Home » Ensembles » Orchestras

Los Gatos High School offers two orchestras, both comprised of students in grades 9-12 who play violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano.  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.  The Chamber Orchestra consists of advanced students who gain entry by a seating audition during the fall semester. Both ensembles meet during 2nd period throughout the school year.

The orchestras perform diverse styles of music such as classical, baroque, romantic, and 20th century, both as strings-only ensembles as well as symphonic orchestras with winds and percussion. The groups occasionally work with clinicians during the year who specialize in string instruments to help students gain deeper understanding of the skills necessary to perform at a high level. The ensembles perform at school concerts, adjudicated festivals, and town events. Members also have the opportunity to perform in CMEA Solo & Ensemble Festivals as well as the CODA All-State Orchestra.

Students in these ensembles may receive up to 3 years of Performing Arts credit (grades 9-12) and 1 year of Applied Arts credit (grade 12). 

Anaheim is all about that Disney magic...and the annual Heritage Festival, where student musicians compete to bring the very best to Mickey's ears. The 2016 Fest took place March 31-April 3 and earned major accolades for the LGHS Music program. LGHS String Orchestra captured a Silver Award, while LGHS Choir took Gold and qualified to perform at the upcoming National Invitational Festival of Gold as well as the 2017-2018 National Youth Choir Festival at Carnegie Hall. 
In addition, several students were recognized for Outstanding Solo Performances, including Orchestra's Elisabeth Chang and Choir's Sarah Aaldering, Alex Coady, and Natalya Temple.
Also of note, Orchestra student Megan Auyeung has won several piano competitions in 2016, including First Place at the Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition and at the American Fine Arts Festival. These honors mean Megan will also be heading to New York this summer for two performances at Carnegie Hall!

LGHS freshman Megan Auyeung took the stage at Carnegie Hall last week, an honor she earned as a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival International piano competition in April, while still an 8th grader. Megan's standout performances at both the competition and at Carnegie Hall are the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and determination. Megan currently studies piano with Bay Area instructor Ms. Kai Chi Zhu, and is also an accomplished violinist, serving as concert master in the LGHS string and chamber orchestras.

. . . Congratulations to Megan, who will be seen (and heard!) at LGHS orchestra events throughout 2015-2016.


At the annual LGHS Music Awards & Performances in May, the following students received special recognition from staff for their achievements in 2014-2015. Congratulations to all the honorees!

Instrumental Ensembles

John Philip Sousa Band Award®: Tony Moller

Introduced in 1955, this award honors the top student in the high school band, recognizing superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty, and cooperation.  It was created with the approval of Helen Sousa Albert and Priscilla Sousa, daughters of the famous composer and bandmaster.

National School Orchestra Award®: Shadia Mustafa

The counterpart to the Sousa Band Award®, this is the highest honor bestowed on a member of the high school orchestra, to recognize excellence in playing and contributions to the ensemble.

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award®: Lewis Fowler

This award was inaugurated in 1974, shortly after the great jazz artist died in 1971. It honors the outstanding achievements in the field of jazz as demonstrated through superior musicianship, character, and individual creativity.

George Penniman Award: Joseph Eichel

George Penniman was an LGHS student and drum major in the early 1960s. He was known for his outstanding character and dedication to the LGHS music program, and was a recipient of the Sousa Band Award in 1964. After graduating, he served in Vietnam, and was killed in a training accident in San Diego.  This award was originally created in his honor, and was reinstated in 2010.

LGHS Music Hall of Fame, for selection to Honor Bands: Max Swisher (state), Margaret Field, Elizabeth Gallmeister, Sarah Storton (county)

Outstanding Musician: Laila Sathe

Outstanding Freshman: Elizabeth Gallmeister

Outstanding Orchestra Section: Cellos

Outstanding Wind Ensemble Section: Double Reeds

Outstanding Symphonic Band Section: Low Brass

Most Improved Orchestra Member: Will Fulton

Most Improved Jazz Band Member: Marco Bommarito

Marching Band

National School Marching Award (known as the “Golden Shoe” at LGHS):
James O'Toole

This award recognizes outstanding contributions on the field and honors the musical contributions and dedication of student leaders whose example inspires others.

Percussion "Sticks" Award: Marin Rosenquist

Most Dedicated: Josina-Els Bol

Most Team Spirit: Robby Storton, Travis Welch

Most Improved: Michele Brianti

Outstanding Sections: Tubas & Trumpets

Fall Color Guard

Outstanding Member: Emma Weber

Most Improved: Adrianna Alpern, Joy Wang

Winter Guard

Outstanding Flag: Emma Latta

Outstanding Rifle: Sophia McDaniel

Most Improved Flag: Amanda Land

Most Improved Rifle: Jordan Loesch


Chamber, 3rd Period:

Outstanding Ensemble Members: Alex Coady, Kayce Hobson

Chamber, 5th Period:

National Choir Award: Nitin Srinivasan

Outstanding Ensemble Members: Colette Marcellin, Jaina Ponkey


Outstanding Ensemble Members: Molly McCanny, Natalya Temple