Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble

Home » Ensembles » Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble

Symphonic Band is comprised of students in grades 9-12 who play woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments; it meets during 1st period throughout the school year. 

Wind Ensemble is a more advanced ensemble composed primarily of students in grades 10-12; despite its name, it includes brass and percussion as well as woodwinds. This group meets during 3rd period.

The two ensembles (also known as "Concert Bands") meet separately during the school day and perform at school and civic events, and at adjudicated music festivals. Both ensembles perform diverse styles of music such as Renaissance, classical, Romantic, 20th century, film, and pop. They occasionally work with professional clinicians during the concert season to gain deeper understanding of the skills necessary to perform at a high level. Members of these ensembles also have the opportunity to perform in CMEA Solo & Ensemble Festivals as well as SCCBDA Honor Band and CBDA All-State Bands.

All incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors must audition for correct ensemble placement. Freshmen will typically be assigned to Symphonic Band, except for percussionists, who will be placed in the Percussion Techniques class open to all grade levels.

Students in either Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble may receive up to 3 years of Performing Arts credit (grades 9-11) and 1 year of Applied Arts credit (grade 12).

LGHS Winter Percussion ensemble wore medals, and huge smiles, after capping off a banner season by taking 1st Place in their division at the Northern California Percussion Alliance Championships on April 2. The group edged out 14 other schools in a deep field to take the top prize for the first time in LGHS history. On March 5 they also earned 2nd Place at WGI Regional Finals in Fresno. Congratulations to the students, and their hardworking directors Cameron Spencer and Steve Martinez, for an amazing season!

Spring has also been a winning season for four students from LGHS Wind Ensemble. Lazare Herzi (trombone, '16), Max Swisher (euphonium, '16), John Field (tuba, '18), and Eli Merg (trombone, '18) earned rave reviews and Command Performance honors for their Low Brass Quartet performance at the CMEA Solo/Ensemble Festival at San Jose State on March 19. Lazare has also held spots in the Santa Clara County Honor Band and the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band for 2016, and Max performed in the California All-State Honor Band and in the National Honor Band. Hats off to all four musicians for their outstanding work.

Max Swisher, a senior euphonium player in the LGHS Wind Ensemble and Wildcat Marching Band, had a blast making his debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville on October 28, as second chair euphonium in the 2015 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles Concert Band. Max (bottom row, second from left, with his fellow Nashville players) also performed in the California All-State Honor Band in 2014-2015 and received a medal for outstanding musicianship at the 2015 Reno Jazz Festival for his unique euphonium work during the LGHS Jazz Ensemble performance. 

Nitin Srinivasan, a junior tenor in the LGHS Chamber Choir, also took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, as a singer in the All-National Honor Mixed Choir. This is the second time Nitin has been selected for this honor; he made his debut in Nashville in 2014, as a sophomore. Nitin has also performed in regional and state honor choirs and received the National Choir Award at the LGHS Music Awards in May 2015.

...Congratulations to Max and Nitin!

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