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Instrumental Music

The South Pasadena High School Instrumental Music Program FAQ

The SPHS Instrumental Music Program is part of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. It consists of a concert band (which is divided into two periods), a symphonic band, a color guard, a winter guard (spring semester), a winter drumline (spring semester), a jazz ensemble, and advanced orchestra.


During the fall semester, the two concert band periods, the symphonic band, and the color guard are combined together to make the marching band. The marching band competes in several competitions during the fall semester. The marching band also plays for home and away football games, school assemblies, and other community events. Depending on the year, performances may include UCLA Band Day, caroling during the holiday season, the Chinese New Year Parade and requests made from the community. The band also performs at home basketball games. In December, we end our marching season and begin our concert season.


During the spring semester, the winter guard and the winter drumline compete in indoor competitions as separate groups. The concert band, symphonic band, jazz ensemble, and orchestra prepare for the spring chamber music and concert season. All of the ensembles perform at our annual Spaghetti Dinner Night, compete in a festival, and perform at the final Spring Concert in June. Also, the jazz ensemble competes in local festivals, as well as performs for many local community events. In addition, some of the groups may be part of collaborations with other programs within the department.


As you can see, we have a very exciting and jam packed program that focuses on excellence in the arts.




Here are a few frequently asked questions about the instrumental music program at SPHS.



What is the time commitment for marching band?


All students are required to participate in band camp. Band camp is: August 8-August 12 (8:00 am - 4:00 pm, M-F) and August 15-August 19 (8:00 am - 4:00 pm, M-F). We will also have two Saturday practices: September 10 (8:00 am - 5:00 pm) and September 17 (9:00 am - 5:00 pm). There are also mandatory evening rehearsals on Mondays (6:00 pm - 8:00 pm) and Wednesdays (6:00 pm - 9:00 pm). The students must also attend all home football games, 1-2 away football games, 1-2 home basketball games, all competitions and all other performances.



What is band camp and why do I have to attend?


Band camp is extremely important to the success of marching band.  During band camp the students will begin learning the music (pep songs and field show) and learn about basic marching.  During the marching band competitions the band is judged on many elements including the music performance, musicianship, visuals, visual interpretation, marching fundamentals, movement, and overall execution of the performance. It is important that every student attend band camp so that they can keep up with the aggressive schedule needed to learn all the elements of the field show.



Where is band camp?


Band camp is at the high school and students will commute everyday to the high school from home.



What should I bring to band camp?


Bring your instrument, equipment, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Lunch will be provided.



What are marching band competitions?


The students perform their field show and they are evaluated by a panel of judges. The students will compete in five marching band competitions during the 2011 Fall semester.  We will be competing in the Wester Band Association circuit here in Southern California. The students travel to the competitions on buses, and depending on where the WBA Championships are, the students may have to make an overnight trip.



Can my child be in band and a sport at the same time?


Yes, that can be worked out.



What is the spring trip all about?


In the past, the concert band, symphonic band, jazz band, and orchestra have taken an overnight trip to compete in a band/orchestra festival. Venues we have travelled to include: San Francisco, Hawaii, and Boston.



Who should I contact for more information?


There are monthly parent information meetings throughout the year. They are on the first Monday of each month except for our first meeting this year, which will be held Monday, August 29, 2011. Please contact Marian Sunabe at if you are not on the email list, or email Mr. Crawford, Director of Bands and Orchestra at



How can parents help or get involved?


Parent participation is needed to help make the SPHS Instrumental Music Department a success.  All parents should plan on attending the SPHS Music Booster meetings. Parents are needed to chaperone at competitions, work on select band bingo nights to earn credits for the band program, work in the snack stand during the home football games, help with fund raising efforts and many more fun activities.  A packet containing more detail information about band and the Music Boosters is also available. Find out how you can stay involved in your student’s high school experience by attending the Music Booster meetings.