Long session 2:15 till 4:15 - If a student has a different 7th period class, they miss the first 50 minutes Tuesday - Before marching band, 3:30 - 4:45 Thursday: After marching band, 3:30 to 4:30 Wednesday and Friday: We do not meet
Does jazz conflict with sports?Yes, it does conflict with some sports. Some coaches are very good about splitting time with Jazz Band, while some aren't at all. It depends on the coach. The jazz schedule automatically allows the student to be at the sport more than they miss the sport.